18th April: Sea Day
Trip Start Apr 16, 2005
10Trip End May 01, 2005
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Breakfast. We can either have breakfast in the restaurant and be waited upon, or in one of the more relaxed environments (the waffle station, the buffet, the other buffet, the patisserie...). We elected for the latter, as it's better suited for small boys.
They still have waiters though. They wait (!) while you load up your tray from the buffet or whatever, then step up, take your tray from you with one hand, loft it in the air and whisk it to your table. Honestly, you can't do a thing for yourself. It's terrible.
Today is a "sea day", that is we've just been bimbling along the coast and not actually stopping anywhere. So we've spent the day exploring, going to events (Wine tasting! Yay!) and playing in the pool(s) (hubbly-bubbly pool - perfect for Mummies, Aunty Margarets and Alexanders).
It's also the first Formal Night for dining. Sunil delivered my dress shirt freshly ironed for me and with an hour to spare - not bad as I'd only sent it for ironing this morning.
We'd arranged a babysitter, who duly turned up at the appointed time. Her name's Raquel, although she's not from Essex but from the Philippines (which reminds me - I must tell you about the nationalities). She passed with flying colours within 2 minutes of arriving - as we were talking (in whispers, in the dark, with someone who's English is really not that good) he turned over in his sleep and got very close to the edge of the bed. Her reactions were even quicker than mine as she went to catch him (fortunately unnecessarily) :)
We have a table for 10 in the main restaurant - the 8 adults and 2 empty chairs where Xander and Tyler could be if they weren't 2. We have our own waiter (shared with 2 other tables I believe) and sommelier. The food is good - not the best, but can't fault it. Especially as they're catering for (theoretically at least) up to 1000 people. The kitchens must be immense. And to produce this level of quality for such numbers is a very impressive feat.
After dinner, H retired to relieve Raquel and I went on with the rest to the Martini Bar. They mix some rather excellent Martinis that are far, far too drinkable.
Oh yeah - nationalities. It's a cosmopolitan crew, this. Every crew member has a badge with their name, their job and their nationality. Our waiter is Orlando and comes from Honduras; the Captain is Greek; the Chief sommelier is Argentinian, I think; the water-waiter (yes, he really does just fill up people's water glasses) is from Indonesia; the girls on the Guest Relations desk that I've met so far have been Argentinian, Chilean and Canadian; the fella that entertained Xander with a serviette-rabbit this morning was from Slovenia. It goes on...
And just about everywhere we go, people absolutely adore little Xander. We get so many comments, and so many people - crew and passengers - say hello and wave to us or him when they see us again. He's like a little mascot, bless 'im.