One might suspect sea days on a cruise to be boring, but they are exactly the opposite! Sunday morning, we woke up in the middle of the ocean (or sea is, I guess, the correct term) on our way to the island of Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos. We had heard so many good things about the islands in Turks & Caicos and couldn’t wait to experience them. Since we wouldn’t arrive for another 24 hours, the entire day would be spent at sea exploring the levels of the ship (some you can walk through to the other side, others you cannot), familiarizing yourself with some new terms (ie. Lido deck, aft of the ship, etc) and of course finding the perfect place to relax!
Because it was a sea day, brunch was offered in the main dining room with an extensive sea day menu which surprisingly even included desserts! I chose a more traditional breakfast: eggs benedict (which ended up being an amazing choice) and Anson chose filet mignon and eggs (mostly because he could, I think). I mean, how can you not try filet mignon for breakfast if you have the chance?!
After basically stuffing ourselves, we headed up to the child-free zone on the Serenity Deck in search of one of the loungers we had spotted there the day before. Since we had taken our time getting breakfast, all the loungers were taken. Anson gallantly set up a couple chairs in a random corner but it wasn’t ideal, so I started to do laps of the deck while I tried to gauge if people were about to leave! It totally worked because I snagged us two spots looking directly at the water. (The staff was actually really great at keeping the “saving of deck chairs” to a minimum by placing stickers on people’s stuff that was left on chairs. They would write the time on it and if no one was there 40 minutes later, the chairs would be cleaned off and all the stuff was taken to the bar. I think it really helped keep people from saving chairs for hours on end without using them!)
On the Serenity Deck there is a giant salad bar that is only open on sea days for a few hours. It was a great way to grab a healthy lunch while still keeping that elusive deck chair! We ate salad for lunch, read and enjoyed the beautiful weather for a few hours before heading inside. Anson was quite proud of himself for refraining from carbs so far for the day, but that was about to change.
The night before we had heard a string trio playing in the lobby and they were amazing! We saw them on the schedule to play during afternoon tea, so we decided to pretend we knew how to have afternoon tea so we could enjoy their music!
Anson’s attempt at no carbs disappeared quickly when the dessert cart rolled around, but it was definitely worth it.
After our afternoon tea, we spent the next hour or so enjoying our complimentary access to the spa amenities that we got with our room. I am pretty sure that every time we sat in the heated chairs in the spa, I promptly fell asleep. Anson quite enjoyed the steam and sauna rooms. I am not as big a sauna fan (I last for maybe five minutes before I freak out that it’s too hot!) but give me heated chairs and I’m completely sold!
On cruises, there are always a couple of elegant nights where everyone is supposed to get dressed up for dinner. Of course, everyone has a slightly different idea of dressed up, but I enjoy pulling out a fancier dress and getting Anson into a suit! Sunday night was the first elegant night and we decided to try the Steakhouse as we were already dressed up. On our first cruise, we had tried the Steakhouse and loved it so it was an easy decision.
There are usually a few restaurants on cruise ships that are not included in the cost of the cruise and on the Vista, the Steakhouse is one of them. (Thanks to the kindness of Carnival we did not have to pay the $35 per person charge, but honestly, we still would’ve eaten here even if we had had to pay.)
The Steakhouse did not disappoint. Honestly, the amount of food they give is a little crazy and we couldn’t finish any of our courses, but wow! Was it amazing! We may have confused our poor server who asked us a few times if everything was okay, but we simply couldn’t eat it all!
We were given a chili stuffed tomato to start and then I had the French onion soup and Anson had the tiger shrimp cocktail.
For our salad courses, I had the Caesar salad and Anson had the garden salad with the most amazing coloured carrots I’ve ever seen!
We both ordered the rib eye steak for our main course. It was a massive 18oz steak but was truly the most delicious steak I have ever eaten!
It was so amazing that I don’t remember if we had dessert at all! I am sure I wouldn’t have resisted the chocolate dessert, but I didn’t take a picture and have no memory of trying it. Apparently, at this point in my life, I will now choose steak over chocolate.
While we were eating our steaks, a couple came and sat down at the table beside us. It wasn’t long before a conversation started and we learned that they were from Ontario as well. It’s funny how things work out because, in the main dining room, you are supposed to meet new people; yet, we didn’t. In the Steakhouse, you’re usually there for a quiet, more romantic dinner; yet, here we were chatting with the people beside us!
We finished our meal, said goodbye and headed to our room to get out of our elegant clothes. I like dressing up but until someone makes pointy toe heels that feel like slippers, I don’t like to stay elegant for too long!
We wandered around the ship for a little while until we ended up going into the Red Frog Pub where we first heard Graham (who is from Ireland) sing and play. Steve and Lisa, who we met at the Steakhouse, just happened to be in there as well so we joined them at their table. We finished out the night well after midnight, laughing, talking and listening to Graham’s music.
We headed to bed eager to enjoy the next day in Grand Turk full of sun, sand and ocean waves!