Cafe Habana is very tiny establishment with so much character. 3 people in total – We sat by the front window and ordered ourselves 2 orders of the Mexican Corn, a Cuban and a Chicken Diablo sandwich. The corn comes with 2 per order so I took one for the team and ate 2. All the food was fresh and flavourful and we ate every single morsel off the plates. The corn alone is enough to make you want to come back for more.
This restaurant is located within Bryant Park and hidden gem behind the New York Public Library. It is a great place to people watching. Bryant Park Grill is a American, European steakhouse. It is a little pricey but the food is delicious. I chose the clam chowder to start and for my main I chose the Kumquat Grand Marnier Duck breast with confit leg. it was absolutely mouth watering and ended off the meal with a sweet and savory crepe filled with apple and ricotta cheese.
Chinese cuisine made using fresh ingredients before your eyes where you can get a plate of BBQ Pork or a noodle in soup that is the most satisfying anytime of day. The wonton noodle soup hits the spot.
North Dumpling is literally a hole in the wall but they sure pump out some delicious and cheap dumplings. Whether you are craving fried or steamed – the filling options include pork & chives to vegetable. What’s even better is that you can get 10 dumplings for under $2USD! You heard right. You can see they are being freshly made over the counter as a team of ladies are making magic with their hands. The sesame and scallion pancakes are also delicious items to add to your meal and for all the food, you won’t break your wallet.
A staple ramen spot in the East Village that also offers a roster of dishes such as fried chicken meal. The Noodle Bar also serves slushies and soft serve. They have been quite successful that they have expanded into multiple locations such as Ssäm Bar, Ko, Ma Peche, Fuku and Nishi to name a few. They have even expanded up north to Toronto.
Brasserie Les Halles serves up classics using French techinques. They are known for their escargots and their steak frites for only $22USD. This restaurant is the origin of where Anthony Bourdain once started. Reservations are highly recommended.
East coast version of In-N-Out. Fast food chain that serves up burgers & frozen custard. Multiple locations around and yes there are lines. When it gets busy, they give you a buzzer to let you know when your order is ready. The Peanut butter shake is my GOTO and I have it every chance I get.
I found this treasure when I lived in Los Angeles. This is the best grocery store for anyone who wants good quality items for reasonable prices including organic and all natural ingredients. It is a College kids dream or anyone on a budget type of grocery store similar to Whole Foods.
Yaki Taisho is an Izakaya located in the heart of St Marks Place – Between 3 people, we ordered Takoyaki (this was just right), grilled squid, a set of skewers, Unagi roll and the Duck sashimi paired with a delicious plum sake.
Since the long weekend is over, Vicky made it home for uni and Yolande had to work so Joanne and myself were on our own for the day. We drove through Stanley Park with occasional stops and walked the Seawall. Drove around Aberdeen area again to pick up something then drove over to Thomas Haas and grabbed a pumpkin pie, cheesecake and double baked croissants.
Afterwards, we met up with Ben to unload his truck with the BMO supplies leftover from the Race up in Kelowna. We had lunch at one of his favourite sushi places called Minato. He goes there for the special Minato roll which is spicy salmon and their homemade spicy sauce which tastes like tahini, peanut buttery, and a bit of vinegar. Joanne had made plans with her friends while we were here so when Yolande came home, she took me along her running route via English bay. We ended up at Cactus Club for dinner where we were accompanied by her friend Christian and his friend Robbin. I had the red Thai curry Lingcod and a Caesar. We said our goodbyes and walked on Davie St (it is like our Church St back in Toronto) and waited at Starbucks to meet another friend of ours – Jamie to catch up.
