Twenty thousand and forty minutes, how can you measure, measure a cruise? In sea days, in port days in cocktails and dining. In smiles and dancing, enrichment and friendship...
Today, we return to glorious sea days. After the busy experiences of port, sea days are perfect to relax and still have fun. I slept a bit later due to losing an hour so I headed out on deck to walk. Walking on a cruise ship might sound boring but I’ve been treated to an array of interesting sites. I have seen spectacular sunrises, rainbow, fish or dolphins playing and while rounding the bow, some very attractive male crew members working out very creatively by the pool. How can that be boring?
I decided today I would let my teenager get some much needed rest. I remember the days of being able to sleep endlessly. I let our cabin stewardess know that she could skip our cabin until after dinner and went down to the Bistro for some coffee. I did some writing as I sipped my coffee. I snuck back to the cabin to return my items and went out for another walk. I knew Veronica would want to play trivia so I returned around 11:30 to wake her up.
We did really well at trivia scoring 12/15 but one team scored 14 correct. Of course they had a full team so I think for 2 of us we are doing just fine!
After trivia, we headed up to the Marketplace for lunch. Today’s theme was Mediterranean which is one of my favorites. I made a large salad but used hummus as a dressing. I added a few Spanish style potatoes and falafel to the salad. Best lunch salad yet.
After lunch, I decided to try the dance class. It was an intermediate American Waltz class taught by the Latin Dance quartet. They did a nice job but I wasn’t enjoying one of my partners so I left the class. The step was a very familiar one that is taught often before dances at home and waltz is not my favorite dance.
I went back to the cabin. Veronica was reading as she brought her summer required reading with her. I asked her if she’d like to try Bingo and she agreed. Bingo was fun especially since I won the first game and didn’t have to split the prize. That always makes it more fun. She wants to play again so I might have created a monster!
After Bingo, Veronica went up on deck while I dressed for dinner. While I was finishing up, she returned to shower and change. I told her I’d meet at Avenue Saloon as it is close to Prego where we would be dining. The lovely Priscilla was there and quickly brought me my Bombay martini. She’s a doll. All of the crew provide great service but I feel at times some give that little something extra or I just connect with them. That is one of the things I really enjoy about cruises.
Veronica arrived and it was off to Prego for our 6:30 reservation. Prego is the upscale Italian specialty dining restaurant. Each guest is allotted a number of visits to Prego and Umi Uma depending on the length of the voyage. Although this is my third Crystal cruise, I have yet to try Prego. With a longer voyage, I felt I should give it a try since it gets lots of raves from passengers.
We were greeted and escorted to our table for two. It is a very nice atmosphere but the table was very close to others. Veronica and I have actually enjoyed this because sometimes you meet nice people or just overhear interesting conversation. It helps make the cruise memorable. The woman next to us was fanning herself non-stop which I could feel as we were close together. We could easily tell by their conversation that they were part of the Hillsdale conservative contingent on board. The woman also remarked how she hates children. Veronica found that funny. She’s a good sport.
So time to talk food.
I have to say that I was underwhelmed by Prego. Maybe the expectations were too high? We can get very good Italian food on the East Coast (Shout out to New Jersey) and this also was a factor in our critique.
I ordered the octopus and lobster starter and Veronica chose the Caprese salad. I think she chose her starter because I had raved about the tomatoes at lunch. The octopus and lobster was excellent. Veronica thought the tomatoes were just OK. I sampled one and found it rather bland and mealy. We decided to share a beef carpaccio as this always gets high marks. The beef was excellent but we both felt they overdressed it. It had too much olive oil in addition to a sauce, balsamic vinegar, capers and Parmesan cheese. For the soup course, I convinced Veronica to order the Cream of Mushroom, another fan favorite. I selected the minestra primavera which was great. Loved the variety of vegetables as well as the amount of seasoning. I did taste her mushroom soup. We both liked the variety of mushrooms in the soup but it’s cream of mushroom. It’s hard to really make it that special.
For our entrees, I chose the spaghetti “Pescatore” while Veronica ordered the filet. The pasta was cooked nicely and the sauce had a definite heat from chili that I enjoyed. I thought the seafood pasta ratio was disappointing. It was a rather small amount of seafood. Veronica’s filet was cooked to a nice medium rare. She wasn’t a fan of the sabayon on the steak. She said it was good but nothing spectacular. Earlier, I had posted on Cruise Critic that it was White Party night and Prego was probably a bad idea. Yes, I jinxed myself. I had a few small drops of tomato sauce on my pristine white blouse. I know I like black for a reason. We looked at the dessert menu. Everything was cream or cheese which I do not enjoy after eating a plant based diet. There was a sorbet but I really didn’t want dessert. Veronica decided to try the deconstructed cannoli. I told her to order and I would run back to the cabin to try to wash my shirt. I was successful in removing the stains but it needed to dry. When I returned, Veronica had left. We met up on the stairs. She said the cannoli wasn’t great because the texture was very grainy. The service was a tad on the slow side compared to the other meals so far as well. I’m glad we tried the restaurant but I doubt I will return in the future. I personally really enjoy the Modern menu in Waterside with a few Classics dabbled in. I think it is more creative and interesting. We are both big fans of Asian food and I find that style more difficult to prepare at home. The food in Prego while good is somewhat boring to me. But that is why Crystal offers choices and choice is a good thing!
Tonight’s entertainment was Crystal on Broadway The Show. It is a production show featuring three musicals, Something Rotten, West Side Story and Rent. As I have said, I’m not the biggest fan of Broadway. I watched the opening number and whispered to Veronica I was going to go dry my shirt so I could wear it to the party later. I snuck quietly out the back and returned during the end of West Side Story with a clean, dry shirt. I watched all of the Rent numbers. The performers are very talented and it does give you a taste of the shows. Something Rotten is coming to the Playhouse in Delaware so Veronica is now interested in attending.
It was then off the the White Party where the cruise director said is the biggest party of the cruise and would go until dawn. The atrium area was decorated in white and white themed drinks and snacks were passed around. The showband performed with the Latin Dancers. The dance floor was also open for dancing. I did a few dances with the hosts but the highlight for me was dancing with the cruise director, Shane. He asked me to dance before a song even started. That’s a gamble. It was a disco hit and after a few disco type steps, he suggested a triple swing. What a workout he gave me! He’s a fine dancer with some great steps. He navigated the floor well and even gave me a big triple spin. He later asked me to dance again to Proud Mary done Tina Turner style. Another great workout with lots of spins and a dip at the end. Bravo Shane!
After all the fun dancing, Veronica and I returned to the cabin. I was determined to finish I, Tonya. We ordered a little snack to share from room service which helped me stay awake. Around two we finished the movie! Time to get some rest with the seas rocking me to sleep.