Rome – Transatlantic 2009 Day 12 – Our First Day At Sea

Yesterday was our first day at sea – and a fabulous one it was. With four straight port days behind us, we were certainly looking forward to a nice relaxing day at sea. They tend to be our favorite days of a cruise. This was to be a precursor or the upcoming six days at sea when we make the Atlantic crossing.

Having stayed up late the night before at the Sizzle Dance Party, we slept in until after 9. Sean and I ran up to the buffet for a quick breakfast on the stern of the ship enjoying the beauty of the vast ocean. After breakfast he disappeared to the Fun Factory. I walked the ship again checking out the various views of the ocean and the freighter traffic in the distance. The water was very calm, almost like glass. The weather was partly sunny and slightly cool so a jacket came in handy.

Suzanne had her Cruise Critic group get together at 10:30 and I chose not to go – mainly because there was a hot glass blowing demonstration at 11:00 that I wanted to see. Being the first demo of the cruise, it was a special session for the kids in the Fun Factory. Each of the kids drew a picture of something they wanted the gaffers (hot glass blowers) to make. The demo team would take two of the kids drawings to make and explain the process as they did so.

Savannah was lucky enough to get her drawing picked as the first item to be created. Savannah had drawn a guitar. The gaffer, Brenna, was excited to do the guitar because she said she had never done one before and was intrigued by trying to do it. The demo team consisted of 3 people. One was the narrator, one was the lead artist and the third assisted the leader. It was pretty fascinating to watch them work and listen to the story behind glass blowing. To make Savannah’s guitar took about 30 minutes and I got the whole thing on video. The guitar looked pretty amazing. We don’t actually get to see the finished product until the next day as it has to slowly cool in an oven for almost 24 hours. We could see pretty much what it looked like, but the color will change as it cools. The best part about Savannah’s drawing getting picked is that she gets to keep the blown glass item!

I have to say, the hot glass blowing idea seemed pretty gimmicky when I heard about it, but it was actually one of the highlights of onboard ship activities thus far. I have found it to be quite interesting – certainly more so than another climbing wall. They do two shows daily on the top deck in their little outdoor theater for two hours each. In that time, they will make about 4 items of blown glass usually taking ideas from the crowd. During the show they hand out raffle tickets and at the end of the show draw to give away the items made the previous day.

The set was pretty amazing and took two years to develop. Since its on a cruise ship, they had to design all new special electronics for their furnaces and equipment. They didn’t want any of the normal gas type furnaces since it wasn’t exactly the safest idea to have all that gas on a cruise ship. The show is done in conjunction with the Corning Museum of Glass. The Solstice was the first ship to have such a demo/theater. The Equinox was the second Celebrity ship and the upcoming Eclipse will be the third. The comment was made that five ships were planned. All because the president of Celebrity was at the Salt Lake City Olympics, saw the blown glass show and that it would be a neat feature on his cruise ships. He was right!

After lunch, I took another rare nap. That makes two on this cruise! Having been out late the night before – actually every night thus far, it felt good.

Savannah asked if she could have dinner in the Fun Factory and we agreed to let her do so. While enjoying a glass of wine in the Cellar Masters lounge, we ran into Larry, one of the wine distributors to Celebrity, once again and had some more good conversation. He doesn’t have a specific table for dinner so we asked if he wanted to join us. He agreed and brought a very nice bottle of Burgundy wine to dinner. It was a lot of fun. Larry will be helping out with several of the upcoming wine seminars and events on the ship so it was fun to talk with him.

For dinner, Suzanne and I had a Veal Cordon Bleu that was absolutely wonderful, probably the best meal thus far for me. Sean must have been hungry as he had shrimp cocktail, escargot, baked potato soup, four cheese penne and a filet mignon for dinner (plus two desserts).

After dinner, we headed up to the Sky lounge to check out the Country and Western night, but was they were concentrating mostly on teaching folks line dances instead of playing good music. Remember, in my book, there is two kinds of music – Country and Western. So, we decided to turn in early for the night.

Today will be our last port of call on the cruise before we begin the crossing of the Atlantic. We will be stopping in Funchal, Maderia which belongs to Portugal. We also stopped there last year on our transatlantic cruise, so we will likely get off the ship and just walk around town and maybe do some souvenir shopping. Then, we will have six heavenly days at sea as we trek across the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale.