Sunday 31 October 2010

days 4, 5 & 6

We got back onto the ship and they promptly scanned our bags for contraband, they must have decided that our bags full of candy were acceptable ;o).

When were were due to leave port I stood on our balcony poised with camera in hand hoping to catch on video motion picture our departure, alas we left port slower than an old lady in a post office queue armed with photos of her grandchildren and a full thermos!

That evening at dinner we chose our starters and main courses, and when they bought them up they had an extra starter which they asked James if he would like - James being some one who was eating his pre-dinner, dinner then post dinner (if time permitted) wasnt likely to refuse more food.

The next day we went to Bar Harbor in Maine, we had to catch the tender boat to the mainland, the boats they used were ones used for Whale watching trips, so it was a lot more comfortable than I was expecting. One of the things that they said (that I thought was unfair to the oldies - yes I do have a heart sometimes ;o)) was that if you had a mobility cart then you couldnt use the tender boat! You will be pleased to know that the lady with her oxygen tank made it onto the tender boat - I would have hated for her to miss out on a technicality - provided she didnt get in my way of course ;o).

We made it on shore (after waiting for the boat to fill up), we fought our way through all of the old people up the hill to where the shops were, and believe it or not we found a place selling lobster ice-cream! We had to of course try it. While it was still frozen it didnt taste fishy at all - once it had started defrosting you could definitely get the fishy taste! Im super glad that we tried it but dont think that I would buy it on a regular basis.

We didnt have anything booked for this day and the trolley tour (we would have done this had there been any availability left) was sold out!

We did amble up and down Main Street which was interesting ;o) We had lunch at Rupununi, James got to try a Maine lobster roll. We both also tried a blueberry wheat beer.

Following the extra starter that James got the previous night our waiter actually asked him if he would like to try the other (recommended) starter (LOL it must have been his half starved look ;o)).

The next day saw us go to Saint John New Brunswick, again we didnt have anything booked for here, and made our way to the shopping malls (these were linked by covered walkways) wowzers it must get cold there in Winter for them to have those!

We decided to do a bus tour and one of the stops off of it was at the reversing falls, blimey the water certainly moved quickly!

The driver even told us about two Saint John specialities...

...the butter tart and dulse, LOL I had the butter tart and I allowed James to have the dulse (I definitely got the better deal ;o)).

The next day was our final Canadian stop Halifax Nova Scotia, we went to the immigration museum we didnt even realise that it was the Ellis Island of Canada!

After finishing the immigration museum tour we just had time for a quick lunch (we bought a salad each from a supermarket) before our tour on the Titanic the continuing mystique (well something like that anyway).

We went to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to see their Titanic exhibit, we even got to see a replica deck chair ;o).

We got taken to the grave yard where the Titanic bodies (for some reason I always want to say survivors but they didnt survive!) were buried. There was another tour group from our ship there too as I recognised some of the people.

The traffic was really bad that day and all the way back to the ship our tour guide kept on telling us that we would get back to the ship on time...

...I wasnt too worried as this was an excursion set up by Royal Caribbean itself then they would (hopefully) either wait for us or the tour company would have had to cover any costs at getting us back to the ship (ooohhh Im so heartless ;o))

Luckily we made it back by the skin of our teeth...

...I dont recall seeing the people from the other group after (only kidding) ;o)

to be continued...

Thursday 28 October 2010

back at work...

Today is my first day back at work...

...on the plus side I only have a two day week ;o)

The piles on my desk didnt look as bad as I thought they would be - although I have just back from making myself a cup of tea and have seen some piles that look suspiciously like they are coming in my direction!

Oh well Friday tomorrow

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Days one two and three

We walk onto the ship, and the first thing they tell us is that our cabins staterooms wont be ready until 1.30 pm so to head for the Windjammer all you can eat buffet on deck 11, we must have walked on there at about 12.30...

...we walk into the lift, we go straight to deck 11 (like the good people we are), and some people (the ones who think that the staterooms not being ready is just a ruse) press the floors for their rooms...

