Friday - 2006 Carnival Valor Wine Cruise

Friday Bob brought me some breakfast in bed, and we went up together to the golf training area. We hung out there for a while, and then I took the Godfather book to read in the shade for a while since Bob was having fun talking with the other golfers. Scott, the Golf Pro, already had 2 people cancel their appointments on him! This is the only real "pay" he gets, so it's a real shame that people do that to him. It's not like he can find another person to take the spot when they cancel without any advance warning.

When it got to be 1pm I got up to go find Bob for lunch. A pair of Indian women stopped to talk about the book - they were looking forward to the newest Godfather book which had just come out. I explained that I was re-reading all "top sellers of all time" for my website so I was re-reading the Godfather for that reason. It's intriguing the people you run into on the ship! Again, I'm really pleased with the ethnic diversity here, with the variety of people I'm running into.

We went up to the deli first, and I waited in line for my scoop of tuna fish to go with my salad. The lines were all really long for some reason - I guess a lot of people were having a "late" lunch. When I got up to the front of the line and got my scoop, a woman passing by saw it. She looked at me, then the long line, then asked if she really need to wait in line to get her scoop of tuna. The people behind me in line weren't pleased with this :). I quickly headed on to the salad bar. I've been having salads all week for lunch and really liking them. They actually had egg this time, so I didn't need to get the tuna after all for protein, but so it goes. We found a table easily enough in the upper level. Bob brought some water up to the Golf Pro and then at 1:30 we headed over to the Lincoln dining room for the Aussie / New Zealand wine tasting.

This was the best tasting of the entire trip, so far at least. The woman who ran it was very knowledgeable and the materials were great. All five wines were clearly identified, their information was great, there were short videos on each wine region, the maps were great. We began with a pink sparkler which was fresh and fruity, then a pair of whites and a pair of reds. The only down side is that this was the EXACT same time that a ship wine tasting was being held in Scarlett's! They were doing this to us on purpose I think. Intriguingly, she asked if everyone in the room was from the US and there were two Canadian couples - one from Vancouver and one from Ontario. We had spent a fair amount of time with both couples! Here I was thinking the group was very diverse, but maybe I was somehow seeking out the diverse ones to talk with :)

The woman who shared our table was from Florida. Intriguingly she asked if I didn't like the wines, because I wasn't finishing every entire glass. A lot of people there were finishing every glass of wine whether or not they liked it :) I guess I go more for tasting, and less for drinking.

When the talk was over I got the woman to say "Shiraz" with both Aussie pronunciations into my camera in video mode, so I have that on tape now :) She said both were the proper way to say it (i.e. Shiraaaaz or Shirahhhz).

There was now an hour break before A Walk in the Clouds (a movie involving a winery) was showing in the Eagles lounge. I took the Godfather book and went to read in there before it began. Bob went up for more golf info. He did try to join me for the movie but apparently they locked the doors as soon as the movie began, so he couldn't get in! So he went and played roulette. He began with $20, went down to $3, up to $40, and ended at $20 again. Not bad for an hour.

When the movie ended, I headed back up to the room. As I walked down my hallway, a young couple came towards me. They looked a little tipsy. Here's the quote that the woman said to the man:

"At least this way if they called security, when security shows up you won't be there."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Intriguing!

I hung out on the balcony for a short while, watching a lightning show in the distance. It was pretty neat. Bob showed up soon after I got to the room, and we changed for formal night. I wore my white "Titanic" dress which Bob complains looks a bit too much like a wedding dress. I say that it's not fair that women can't wear white dresses any more without it being called a wedding dress. White is a perfectly fine color for a dress. In any case, soon we were heading down to go to dinner.

As we passed the GPS readout, Bob commented that we were going almost straight north and that this was very odd. Only a few steps later, heading towards the disco, an announcement began. Someone on the ship was having a serious medical problem and we were rerouting to Grand Turk so that they could be gotten to safety. At this point we were at the little bar across from the disco, and the people there were *very* roudy, yelling wildly, while people around them were trying to shush them to hear what was going on with the ship. People got a little testy on both sides. We headed on to the dining room.

Our table-mates had brought a Rioja, and we ordered a bottle of Fuaillette Champagne. This went well with the lobster bisque most of us had to start. The bisque was on the thin side, but had a nice set of spices. One small piece of lobster, too :) The salad was OK - none of the salads have been spectacular. Service was very slow tonight. We did get dinner served before the show started, at least. The instant potatoes were pretty inedible, none of us ate them. The Chateaubriand itself was very tender and delicious.

An intriguing thing happened around 9pm. We could see lights out of the port side of the ship as we approached Grand Turks - going rather quickly - and then all of a sudden there were HUGE vibrations as apparently they threw the ship into full reverse to slow us down. This went on for several long full minutes with the entire ship shaking. The people who hadn't heard about our change of plans - maybe the ones from the bar area - had huge, wide eyes wondering what was happening. Eventually the ship stopped and then the rumbling ceased for a few minutes, then we began to back up again slowly. We all applauded. There was another pause for a few minutes, and then the ship began to turn in a big circle. We could see an ambulance on the dock, they must have sent a tender out for the emergency-problem person.

Tonight's song was "That's Amore" where we all stood and danced around with our partners. Then the entire table ordered the melting cake. By now it was 10pm. The cakes were a LITTLE liquid in the middle, but not much. It seems to do with how quickly you can get through your meal and to this dessert. We all said goodby at 10:20 so some could get to the show while others of us (Bob & me) could head back to the room.

We had only been in our room for a few minutes when we heard a child's voice outside our door saying, "I Like the Mermaid!" :) Apparently our fishie door decorations have a few admirers!

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