These four-night cruises go by so fast. It seems like we just embarked in Miami yesterday, and here we are on the final day already. I started the day by getting few hours of work done in the Sky Lounge. That’s the lounge on the top of the ship that overlooks the pool and sits right above the gym.
The Sky Lounge reminds me a lot of the Crow’s Nest on Holland America Line or the Viking Crown Lounge on some of the older Royal Caribbean ships.
If It’s A Seaday, We’re Going To Need Brunch
All the restaurants along the upper promenade offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Technically, it isn’t really “outdoor” seating, but rather along the promenade on deck seven. Over the past few days, we’ve done both.
Continuing my quest to eat at every venue on the ship before debarkation, we made brunch reservations for the Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse at noon. In this case, we went with the promenade seating, and it sort of reminded me of sitting outside a cafe in Rome and watching the people stroll by. If there was an atrium party going on, it definitely wouldn’t be as peaceful, so make sure to check the daily planner to see what’s going on before you request an exterior table.
The brunch in the steakhouse is a la cart and, rather than try and figure out what we wanted, we went the scattershot method and got a little bit of everything. We ended up with Country Chicken and Biscuit ($8), Strawberry French Toast ($7) and Wild Blueberry Pancakes ($6). No sides came with these, but it was plenty filling.
Usually, breakfast on a cruise ship is more of a necessity than a pleasure for me. It’s usually good, but nothing to write home about. Well, that was not the case here. I’m not sure if the pictures can even come close to capturing how good this was, but if they do, you should definitely be feeling some cravings right about now.
Tip: When you’re dining in a specialty restaurant, you’ll want to specify that you want tap water or a bottled water. If you just say still water, they may bring you a bottle of water, and that will set you back $6 if you don’t have a drink package that covers it.
Slip Sliding (The Afternoon) Away
Once the food settled, it was off to the aquapark to test out the water slides. They have three slides on the Meraviglia. Before being allowed to ride them, we had to sign a liability waiver, which I don’t actually recall having had to do on ships in the past. Not for waterslides, at least.
From there we were given a wrist band allowing us unlimited access to the slides. Along with the three slides, they also have a kid’s splash area and a ropes course located in the same area.
All of this sits a couple of decks above the aft pool. But don’t worry, when you’re lounging at the aft pool you won’t be able to hear the kids (or adults) screaming at the aqua park.
Like during the first sea day, there were plenty of seats open and we didn’t have to circle the deck like vultures looking for a lounger. Because there are so many pools on here, the passengers disperse nicely.
The most popular pool was the aft pool, with its 270-degree view of the ocean. This is why we sail, to feel the connection to the water as we stare at the wake.
Later, we wandered through the casino to see what games they have. I only saw one digital roulette wheel (meaning you don’t actually have to interact with a human being to play). Every other game in the casino was a slot machine or a table game with a dealer. The casino is visually stunning and is also the entrance to the cirque theater on the very back of the deck.
Life In The Fast Lane
The problem with a cruise this short is that there’s so much to do and so little time in which to do it. I was starting to realize that no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t get to experience all that the ship had to offer. But I kept on trying! Next up, we headed to the virtual reality games.
I’d originally wanted to do the flight simulator. But once I found out you were in a dark, enclosed space and it nearly goes upside down, I exchanged my ticket for a drink in the Formula One racing car. Turns out, I’d be a terrible race car driver, at least if this was any indication. I was all over the track and couldn’t even get the car to go in the right direction. Guess I’ll be sticking to Mario Kart in the future.
The area also features bowling, a 4-D cinema and a roller coaster simulator.
Remember earlier I mentioned how good the pizza on this ship is? We definitely had to head back to grab another slice. The best pizza I’ve had in my life was in Naples, Italy at Pizzeria da Michele, but this was pretty darn good. The crust, the sauce, everything made this pizza spot on. So far, my record is six slices at one sitting. I’m not proud of that, but it is what it is.
There’s Always Room For Sushi
Speaking of food, one of our last spots to check off the list was the sushi bar. This is an extension of the teppanyaki restaurant, but located along the promenade. The sushi was solid and enjoyable.
I had two rolls and almost ordered a third, but my buddy was full so I scarfed his food down instead. The sushi was a la carte and for my rolls and a chicken teriyaki dinner (my friend doesn’t eat sushi), it was $23.
If you’re keeping track, these are the places we’ve dined:
- Main dining room for dinner
- Waves Restaurant for breakfast
- HOLA! Tapas
- Butcher’s Cut steakhouse
- The Marketplace
- Pizza (an extension of the Marketplace)
- Sushi Bar
There are really only two places we didn’t eat and that is because there wasn’t enough time: Ocean Cay seafood and the Cirque dinner show. We did do the Cirque show but the seats were better if you didn’t have dinner and just did the show and cocktail for $18.
The last show for us would be an encore presentation of BeerProv. This is where four improv actors come out with a bucket of beer and rely on the audience for the storyline. It’s a great show if you’re into improvisational comedy. Since it started at 10:45, there weren’t a l0t of people there. They probably were back in their cabin packing.
When the show was over we walked into a disco atrium party along the promenade. One of the really cool things on this ship is how the LED screen on the ceiling becomes an added attraction at the parties.
They can program the screen depending on what’s taking place at that particular time, from mild to wild. You never know what might pop up. For example, earlier in the day they did a Jurrasic Park-type presentation on the screens, with dinosaurs wandering around to a cool soundtrack.
We capped the night off with gelato before heading back to the stateroom for that most awful of cruise events, packing to disembark. We were doing self-assist so we could try to be among the first ones off the ship. The plan is to get off of the ship really early and head over to Starbucks at Bayside in Miami to get some work done on a solid internet connection.
Listener Question: How much does it cost to bowl on the ship?
I went upstairs and asked about the bowling. They have two different packages for the bowling lanes: $25 for 30 minutes, with up to four people per lane. Or you can rent the lane for an hour for $45 people and up to seven people can play.
There are two lanes on the ship, so if you make reservations at the right time and you have a bunch of people playing, you should all be able to play. It’s pretty cool being able to bowl while looking out of the window and seeing the ocean.