August 21, 2009
At sea enroute from Puerto Vallarta to San Pedro (Los Angeles)
As I mentioned before, days at sea are my favorite times in any cruise itinerary and this was a great day at sea. The sun was shining and a strong breeze kept things cool even in the hot sun.
We skipped breakfast opting to hit up Johnny Rockets (a burger/malt shop operation) for lunch instead. There is a $4.95/person cover charge at Johnny Rockets and our coupon book on this cruise didn’t have a coupon that made this free like it did last year. This year’s coupon was for buy 1, get 1 free on shakes/malts so we had to be satisfied with that instead. While I’m mentioning the coupon book, in all aspects it is weaker this year than last year, in my opinion. For example, last year we had a coupon for BOGO mixed drinks but this year there wasn’t anything like that (although it did seem that most days there were several BOGO drink offers during restricted hours at certain locations so maybe that is how they are handling things instead) and to top it off we couldn’t use our 25% off coupons at Seattle’s Best because their espresso machine was broken.
Trying to read outside was a bit challenging given the strong (35mph+) winds, but again our secret area near the front of the ship on Deck 13 (only accessible by an outdoor staircase from Deck 12) was deserted. Heather enjoyed the sun while I read a book (“The Dumbest Generation”) in the shade. It was the perfect temperature in the sun and shade given that the winds pretty much kept things cool either way. We did manage to take a break for the Belly Flop Competition, which was a hit as always.
After a couple hours, I headed off to the library to get out of the wind (and to troubleshoot my Blackberry, which had stopped working) and Heather continued her time in the sun since the aforementioned breeze made it tolerable to do so. My Blackberry started working once I stopped trying to fix it (I had earlier manually changed the network as we rounded Cabo San Lucas because the 3G network on land was much faster than what was available via Cellular at SEA on the ship) so that made me happy again and the book got more interesting once I wasn’t distracted by the failing technology.
After Heather came in from out in the sun, we decided that we were still too full from Johnny Rockets to eat dinner at 6:45 and it was formal night again so she canceled the reservation at the dining room and we decided to catch a bite at the Windjammer. Before dinner, I headed to Deck 12 to walk off some of the double-burger , fries, onion rings, and shake I had eaten for lunch. Heather walked every morning while I was still in bed so I got a taste of her regimen while she got cleaned up and dressed for the casual dinner. I managed to get in 10 laps (5 laps = 1 mile) before she found me, but at that time (about 6:10pm) it was still too early to eat at Windjammer (closed until 6:30).
We decided to try golfing again while we waited for the Windjammer to open. We made it through 9 holes but Heather went out of bounds a couple times and there were some times when the ball would just go off rolling on its own without being struck. I was losing by several strokes until the out of bounds incidents but by then we had given up keeping score because balls 3 inches from the hole could be 30 feet from the hole because of the wind before you got to take a shot.
Some preteen kids (both boys and girls, surprisingly) were causing more problems on the golf course than the youngsters from a couple nights earlier. In hindsight, it would be nice if there were a stronger staff presence on the Sports Deck at all hours to prevent the horseplay and such, but they can’t have people everywhere I suppose and it ultimately comes down to parenting. In a scary incident Heather saw a guy that was visibly shaken because he hadn’t seen his son (no idea on his age) in 4 hours and he was requesting security…thankfully the mother showed up as this was happening to report that the child was found. Still, some parents let the kids run free on cruises and it isn’t surprising to get on elevators where all the buttons are pushed or find some roughhousing (now I sound old) going on in public venues.
After a rather dull meal (not much for selection to the point that hot dogs were looking good) at the Windjammer we relaxed on our balcony for a while until it got to chilly to be outside. Heather wanted to call it a night at this time, but she realized it would only be 7:20pm if you count the fact that we turn the clocks back an hour to get back to Pacific Time so we headed off to the library for a while for some reading/relaxation instead. None of the shows (a male singer from Star Search in the Savoy Theatre, Battle of the Sexes, and a late-night adults-only nightclub in the Solarium) really interested us so we were in bed early instead.