...guess what? They are greeted by fellow people (who also didnt believe that they were included) saying we cant get into our room! And the other people still decided to try their rooms for themselves!

We walk into the buffet area and it was rammed - we managed to find a table for two and James went up to get his first plate of food, then I went up and I got chicken, beef rice pork stew and a corn on the cob (all on one plate) ;o)...

...not wanting to miss out on anything yummy I then had a hot dog, onions and french fries.

And if that wasnt bad enough I then had some dessert!

Im pleased to say that I didnt carry on eating like this - because I really would have had to be rolled off of the ship when we finally docked!

Anyhow 1.30 comes and they announce that our staterooms are now ready, so we get our backpacks and fleeces and find our cabin, and it looks good a fairly decent sized room (considering we are on a ship and I heard that everything is tiny) and a balcony with two seats and a table.

We didnt have our luggage as it was taken when we first arrived at the ship to be scanned and were told that all luggage will be back with their owners by midnight!

When we first came onto the ship we were given a leaflet on the activities for that day... 5pm (the exact time that the ship was leaving the dock) was when the tickets were available for the ice show - so I go down to where the tickets are being given out at at 4.55 and the queue snaked back on itself!

So I joined the queue and there was a woman in front of me who insisted on talking to every person that she was opposite to in the queue whether they were behind us or in front of us...

...half an hour later I finally get to get my tickets and there were only a few shows left. I asked which ones were for the days that we were at sea and they pointed to the ones on day 8, so I got two tickets for the 2.30 show (I was well pleased with myself).

Our luggage finally arrived at 6.30 (so in plenty of time for us to get dressed for dinner).

When we booked the cruise it asked if for dinner you wanted to be sat alone or with other people (as you are never sure who you will be sat with I quickly said sat alone), so I was slightly nervous when we went for dinner just in case they said "sorry you have to be sat in a group", when we walked into the dining room I was pleased to see that there were tables for two people, the only problem was that we were sat in the walkway!

The dinner itself was really nice, there were several choices including "specials" and even had "low calorie" dishes as well - so if you wanted to be good (I didnt go for the low calorie options), you could eat a meal for less than 800 calories.

The next day we saw that they were having a bingo session, so we decided to have a go as it might be something fun to do...

I had heard that bingo games are normally really fast and was worried that we wouldnt be able to keep up, then I thought to myself "hang on - this is a cruise ship so they are going to be catered to the old dears" I shouldnt have worried as the bingo was slow - some may even say that it was p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y s-l-o-w ;o)

That evening we had the Captain reception (this was our first formal night) I wished that I had used my full ass when trying to diet as I had real trouble getting into one of my dresses (it was one of the ones that I bought back in April), still thank goodness for the cardigan I bought also ;o). There was even a photographer to capture the first formal night and we bought a couple of the photos ;o).

We managed to change our table too (and got a far better spot by the window)

The menu as supposedly chosen by the captain was more upmarket than the usual everyday menu. James was quite vocal about the fact that fishfingers didnt appear in any shape or form, and if they were good enough for Captain Birdseye then they should be good enough for our captain!

It was weird waking up in a new port, we opened the curtain and saw that we had already docked in Portland Maine, we got off of the ship and because it was quite early 8am I think, none of the shops were open. We did find a small cafe that was open and got to try their pumpkin pie latte ;o).

We then made our way back to the ship as we had pre booked a shopping trip to Freeport, we had three hours of shopping but that was not nearly long enough for us...

We did find a Friendlys restaurant to have lunch in... favourite part of the lunch was the sweet cinnamon roll sundae - I wish that I hadnt bothered with the burger and fries and just had two sundaes instead ;o)

We then returned back and managed to get on the Portland Trolley Tour, they werent sure if they could fit us on there, so it was touch and go...

...luckily (two minutes before the tour was due to start), they then decided that we could fit on the tour - we were stuck behind a group of ladies from Massachusetts who were on a girls weekend! We heard more about what they were getting upto than on Portland facts ;o). The trolley driver was actively encouraging them!

We then made our way back to the ship... be continued...

Tuesday 26 October 2010

getting there...

