I’ve gathered up some remaining pictures from the cruise, taken by both Bevin and Brian.
Apparently they both took the same picture from different angles while we were departing. We were standing on the highest available outdoor deck of the ship, available only to suite guests. Has a great view, but a bit windy.
Also very similar pictures looking back at Miami from the top of the stairs up to the suite bar deck.
We didn’t really take a lot of pictures while we were out and about in St. Maarten or St. Thomas. We were having fun poking around and we weren’t really thinking about blogging at the time. Sorry about that. Bevin did manage to capture this shot though, which is actually pretty emblematic of the general state of things.
Bevin took a couple of panorama shots! Click to enlarge for the full experience.
I took this video at the ice show, you can see the projection mapping moving. It was actually pretty cool how they used the effects on the floor as part of the show, and the skaters were able to do some impressive tricks on such a small rink!
I also took a video of the ship rotating while we were docking at Coco Cay. Look at the island in the background to get an idea of how quickly we were spinning. Truly impressive how fast and how smooth such an enormous ship can maneuver.
A slightly longer view of our rotation, showcasing the speed.
Some have been curious about where our room is. Follow the red arrows. (Click to enlarge)
We actually didn’t take pictures of most of the places we ate. One place I sort of wish we’d done so at was the Wonderland restaurant. Themed after Alice in Wonderland, it’s designed to be an experience of imagination, and there were some pretty creative dishes, however we were having more fun just enjoying it, so unfortunately we don’t have any pictures for you. If you’re curious, the web is full of pictures. They weren’t ours, but they’ll be close. (I found this one as a top result)
I will say that the deviled eggs served on a birds nest, under a glass cover filled with smoke was probably my favorite.
Despite the TSA’s best efforts we managed to get home with our luggage.
We finally got let off the ship! We think they held us onboard until there was no lightning risk.
It was nice because the passing storm had created cloud cover so we got a couple hours of not getting totally blasted by the sun.
There are fish in the lagoon, of several varieties. Also baby crabs. And we saw a jellyfish, as well as a rather large stingray!
We actually ended up floating out past the lifeguard on the far side of the floating cabanas. No pictures exist, because water, but there are some artificial reefs they’ve made out of concrete blocks. Bunches of fish!
It was really fun to see actual tropical fish in actual tropical water.
We went back to the steakhouse on board because it was so good the first time. All the food we had was amazing, and the staff are fantastic.
And now we’re at the airport. Due to flight changes and such all of us had our flights moved back from our original times, so now we have about 6 hours at the airport. Wheee?
Really it’s not that adventurous… We haven’t encountered any pirates, and our ship detoured to avoid a tropical storm, so we haven’t even had any weather other than heat and humidity. And a nice 20kt breeze as the ship sails along, all but imperceptibly motionless from the inside.
There are advantages to being on the world’s largest cruise ship.
After a few days at sea we arrived at St. Maarten. Our room is on the 17th floor. That dock is waaaaay down there.
The view of the ship from the dock is impressive though.
We walked all the way around the bay to “downtown”. Unfortunately it’s really been devastated by weather damage from years back and the economic downturn more recently. Lots of closed shops and hotels, not very much rebuilding going on. Beautiful beach though, and a great view back to the ship.
We didn’t explore beyond the local city. On the way back though we stopped at the cheese shop, this being the Dutch half of the island, and bought some amazing Brie and Stroopwafles.
Arriving back to the ship we found our towel animal collection had grown.
Went to the steakhouse for dinner, which was amazingly good. Bevin got a steak the size of her head, or perhaps larger.
A quick night’s sailing brought to St. Thomas. Back in the US!
Walked the mile or so to downtown and poked around. Very Pirates of the Caribbean in it’s architecture, and definitely in better shape that St. Maarten was, but lots of shops closed up as well. Hard when tourism is such a big part of your economy and it’s been gone so long.
Everything has been great. Great food and entertainment on the ship, great weather, and a ship that’s just under 1/3rd full means everything is very comfortable and not crowded feeling.
We’re hanging out in the lounge drinking iced tea and rehydrating. Boat should be departing in an hour or so. Another day at sea tomorrow!
Went to Lenoir City, TN through the lovely Knoxville Airport. Funnily enough the airport, like the Burlington, VT airport, has rocking chairs throughout for your leisure.
Got lucky with this travel booking because while American Airlines is not where I have the fancy schmancy flight status, it apparently shares points with Alaska Airlines where I do have fancy schmancy flight status. Might be able to keep it after all.
One thing Tennessee has going for it I suppose is that it’s no less hot than Dallas. Okay maybe high 80s instead of low 90s but big whoop when hovering at these numbers. Portland me would have cared but Texas me does not.
One more serious good thing is that I went to Pho 99 and had delicious pho noodle soup. A great find. Speaking of food and beverage we’ve recently discovered the Starbucks Star Drink, which is their new kiwi-dragonfruit refresher. Very much a delicious thing.
Just landed in DFW. Out of the skyway and on to the freeway.
We were recently linked to this YouTube video, describing re-creating a Disney menu item of the future past, The Handwich!
So when I came into the kitchen this morning and found this, I became extremely worried:
So, handwich. If you didn’t watch the video, I think you can guess. Sandwich, but in a cone shape, so it can be held in one hand. When this was discussed in our group chat, alternatives (such as our local Bread Zeppelin) were roundly poo-poo’d because they “weren’t Disney enough”. So Bevin decided to go all-in.
So, for all your “oh my god we’re on vacation and I ate all that I’m going to dieeeeeee” pleasure, here we have 4 totally unique handwiches.
The bread is Japanese Hokkaido milk bread, so it’s quite soft and fluffy. As far as ingredients go, from left to right we have:
Egg, Bacon, Mushroom, Cheese A breakfast delight! Why have your scramble with toast when you could have it in the bread instead?
Mac’n’Cheese’n’Bacon The best Kraft has to offer, with delicious thick-cut bacon bits. Yes, it could be handmade mac’n’cheese, but the blue-box Kraft hits the nostalgia button better.
Garlic black-truffle Chicken Tika Masala Yeah, there’s no India exhibition in EPCOT. If there were, this would probably not be welcome there. It is, however, quite delicious.
Philly Cheese Steak (Roast Beef, green pepper, grilled onions, and cheese.) May not be quite as authentic as it possibly could be, since it uses American cheese instead of cheese whiz, but I outright refused to buy Cheese Whiz.
They all turned out quite good. Maybe not pure Disney, but definitely extravagant!
The method of construction could be optimized. Unfortunately wrapping from the bottom and lying them on a pan creates a flat side, as well as causes the dough to slump to the bottom of the cone, creating a rather large bready bit at the end of your sandwich experience. Because the bread is nice and fluffy and sweet it’s almost like a dessert bread at the end though. (Perhaps this could be incorporated into the design, hmmm..) Bevin’s already planning how to make a steel cone with the pointy end up to wrap the bread around and bake to prevent this problems though.
In short, please be thoughtful when sending Bevin random crazy cooking YouTube videos, she just might be insane enough to do it.