Off to West Vancouver to visit Jo’s “grandma” who lives in Chartwell. Her neighbourhood reminded me so much of Los Angeles. She has lived in the house for 45 years and now lives there with her eldest daughter. It is definitely a very California styled home with spiral steps to the backyard with a pool. She use to swim on behalf of Taiwan back in the day and now, 40 years later swims 18 laps every morning. We then drove across town to Richmond to have Dim Sum at Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant with her aunties Brenda and Bonnie and her cousin Matt. After lunch, Joanne and myself drove a little more south of Richmond to Stevenson Pier and walked around for a bit. Her aunties suggested we have some fish & chips since it’s the best there but we were way too full. We returned to the apartment and left behind the car to walk Robson St. To no avail, nothing was purchased but we timed it perfectly so we could walk over to Kintaro Ramen for dinner with the Miranda, Tom and Nelson. It’s suppose to be one of the best in Vancouver with lines outside the door but luckily we just beat the rush. I got my favourite base – miso and added an egg to my ramen. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite ramen – still doesn’t beat Daikokuya in Los Angeles. After dinner, we all went over to Miranda and Tom’s somewhat new apartment and played games and hung out late into the night.
Final sleep and off we went early in the morning to catch our flight home.
Bright and early again we had awoken to hit the road towards Squamish. We arrived at 8AM and began our ascent. It is a slightly difficult hike/climb. All that heavy breathing and heavy legs going up plus the fact I kept stopping made me the last in the pack. It didn’t help the fact I was also carrying my camera bag up this steep climb. We made it to the fork in the road to Peak 1 and 2 so we decided to goto 1 instead of 2. We were lucky to have good weather as this ascension would have been even more difficult if it were raining and wet. There are parts that are actual wooden stairs that change into stepping stones to even areas where you need to hold a chain to pull yourself up. We made it to the top and had a little break and snack while taking in the views before heading down.
On our descent, we met a 45 year old lady named Deb who was originally from North York, ON and went to Queens and McMaster University but moved out to BC. She hadn’t climbed Squamish in almost 14 years but did it with her family so her kids would know how to get down. As we went down, we talked about travel especially Cambodia and Laos. By the end when we reached the bottom at Shannon falls, all our legs were quivering. The best is that we finished around 11AM so we had plenty of time to stop at lookout points such as Porteau Cove and had time to shop and eat at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond before Vicky had to catch her flight. The Daiso sells items for around $2 and has all sorts of products which I definitely recommend visiting – It reminded me of Japan so much. There is an extensive array of food in the food court.
We dropped off Vicky at 330PM and then dropped Joanne off at her cousins. We made it back to her apartment to hang for a bit before Jordan came and picked us up for dinner. We were meeting with one of our friend Lisa who also moved to Vancouver. Our location for dinner was The Eatery for some fun sushi. They had very interesting decor with a huge makeshift Astroboy above the bar and their slogan – miso horny with faces like Bruce Lee, Mao and a few others. That place was definitely dark though. We got the Queen roll, Paper Crane and San Francisco plus the seafood Okonomiyaki. The Queen roll was by far the best.
We woke up bright and early to make our way to Whistler. Arrived an hour ahead of time. We booked on the Whistler.com and booked the Superfly – Ziplines & Treetop Adventures – 3 Activity Combo. We chose Ziplining, Tree-top Trekking and Scandinave Spa. We started the day with zip lining. Our guides were Mel from Ontario and Fran from England. It was an amazing thrill to zip line down the world’s highest lines (1st and 2nd highest) and do 6 runs. We liked to make things easier for people so we introduced ourselves as Yo Ro Jo and Vicky. Along for this adventure were a couple named Brittany and Nick from Ottawa and Shane and Steve from Alberta.
Ziplining tips: You pencil or dolphin to go fast and squirrel to slow down.
The fastest line we went on was called Godzilla and when Jo and Vicky went down, Jo startled a doe passing underneath. The very last line called Base-runner had a challenge: if you can keep a note the entire run down you win a chocolate bar which Vicky tried to do. She sang “I came in like a wrecking ball” but fell short. As we were leaving the last platform, the girls turned to me and said surprise! They split the cost for the whistler adventures for me since it was my birthday then we turned to Yo and told her that we also paid for her adventure as well. I’m not one to celebrate my birthday but I am glad timing was perfect to goto Vancouver and especially with these wonderful ladies.
