After the intense day out in the sun and wind yesterday on Isla Passion, we thought it would be a good idea to start off the day with some good old fashioned heat/steam therapy in the sauna and steam room. Lissie and Lilly can't go into the steam room, but I was happy to see no body was awake at 8am in the sauna and I had it all to myself. ^_^
Lilly: Hurray! It's all for us!
Lissie: Why am I only 18 inches of raw steel? I want to stretch myself over the entire room!
Lilly: I doubt that would be relaxing, and that's what we're here to do. Let's go sit near the window and watch the view!
Lilly: Isn't it strange Lissie? It's just the sea and even though the view is the same, at the same time it's not because the water is ever changing.
Lissie: Oh Lilly, don't speak eloquently with such poetic rhythm to me this early in the morning. It's not hot enough in here to even soften my vinyl. I wonder if they turned the heat on yet? Let's check!
Lilly: I think you're just using that as an excuse to do something dangerous first thing before breakfast.
Lissie: I cannot tell a lie! Especially first thing before breakfast.
Lilly: Be careful Lissie! I don't know what we would do if you melted!
Lissie: Aw potato skins! It's barely breathing! Hand me the pail of water Lilly. I'm going to dump it over these rocks and make steam!
Lilly: If the rocks aren't hot, they won't steam Lissie, and the water will just go down and break the heater. Now come down before it gets really hot. Don't you want to go to the breakfast buffet?
Lissie: THAT'S RIGHT! We gotta beat the crowd!!!
(No dolls were harmed in the taking of this photo! :D I actually arrived before they turned the sauna on so I snagged a few photos while it was only warm then asked them to turn the heat up.)
Lissie: Drats and cheese muffin! This is what I get for climbing on heaters and rocks! It'll be forever until we get our food!
Lilly: It's not so bad Lissie, don't sulk on such a rainy day. Let's go wait in the omelette line. I hear you can pick your own add-ins!
Lissie: Unlimited add-ins! I want to add chocolate!
Lilly: Er... I don't think that's an option...
Lissie: Ahhhh... this is the way it should be! A private pool deck for my most magnanimous self!
Lilly: Actually I think no one is in the mood to jump into cold water when it's so cold outside.
Lissie: Ahhhh... as it should be! The weather recognizes my heart's desire and seeks to please!
Lilly: Anyway, there's not much swimming people can do with the pool covered by that net. I think it's still too early to open it.
Lissie: But in the mean time, that net makes an excellent trampoline!
Lilly: ....Why does that sound like a fantastic, fun idea? Am I still asleep?
Lissie: No! You're in the... Lissie Zone!
Lilly: Phew, I'm exhausted! Who knew chess was such a workout!
Lissie: Who won? Did anyone checkmate?
Lilly: I don't know. Who am I leaning against? The queen? The king?
Lissie: The lamp post in Narnia. This is too much thinking and too much heavy lifting... At this rate we'll have to head back to the sauna to recover.
Lilly: Anyway, it's almost time for afternoon tea.
Lilly: We're traveling so fast!
Lissie: I'm going to go water skiing! Hold on to this rope Lilly!
Lilly: Lissie no! You'll sink faster than the Titanic! And I'm not strong enough to hold you! Besides, the life preservers are all too big for you.
Lissie: I don't need a life preserver! I've got... panache!
Lilly: I can't believe we made it safely to afternoon tea. I really thought you were about to go flying off the back of the ship!
Lissie: Aw, it's the dratted rain, ruining all my fun.
Lilly: We'll write Mother Nature a Thank You card when we get home. Hopefully the warm tea will calm you down.
Lissie: BUT THE NAPKIN IS A BURNING CANDLE!!!!! LIKE MY INNER FIRE!!!
Lilly: ... so much for that...
Alright, I'm going to straight up confess here I am a complete, absolute afternoon tea snob. During my time in England, I became properly addicted to afternoon tea and was so crestfallen when I discovered clotted cream was all but impossible to find in the USA, which is why I was so excited to see it was on the menu here! Afternoon tea is not the same as high tea. High tea is basically a meal with lots of hearty food, and taken by the lower, working class as a way to stay full while working. Afternoon tea is what people are usually talking about when they imagine a high class, hoitty toitty English tradition. It consists of three courses in the following order: tea sandwiches (traditional flavors are cucumber, salmon, chicken), warm scones with jam and clotted cream (I usually asked them to hold the jelly and give me double clotted cream... XD), and ends with the pastries (usually of the French style, so very elaborate cakes).
Lissie: Are you done narrating yet? Can we pleaaaase eat already?
Lilly: Shhhh! A lady doesn't interrupt Lissie.
