TRAVEL THERE: ENJOYING THE BOAT
There she is! Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas. On our day at sea, we explored many of her charms and suffered a few of her deficiencies. Come along and see how it went.
Up & At ‘Em
First up, the gym! I’m an early riser, so I take advantage of it to get in an hour on a stationary bike. The gym on Vision of the Seas is nice, but quite small. On this morning, pretty much every spot on the equipment was filled.
I got my hour in and headed back to the room via the the buffet. I filled up my soda cup, got Bill some ice water and picked up a few pastries in case Mr. Bill was ravenous.
Breaking Our Fast
We enjoy the luxury of sit down service and convivial company, so we returned to the Aquarius Dining Room for our morning repast. There is no assigned seating, so you get the luck of the draw in table mates. The luck of the draw in food was pretty marginal, especially their sorry excuse for Eggs Benedict.
We ended up at a table with a bunch of round dancers, who were nice, but only interested in their dancing, so we were relieved when a mother and her daughter arrived. After a little chatting we discovered they’d been caught in all the flooding from Harvey and it was interesting to hear about their experiences. They became our new cruise buddies and we enjoyed seeing them several other times during the week.
We went back to the room so Bill could wrangle with his computer and the market. I took a shower and got ready for the day, in part by perusing the Cruise Compass and picking out the good stuff, like the Art Auction
Champagne Art Auction
One of my favorite things at sea are the Park West art auctions. How can you lose if you’re spending your morning looking at art and hearing tidbits about artists and the art world, while you sip free champagne? I’m probably not ever going to be bidding, but it’s relaxing, fun and interesting. Bill doesn’t exactly feel the same way. He’ll attend, probably more for the champagne than the art, but he sits there, giving me a running commentary on the dangers of buying art at sea, just in case I get the urge to lift my bidding card.
Were I to actually bid on something, it would be because I thought it was a pretty picture and I’d enjoy looking at it. Occasionally I’ll say something complimentary about a painting and Bill reacts as if I’m considering purchasing a fake Mona Lisa and he demands to know which wall we’d hang it on. It sort of takes the fun out of the dreaming, but I just shake my head in amusement and have another sip of champagne.
Beyond the champagne, there’s always a free gift of art. This time a 7×7 seriolithograph by Yuval Wolfson. If I had any space on our walls, I could frame it and hang it. Instead it will end up in my scrapbook. There was an extra bonus this time which will also find its way to my scrapbook. To hold the audience’s attention, they also have drawings for Royal Caribbean chotkies, like t-shirts and water bottles. To my amazement I won one of the drawings and I got two lovely 8×10 photos of the ship – one of which is shown above – and which will kick off my scrapbook of this adventure.
Winding Up the Day and Gearing Up for the Night
The auction lasted past the sit down lunch, so we were forced to go back to the Windjammer for a buffet lunch. It was marginally better than the Embarkation Buffet, but that’s not saying much.
Usually we would have explored more of the boat, but on this trip, Bill had to keep an eye on the market, so we went back to our room. I really can’t complain about the relaxation. The room was comfortable, the sea was just outside our window and after catching up on my travel journal I did a little reading.
Come back next week and I’ll tell you about formal night.
3 thoughts on “Our First Day at Sea”
That is the sorriest eggs benedict that I have ever seen. I thought cruise ships only served gourmet food?
I do believe you are right! But don’t blame cruising – blame Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas. I have eaten some of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life on a cruise ship – and at least one of those was on RC’s Monarch of the Seas (many years ago), but something has happened to that cruise lines and it is pretty sad. I don’t want people to quit cruising, I just want them to know that cruising out of Galveston on Vision of the Seas is a rip off – no matter how cheap the fare might be.
Standards always slip, it is an economic fact of life!
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