Instead of intriguing boring you with one huge post I have decided to post in instalments ;o)

As we were flying from Heathrow Terminal 5 and our flight was at 10.15 in the morning (you just know that there would have been problems on the M25 otherwise) we decided to stay overnight at a hotel, and as it was connected by a walkway to the terminal it meant that we didnt have to catch a hopper bus either...

So we get to the hotel at about 5pm ish. The bloke on reception books us in and asks when we arrive back, I tell him its on Sunday at 06.25 and he says that he will give us our exit ticket now so we can drive straight back out (which was nice of him) we didnt bother checking the ticket (I can see that you can guess what happens when I get upto the coming home part)...

So we go down and decide to have our dinner at one of the restaurants, we went for Vivre, but was disappointed that the cooking theatres are only during breakfast and lunch - but we could watch the chefs at work ;o)

As we had finished our meals quite early we decided to walk across to T5 (because we could) and get a drink each - I went for a Guinness and James had a cider...

...we then got a few snacks and went back to our room.

The next morning we checked out of our room and lugged our suitcases to check in for our flight...

...because it was a group booking we werent able to pre book our seats and I was told that we would be assigned our seats at check in :o(

So we go to the self check in booths I scan my passport and it gives me my seat (it was a window seat) so I clicked on the button that asks if I want to move seats and there arent any seats left that are together (so I pick an aisle seat and then James could sit in the seat in front of me) I print my boarding pass. Now its James' turn he scans his passport and his seat is the one that was next to mine *sigh* (it didnt tell us that we were already sitting together), so James moves his seat to the aisle one in front of mine.

As I wanted us to sit together we went to the assisted check in queue to see if we could change our seats, the guy says that he will let the boarding gate people know what we have asked and they will see what they can do...

We go through passport control and go and get some breakfast and have a look around.

We then see that the boarding gate is going to open, I go and see the one of the ladies on the gate and explain what happened, she goes to her monitor comes back and says that you have the aisle seat and the window seat (what a result James gets his aisle seat and we dont have anyone sitting next to us ;o)).

So we board the plane and find our seats and unfortunately whilst one of the seats was the window one the other one was the middle seat (James wasnt happy and decided that this was MY fault!), so after we took off James asked the stewardess if there was any spare aisle seats that he could sit in as he doesnt like sitting in the middle seat...

...she moved him - so at least he was happyish...

We finally land at Newark, go through immigration, pick up our luggage come out of departures and expect to see a smiling happy Royal Caribbean Rep, there was no-one, we walked around the terminal in case the rep was hiding somewhere but we couldnt find anyone.

I saw a Costa Rep, who told me to go to ground transportation and they would tell me how to get to the hotel. So we found the ground transportation kiosk spoke to the man on there and he pointed me in the direction of the phones with the direct lines to the hotels and airlines etc, I eventually found the right phone that had the lines to the hotels, found my hotel on the list, rang them and they told me to take the airtrain then you catch the shuttle bus for your hotel and hey presto!

We find the airtrain and work out which station we want to go to, get off and we go down the escalator and I almost fell down the escalator (with my suitcase) it would have been funny if I was watching someone else doing it.

We see the shuttle bus for our hotel (which was full) so we had to wait for the next bus. We finally get to the hotel I go to check in and the bloke asks me if I have a voucher.

I say "what voucher?", and they show me a huge pile of vouchers - I never received any vouchers (and yes these vouchers do come up again), we get the keycards for our room together with an envelope with instructions on what to do the next day.

James was well p1ssed off at this point and was blaming me for everything that went wrong (I think his reasoning was that I booked the holiday therefore it was my fault).

I then had a look around the hotel to see if there was a restaurant so we could get something to eat (there was just a bar with a very limited menu).

flyer with directions to get to New York (the hotel is only 8 miles for the Statue of Liberty), the cheapest option was $15 each way each.

