Posted by: lylescott89 | January 28, 2012

Cruising on the Carnival Paradise: Relaxing at Sea

“Twenty years from now you will be more disppointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  – Mark Twain

Hey kids,

It was the second day of the cruise and the day was spent at sea as we chugged towards Cozumel.  I awoke after 9:00 Am, got myself cleaned up and headed down to breakfast.  The breakfast buffet was wonderful every morning.  I got at least two platefuls of food each day.  Friday morning they had this bizarre combination of spicy ground beef and sausage which I was not at all familiar with.  It looked and sounded good so I dumped a bunch of it on top of my scrambled eggs and covered it with Tabasco.  It was delicious.

As I was finishing my breakfast Leslie came by and told me that she and the other girls would be spending the morning in lounge chairs on the deck near the pool   I asked her to save me a chair and I’d find them.  After several loops around the deck I finally located them and sat down with my Kindle to relax and read.  The air was refreshing, the sun was out and the water was beautiful as we cruised right along.  I briefly thought of the poor saps at work and then decided that I would keep them out of my thoughts until I had to actually see them again.  Mike and Christina eventually came by and joined us as well.  Debbie was still drying out from the night before.

Eventually though the belly was calling out for some more delicious food.  On the Lido Deck you could eat the inside buffet, which changed daily, or the outside buffet which was pretty much always the same.  Of course it was logical for me to do both each day if at all possible.  I had another sandwich made by the sandwich master, but this time had the pastrami/corned beef combo on rye.  As we all know, pastrami is the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats.  Combing the sensual pastrami with the luscious corned beef made for one glorious and voluptuous mound of a sandwich.  One could say I flew too close to the sun on wings of pastrami.  With every scrumptious bite I was reminded why I decided to cruise in the first place.  Yes, the friends were very important, but ultimately it was the food.  It’s always the food.

While the ladies went off to do some shopping and peruse the jewelry, Mike and I spent some more time chatting and sampling the fare outside on Lido Deck.  Around 3:00 PM we headed back top our cabins having done virtually nothing all day except eat and relax on deck.  As I changed out of my swimsuit I had a hankering for some coffee so it was off to the coffee bar.  As luck had it I ran into the lovely Christina there.  We were served by a very pretty blonde with a Russian accent.  Since we both ordered the same thing (and iced cappuccino with a shot of vanilla) she prepared our drinks together.  She looked at us both, smiled and asked if we wanted whipped cream on top of our coffees.  Of course, I’m on vacation!

As Christina returned to her room with her coffee and a delightful looking slice of cheesecake I found a quiet spot by the window and enjoyed the scenery and some light reading.  The coffee beverage was very good and I was eagerly waiting for dinner and being able to see everyone once again.  But while I sat there reading I saw that the ship photographers were setting up for the night.  It was formal night on the boat and most people (not me) would be dressing up in their best gowns and tuxes for dinner.  If you have ever been on a cruise you know that photographers are everywhere and are constantly snapping pictures of you in hopes that you will pay an exorbitant price for them.  As I sat there reading an elderly couple came by and this is what the woman said to her husband, who had the unfortunate luck of being named Wilbur:

“Oh Wilbur, we just have to have our picture taken with that background.”

Well this made me curious.  What background had she seen that she and Wilbur just had to have themselves photographed in front of?  As the guy continued to check his lighting and such I decided to get up and take a look.  The background was a big blow up of the Grand Staircase of the Titanic.  I don’t know about you kids, but when I am on a cruise the last thing I want to be reminded of is the Titanic.  Much like when I fly I do not want my in flight movie to Airport ’75.  (Okay, even on dry land I do not want the movie to be Airport ’75)  Now I understood why Wilbur looked less than enthused.

As I made my way back to my cabin I noticed that there were virtually no trash cans on the ship where I could throw away my empty coffee container.  I went back to the coffee bar and there was nothing there either.  I understand that there is a staff that takes care of such things, but for crying out loud can you give me at least one trash can so I don’t have to carry around an empty plastic cup.  I eventually slipped into a bathroom and committed what was probably a major faux pas by tossing the beverage cup into the trash can in there.  I can imagine the steward that had to clean it calling up management and alerting them to such boorish behavior by a guest that was staying in steerage.

