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Topic: The Mysterious Case Of The Satsumas At The Security Checkpoint - Day 11

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    Default The Mysterious Case Of The Satsumas At The Security Checkpoint - Day 11

    We were awake bright and early at 7:00. We got up and dressed and decided to head down to the Royal Esplanade to get something to drink. Graham wanted a coffee and I decided to take my souvenir cup to get something from the Coca Cola Freestyle machine that is in Sorento’s. Unfortunately the machine was out of order. I did not fancy coffee and the selection of teas did not thrill me. Graham got his coffee and I wandered across to the patisserie where they sold Starbucks coffees and specialty teas. I noticed that they sold something called a joy card there. This cost $20 and entitled you to 15 specialty coffees, teas, non-alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks. I thought that this was really good value. I got myself a citrus-scented black tea, which still came out of a tea bag, but was delicious. I went back to where Graham was sitting and once he had finished his coffee, we went up to deck 14.

    Part of the perks of having a junior suite is that we had reserved venues for breakfast and lunch. They offered a buffet breakfast in the Solarium Bistro and an a la carte menu in Chic, which is one of the restaurants that is used as a main dining room in the evening. We had decided on the buffet that morning. On Ovation, the access to the Solarium Bistro was from the solarium. So this is where we headed. Just as we reached the entrance, there was a group coming the other direction. They advised us that the access was from the elevator lobby. When we got there, they were not quite ready for us yet, but the doors were opened about 5 minutes later. We found a table and then went to see what was on offer. Graham started with broccoli, cauliflower, grilled tomatoes, scrambled eggs, American and Taiwanese sausages and bacon. I had vegetable fried rice, American and Taiwanese sausages and a traditional fried bread. The Taiwanese sausage had a funny taste to it and the vegetable fried rice was not as delicious as I remembered it from Ovation. I enjoyed the rest though. Graham then got some yoghurt with granola as well as cold cuts, cucumber and tomatoes and a bread roll. I got in line for an omelette. I like the way they handled this. You placed your order and were given a number. Once the omelette was ready, it was delivered to your table. I had an omelette with sausage, tomato, onions, mushrooms and cheese and this was absolutely delicious. I finished off my breakfast with some tropical fruit salad, melon and mandarin segments. We both had some juice, water and coffee.











    After breakfast, we headed down to the Schooner Bar for morning trivia. There were maybe a dozen takers from the USA, Malaysia and the UK. We did not win that session, but we had a lot of fun. After morning trivia, we went back to the cabin to get changed into swim gear. I also picked up shampoo and shower gel and my iPad. Then we went up to the spa to use the thermal suite. We settled down on the heated tile loungers and I started off reading, but ended up having a nap shortly afterwards. Graham must have fallen asleep as well. When people started to come in, I looked at my watch and realized that we had been there over two hours. It most certainly had not felt that long. Graham did the rounds of the steam room, sauna and the tropical rainforest shower. I stayed on my heated tile lounger and read a bit more. Once Graham was done, we went to the respective changing rooms. I had a shower there and then I met Graham in the relaxation room. We went back to the cabin to drop off our stuff that we no longer needed and then we decided to check out the a la cart lunch at Chic, which was another junior suite perk.





    On the way there, I spotted something I had never seen on any of the cruises we had been on. They actually had two backdrops set up at lunchtime. Hardly anybody was around at that time so we stopped for some photos. Then we went to Chic for some lunch. I was delighted when I saw the menu. Before we got on Ovation, I had a look at the sample menus and one thing in particular caught my eye. They had a dessert on the menu for American Icon Grill that was called Icon’s Candy Bar and consisted of peanut butter mousse, nougat brittle and caramel drizzle. I love everything peanut butter and was so excited about this. In 16 days on Ovation, it never materialized. I was therefore both surprised and delighted when I spotted it on the lunch menu that day. Normally I prefer an appetizer over dessert, but I skipped the appetizer that day as I definitely wanted dessert this time. I had Pad Thai for my main course. It was not particularly authentic, but very delicious. Graham had the Philly Cheese Steak with fries followed by rice pudding. I finally got my Icon’s Candy Bar. It was definitely worth the wait. It was quite sweet, but not overpoweringly though and the flavours worked very well together. This was definitely one of their better desserts.