Lissie: I'm not lady! I'm straight up about to chuck my tea out the window!
Lilly: But the windows are sealed.
Lissie: ... DON'T QUESTION A REVOLUTIONARY!
(They only had 2 options of sandwiches, the cucumber and the salmon. The cucumber was bad. I don't like saying negative things normally but it was actually bad enough I couldn't finish it, and not just because I'm a snob. The bread was damp. No one likes damp bread except mold. And I'm fairly certain they washed the cucumbers in sea water because it was SALTY. SO SALTY. As in I probably won't have to use the restroom for a week because there's so much salt in my body retaining the water. The salmon was delicious though and I asked for seconds. ^_^)
THE SCONE! THE GRAIL OF RESPECTABILITY! :D I'm so happy! I love love love clotted cream beyond imagination. If anyone knows where to get it in the USA, please let me know! I usually load up on scones and skip the pastries portion. They didn't really serve everything in the proper fashion because within 10 minutes I had been served my sandwiches, scones, and pastries already, but I realize it's a cruise ship and accuracy is not what they're shooting for. There was no jam served with the scone, and the scones were not warm. They were served the the clotted cream already slathered on for you. The pastries were not very French style and elaborate, but basically comfort cake and cupcakes. (I'm sorry! I know I'm being a snob! XD) But nonetheless I didn't care and I was ecstatic because after over a year, I finally tasted my beloved clotted cream again. ^_^
Lissie: Look at the horizon!
Lilly: What is it? It's so foggy and cloudy I can't make out what it is.
Lissie: It's black gold! Or black death if you're the environment.
Lilly: That makes sense. What else could be so far out here in the Gulf of Mexico?
Lissie: A panda.
Lilly: ....It was a rhetorical question Lissie.
Lissie: I stand by my response. A panda.
Lilly: Look at the wake the ship is creating! Aren't you glad you didn't try to water ski in that?
Lissie: Argh, Capt'n Meself fears no wake when she be asleep!
Lilly: ...The wake is the mass of waves caused by a ship's movement through water. It has nothing to do with circadian rhythms.
Lissie: Well then.
Lissie: Hmph! Knowledge is such a spoilsport. I guess we'll have to wait for the rain to stop to go back on deck.
Lilly: Let's go back to our cabin! This is a wonderful time to squeeze in some more studying.
Lissie: You know, on second thought, I think I will try water skiing, awake or asleep.
(Arrrrgggggghhhhhh the truth comes out! I totally brought my textbook and study guides with me onto the cruise and used them prolifically. I'm *that* kind of vacationer... the one others must avoid lest the wet blanket of industriousness slaps their vacation down flat. The dreaded... student vacationer!)
On the deck of the cruise ship is a mini golf course among many other fun things (basketball, giant chess, jogging, water slide, pools, jacuzzis, etc.) so after it stopped raining I decided it was a good time to squeeze in a game.
Lilly: I am so happy the weather cleared up! Smell how clean and fresh the salty sea air is!
Lissie: Hole in one! Hole in one! Come on!
Lilly: Do you really think standing here is the best idea? We're awful close to the hole and our Big Person has awful aim.
Lissie: Pah! I'm sure we'll be - PONK! OW!!! Man down! Man down!
Lilly: Lissie! You're a hero! That was a hole in 1 thanks to you!
Lissie: Save yourself Lilly... That golf ball did me in. I can see the light...
Lilly: Don't be a pamby Lissie, it's real! What a beautiful sunset after such a dreary shower! All the colors looks like streaks of cleansing fire
Lissie: You're spewing poetry again. The last thing someone who just met the gates of eternity wants to hear is poetry.
Lilly: You don't fool me, you'd never just meet the gates of eternity. You'd just barge through them with trumpets and fanfare.
Lissie: What can I say? My reputation proceeds me.
Lilly: The ship is glowing in the setting sun!
Lissie: I glow too, when I'm fed. Come on Wordsworth, let's go to dinner already!
Lilly: But I thought you were mortally wounded by the golf ball?
Lissie: Nah, everyone knows only a ping pong ball can mortally wound someone of my stature!
Lissie: Bring on the menu! I'm ready!
Lilly: It's our final meal aboard the Triumph!
Lissie: That means we have to go all out! Bring forth... the juggernaut of consumption!
Lilly: Ooooo Lissie! This plate scares me so much! The faded black and white people look like spectors!
Lissie: How can you even look at ghosts at a time like this? I wish a ghost would try to come near. I'm so hungry I'd devour their ectoplasm without so much of a by your leave.
Are you ready? Presenting... The Final Dinner Menu!