We ended up waiting until 130PM instead of starting at 1PM for tree top trekking because we were waiting for 4 more to join. Jenya our guide brought us over to the demo course to make sure we knew safety procedures and I was starting irritated because the group of 4 that joined us were too slow. Luckily, when it came time for the real thing, Vicky went first and we just sped through it. Some of the “games” were easy but some were so hard and required a lot of arm and leg strength. Secret to one of the games with logs was to step only in the centre because it teeters and another with the balls was to step on the sides because the balls spin. I think my fave were the bridges that you need stretch across or in my case, lunge across. The Tarzan rope swing was pretty cool as you propel yourself into a net then climb up. There was only one obstacle I had difficulties with at first as you hold on to a two handed pulley then you launch yourself off with no view of what is next until you have launched. Luckily, there is give in your safety line. The ziplining portion was good but the harness dug into your sides as you zipped. Jenya said we were probably one of the maybe loudest groups she has had. Good to have Vicky leading us through as we finished in an hour. It was also perfect timing to head back to Whistler Village. We got a photo with the Olympic rings then we walked over to Whistler Museum where I was able to see my dear friend Patricia Lynn who I haven’t seen in at least 2 years (my uni mate) who is now living in Whistler.
We were behind our schedule so after a short catch-up, we were on our way to the Scandinave spa. We had access to their pools where you soak in the hot ones for 10 minutes, transfer to a cold one for however long you desire then relax in a hammock or solarium for 10 minutes and repeat. All in silence. We were only able to complete 2 rounds of this before we had to leave and scurry over to Surrey for Joanne’s family Thanksgiving dinner. Ended off the night with good company and great food.
We flew to Vancouver via Air Canada. We rented a car (2014 Volkswagon Jetta – almost brand spanking new with only 2000KM) from Alamo. We took to the road and drove to meet with our friend Ben who works at BMO. We helped load his SUV with items to prep for the BMO – Okanagan Marathon in Kelowna. Had lunch at Edge Cafe. From there, we then hit the open road and drove 4-5 hours to Kelowna. Jo was first to drive but couldn’t make it past 45 minutes so I took over. The ride up was interesting as the weather shifted quickly and there was chances of ice and snow and chains on tires. We’re staying at the Delta vacation condos with 5 in the apartment (Joanne’s sister Marisa will join us in the morning). We finally arrived and drove around part of the town and ended up at Yamas for Greek food. Greek ribs with prawns were good but so salty.
Woke up early and went to workout. When everyone had awoken, we went to De Dutch for breakfast before heading off to pick up and drop off items at the run site. We spent the day setting up our space in the event tent which consisted of 2 tented areas to give away gloves, thunder sticks, apples, massages and where people can come to make signs to cheer on competitors. We finished relatively early and decided to drive to Vernon which is about 45min drive away to have dinner and see Marisa’s boyfriend Joshua and his family at Sir Winston’s for cheap wing night. We ended up at their home which is massive and overlooks Vernon with the lake view. The drive back to Kelowna was stressful seeing as there are no lights on the highway along the mountain so it was interesting flying down at 120-150KM turning around bends and trying to follow the person in front of you through the darkness. We got back with enough time to hit the hot tub for half an hour.
We had prepped enough the previous day so our start time for the race prep was noon. We drove over the bridge to Westbank and had White Spot for breakfast then onto Mission Hills Winery for some wine tasting and to purchase gifts for Yolande and Thanksgiving dinner with their extended family. It was perfect timing as we made it back in time to grab the last of the tents and officially set up our BMO stations in the tents.