James wasnt impressed so we went back down to the concierge and he asked if there was anywhere nearby that we could get something to eat - he then handed us a flyer for Jersey City Mall Outlet shops, the price was $9 round trip each so we decided to go there... we got on the shuttle bus back to the airtrain station and was waiting for the bus to take us to the stores, a guy asked us what bus we were waiting for and I told him and he told me to see the Marriott Hotel bus driver, he told us that once an hour he goes upto the mall and only charges $2 each way each ;o)

So we got the shuttle bus up there and found a Ruby Tuesday and had some dinner there, we then had a quick look around the mall before catching the shuttle bus back.

The next morning we go down to get some breakfast (James wanted to do the all you can eat buffet), and we saw all of our fellow cruisers.

The instructions in the envelope said that we would be on bus 2 and to leave our suitcases by the door (in our room) before 8am (which we did) and when we came back after our breakfast our suitcases were still there *sigh*, so we lugged our suitcases down in the lift and waited with all of the other people. An elderly lady (she must have been at least 80) with a clipboard came around to take down our names.

The the bus drivers would come in and yell out what bus they were driving.

So an elderly bloke comes in and yells out "bus no 2" so we rush past all of the old dears (it isnt hard to out run someone when they are carrying an oxygen tank) and get on the bus. We were looking on the bus and were struck at how many old people were on there, I kid you not we must have been the only 2 people under 50 (LOL you know your getting old when 50 doesnt sound THAT old).

We get to the ship and were given a number (52) we had to fill out a questionnaire asking if we had had a cold in the past few days (I tried my hardest not to sneeze and cough onto the lady as we were filling out our forms) it also asked if we had had the runs too...

We had to have our photo taken (for ID purposes) so they knew that the right person was getting back on the ship.

Once they had decided that we werent about to infect the whole ship they then directed us to a holding area where we were given coffee & cookies...

...we then had to wait for our number to be called out...

"50 through 56"

to be continued...

Monday 25 October 2010

...and were back!

We got back yesterday...

...will do a proper post later...

Monday 11 October 2010

taking a well earned break...

I will be having a break for a couple of weeks and am not sure if I will be able to get online...

...but I will be back ;o)

Sunday 10 October 2010

I couldnt be bothered

Its no secret that my 8 week challenge didnt go as planned - I think I lost a grand total of one pound in the end...

...but as I didnt use my full ass as Homer Simpson would say (what he actually said was "but I used my full ass" so hopefully you get my meaning), I am not in the slightest bit surprised.

The diet or rather non diet (as I didnt lose enough to call it one) has now ended, I treated myself to one of the nice desserts that they have started selling in M&S

I didnt bother with weighing myself in the end today ;o)

Saturday 9 October 2010

eleven weeks

I went to the hairdressers this morning (and yes James did notice)...

...when I went to pay, my hairdresser kindly pointed out (when I went to book my next appointment), that its only 11 weeks to Christmas! So I have my 2 appointments booked up now ;o)

Incidentally my hairdresser told me about a new treatment that they were doing, that would tame my "wild" hair - wild is a nice description for what I call my "witches" hair ;o)...

...they told me it was quite pricey, I thought to myself I would be prepared to pay say £30.00 for it, its a good job that I was sitting down when she told me how much it would be, as it is £100.00! Yes you heard me right £100.00!

Blimey for £100.00 I would expect my hairdresser to come around to my house and wash and dry my hair for me!

Friday 8 October 2010

looking for some milk

I just went to make myself a cup of tea, I had a look in our fridge and there wasnt any milk in there... whilst the kettle was boiling I ran upto the fourth floor (we are on the third), had a look in their fridge and they only had half a pint *sigh*!

So I then ran down to the second floor looked in their fridge and they had just over a pint (a pint and a quarter to be exact) so I (looked around to make sure that no-one was watching) and nabbed what was left of the second bottle and made my tea ;o)

Thursday 7 October 2010

gob smacked

You know how it is, you have no intention of doing a post and something extraordinary happens...

I logged in this morning and saw that I had an e-mail from innocent for a free vegpot following the review I sent ;o)

They said that they were gutted that I wasnt impressed...

I never thought that anything would come out of the review, so am well pleased that I did it rather than just sit on my bum whinging and whining (which is what I normally do).

