Saturday, September 7, 2013

1st Sea Day and The Corning Museum Hot Glass Show at Sea

Europe Trip Post # 8
Cruising the Mediterranean and the Corning Museum Hot Glass Show

5/28/2012, Monday

Finally, our first day at sea! We have been so busy touring we really have not had a chance to tour our wonderful cruise ship, Celebrity Solstice! Today is a much-needed day or relaxation! A sea day is when the cruise needs time to sail between 2 distant location. Therefore, you never step foot on land, you are at sea all day. Ships will offer activities, games, seminars, and live music so you can make the most of your day! Some may want to veg by the pool all day, others will jam in as much as they can, and others (like us) will do a little of both.


Those of you that have done a Mediterranean itinerary know how port intensive it is. We were all looking forward to a day of sleeping in and doing whatever we wanted. The past few days gave us a taste of what the Solstice (our ship) had to offer but now we could truly enjoy all the amenities.

We all kind of did our own thing today but would meet up a various times to check in, say hi, relax with each other, eat, eat, eat etc.

Early morning: Everyday I wake up so excited and I cannot go back to sleep- even on a sea day. No one else seems to have this problem in my family but even if I try to force myself back to sleep- no good. I want to take in every moment of this trip; regardless of how much sleep my body craves, my mind is up and already in go-go-go mode. As routine, I was up before Mr. Sunshine around 5am. Again, the ship was sleepy but today we had an exciting event that I did not want to miss! We would be passing though the Strait of Messina, which is the 1-mile (I think) wide strait between the “toe” of Italy and Sicily. When you are little you think of Italy as the “boot” so I could not wait to pass around the “toe” of the “boot.”

From: http://blogs.jcvi.org/2010/08/straits-of-messina-transect/
As I stated, I was up before the sun and excited to watch us sail through the Straits of Messina. I took this picture form the balcony patiently awaiting sailing through the Strait of Messina. LOOK how calm the water is! My kind of cruising ;-)



We were moving very slowly, so I waited, and waited, and waited, took some pictures and waited again…



Finally, there she is! You can see in this picture above on the left is the “toe” of Italy and on the right in the distance is Sicily. Look how calm and majestic the water was.

The tip toe if Italy!

The picture below is once we have gone through the strait. Now, the toe of Italy is on the right. 



 
Here, I even took a video so you can hear and see the ripples and wake from the Solstice: (it is a little long so you might have to fast forward to the end)

Morning: Tyler finally wakes up and we head upstairs to have breakfast at the buffet for the first time. Up until now, we had breakfast via room service on the balcony. It was such a gorgeous day out. I swear this is the best time (late May) to see Europe weather-wise. It was just right, hot enough to lie in the sun but not hot enough to get in the chilly pool. I don't think I ever broke a sweat. We headed to the outside area to eat which viewed the wake.

While watching the wake, and filling our bellies with more carbs than I had in the past year, we used the Celebrity Today and a highlighter to plan our day. Yes, I brought a highlighter and I recommend you do too! There are so many activities on sea days it is nice to highlight the activities at the top of your list. A top priority for Tyler and I was to go see one of the hot glass shows. I read on the CruiseCritic message boards that the Corning Museum Hot Glass Show at sea was something not to miss. Just wait until you see what kind of people we turn in to! HAHA! We became a little obsessed with the Hot Glass Show, just wait.

After breakfast we headed back to the room to change into our pool gear. I stopped to do some journaling. I loved the set-up of our cabin; the vanity made a perfect desk.

Next we played some backgammon by the pool, this is a family tradition. We carry that backgammon board every trip we take… even all the way to Europe. I was surprised at all the people that commented on us playing it and they wanted to join in! I thought no one played backgammon anymore. This was definitely a highlight, playing backgammon pool-side while sailing past Italy! Is this real life? I need a life rewind button sometimes! 




Afternoon: Everyone in our group soon discovered their favorite place on the ship. This made communicating easy, if we needed to find someone we would just go to his or her favorite spot. Here are our favorite spots:

Tyler & Ashley: Lawn Club
Dad: Bar at the aft of the ship on the Lawn Club deck
Mom: Deck 5 and pool deck
Brandon: Very top sun deck and library

Picture below: Tyler and I enjoying one of our favorite spots, the Lawn Club




For communication we would leave notes for each other, call rooms from phones all over, or go to the “favorite spot” this worked out well for my family.

We also wanted to try the daily canapés today as we would finally have time. Today was Caviar! This was on my bucket list to try. I will let you look at the series of events to see if I liked it:




Well to be honest it was on a cucumber, and I do not like cucumbers so I think that had a lot to do with my obvious reaction. However, I did try Caviar again later on the trip NOT on a cucumber and it was okay, it just tasted salty?

Late afternoon: We headed back out to enjoy the Lawn Club and get ready for our first viewing of the Hot Glass Show! WHOA NELLY! Why did no one tell me how amazing the Hot Glass Show would be?? Well, okay, I guess I did read online it was AMAZING. I guess you have to see it in person. Tyler and I have never seen hot glass blowing so we were intrigued! From this moment on, we attempted to see EVERY, yes EVERY Hot Glass Show possible. And they said there would be an auction after the last show of the trip. Maybe we will get lucky? Stay tuned!

We joked that we became Hot Glass Show “Regulars” or “groupies” we were insane and started recognizing the Hot Glass show girls around the ship and in port.

Dinner: Tonight was a formal night. We all dressed up and had professional pictures taken. I wore my PROM dress from 2003! I know it looks dated, but hey, when else will I get to wear a prom dress? It even had a train, so 2000's! I do not have the professional pictures on this computer so here are just the ones we took:






Tonight we had excellent steak and an amazing soufflé!



Post-Dinner: Hot Glass Girl Sighting!!!! ATTENTION! That was how Tyler and I felt when we saw the Hot Glass Show girls dressed up in their formal night best enjoying the classical strings. We felt like they were “celebrities” on the ship. We didn’t want to be creepy and sound like stalkers so we did not go up to them but we were excited to see them!

The rest of the evening we just strolled around and enjoyed the beauty of the ship.




Ciao ciao,
Ashley

 Other stops on our trip:
Barcelona Day 1 (exploring on foot)
Barcelona Day 2 (hop on/hop off bus)
Cote d'Azur and Monte Carlo, Monaco
Florence, Tuscany, & Pisa
Rome
Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Positano
1st Sea Day
Kotor, Montenegro
Venice, Italy Day 1
Venice, Italy Day 2
Dubrovnik, Croatia

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