The brochures do a pretty nice job of detailing some of the things to expect onboard, but nothing beats actually being there. I was in this for a relaxing ten days, and aside from the side trip to Galley Bay, and a need to eat mofongo in San Juan (more on that on Wednesday), I wanted to make as few plans as possible.
To me, the best part of any cruise is the sea days. Those gloriously warm (sometimes), relaxing days with nothing to do but watch the sea go by. As it
turns out, my days were jam packed. The sea days started by going to the gym or Zumba class,(I know. But I had to work off the almond croissants somehow, or possibly one glass of champagne…), followed by breakfast. Then it was out to the pool deck to read or soak in the hot tub. By noon, we were meeting up with our team for a round of trivia (we did not do so well). Then it was time for lunch, more pool/hot tub/champagne drinking, a nap and dinner.
Lest you think all we did was eat and drink, I want to share a few highlights of the onboard entertainment (where there was also some eating and definitely drinking). I’ll start with trivia. About 75 people gathered in the club for team trivia, and if you are keeping track, that is about 1/6th of the entire passenger count. Teams have a maximum of ten people, and it is important to have a wide range of ages and backgrounds. I will say that there are plenty of people that take this way too seriously, and some that even (dare I say it?) cheat. The big prizes at the end were tote bags and teddy bears, so it hardly seems like something worth cheating over, but… There were a couple of questions that warranted an official protest. (Name the Gibb brothers that made up the Bee Gees? Sorry, Andy was not one of them. Or: What color is the Sports and Leisure category in Trivial Pursuit? Sorry, it is not green, it is orange. ) We still lost.
But we did more than quibble over trivia. The Chef does a cooking demonstration once during the cruise. It was raining on this day, too, so there were about 100 people watching. There were guest lecturers onboard, one of whom was an ambassador, and the other a marine biologist. I missed them both, as I was very busy drinking champagne in the hot tub.
To celebrate Halloween, the crew put on an incredible Rock the Boat party. While it is typically held out on deck, the inclement weather kept us in the club. The band rocked it, and the Chef provided loads of beautiful desserts. Most people were not in costume, although many had a mask or hat of some sort. We are not most people, and did not have to fly to get to the cruise, so we recycled our Fantasy Fest Champagne and Caviar costumes for the occasion. Yes, we went to dinner in costume. Yes, we were the only ones. No, I am not the least bit embarrassed about that.
The entertainment crew works really hard to put on shows, and their hard work pays off. These are not the Broadway-style
shows you will see on a large ship, but the singers all have beautiful voices and are wonderful performers. Of course, there is no telling what offends some people. We were seated next to a woman at the Billy Joel/Elton John/Barry Manilow show that left in a huff as she was offended by “the anti-Catholic message” of Billy Joel’s Only the Good Die Young. It really proves that some people just need to complain. About anything.
There was a comedian onboard, but we missed his show as the last comedian we saw on a cruise was downright awful. This one didn’t get much better reviews. Each night there was a pinao player, David, in the Observation Bar. He is terrific, and truly engaged the crowd. It helped that a couple of the guests onboard had very good voices and sang along. (I sang along, too, but very, very badly.)
The bottom line is this: there is always something to do. If you don’t like the show, head to one of the bars, or the casino. During the day, lounge by the pool, check out the secluded forward hot tub, and enjoy the ship, all with a glass of champagne (or whatever you like) in hand. Whatever you choose, it is hard not to fall in love with cruising, especially on the Seabourn Sojourn.