At dinner the ladies all looked spectacular.  The men?  Well, we looked okay I guess.  Mike put on a tie which was impressive, but none of us chose to go the tux route.  This was unfortunate for those around me as I look spectacular in a tux.  But where were Gummy, Desirae and Shianne?  Had we really scared them off after the fist night?  Fortunately we did not and they arrived just a few minutes after 6:00 PM looking wonderful in their gowns.

I started off by getting a little adventurous and trying the pumpkin soup.  It was outstanding.  In a world of soups this one rated quite high.  But Nicky Boy had other plans for us that night.  There was some sort of alligator puffs appetizer that apparently no one was ordering so Nicky Boy took it upon himself (or by order of the chef) to bring some out to each table.  Mike and I looked at each other and then at the gator puffs and then decided that we should each try one.  To my knowledge I had never had alligator before that night, but I will say the puffs were very good.  I even dipped part of a puff in my soup to make puffy pumpkin alligator soup.  Nicky Boy saw that we were pleased and brought us some more.

For my main course I went with the prime rib and a baked potato.  That is, quite simply, of the beat meals a guy can ever have and I will say it was wonderful.  My one and only complaint was that the guy pouring the au jus was a little late in showing up, but even without it the prime rib was melt in your mouth goodness.  The flavor was compelling and it was served perfectly medium rare, just as requested.

Now there was a bit of confusion during dessert.  The item that I ordered was called Bitter & Blanc and I understood that to be bread pudding.  Some at the table thought it was just pudding and how I knew it was bread pudding I have no idea, but I did.  Most of my loyal readers know that I am a connoisseur of bread pudding, but it must be prepared correctly.  I am very particular about it and if it is no good then I am highly disappointed.  I have written previously about the two greatest bread puddings I have ever had and although it has been almost three years since I had them, I do recall them fondly.  (You can read about them here and also here) As the Bitter & Blanc was placed in front of me I thought it looked pretty good, but then as I tasted it I knew it was exceptional.  One bite and I was in love with another pudding.  Christina said she loved the look on my face when I took that first bite and wished she could have caught in on camera.  I can only imagine it was a look of sheer ecstasy.

During dinner we took great delight in reminding Debbie of all the things she had done the night before that she did not recall.  That was fun.

After dinner I went with Mike & Christina to the show that was billed as a “Las Vegas style extravaganza” called Eight Seconds.  I can handle just about any music that is thrown my way except for hip-hop and country and Las Vegas extravaganza did not lead me to believe that either of those would be featured that night.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  Eight Seconds was a salute to country music in pretty much the most cornpone fashion possible.  While the performers were certainly talented (or as talented as one would expect cruise ship entertainers to be) it felt to me like an 80’s Up with People revival.  While the girls in the show were certainly sexy and all had beautiful dancers’ legs, the show itself was less than satisfying.  Fortunately country music was not Mike’s forte either and we got some good laughs out of it.

The show ended with some rah, rah America stuff and the gratingly awful “God Bless the USA” song.  Now when the performers were singing, two things came to mind:

1. It is doubtful that even half the cast is from  the USA and
2. When in the world did it become normal for people to stand during this “song”?  It’s not Handel’s Messiah people!  (For the record only a smattering of people stood up, but it was certainly enough for me to have taken notice.)

When the show mercifully ended we headed to the lounge for the adult’s only comedy show.  The comedian was a woman named Diane and she was very funny.  I really don’t know what else I can tell you about her other than she made me laugh and I had a good time.  And I certainly cannot reprint any of her jokes here.  (Mostly because I can’t remember them)

After she finished her set I said goodnight to Mike & Christina and headed to the 24 hour pizzeria.  On this night I went with the pepperoni pie and it was substantially better than the undercooked product I had the night before.  Again, I sat out on deck and enjoyed watching the stars.  We were only a few hours away from docking in Mexico and while I was not planning an excursion I was looking forward to getting on some dry land for a little while.  Check back later for part three of the Paradise saga.

Namaste

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Responses

  1. Did you make up any stuff and tell Debbie that she did things that she really didn’t do? That would have been funny. I had no idea you were a lover of bread pudding. I must make some for you. I make a kick-ass bread pudding.

    • There was absolutely no reason to make stuff up since what she really did was so ridiculously funny. I’ll fill you in when you make me the kick ass bread pudding. Deal?


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