Once everything was completely set-up, we drove back to Vancouver around 2PM. Joanne drove the whole way with one pit stop to get gas. She decided to make a buddy on the highway to follow but alas with us going 180KM we lost him because he floored it. We made it back in record time of 3 hours. We did however hit traffic once we got into Vancouver but that is to be expected. I cannot tell you enough about how Vancouver reminds me of Hong Kong with a little mix of Japan & Los Angeles on certain streets and a bit of Sydney too. We made our way to downtown Vancouver to meet with Yolande. We settled in for a bit before we drove to the airport to pick Vicky up. For dinner, we ate at Matsuyama in Richmond for fresh sushi! It was the after 9PM menu so it was cheaper and the food was pretty good. The sashimi slices are so thick and enormous. There aren’t any all-you-can-eat places in Vancouver however their sushi is the best (better than some of the best in Toronto). Nelson and Jordan joined us for dinner as well.
I had agreed to shoot the morning portion of Miranda’s wedding day so I had to wake up bright and early (only 3-4 hours of sleep for me) to head to her parent’s place. Her parents live right by the harbourfront overlooking part of Stanley Park and a yacht club but nonetheless the view from above (23 floors up) is unreal.
The ceremony was lovely. Miranda & Tom made the vows creatively echo one another. The wedding cake was actually the cupcake table where they had a cupcake periodic table. (Tom is a Bio Chemist)
We decided to go on a detour after to Thomas Haas for tea, coffee and the famous double baked croissants. Made it back to the apartment for a bit then off to Richmond where we went for the reception at Empire Seafood where we arrived just as the bridal party was making their entrances.
A lovely 10 course meal. The bridal party was very creative and performed like no tomorrow. They even performed a re-enactment of how Miranda and Tom met and proposed. They even sang “I’ll Never Break your Heart” by Backstreet Boys in Cantonese. By the end of the night, we took over the photo booth.
This is my 1 week trip to British Columbia (Kelowna, Vernon, Vancouver, Whistler & Squamish). The main reason for this trip in particular was for my friend Miranda’s wedding to Tom. I travelled with my friend Joanne first to Kelowna to help set-up for the annual BMO Okanagan Marathon. During our time in Vancouver, we stayed with our friend Yolande who recently moved to Vancouver and were also joined by our friend Vicky. We added on 2 day trips to Whistler & Squamish.
1009-1713 – British Columbia
FLY – Air Canada – YYZ – YVR
Drive to Kelowna, BC - volunteer for the BMO Okanagan Marathon prep
Airport - Kelowna 398KM 4h 6min
10/10 – Kelowna
BMO Okanagan Marathon prep
Kelowna – Vernon
10/11 – Kelowna – Vancouver
BMO Okanagan Marathon prep
Drive – Kelowna - Downtown Vancouver 389KM 3h 58min
Ate at Park Cafe then to land we went – Cozumel, Mexico. It’s so strange to see other cruise ships docked right beside our boat making all the rest look tiny in comparison. The port basically was a outlet shopping centre but you can also go out into the city. We made our way to the excursions area to line up. From there we were put into specific taxis to bring us to Uvas Resort (uvas means grapes) which has a spa, bar, pool and of course our excursions of clear kayak and snorkelling. Our guide Angel and Louis made the day really fun. My first time kayaking and with the guidance of Jo I think I got the hang of it. I had attached the go pro to the selfie stick and held it with the paddle to get some cool angles but I guess the paddle hit the release button and my go pro sunk into the water. Luckily, we had just gotten into the water so it wasn’t too deep so my hero for the day Louis dove down and retrieved it for me. We were only in the kayaks for a short period of time before we switched to snorkelling. It was a great experience as there are coral reefs which we went over.
