Miracle Cruise Part 6
Tuesday November 16, 2010
My Sister's 50th Birthday!
Our last-minute scheduled visit to Antigua was a perfect weather day, 86 degrees and sunny.
The evening before we were able to get a full refund on our shore excursion in St. Kitts, and to re-book one in Antigua.
We chose a beach day, and it was a perfect.
A small bus took us on a 15 minute ride through town to Dickinson Beach, located at a resort hotel. The hotel and beach were very beautiful but crowded.
Lounge chairs were included, as were rum punch and fruit punch. The rum punch was 90% rum so it didn't take many people too long to be feeling good!
The beach was clean and white, with easy, gradual access to the water.
The water itself was cloudy, perhaps from recent hurricanes? However, it was warm and wonderful, and I spent about 90% of my time there in the water.
As it was her actual birthday on this day, my sister decided to treat herself to a jet-ski ride.
She has always loved moving fast on the water, so this was a thrill.
For $45 she booked a half hour with a "guide" who went out with her and helped her manage the jet-ski. We got some incredible video of her whizzing along and going a great distance. As well, I got some photos of her birthday present to herself!
The only blight on this perfect beach day was the presence of numerous vendors on the beach.
Despite the fact that there were several small shops right on the beach selling everything a tourist could possibly want, the vendors were still on the beach pestering constantly with everything from T-shirts to dresses, jewelry, coconuts, palm-leaf woven hats, and of course jet-ski or catamaran rides. Part of the reason I spent most of my time in the water!
We were back on board by 1p.m. ready for lunch. I had priced the "Grill" on the beach, and at $10 for a hot dog, and $14 for a cheeseburger, I'd decided to wait till I got back to the ship! The Miracle's grill was pretty good, and we enjoyed both hot dogs and hamburgers there, along with chicken fingers and fries, throughout the week.
I tried to take in some sun by the aft pool during the afternoon, but once again I was chased inside by the horrible music. I spent a lot of time this cruise on my own quiet balcony, listening to my own music, knitting and reading.
Tonight was our big evening in Nick & Nora's Steakhouse to celebrate my sister's birthday.
We arrived at our appointed time, 6:00 to find we were virtually the only customers there. We were shown a nice table on the upper level, near a window, overlooking the walking deck.
The service and attention to detail was wonderful in Nick & Nora's. The bottle of champagne I had ordered to my sister's room was ready and waiting in an ice bucket by our table, and served with a flourish to the birthday girl.
We were presented with a detailed choice of meals, with plastic-wrapped examples, and great explanations. It was not hard to choose what we wanted!
The birthday girl chose a large Rib Eye Steak, which looked and was, scrumptuous.
My cousin Penny had her heart set on the Lobster Tail, and was not disappointed with the elaborate lay-out of a perfect meal.
James' Surf and Turf was a wonderful bit of lobster and a filet mignon done to perfection and he enjoyed every bit of it.
My own Filet Mignon was also done to perfection, served butterfly style, and accompanied by delicious baked potato and veggies on the side.
We had dined at Nick & Nora's on our first cruise on Miracle, and although we enjoyed the food, the biggest improvement this time around was the music.
Previously there had been a completely awful live duo singing, which spoiled our visit, but this time, there was gentle muzak, perfect mood music for a New York style steakhouse; Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, some big band tunes, as well as instrumentals, making for a much more pleasant dining experience.
Dessert on this special occasion had also been pre-ordered by me, and was delivered to our table when we had finished our dinner.
It was a small, but decadently delicious chocolate birthday cake that had the shine of patent leather on the icing!
In all, it was a wonderful meal, good food, good service and a wonderful celebration of my sister's 50th birthday, for which I presented her with a large scrapbook of her first 50 years.
After dinner Heather and Penny went off to bed, but we changed into more casual clothes and went to the Phanton Theatre to check out ventriloquist Phil Hughes, who was about the only choice of entertainment that evening.
His act was average at best, until he invited 3 audience members up for a pretty funny grand finale.
The show was over by 10:00 and we headed off to bed too, it had been a long day.
Flat Stanley and the Pig say goodnight!