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    After lunch, we went to the solarium. I found myself a round lounger and settled down with my iPad to read. Graham spent some time on one of the outside decks at the front of the solarium and then he found himself a regular lounger. He is not that keen on the round loungers. I had spotted that there would be a session of bumper cars in the Seaplex that afternoon. I had every intention to go to this. At some stage, I double-checked the timing for this on the Royal IQ app and to my delight, I realized that you could make reservations for this via the app. I was just about to do this, when I realized that they charge $5 for a 8 minute session that includes 2.5 minutes in the bumper car. I did not want to do the bumper cars that badly. I knew that the charge for the North Star observation capsule and for the iFly skydiving simulator on cruises from China, but I had never heard that the charge for bumper cars as well. So I passed. I went up to the Seaplex a little later as they have a Coca Cola Freestyle machine there. The bumper cars session was underway by then and they only had 6 cars out and only 5 were actually in use. This is only fun if there is a bit of a crowd so I am glad I did not pay.



    After I already found the Coca Cola Freestyle machines on deck 4 out of order in the morning, I noticed that the one in the Seaplex was out of order as well. I decided to go down one deck to the Windjammer as I knew they have two machines in there. I had to wait in line to get in as people were still having a late lunch. I waited about 10 minutes and after washing my hands, I went to one of the Coca Cola Freestyle machines. This did not have an out of order sign on unless the other three I had tried, but I did not do anything either. I approached one of the bartenders close by and he initially offered to get me some Coke from the bar, which I declined. He then came with me and he could not get the machine to work either. He then called a supervisor who turned up shortly afterwards. Again I was offered a glass of regular Coke. I have to admit, at that stage I had enough. I told him that I did not want regular Coke and that I can have this every day at home. I explained that I had only got the soda package because I knew that the ship has the Coca Cola Freestyle machines and that this is a special treat for me. He went backstage to make a call and then came back to offer me a refund on the package. I asked when the machines would be fixed and he did not know, but was not optimistic that it would be during our cruise. So I gratefully accepted the refund. He took the souvenir cup and removed the sticker from my SeaPass card and by the time I got back to the cabin later that afternoon, the refund had already been processed. I was still thirsty when I got back to the solarium. I ended up getting some ice water from the dispenser on the bar.

    Around 16:15, I went back to the cabin to get changed. That evening was Royal Night, which is as close as you come to formal night on the Quantum class ships. The Captain was out for photos that evening between 16:30 and 17:15. I always like to get a photo with the Captain. Graham had one look at how busy the Royal Esplanade was and refused to go down there. Where we were standing on deck 5, we could see the front of the line. I offered that I would go down to join the line and Graham could come and join me once he saw me near the front, but he was not having this either. I was not overly happy about this turn of events, but I know when I am defeated. At that stage the decision was made to not get the photo package, but just a couple of select photos.

    We then went to the Schooner Bar for evening trivia. I got myself a strawberry lemonade and a Virgin Pina Colada for Graham with my joy card. We actually managed to win and got a couple of pens. After trivia, we went back to the solarium to enjoy the sunset before crossing the deck to Coastal Kitchen.



    This evening we were at the opposite end of Coastal Kitchen and we were seated next to couple from California that I had bumped into a couple of times before. We chatted with them all through dinner. It turned out that they were travel agents, too. We were sitting pretty close to the back entrance that leads from Coastal Kitchen and noticed something amusing. There was a steady stream of locals heading from Coastal Kitchen to the Windjammer and came back with multiple plates piled high with food. I could not understand how they could carry all of this without dropping it. At some stage Graham mentioned that he fancied some chips. There were none on the menu. I commented that he could get some from the Windjammer as everybody else seemed to get food from there. He did get a plate. Normally the chips at the Windjammer are absolutely delicious, but those were nothing to write home about. The food that was served at Coastal Kitchen however was great. Graham started with the Snow Crab California roll, which he enjoyed. I had the roasted & stuffed zucchini with fresh ricotta, seasoned bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fra diavolo sauce. The sauce could have been a little spicier, but I enjoyed all the different flavours. For our main course, we both had the roasted beef tenderloin grilled asparagus and fork crushed potatoes with a cabernet wine jus. This was washed down with a glass of Caliterra for me and a glass of White Zinfandel for Graham. Graham passed on dessert, but I went with the rather strangely named Wine & Cheese. This consisted of red wine-poached pear on a ricotta-puff pastry tart with honey mascarpone. I still cannot figure out what drew me to this as I normally detest puff pastry, but this was a great choice. It was a riot of flavours and textures and absolutely delicious.












