August 17, 2009
At sea enroute from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Days at sea are my favorite time on cruises. I despise the hustle/bustle of getting off the ship and the worry about losing track of time and missing the ride to the next port. In comparison, the slower pace of days at sea suits me well and I was not at all disappointed to start our vacation by finding things to do aboard this ship. My wife, however, holds the opposite view thinking that “this may be our only time ever to visit” each particular port and we should, therefore, take advantage of every single minute on shore to see whatever there is to see in each port city. My sincere hope is that we can get another couple or two to join us on a cruise sometime and that at least some of those folks will share her enthusiasm for ports of call so that we can both derive the maximum enjoyment when the ship docks. Until then, it is a negotiation at each port as to whether we will or will not leave the ship and if we do, how far ashore we will go.
Since this is our second time aboard the Mariner of the Seas, we already had a good feeling for the place we liked and one of those places is up a staircase from Deck 12 near the front of the ship where there is plenty of sun if that is your thing and there is also a large shaded area for those that want that. We came to find out that this area is known as “St.
Tropez.” It was a cool day (mid 70s) and breezy so when the sun ducked behind clouds it got a little chilly. That passed after a while but the sun was still deceptively cool/hidden much of the time and, as such, I decided to not put on sunscreen. Paying the price for that, my head/face did get a tad sunburned but that passed within a couple days. Heather spent more time in the sun than I did, but I hung out nearby under the shady part watching some movies on my computer and reading books. All in all, a great day at sea.
Dinner was “formal attire” suggested (and the old-school cruisers frown upon anyone that even wears something as trashy as a nice suit since that isn’t “formal” enough) and we had opted to not doll it up this year. Really, this was more my decision and procrastination at getting fitted for a tuxedo than anything but it really isn’t my cup of tea to pay $100 for a tux rental to wear twice on two formal nights when I’m on vacation. That runs counter to what a good vacation is, in my opinion. So we ate dinner at the Windjammer, which was pleasant though certainly not as nice as it was in the dining room I’m sure. Still, on our way past the dining room we noticed quite a line at the My Time station again although part of the delay was due to a photographer setting up shop right where the line normally is so it was hard to tell if they were experiencing problems again like the night before.
At 7pm we attended the show, Front Row, at the Savoy Theatre. The cruise director, Abe Hughes, is the same one that we had last year aboard the Mariner when we left out of Port Canaveral. The show was decent, but very similar (about 50% I would say) to what we saw a year ago but the cast was completely different. There was a technical problem (power outage was the reason given) that caused a delay after the first number until the show could be restarted. Abe explained that he has been on the Mariner for a year and a half and this “rarely happens” but, ironically, it happened last year too, albeit at a different point of the show. It sounds like most of the set/music/lights are computer controlled so problems that occur can take a while to solve because the programs aren’t meant to pick up where things left off. In the end, though, they got things working and for a show at sea it was great.