Day 2 - Newport, RI
Happy Halloween! We made a rookie mistake of not ordering coffee and pastries to be delivered as a wake up call. Chris went and brought two coffees back to the room as a treat or else he knows I might be pretty witchy if I don't get my coffee.
We went to my parent’s cabin to see if they were ready for breakfast. My dad chose to stay in the cabin as he was full from the continental breakfast they had delivered with their coffee. My mom joined us at O’Sheehans and we all had the American breakfast. It is great choice for a lighter and fast breakfast but without having to serve yourself.
Today’s port is a tender port and my parents opted to stay on the ship. We heard a call for the last of the early bird tenders so we joined the line. The tender was full and some very nice gentlemen prevented me from sliding in too far on the bench as it had water on it that I did not see. I was very appreciative of their kindness because it would not have been fun to have wet jeans on when walking. We chatted with them during the slow ride ashore as they were avid cruisers as well.
The plan for our morning was to see the mansions and walk the Cliff Walk. Newport offered a free bus that stopped at the key attractions so we walked to the transportation center a few short blocks away. The bus arrived promptly at nine and filled up so we stood to give others our seats. We rode the bus to the Marble House stop and walked along a street with some of the most amazing mansions. I had the idea that we could ring the bell to trick or treat but we decided against it.
We eventually found a cut through to the Cliff Walk. Of course the part we started on was one of the most difficult on the path. It was not paved but was comprised of strategically placed boulders. I would not want to navigate this in the rain as it seemed like you could easily slip. I made it through but definitely concentrated on each step I made. I was glad my parents were not doing this because it was not easy. The rest of the walk was easy though with spectacular views. We walked to the Breakers which is the most famous of the mansions owned by the Vanderbilts.
Since we approached from the Cliff Walk, we passed a back entrance first that Chris decided was fine for pedestrians but not cars. As we were walking towards the house, a security guard asked him if he saw the cones not to enter. I knew I was right so I joked with the security guard but also told him his cones were not in place. I will defend Chris a little as the sign said “no cars” and nothing along the lines of use other entrance to purchase tickets. The tickets cost 29 dollars if you want to tour the inside of the home which we did. The inside is a true masterpiece of the Gilded Age. The Great Hall and Dining Rooms are show stoppers. The rest of the house isn’t too shabby either. Many rooms are included in the door including the bedrooms, kitchen and butler pantry. It was drizzling when we left but we decided to forgo the shuttle and walk back into town. Chris and I both had our Philaelphia Phillies shirts on today and as we were walking back toward town a car slowed to a stop, and the driver rolled down his window to shout "Let's Go Phillies!" at us. Chris was surprised that the enthusiasm for the fightin' Phils had made it up into stoic New England.
It was about 1.7 miles to get back to the town from the Breakers. After all the walking, we decided we earned a beer and a snack at a local spot. Midtown Oyster Bar had a very nice menu and looked like a perfect spot for us. We each ordered a local beer and I had a oyster shooter called Gin-gnonette which was Gray Whale gin and house mignonette. The oyster and shooter was absolutely delicious. The three things paired perfectly together. Chris wanted to try a local specialty, Quahog Stuffies. These are clams stuffed with chourico and sweet peppers. They were very hearty and flavorful. For lunch we split a fried clam roll made with whole belly clams. Whenever I can order whole belly clams I do since they are not available where we live. The sandwich was very good and along with the beer I don’t think lunch could have tasted any better after our morning walk.
It was only about a 1/3 of a mile to reach the tender spot. It was raining a little more but not too bad. The line was long and reached outside of the tent but it moved quickly as there were plenty of tenders to get the passengers back to the ship. We met my parents for a drink at the Syd’s outside bar. I started with an Aperol spritz but also tried a Brown Sugar which was a riff on an Old Fashioned that the bartender made a little less sweet for us as we aren't fans of drinks that are super sweet.
We returned to the cabin to get ready for the evening which for tonight meant donning our Halloween costumes for our evening attire. Tonight we dressed in Money Heist uniforms complete with Salvador Dali masks. My parents were waiting at our usual spot in Shakers and tonight I had a perfect gin martini complete with Filthy Pickles. Chris changed up his usual as well to an Aviation. Our costumes received lots of looks, laughs and comments. Many people said “Squid Games” as we passed them in the halls but plenty knew it to be Money Heist or even Casa de Papel. My mom and I both brought candy to pass out to various crew members to celebrate. I also had some jeweled spider rings I gave out to crew as well. Passengers and crew were really into the Halloween spirit.
Dinner was in the Manhattan Room which is a nod to the supper club days. They have live music during dinner and a dance floor. The menu had lots of good choices so we ordered multiple starters. I had the spring roll, smoked salmon, and grilled vegetables. All were very good and I would order on future cruises. Chris and my mom also tried the clam chowder and enjoyed it. Chris and I danced a few times waiting for our courses to arrive. For our entrees, Chris had the shrimp with vodka sauce while everyone else order the hake. Everyone really liked their dinners this evening. For dessert, I tried the “After Eight” mint chocolate mousse to compare with MSC since they offered an “After Eight” dessert as well. Both were good but I will give the edge to NCL on this dessert. My mom had cherries Jubilee, Chris had Boston Cream pie and my dad had the white chocolate amaretto cake so there was plenty of variety tonight.
We returned to the cabin and saw a search light from the balcony. It did not last too long so hopefully it was just a drill. We headed to Howl at the Moon for a little dueling piano action. I gave a request with tip and candy in full costume. I did request Bella Ciao from Money Heist but gave a second choice of Folsom Prison Blues which she played. She commented how creepy yet sweet it was to get candy. Later, when another pianist tagged one out, we tried again for Money Heist with the option for Monster Mash which was the song they played.
The next stop was the Tina Turner tribute with Fire and Ice Duo. She did an amazing job as Tina. Her energy was non-stop. It was an excellent show as well. So far the entertainment has been great.
Since we were in costume, we ended the evening at the Halloween dance party in the Bliss. We had to walk through the casino and noticed great costumes the staff was wearing as well. Some asked to take photos with us. The party was a very popular choice and I was glad to see so many in the Halloween spirit. We had a few dances but decided to return to our cabin around 11. It was a very fun Halloween and tomorrow we have another celebration in store as it is our birthday!
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