August 02, 2004
Enchiladas, Por Favor

The lifeboat drill turned out to be more of a lifejacket drill, mostly designed to show us where to assemble in case of emergency and how to put the lifejackets on. Colin, our cruise director (who must be Scottish, judging by the way he says "time"), gave us directions for lining up and buckling up over the PA. Once that was over, I headed to the spa for my pedicure. As I sat waiting in the lobby, I could feel the boat pull away from the dock... and could have sworn I heard the soundtrack to Titanic playing. Odd choice for a cruise ship, doncha think? Anyway, I got my feet pampered and my toenails painted and ready for my new Merrell flip-flops, bought especially for the cruise.

At 6:30 we headed to Salsa for dinner, and I must say that aside from the sangria, it was a major disappointment. I LOVE cheese enchiladas and have been craving them ever since I got pregnant (I ate them two or three times when we were out in California last month), but the menu only offered beef or chicken versions. Nevertheless, I figured if they could make beef or chicken enchiladas, they could make cheese ones, so that's what I ordered when the waiter came round. The waiter said, "oh, cheese quesadilla, of course." Me: "No, cheese enchiladas, please." Waiter: "I'll have to ask the chef."

Ten minutes later, after apparently visiting the kitchen and definitely visiting two other tables, he returned and said no problem, I could have cheese enchiladas "because they use cheese on top of them." I didn't follow his logic, but I said OK. Al ordered pork rib tapas for an appetizer (I got a salad), chicken and shrimp fajitas for an entree, and a $5 non-alcoholic sangria. (Tap water, milk, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are all free on board, but sodas, alcoholic beverages, smoothies, cappucino, etc. all come at an extra charge.) The sangria was EXCELLENT—we didn't miss the alcohol at all—with a strong mulled flavor and crunchy bits of fruit. Luckily, the little pitcher it came in filled a glass and a half, so I didn't feel so bad about mooching some. Al also liked the pork ribs, and my salad was exactly the basic iceberg-and-romaine mix I was craving.

So far, so good. The sangria was making up for the weird service, and I had high hopes of chowing down on yummy cheese enchiladas with beans, rice, sour cream, and guacamole momentarily. Alas, it was not to be. The enchiladas weren't—flour tortillas, mozzarella and cheddar cheese filling, and ketchupy sauce scantily applied made them taste like ketchup pizza—and the beans and rice were extremely dry and over-seasoned. I couldn't eat more than two bites of anything. Al remarked that the quality of the chicken in his fajitas was poor (he was expecting breast meat, not thigh), and though the seasoning tasted great on the pork ribs, it was wrong on the fajitas. (Apparently they only had one "Tex-Mex" seasoning.)

The waiters asked if I wanted another entree instead, but as I don't eat meat, the only other options available to me were shrimp fajitas (which I already knew to be a disappointment) and a cheese quesadilla (which I suspected would taste exactly the same as my cheese "enchiladas", minus the ketchup). I declined and said I'd wait for dessert. The fact that I could get any other entree I wanted at no extra charge reminded me of Defending Your Life, an Albert Brooks movie that features a purgatory/limbo with unlimited food. You don't like this? I'll get you something else. Do you want pasta, steak, shrimp, or perhaps all three? No problem!

After dinner I went down to the spa again to try out the lap pool, which was lovely, if a bit too warm. You shouldn't feel like sweating while you're swimming. (We found out this morning on the Report from the Bridge on channel 14 of our TV that the spa pool temperature is 34° C, or slightly more than 93° F. Yowsa!) It was SO GREAT to get in the water, though; I've been dying to swim ever since I got pregnant. (It helps with swelling, and it makes you feel so much lighter.) I hope I burned a few calories, since if the food really is unlimited here, I might be in trouble.

I think we went to bed fairly early, maybe around 10 or 11pm. It was a rough night of wind, swaying, and creaking, but all that motion and rhythmic noise was strangely soothing. I slept like a baby... except for the heartburn, which was bad enough to wake me up. Four TUMS and an extra pillow from Al solved the problem, thank god.

me appreciating the skinny mirror

Posted by Lori at August 02, 2004 07:30 AM

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