Wednesday 6 October 2010

no-one smiles THAT much

I was watching Nigella Kitchen this morning, sorry Nigella but no-one smiles that much whilst cooking!

Mind you shes not as bad as Holly Willoughby whilst presenting Dancing on Ice.

Incidentally the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake that she made looked absolutely divine, in actual fact there was nothing that she made that I wouldnt have eaten - Nigella that is a huge compliment as I can be a right fussy madam - as my Mum will tell you ;o)

Tuesday 5 October 2010

a waste of biogas

I was glancing up at the tv this morning (we have bbc news on in the background), and on the ticker-tape (I cant think of a better word for it) at the bottom of the screen says that a breakthrough has been made with biogas from human waste!

My question is...

...would you have to eat certain food for gases for certain items?

the most obvious thing I can come up with is carrots to power lights (because carrots help you to see in the dark), and runner beans to power cars (because *snigger* it will make them run) ;o).

Less obvious is baked potatoes to power the oven.

Can you think of anything better?

Monday 4 October 2010

I was being stroppy...

As you know from this post one of my (many) pet hates is people who dont make the drinks...

...this morning one of my colleagues (the one who doesnt do his fair share) was running late, and he came in the millisecond (I am not over exaggerating either) after I had made the drinks!

If it had been anyone else then I would have offered to make a drink, but because it was this person I said "the kettle has just boiled if you want to go and make yourself one" (FYI there are some people who dont even refill let alone reboil the kettle once they have finished - and yes this is another of my hates) to which he said "no its ok". I know for a fact that he would have had one had I offered to make it...

LOL do you know that he hasnt had a drink all morning ;o)

Sunday 3 October 2010

a cracking alarm clock

We were doing the grocery shopping in Sainsburys this morning...

...James had done his normal thing of going off to get the stuff that makes the trolley heavy such as copious amounts of cereal and bottles of Pepsi Max...

He met up with me in the desserts aisle (I was about to pick him up two tubs of double cream), and I went off to the toilets whilst he scanned the cereal and stuff...

...on my way to the ladies (I had had two mega huge cups of tea that morning) I saw that the Christmas toys were out and even better was that they had an offer of three for the price of two.

The thing that stopped me in my tracks was a Wallace & Gromit cracking alarm clock...

When I was 9 or 10 my Mum had a ball bearing clock, I always thought that it was a super cool clock and would make a hell of a racket when it was one o'clock ;o)- James has always told me I should buy one but I never would for some bizarre reason. I told James about it and he said "go and get one" so I did and before we paid for the shopping I showed him the other Christmas bits and we got a couple of presents to make use of the three for two offer.

I weighed myself this morning and despite being mega good yesterday and getting a dessert that was reasonably healthy I managed to stay exactly the same... does make me wonder if I even needed to bother!

Saturday 2 October 2010

calorific desserts

Why is it that all of the nice desserts that I look at have humongous calories?

Every new dessert that I looked at in Marks & Spencer had mega calories, if I wasnt trying to be good then i would have said "sod the diet", but I didnt and ended up buying a three pack of uncalorific key lime pie shotglass desserts ;o)

I am very proud of myself ;o)

Friday 1 October 2010

its not sparkly...

Yesterday morning I was walking to work from the station when the thought hit me that I should look in House of Fraser for the dress that I want to buy.

So I got into work and had a look at the website and as luck would have it they are having a two day event with upto 25% off - what a result ;o)

Ok I know its only a result if I actually buy something in there...

So after eating my lunch I hotfooted it down to the store and found the ladies department and found 4 Oasis dresses that I liked the look of, but when I tried them on I didnt like them.

So I was then looking around another section (Warehouse), and one of the sales assistants asked me what I was looking for and I said I wanted an evening dress... she took me over to where the evening dresses were and asked me what size I was after so I said a size 14, and she pulled out a couple of dresses for me, so I tried them on and decided on this one. And with the 20% off because of the event I saved £11 ;o)

And provided James thinks it looks ok (he is generally brutally honest with stuff like that), then it means that I dont need to go shopping at the weekend ;o)