Back in the port area, we did a little shopping then back onto the ship to make it in time for volleyball. After a few hours of playing we went for dinner in Windjammers (surprised? I think not). We had timed it perfectly so we could go straight from dinner to our show which was Come fly with me starring performers from Hairspray and the other productions – the performers are multi talented and I guess because they are on the ship on contract, they provide entertainment in a variety of ways. There was some pretty cool acts like the aerialists and gymnasts. Right after the show, we decided to line up for the comedy show and we are so glad we did because the acts were great. Simian was my favourite who actually knows Tokyo Disneyland theme song and dance by heart.
Final night on the cruise ship in cruising mode. We decided after that that we should try Flowrider. It’s actually more difficult than it looks. Jo and myself went in just our swim suits with no shirt to cover up on top and Jo was wearing a strapless. You can tell where I am going with this… NOTE: wear a t-shirt over your swim wear. Final session of volleyball then we quickly washed up and headed to Windjammers for dinner then straight to the comedy show where we bumped into our volleyball crew. On the final night, you pack your things and leave your large luggage in the hallway so the crew can relocate it to its proper section for when you depart and check-out from the ship. We attended farewell party at Blaze Club and met all sorts of people from around the world including a couple named Brooke and Christina who are both in the army and don’t get to much time with each other as they are deployed for 6-10 months away from one another. Christina turned 27 at midnight and they had been dating for 6 years and married for 2. It was a good night.
Final morning breakfast before disembarking the floating island of a ship. We ended the trip the way we started – in lines. Security checks, luggage pick-up, final ship check-out, airport security and waiting in a crowded airport only to have your flight be an hour delayed with you sitting in the plane for 30 minutes before even moving.
All in all, this was a great experience and for a person who was skeptic about cruises, I would most definitely do a cruise again. Although I would much rather do my own thing, for a short trip where not much thinking needs to be done except choosing what free shows to see, where to eat free food and whatnot, this type of travelling is perfect for it.
Woke up and made our way to Johnny Rockets for breakfast (which is free for breakfast only) then made our way to the track where we did a nice walk around to take in the view and wonderful weather since we had worked out the night previously. When we finally docked, we made our way to the Artisan market and I grabbed some Blue Mountain coffee beans. Shortly after, we met with our group to go on our horseback riding and swim excursion with Chukka tours. From Falmouth, we drove an hour to another parish named St Ann’s – Bob Marley’s hometown. We also drove through Usain Bolt’s hometown of Trelawny.
In Jamaica, they drive on the left like Australia and London. There are houses alongside the highway that look run down or abandoned but in reality they are houses that are slowly being built. Their way of life is to save a little and build a little to customize their homes or even to expand on the land to share space with family. They have a motto about Jamaica as everyone is seen not by the color of skin but as equal people – “out of many, one people”. It’s only been 51 years that Jamaica is independent as the Spanish ruled the land until 1665 when British took control until 1962. English is one of their national languages as well as Creole however it’s a different broken down version. Wha ta gwan is how they say how’s it going? To say yes is yeah Mon; no is e e with a head shake like a dolphin noise. Irie is how they say it’s good. And they have words that are made up of different languages like yes siouiya which is English-spanish-french-german. To introduce yourself to the group “I” isn’t used to describe yourself as “me” is what they would use. So it would be “me name is Rosanna, me from Canada, me live Toronto, me like mangoes”.
Our guide Courtney for horseback riding was full of great energy. My horse’s name was Imagination. We rode through a course that was beautiful and very fortunate for us to be in. Crazy to have the opportunity to ride horses in the water too. Make sure your feet aren’t too far into the stirrup and to hold tight enough to control their movement. It was a cool experience (my first time riding) but I felt bad for the horses when we were in the water as they are trudging around and panting a little from the energy they are using and salt water. When we finished our ride, we ordered jerk chicken with rice and jerk sauce – so good especially with a cold Red Stripe beer. An hour ride back to the port kicking back listening to the music of Bob Marley. Being from Scarborough, we grabbed a Jamaican patty to see how good it would be. I think back home has better as it seemed like the ones here were just meat paste and not thick at all (mind you, we did purchase from a stall in the port and not locally).
