Carnival Freedom, Part 6
Wednesday, May 27, 09
We had enjoyed a wonderful morning excursion in Antigua on a Sail and Snorkel catamaran, and now, still chewing our rushed lunch, we were ready for our afternoon excursion!
Back on the pier at 1 p.m. we met up with our bus for the "Devil's Bridge and Beach Tour."
The bus ride was about 40 minutes, and was a rough ride. The scenery was pretty though, and the island did not seem as impoverished as parts of St. Thomas.
Our first stop was in a National Park, to see a geological wonder called "Devil's Bridge".
Located on the northeast point of Antigua, Devil's Bridge was created by centuries of crashing waves eroding the limestone ledges of the island, forming a bridge.
Legend has it that slaves from the neighbouring islands used to come there to commit suicide, so it was said that "the Devil has to be there".
I don't know how true that is, but the site is definitely interesting, with the waves erupting out of the hole like a gyser, and the terrain surrounding the area resembling a moonscape.
Very difficult to walk on and about the rocky terrain, but the views of the sea and surrounding islands were magnificent!
It was still a beautiful weather day and we were anxious to get to the beach, so after our little tour of Devil's bridge, off we went in the bus to Long Bay Beach, which was absolutely stunning!
Powder white sand, clean beach, clear, calm, warm water, no waves, no boats, no loud music, just peace and tranquility!
Beach chairs and umbrellas were provided at no extra cost, and a free drink was included (rum or fruit punch).
There was a row of colourfully painted beach huts along the shore, each one selling various souvenirs; T-shirts, beach wraps, hats, bags, jewelry, etc. and because they were stationary, you could go to them if you were interested, and no-one came to bother you on the beach to sell, sell, sell.
This was the best idea I have seen at a beach, and I wish other beaches would take note!
Our wonderful beach afternoon came to an end all too soon, and we had to return to the ship.
While in port, I visited a few specialty swimwear shops in my on-going search for the perfect bathing suit.
I nearly choked when I saw some prices well over $200 for a 1-piece suit!
Needless to say, my search continued....
Back on the ship, we relaxed by the adults only aft pool (our favourite spot!) and enjoyed Carnival's pizza and ice cream once again.
This evening, we had a reservation to try the Sun King Supper Club, so we attended the early show in the main theatre.
We only had time to see about 1/2 the show, but crooner Jamie Frasier from England, was very entertaining, with his engaging personality, and his tributes to the great crooners like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Englebert Humperdinck.
For a very young man, he impressed me with his appreciation of the older generation of singers, whose lyrics you could understand, and whose music you could enjoy.
Unfortunately, we had to rush off to the Supper Club before he was finished, but I was glad I got to see some of his show.
We always make an effort to visit the specialty restaurants on each ship we sail, and this was no exception .
The Sun King Supper Club is located on Deck 10, right near the red funnel.
In fact, on the first day onboard, while we were exploring the ship up on the Sports Deck, we came across a tinted glass enclosure, which was actually the skylight looking down into the Sun King, and featuring it's beautiful chandelier.
There was a sign posted on the frame of the glass which made me laugh, and I had to take a photo of it:
Apparently, it is dangerous to "sit on the glass", so you don't fall down into the restaurant!
Now back inside the Sun King, that chandelier is indeed a special feature, and the restaurant itself is very classy and refined. It also smelled wonderful as we walked in!
Our table was waiting for us, and it was beautifully set with the best china, crystal and silverware.
Attentive wait staff was readily available, and very pleasant and friendly. We started our meal with a wonderful wine called "Conundrum", which we'd had once before and thoroughly enjoyed.
We both had the same appetizer, the baked onion soup, which was absolutely delicious, and I suspect, cooked with some rich red wine. I also had a crisp, fresh and tasty Caesar Salad.
For our main meals, we ordered Filet Mignon for me, and the Filet Mignon/Lobster Tail Surf and Turf for James.
They were beautifully presented, and my steak was perfectly delicious, but James was disappointed that his steak was underdone when he had ordered well-done, and it was served pink and difficult to cut.
However, the side dishes were absolutely delicious, including carrots, asparagus, and the most heavenly, buttery, garlic mashed potatoes I'd ever tasted!
Even after all this we still managed to order dessert!
James ordered a wonderful mixed fruit cup in which all the fruits were artfully carved, and I settled for a very light, but incredibly delicious Granny Smith apple sorbet - so light and refreshing after a heavy meal!
Before leaving the restaurant, we inquired why we had been subjected to endless piped-in Celine Dion and others, wondering what had happened to Carnival's usually talented and entertaining live musicians.
There was a stage area set up with a piano, amps, mikes, and a dance floor, but apparently since January 09 the Freedom has not renewed contracts for live entertainment in their Supper Club.
We felt this was a shame, as the live entertainment certainly enhanced the dining experience in the past, and we hope that Carnival will reverse their decision.
On our way out, we made a point of saying goodbye to old Louis (XIV), the original Sun King!
Pleasantly stuffed, and extremely tired after a long but enjoyable day in Antigua, we headed off to bed after our late dinner.
There was a ship-wide, lounge-crawling activity going on that evening, pitting the Red, White and Blue Colors teams against each other in various venues, singing, dancing, cheering, chanting, face-painting and general mayhem, ending up on the Lido Deck for a big celebration announcing the Color winners.
We witnessed some of the fun on our way back to our cabin, but we were too tired (or maybe too old) to join in!
It was off to bed to rest up for our day in Tortola tomorrow.
Goodnight Mr. Elephant....
to be continued......in Tortola......