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Monday, August 15, 2016

[Day 06] Sea Day = Spa Day

This morning was our first spa day (since it was a 17-day cruise, we determined that we should have two spa treatments - one at the beginning of the cruise, and one at the end). Rachel and I got deluxe treatments since that's what our discount was good for. I got the chocolate indulgence (50th anniversary special) for research purposes, and Rachel (who hates the smell of chocolate) went for the seaweed treatment.

When you first visit the spa, you fill out a questionairre in which you answer questions about your health and rate your stress levels. I told them about my asthma, but other than that, I gave them a big thumbs up. I rated my stress level extremely low (not so in my normal life, but hey, I'm on vacation!) and didn't claim to have problems with dry skin or breakouts or anything. I did this because I didn't want them to sell me anything, and I thought that having very few problems might help minimize the amount of products they could "prescribe" to me.

Both times we went to the spa, I lucked out with the good masseuse (either that, or Rachel is just much more critical than me). She was young and really great at making me feel comfortable. She was friendly, but didn't talk too much (and she told me that I have an athlete's body! I love this girl!), and massage-wise, she applied just the right amount of pressure.

The Chocolate Indulgence is.... well.... not the most relaxing experience. It involved being rubbed down twice with chocolate, and then I had to get up and shower to rinse it off. Two showers! It did seem great for my skin - it was so soft afterwards. But if you're looking for a relaxing 50 minutes, the Chocolate Indulgence is not for you. Yes, there are relaxing times - mostly at the end, after you're done being rubbed down with chocolate - but it's a lot of up and down and scrubbing. Also, the chocolate is really hard to get off. Imagine being a miniature person and standing underneath a chocolate fondue fountain. I would scrub and scrub, and I'd get an area clean, but the chocolate would keep re-appearing. My masseuse would come in and rub my back down for me to get it off, so unless you have incredible behind-the-back reach, I wouldn't recommend this for the super modest person, either.

Also, I bet the spa workers are swearing the person who invented the mess that is Chocolate Indulgence. I left the shower full of brown goop. It was clogging up the drain, which made the water rise to my ankles. All of the towers were covered in chocolate. I would hate to be the person who has to clean that up.

Another pro for my masseuse is that she was AWESOME at not trying to sell me ANYTHING!!!! She didn't even write out a card with "health tips" for me (Rachel got one). She didn't "prescribe" me to one product - didn't even mention the names of products she used on me (ummm... Hersheys? Godiva? I would welcome a prescription to any type of chocolate).

Despite the mess of the Chocolate Indulgence and the two chocolatey showers I had to take, this was definitely one of my best spa experiences ever. And at the time, it was my best cruise ship spa experience.

After being wrapped in chocolate and seaweed, it was time for some grub. Rachel and I were super pumped that they were offering a Pub Lunch upstairs in the steak house. We were really sick of the buffet lunch food at this point, and the burgers by the pool were getting way too repetitive. (We forgot to remind Dad about the Pub Lunch, and he was ridiculously disappointed that he missed it. Really, he was still complaining days later.)

Menu offerings were Fish & Chips, Bangers & Mash, Steak & Kidney Pie, Ploughman's Lunch, and Bread & Butter Pudding.

I wanted everything and wished that I could try it all on different days, but Rachel and I both went for the Fish & Chips.

Pub Lunch

Fish and Chips

The food was no extra charge, but the beer was at regular menu prices.

Pub Lunch

Rachel and I were seated at a table for four by ourselves, then they later added a young couple to our table. They were probably in their early 30s (which is a very small demographic on this ship), so we thought, yay, this should be fun. Rachel and I both tried really hard to talk to this couple, but they really wanted nothing to do with us. We asked them questions about where they were from (North Carolina.... hey, we're from South Carolina!), but unless we were asking them questions (after a point, it starts to feel like an interrogation), they didn't really care to talk to us. But it's not because they were an anti-social couple. No - they knew a bunch of older couples in the dining room and were very friendly and chatty with them. They just didn't like us.

Pacific Princess

Rachel and I spent the rest of the afternoon in our typical tanning location on the 11th deck.

There were only a few young adults on the ship, and water volleyball is what got them all together. Rachel and I had observed a few intense games of water volleyball the day before which lasted long after the scheduled time.

We decided to take a dip in the pool that evening (after the volleyball crew had their net taken away from them) and ended up with front row seats for a free show of water WWE. All of the young men decided to wrestle one another in the pool, two teams. This may sound disruptive, but it was around 6 PM, so the pool deck wasn't very full (well, it was never full, but at this hour it was particularly empty). It was very entertaining to watch. Really, we enjoyed the wrestling match.

Again, we pre-gamed dinner at the casino bar with our favorite bartenders, Reggie and EJ.

Cocktail Menu

This is Reggie (the bartender, not the drink!) -

The Isaac


She told us how she taught Isaac (errr Ted Lange) how to make the Isaac on the 50th Anniversary Cruise. She had her picture taken with all of the Love Boat stars.


And the Isaac (errr the drink) -

The Isaac

For dinner, I had the steamed asparagus. I start to feel disgusting after eating cruise food for so long, so it's always good to find my favorite veggies on the menu!

Steamed Green Asparagus with Jerez Vinaigrette

Medley of Tender Greens with Trio of Cheeses and Pecans -

Medley of Tender Greens with Trio of Cheeses and Pecans

Austrian Specialty - Wiener Zwiebel Rostbraten

Austrian Speciality - Wiener Zwiebel Rostbraten

Rachel is very particular about Creme Brulee (I'm really not a fan), and complained about the temperature and consistency.

Creme Brulee

After dinner, we watched the singers and dancers in Motor City. We were really hoping to get front row seats again, but people were less shy or faster to the show today, so we ended up on the second row.

It was really enjoyable to watch the singers and dancers because we saw them regularly around the ship and had conversations with them. It felt like we were watching our friends.

Also, the Pacific Princess might have a small cast, but they are definitely talented - more talented than I've seen of the casts on the larger ships. It also might have helped that the dancers were at the end of their contracts, so they had been working together for months, now.

Here's singers Craig (who we enjoyed many games of water volleyball with) and Rayna -

Motor City

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