Back to Opal theater for the Headliner show that consists of 5 men and just their mouths being the instruments. We grabbed front row and centre seats since we arrived early. The show was well performed but at times it got awkward when you locked eyes with the performers. We made our way to On-air where karaoke was happening and watched for a bit before heading to solarium for a dance night.
It’s a cruise day. We went to solarium for breakfast which is suppose to be the healthier option but it just didn’t taste as good (go figure). We then lounge on the top deck for a few hours before heading to Central Park to have lunch in Park Cafe where you can make customizable salads and paninis. We caught the tail end show of the belly flop competition. Back to Opal theater for bingo where we unfortunately didn’t win but used a electronic bingo unit. The ship feels like an island in itself that each floor holds something different. By now, Windjammers was our go-to spot for meals. We attended the Summer Breezes performance back at Opal theater where cast members of Hairspray performed with the Oasis band. There was a fountain performance which was basically what it is; the water fountains going off with lights to music. We left and headed to the Promenade where it was 70’s boogie night. There was another dance night happening but I all of a sudden got hit with motion sickness/headache which was the only time on this trip I had even felt the ship. It’s strange to be on such a large vessel that you forget you are at sea.
We woke up to find our bodies burnt from the sun the previous day.
We went back to opus for buffet breakfast which features smoke salmon. Right after breakfast, the ship docked at Labadee Port and intercoms announcements about the schedule for the day. We left the ship and hopped on a little speedboat for our Haitian cultural tour which took us to a private beach where we were dropped off in the water (knee high waters) to walk to shore. We were given complimentary drinks with Haitian rum. Our guide Pierre brought us around this little section where we saw some of the plants the Haitians use for everyday uses. Haitians try to use all the natural resources to make their life easier by living off the land. The country has been under major turmoil but they make the best of what they have.
We were shown an example of what some of the houses they live in which consist of structures made from branches, leaves, mud and clay. Pierre told us since he was a child when it rains he would just get naked and take a shower and till this day he continues to do so. We saw locals demonstrating everyday life routines such as a fisherman making lobster traps out of bamboo. Did you know they use fruit to capture lobsters – fact: lobsters are vegetarians. We saw local ladies making peanut butter with nothing but Haitian peanuts and using a mortar & pestle then adding some pepper flakes for a little kick. It is absolutely delicious. We were also shown the same technique for making coffee. Over a hot stone surface, they made cassava bread/pizza/naan which was made with just shred cassava and sugar. Our little haven of a beach was lovely with white sand and palm trees that nestled us from the sun.
In Creole to say hello/what’s going on you say Sak pasé and they answer nabulé.
Returning to the main beach at Labadee Port which is owned by royal Caribbean, we ate jerk chicken and ribs along the beach side (all provided by the cruise line). At the very far depths of the beach, there were a few beach courts where we managed to find our BC friends Joel, his wife Anita, their boys Rylan & Landon as well as their friends Ian and Ramira. The water was wonderful but rocky. We played volleyball for a bit then would occasionally take a dip. The area was nice but it was hot and the courts had rocks stabbing at your feet. We spent majority of the day on the island before heading back to our room around 230-3PM. We then rested for a bit then went back up to the Upper deck to Wipe out to make ourselves nachos and grab ice cream.
The promenade will have nights where there are sales such as a $10 blowout sale on items such as scarves, watches, bracelets, ties, wallets etc. Our first show of the evening was by the front deck on the 14th floor below the solarium to take in the Sunset in Haiti. Once the sun went down and we made out way over for the Oasis Dream Aqua theater for their performance. It’s an amazing show with people diving from all over the place including the very top of the 16 floor ship to the 6th. To describe how spectacular and well coordinated a show it was is to let you know the the stage runs on hydraulics but looks like a normal stage however the platform lowers and becomes a pool which gets lowered and raised for certain routines which is such a crazy thing because worst case scenario, the stage isn’t low enough when the diver jumps it could be their demise. There is also a trampoline that is built into the floor that rotates in. Great show and also so many good looking people with great bodies. We moved from that show to another – Jerome Bell performance. Jerome was on American Idol and now stars as Seaweed in the musical Hairspray on the ship as well. After the show, we walked around the boardwalk and grabbed some cookies and pizza before deciding to head back to our room and changing to go workout.
