Thursday, September 10, 2009

From Iceland to Boston

It's Day Nine of our cruise and we're now about halfway across the North Atlantic in our 2200 nautical mile-trip from Iceland to Massachusetts. The total mileage for the entire cruise so far is 2750 NM with the actual transatlantic portion comprising the majority of the cruise.

We've had a slightly bumpy ride part of the time and during the early part of the day winds over 50 mph were blowing against the starboard bow. It hasn't bothered our stomachs a bit and we' ve spent a fair amount of time playing table tennis. It's great exercise chasing after the ball on a windy day.

We're in a congenial group that's meeting every afternoon at 2:00 p.m. for the "progressive trivia game." According to the cruise director / moderator, the second most popular non-alcoholic beverage in the world after water is coffee, not tea, as we and most of the rest of the crowd guessed. Who'd have thought it?

Last night we ate again in the main dining room and thought the menu was a bit odd and limited for a "formal night..." no lobster tail, no prime rib, but we still enjoyed ourselves. We signed up for "My Time" dining, allowing us at no extra charge to dine more-or-less whenever we want to, rather than lining up in large crowds for the early or late dinner seatings.

Of the two specialty restaurants, which we signed up for in advance as a hedge against possibly mediocre food, so far we prefer Chops, the steak house, over Portofino, the Italian-style restaurant, but both are fine. Tonight we're paying for the privilege of attending one of those murder mystery theaters in Portofino. The rumor is that the acting is lousy, the food is decent, and the wine flows freely. We're planning to enjoy ourselves.

We continue to enjoy RCCL and the Jewel for what it is. It lacks the pretentiousness of Holland America, for example, and we're getting along quite nicely without some of the extra little touches to be found on other lines, such as bathrobes in the rooms, printed daily news summaries, or formal afternoon teas. The "library" is almost around the corner from our stateroom on Deck Nine and probably doesn't hold as many books as we have in our own house. On the other hand, despite the occasional glitch the Internet works better and is cheaper by far than the service we've experienced both on Holland American and Oceania. Their strict no-guest-alcohol-on-board policy is mildly annoying and probably encourages more people to smuggle some aboard than otherwise would, but we find the crew members as friendly and cheerful as those on any other line.

We attended another show last night, a "typical" singing and dancing extravaganza livened up even further by two of the cast members who manage aerial acrobatics on wires and then on scarf-like ropes. Spectacular it is! Oddly enough, despite all of the musicians, there seems to be a dead period in the early dinner hour, so we've heard relatively little live music aboard, since we don't hang out in the bars too much, especially after dinner. That's just a quibble though. Anybody who can't have fun on this ship and can't find food to suit their palates just might not be cut out for cruising.

Another three and a half days on board until we land in Boston, a city we've never seen, and we're planning to enjoy every last minute of our remaining time on board.


Anonymous said...

We've never sailed on RCCL and are interested in your comments about how it differs from HAL. We've been somewhat (not completely) loyal to HAL but are interested in branching out a bit and so we'll keep RCCL in mind.

Dave said...

No way. It's tea. Even if you count my coffee consumption.

Kathy and Brian said...

That's what we thought and almost remember the answer as "tea" on another trivia game on another ship. We wouldn't bet against "tea" for, well, all the tea in China.