Glad to be back after the brief freak-out yesterday! Since you’ve been so patient, you get a dupdate: double update. Two days for the price of one.
Day 1: 7/10/10
Currently, I’m sitting in our suite watching Civatavecchia go by as the ship sails toward the Golfo Stella for our marina day tomorrow.
We’ve been onboard for 3 hours now, more than enough time to explore Seabourn’s smallest ship! Our suite, however, is spacious enough for the three of us – we’ve definitely crammed into small rooms than this. Everyone on here has been more than accommodating so far – I’ve made my rounds and introduced myself as the host to all of the staff.
As the Virtuoso Voyager Club host, I will have a couple of responsibilities, but I’m pretty excited about those. On Monday, I will host a cocktail reception for the 16 Virtuoso guests onboard. On Wednesday, I will take 4 members of the group on a shore excursion to Lucca, in the port of Livorno.
After failing miserably at taking afternoon tea (it might take me a few tries to get refined enough for Seabourn), we explore the ship. Dad happened to be wearing a UGA shirt that I gave him for his birthday a few years ago (his b-day is, ironically enough, tomorrow!). Despite cautions against wearing logos that will blatantly define our American roots, it’s fortuitous that he does so. As we walk around the deck, four people call out to us and identify themselves as Atlantans. Small world! We chat with them and really hit it off – Southern hospitality.
In sum, as this is the 3rd time I’ve typed this post due to computer issues: this ship is definitely smaller and different than anything I’ve ever been on, but we really like it so far! Great food and really attentive service.
Day 2: 7/11/10
It’s Marina Day in the Golfo Stella (off the coast of Elba, Italy) and Dad’s birthday! On a ship this size, a day at sea can be wearisome – but Seabourn adds a special perk to today – I’ll get to this in a minute.
First off: from offering to carry your plate alongside you to opening your breakfast cereal box, the Seabourn team is completely service-oriented. Definitely going to be a relaxing vacation.
After giving Dad his singing James Brown card (which he immediately dances to), Mom and I head over to see the head chef’s cooking demonstration. The chef, from Germany, is entertaining and keeps repeating the phrase “Yummy yummy!” in his thick accent. It’s pretty funny. He makes a lobster risotto that is to die for – especially after you watch how much butter is added. So, really, to die for. It’s so good, though, that I finish off mine and mom’s portion. Also, he prepares this lukewarm chocolate mousse that is so incredible mom does not donate her portion to me.
Since the Yachts of Seabourn are just that – yachts – they are small enough to pull in close to the gulf and assemble their built-in marina from the back of the ship. The enclosed ocean-pool resembles a shark diving tank so much that it really freaks me out. It’s still a great concept, but we are literally in the middle of the ocean. We wait out for the watersports: specifically, the banana boat, after watching a few couples struggle with the kayaks against the rough sea – it’s always fun to watch people paddle in the same spot for 10 straight minutes.
When we do get on the banana boat, my first thought is that we have no seatbelts or places to put our feet – these little side bananas, are these for our feet?
As soon as we pull off, I realize that I am the sole girl sandwiched between two grown men, and our driver leans toward the more aggressive side for them. I fear falling off and losing my bikini bottom – how do you handle that kind of situation? I love this bikini, I think – I might not ever find another matching bottom.
The predominant thought in my mind, however, is the same thought I have with all water sports – be they in the Golfo Stella or Lake Oliver – and that is, “This is cool – but when can I get back on the boat?”. I do, however, take my mind off of this idea long enough to realize how incredibly cool this is – we are on a 200 person yacht, banana boating off the coast of Elba, Italy. All joking and fear of sharks aside, there aren’t any other cruise lines that offer this – and not a ton of opportunities to take advantage of such a great opportunity in real life: the mountainous landscape rising in the background ,the Med lapping at your feet, the color of the water as you fall face first. Just kidding – none of us fell in – although there were a few very close calls. Just glad I sat in the middle or else I’d still be out wading in the dark blue.
We’ve had a long day of fun in the sun and now I look like a little rock lobster. What’s black and white and red all over? Me in my dress for dinner tonight. Onward to that – we do have Dad a surprise cake planned, so that should go well!
Tomorrow is our stop in Porto Rotundo, Sardinia and my Virtuoso Club cocktail party – hope to update again as soon as possible!