This is called, "A Study in Sushi". XD It's such a long name with more words than sushi! From the left, it's ebi shrimp (I find this hilarious because ebi means shrimp in Japanese so basically it's shrimp shrimp), norwegian salmon tartar, and seared ahi tuna. Just for reference of scale, my thumb can wear the cucumber border in the middle sushi like a ring. >_< But it was delicious at least!
Crab cake! Actual crab cake because there was more crab than cake! Whoot!
Penne Mariscos, aka sauteed shrimp, clamari, and scallops served on penne pasta with tomato cream sauce. This was fantastic. I was tempted to order 2, but there's still more ahead!
Veal parmigiana with tomato sauce: Golden fried, milk fed veal, baked with mozzarella cheese, diced potatoes, and grilled zucchini. I'm not afraid to admit I ordered this despite not knowing what veal is (it's beef from young cows) because I saw parmigiana. Nothing can be bad with that descriptor attached right?
And now, a quick break so we can present the entire dinner table to you! That's right, 9 entrees between 4 people. The appetizers have already been removed or we'd have to move to a banquet table. And did we eat it all? Oh yes we did. ^_^
Grilled fillet of mahi mahi served with diced potatoes, grilled zucchini, and tomatoes with olive dressing. Not my entree but can't say I didn't have a bite. Or two. Or half. XD
And just because we were curious to see how people serve tofu, this is the grilled tofu steak with scallion and cured tomato stir fry. It was surprisingly delicious and moderately filling as well.
Lilly: Oh it's another performance tonight! Look, there's our server on the 3rd step!
Lissie: Dance yesterday, song today?
Lilly: Shhh, I want to hear what they're singing.
(It was a very sweet, funny song, with basically the message "We will miss you very very much, please come back and see us soon." I thought it was a cute but smart way of asking the passengers to remember to sail with Carnival again. I guess the cruise line industry is tough competition and they are doing everything they can to appeal to their guests.)
Lilly: You know, I can't help but wonder if that really is true. Will they miss us? They see so many of us come aboard each trip, near 3,000, twice a week. I can't imagine they will remember individual guests.
Lissie: Oh they'll remember the money we bring to the company even if they don't remember the person holding it. But either way, we'll be remembered.
Lilly: That's true. I don't know if they've ever seen an adult spend her entire time on a cruise carting dolls around to take pictures of them everywhere.
Lissie: Not our Big Person, us! No will aboard the Triumph will ever forget the fearless Capt'n Lissie and her trusty first mate Lilly!
Lilly: ... For vanquishing a pineapple?
Lissie: Dancing too? These people sure know how to recognize a heroine when they see one!
Lilly: Don't preen at dinner, you'll interfere with the macarena!
Lissie: Heeeeeey! Macarena!
After the fun performance, dessert is served! Today's special...
Baked alaska! Vanilla sponge cake with Neapolitan ice cream backed with meringue. Or at least, that's what it says on the menu. But I'm still sitting here rubbing my eyes wondering how you bake ice cream. That's not adding up for me. somehow. Which isn't really a problem because it's adding up most tastefully in my stomach. :D
Lilly: It's so sad! The final show in the Rome Theater!
Lissie: It's not the final show, there's bingo afterwards.
Lilly: Bingo isn't really a show though.
Lissie: That's cause you haven't seen the rich grannies from deck 5 play. Man can things get rough quick. Never get between a rich granny on vacation and her bingo card.
(The show was called The Big Easy and featured several scenes and story lines on the back drop of New Orleans. There was the food, the easy lifestyle, the ghost stories, the bayou, Mardi Gras, etc. It was fun to watch and they threw beads and streamers at the end. It was a very elaborate, glitzy show by the same dance troupe that did the performance from Day 2. I think it's just 1 troupe contracted to put on the performances for the ship.)
Lilly: Aw! That's adorable!
Lissie: The towel elephant, the towel heart, or the chocolates?
Lilly: All of it! I think this is my favorite towel animal, and the heart is the sweetest touch.
Lissie: Our steward probably wanted to go all out for our final night.
Lilly: That makes me sad, to think this is our last towel animal. Are you going to ride it?
Lissie: No, I'm going to bask! Come on, there's room for two!
Lilly: But I thought we were going to visit the pool? We even changed already.
Lissie: How can we float if we don't bask first? You'll see!
Lilly: This is what you mean by basking!
Lissie: We shall bask in terrycloth love and comfort on our last night here!
Lilly: Can you really believe that tomorrow we will arrive at port and this cruise will be at an end?
Lissie: Of course it will end, it has to, or else the next amazing trip can't happen.
Lilly: .... You know Lissie, for someone who runs from poetry, you're really very eloquent at times.
Lissie: It's the elephant. He ghostwrites all my best lines.