Monday, 9 July 2012

Adventure of the Seas Day 5-6-7-8

Day 5.
As the trip to Pisa only started at around 9 AM, we had our breakfast at the main dining room. The buffet style breakfast was a 4 star hotel kind of way – one could find yogurt, fruits, pancake, to smoked salmon. Rania loved the buttermilk pancake and I opted for the sweet muesli. By 9 AM we went to the meeting point and were rushed to the gangway. One thing that I did not really enjoy was the fact that from the meeting point of the tour to the gangway, we were always escorted down to use the stairs. Luckily Rania was a no-complainer girl, but it was demanding to deck down 2 or 3 flights of stairs with a toddler. They should have also been prepared for people opting to use the lift – parents with toddler / buggy or senior with walking sticks. 
A small break before the 'photo session' in Pisa
That day, it was not our luckiest day on the bus. It seemed like a full ride; hence Rania had to sit on our lap for the 40 minutes on the way to Pisa. Our guide was a very informative lady called Simona and she literary could not only tell the history but also showing them as well. Something like, look at this wall and see the proof that building was already 500 years old. We arrived at the Pisa nature reserve and were asked to continue the journey on a small, open-style coach with a locomotive! It took us another 15 minutes on the coach and along the way Simona explained the history of the town of Pisa – which it used to be a small, independent country. We arrived at Pisa- Miracle Square and were given a 45 minutes of free time in front of the tower. When I first came, the area near the tower was closed for re-construction and I was pleased that now I could take pictures as close as possible to the tower. 
Ok, my tummy was not that big, the wind blew my top!
After 400 photo sessions later (hihi), we went back to our meeting point and took the coach ride to the river... yes, this time we went back to the bus by taking a boat trip with free ice cream, how cool was that! By around 1 PM we arrived back at the ship and we went straight to windjammer and then to our room for some needed ZzzZZ. Later that day we dropped Rania off as it was “diego day” at the kids club. By 7 we went to the dining room for our dinner. Our waiter was a Filipino called Efren, a very funny person indeed! He would greeted us cheerfully and sang during serving us. Finished with our dinner, we dropped Rania again at the kids club and this time went to try our luck at the casino; ka-ching! All the machines only accepted US coins, hence we need to change our Euros into USD dollars at the cashier, and with the minimum value for changing was 20 USD with Seapass card. We then used the slot machines to change the bills into coins. 40 coins later and then we ended up broke (hahaha) and decided to chill out watching the show called “Can’t stop the rock.” I did not understand why the show was called like that, as the show was about a tribute to best movie soundtracks – from “Love Story” to “The Bodyguards.” I must say the quality of the singers was good, and some were as good as American Idols contestants!
We called it a night by 10-ish and went to our state room for a well-deserved snooze.

Day 6.
We were already near the end of our vacation sniff....
We woke up in the morning for the beautiful view of Ajaccio, Corsica. The tiny island belonged to the French and had 9 mountains and many kilometres of coastline – our guide told us that Corsica is the only place in the world where one could swim at the ocean and skiing on the same day! The streets were always on traffic jam while we were there and they were narrow and the land was not flat at all.

The first part of the tour was to stop at Napoleon’s statue – Ajaccio was Napoleon’s birthplace by the way.

The second part of the trip, was rather appalling, instead of taking us to the city centre, we were brought to a reserved area near some building near ocean that seemed like lighthouses. I did not understand why they would take us there as there was nothing interesting around. 

The third part of the trip was the coolest; the beach! We were given some free time at the beach and used it to the fullest. Rania was at first screaming but later enjoyed it so much that we had to drag her out of the water. The beach was clean, with grey sands; the water was clear and not too cold

I'm building my own sandcastle!

This was a candid shot! I was scratching my head I guess...

Back at the ship, Rania this time asked to go to the kids club – on her own. We picked her up at 6 to dress up for the island frenzy parade at the Royal Promenade. The parade consisted of some entertainer using stilt walkers and was only for 10 minutes – it was too short. 

After having our dinner, we had our photos taken with the Captain. Rania was curious to see the captain – as the only captain she had in mind was Captain Hook –don’t ask me why ;) The Captain was a tall, bearded fella from Canada and seemed like a nice gentleman. From there, we went to the kids’ disco time, and then the theatre to watch a show.  Rania almost fell asleep at the theatre; hence we called it a day at around 10-ish.

Day 7.
Sea- day again. That day, the ship felt a bit shaky at times but it did not ruin our last day of vacation. After breakfast, Rania asked to be dropped at the kids club. We used the time to explore the ship and my husband did wall climbing – talk about having an adventure! 

When we picked Rania up at the kids club we were informed about the talent show for kids. So off we went to the talent show and rania, along with our 3 years olds danced with pom-poms to the tunes. It was so cute.

 After lunch, I decided to have a massage. It was a decision that I did not regret. Although the massage room was a bit shaky, the head-to-toe massage was great and my masseuse was really nice. By 5ish I went to the Jacuzzi, but before that, I joined the people at the poolside, dancing to the songs from the Spanish Duo. It was very cool.

 By 6 we headed down to the Royal Promenade for a parade. The Entertainment director used the occasion to introduce the entertainment officers and casts and we used the occasion to make picture with some of the casts. Rania on the other hand, used the occasion to gather as many as crepe confetti as possible to be used as a pom-pom.
We had our final dinner without Rania as she went to the kids club again and finally, had a chance to talk with the German couple of the table. 
Our dinner for the night and for the holiday? Steak and Lobster!
Nyummy Nyummy!
Even more Nyummy Nyummy!

The dinner was closed with all the waiters singing for us from the stairs. As today was the last day, it was also the day to pay gratuities to staff that served us : our stateroom attendant, which was a very nice guy called Jerome and our waiter and assistant waiter : Efren and Joly (forgot his full name). 

The cruise had stated the minimum gratuities that we must give to each staff, or in our case, we had paid the gratuities upfront. This way, we only received pieces of paper that stated our name and room number and we simply only need to give the papers to our favourite staff.
Back at the room, we were given the luggage tags, which also corresponded to the meeting point and the time of the our departure from the ship. We packed the suitcases, pasted the tags and put them up in front of our door by 11 PM so the staff could pick it up. 

Day 8
Ah... it was the end of our vacation. We put our dirty laundry from the night into a small bag as we did not have our suitcases anymore. We had our final breakfast at the ship, and went to the meeting point in time for our tag number to be called. Once out from the ship, we were taken to the conveyor belt where it shows which tag number belonged in which belt. We took our suitcases and same as at the beginning, from point to point we were advised which way to go and which bus to board. Everything was carefully detailed and they even had some staff in front of the information board at the airport to inform us which check in desk to go to. We arrived at the airport 2 hours before our flight. I would say this best vacation ever! Thank you to Jerome, Efren, Joly (sorry forgot your name), our first waiter Elmer, Suherman, the girls and Alan at the kids club Aquanauts and most importantly, Royal Caribbean. All the best!

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