I went on my first cruise with Royal Caribbean – Oasis of the Sea on their 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise. I travelled with my friend Joanne. We picked up a last minute deal and flew down to Fort Lauderdale with WestJet and with our deal we also have included gratuity and airport transfers. We boarded the boat at Fort Everglade (a 10 minute drive away from the airport) and cruise for a day before we arrive in Haiti at Labadee port which is it’s own private manmade beach area. So what is there to do while we cruise; tons of activities on the boat.
To check in, you go from line to line but that is expected with such a large vessel. After the airport transfer we had a security check then a final check in where we received of sea passes which is like the octopus cards in Hong Kong. It’s cool as they embed your photo into the strip of the card. We were then led to walk the boardwalk on the 5th deck of the ship which looks like a mall and not a ship. We then went to the solarium which was suggested for food as there are healthier food selections. Aftering finally settling into our statesroom, we booked our excursions: cultural tour in Haiti, horseback riding in Jamaica, clear kayak and snorkel in Mexico adding up to $220USD.
In line to book, we met a family who was suppose to depart the same week on Carnival Dream (the boat that broke down at sea) who got the last room on Oasis as someone cancelled. Shortly after booking our excursions, we decided it was time to start soaking in the sun as much sun as we could for the day as it was already 330PM by that time. We stayed outdoors for awhile but realized we had a show that night. The entertainment on the ship is free but you do have to reserve spots (you can call in from your room or book at info desk) We went back to our room and got ourselves ready for dinner and also caught the first sunset aboard. We went to the Windjammers Marketplace for a casual dinner buffet located at the 16th floor at the butt of the ship. Our show for the evening was Frozen in Time – A show on ice. On ice you say? yes, there is a skating rink on the ship. By far the highlights were the couple that did amazing tricks and one handed to no hands tricks and Alexa the sand artist illustrating a story with sand and her hands. After the show we had a second wind and took to the on-board running track and hit the fully loaded gym for a workout.
You lose track of time on-board a ship. I woke up early and I went directly to the top deck to catch sunrise. It’s nice to see that some people do appreciate a nice sunrise. I walked around almost falling over as the force of the wind came shooting at me. We went for breakfast at the Opus dining buffet. We were “cruising” today so a full day spent on the ship sailing to our first destination. From there we grabbed our seats poolside and planted ourselves there for a good 5 hours soaking in the sun even with the crazy amount of wind. It’s so awesome how there is free soft serve ice cream built into the walls with rotating featured featured flavours.
Continuing trying out all the food options, we went to Wipeout cafe for a late lunch and then back to the room to change for the volleyball competition on the sports court. They have a full sized basketball court on the upper deck with mesh netting surrounding the entire open air top so balls don’t get launched off or around the ship. When we arrived, we made friends with a family from British Columbia. Joel and his sons Landon and Rylan. We also met some other cool people to play with like a group from Georgia – Morgan, Will and Keith. We lost the competition unfortunately as three boys weren’t allowed to play because they were under the age of 18 but we did play again when it became open gym time. We then returned to our rooms to quickly changed for the formal dinner in Opus dining. It is a nice feeling to get dressed up for a semi-formal dinner. The dining experience was nice but it took a while for food to be served which you get instantaneously from the buffet style of the other food options on the boat. From there, we did some cosmic skating. We walked the crowded promenade and made a friend at promenade cafe where they had a great selection of cookies and desserts. We then rushed to the Opal theater to watch the last showing of Hairspray.