    When we finished our meal, I could not believe how long we had been there. We had taken the best part of 2.5 hours over dinner. Between the good food and amazing company, time had just flown. We shared an elevator with our dining companions on the way down. They went to see what was happening around the ship, but we were ready for our bed. We said goodnight when we got to our deck. Once we got to our cabin, we used our respective bathrooms to get ready for bed. I had a quick look at the Daily Compass for the following day and then we settled down for the night.



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    Those desserts looked lovely always my favourite part of any meal 😊 we are always astonished at the amount of food people manage to heap on their plates! You look like you found a comfy spot in the round lounger
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    Heated lounger...bliss! A very relaxed day.









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    I didn't realise RCCL were actually charging for those bumper cars. I can understand it for the North Star, but just a few minutes in the cars? Not my idea of good value, and it sounds like the majority thought likewise! I'm still sceptical about all these extra 'gadgets' on cruise ships and they certainly don't appeal to me in any way. I have to admit, the food is looking really good, though, and the variety if really impressive

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmer gang View Post
    Those desserts looked lovely always my favourite part of any meal ��
    Cruise line desserts tend to be wasted calories as very few are worth eating. They usually are utterly tasteless. After 20 cruises and nearly 200 nights spent at sea, I can count the desserts that were worth eating on two hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by palmer gang View Post
    we are always astonished at the amount of food people manage to heap on their plates!
    You would have had a field day on this cruise. I really don't know where Chinese people put all the food they eat. Most Chinese people are quite petite and I have yet to meet somebody from China who is not very slim.

    Quote Originally Posted by palmer gang View Post
    You look like you found a comfy spot in the round lounger
    I love those round loungers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Veness View Post
    Heated lounger...bliss! A very relaxed day.
    I love them, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Veness View Post
    I didn't realise RCCL were actually charging for those bumper cars. I can understand it for the North Star, but just a few minutes in the cars? Not my idea of good value, and it sounds like the majority thought likewise! I'm still sceptical about all these extra 'gadgets' on cruise ships and they certainly don't appeal to me in any way. I have to admit, the food is looking really good, though, and the variety if really impressive
    It is not my idea of value either. I have to admit that I do love a lot of the gadgets and I had an amazing time playing with them on Ovation in 2016 when all of them were free. It is only in the Asian market where they charge for these things. On Anthem, they are still free and they are also free when Ovation cruises out of Singapore or Australia. I am not even sure if they charge for the bumper cars on Ovation at all, but they do for North Star and iFly.

    The Asian market is very different. The cruises tend to very cheap, but once you are on board, they charge for some things that would normally be free. I am not entirely sure what I think of this, but I think on the whole I prefer getting a Junior Suite for what I may pay for an interior cabin elsewhere in the world and pay as I go (or not) for some things.

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    Love the round loungers but what a shame about the coke. Still the day ended with a beautiful sunset.

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    It remains a mystery to me where they put the food, you often see American and British people piling there plates high and then not eating the food, the chinese ate everything and yet it is not the chinese with an obesity problem, in the end we concluded it was history, recent history in China would have had these people or at the very least their parents not knowing where the next meal was coming from and eating food when it was available.

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    A good sea day and I'm with you on the dessert front on cruises, they aren't good.
    On our Caribbean cruise, Baked Alaska was on the menu and most ordered it, only to be disappointed when it arrived, to discover it was a slice of arctic roll covered with a meringue that had half heartedly been shown a blow torch.

    I'm reading great things on a cruise forum about the desserts on Regent, so I will report back on that front

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    Quote Originally Posted by karalma View Post
    Love the round loungers but what a shame about the coke. Still the day ended with a beautiful sunset.
    Despite a couple of very minor irritations, it was a great day.

    Quote Originally Posted by *** kitten View Post
    A good sea day and I'm with you on the dessert front on cruises, they aren't good.
    On our Caribbean cruise, Baked Alaska was on the menu and most ordered it, only to be disappointed when it arrived, to discover it was a slice of arctic roll covered with a meringue that had half heartedly been shown a blow torch.
    I had a few exactly like this over the years.

    Quote Originally Posted by *** kitten View Post
    I'm reading great things on a cruise forum about the desserts on Regent, so I will report back on that front
    I have only been on Regent for a ship visit, but the dessert we were served on this was very special.

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