Monday, August 14, 2017

Escaping Insanity: A Cruising Trip Report. MORE Chilling at Sea (Part 3)

The previous installment can be viewed HERE.

On the agenda for dinner tonight was Food Republic.  Aaron, who is a big sushi fan, was REALLY looking forward to this one.  We started to make our way down around 5:15, and, at 5:30, when it opened for service, we were the second ones to be seated.

Food Republic is another one of those hidden gems onboard.  Once word gets out, the place tends to get busy; however, if you go there on the first 2-3 days of the cruise, it tends to be quiet.  The menu is crafted by the geniuses from the Pubbelly Restaurant group, including chefs Jose Mendin (a 5-time semifinalist of the James Beard award), Sergio Navarro, and Andreas Schreiner, who are very well-known in the Miami area.  It is an Asian fusion restaurant with a little bit New England sprinkled in.  Guests order from iPads located at each table, and, as a plate is made, it comes out to the table; there is no order of entrees, per se.

The first order of business was the drink selection.  Sheri decided on a “Revolutionary Cure” (Mandarine Napoleon…orange liquor, apple juice, cinnamon syrup, ginger beer, and fresh lemon), while I ordered a Toro Toro (silver tequila, chipotle pineapple syrup, and lime juice…it was interesting!).

We let the boys have a little more free reign on what to order, and it was ALL amazing!

Tiger Roll

Chorizo Dates

Short Rib & Corn

Philly Roll

Pork Belly & Scallions

Chicken Teriyaki w/ Ginger Miso

Dragon Roll (we think)

It was a la carte and not part of the specialty dining package that we had, but we would all agree that it was worth the price!!!!  You pay as you order at Food Republic, so we didn’t have to wait for the final check.  We were out of there around 6:30…less than an hour for our meal!

Both Entourage and Splash had events going on at 7 that the boys expressed interest in.  This was good, because Orly was going to be at District starting at 6:45.  We made our way aft and dropped Aaron off first before heading to the Sports Court to drop off Eric.  Kidless again, we made our way BACK to Deck 8 Forward and headed into the District.  Orly had already about half-way into his set, and he again gave us a “Hi guys!” as we found some chairs.

Before the cruise, I have delusions of grandeur to attempt to taste every beer that the District had; some words of encouragement from a brother-in-law or two made me even more set on trying it.  There was just too much to offer around the ship, however, and the beers I ordered that night were the only ones I had at the District.  I feel like I should turn in my man card.

Orly finished his first set and, during his break, he performed some surgery on his guitar; mind you, we all thought it sounded amazing before he started working on it.  Before he started his next set, I asked him if he was okay with me recording a little bit.  He gave the okay, and I got set up to get some footage of his show.  I then told him that he had an impact on our older son and asked us about starting lessons.  Orly smiled and said that he’d love to talk to Aaron about it and show him a couple of things on the guitar.

Me:  jaw hits the floor

We did tell Aaron that evening; unfortunately, the timing just didn’t work out for them to meet up.  Still, his willingness to talk to him spoke volumes.  I doubt that he’ll ever read this, but I wanted to express our thanks for the amazing job he does on the ship!

Sheri and I were content just staying in the District for a few hours.  It wasn’t too loud in there, the motion wasn’t too much for Sheri, and we were really enjoying ourselves!  Howl at the Moon was slated to start at 8:30, though, and we had heard really good things about that show.  We decided to listen to Orly until 8:10 and then head to Headliners for Howl; we both agreed that we could come back here if we weren’t feeling the dueling pianos show.  We finally pulled ourselves out of the District around 8:18 and did the short walk to Headliners.  We figured it would be close to full – we weren’t expecting there to be no chairs available at all when we got there.

Yes, folks, that was me trying to tell you to arrive EARLY for Howl at the Moon.

We stood in the back, and the show started a few minutes later.

There were a couple of occasions where we nearly had tears in our eyes from laughing.  The talent of the pianists is remarkable, and they’re quick on their feet with some of the lyrics.  Eric texted to say that he was signing out, and we directed him to head to Headliners, not knowing if he would like the show or not.  He found us about 15 minutes later.  Aaron texted us not long after Eric did, and all 4 of us ended up really enjoying the show; we stayed until around 10:45…a little before the 11:00 cutoff where they were going to amp the show up to an 18+ audience.

Tyler on the drums

For those who have never seen this, I’m going to compare it to something at Disney World, since the current majority of my followers on my blog are Disney freaks.  If you take Jellyrolls and merge it with the electric audience participation that you see with Yeeha Bob over at Port Orleans Riverside’s River Roost and then make it a bit more PG-rated, you’ll have something along the lines of Howl at the Moon.  The video gives a good feel for what to expect with the show.

If you haven't seen the video yet, it can be viewed here:

Tyler, the Cruise Director, made a cameo appearance and ended up staying for a good 20+ minutes.  He even had a singing part, which I won’t spoil.  One of the funnier parts was during his song:  his crew member phone went off during his song, and, in perfect step, sang “I’ll be there in ten minutes” to whomever it was on the other end of the line.  We left before it went to adults-only, but we could tell from some of the other humor that these guys would probably be just as funny, if not funnier, with the handcuffs taken off (or put on, for that matter).

Tyler's (hilarious) solo

I actually grabbed the slip of paper used to request a song and filled out "20-year Anniversary" for the event, and for the song....

...without Sheri seeing it...

...I wrote down Jimmy Buffett's Why Don't We Get Drunk...

I chickened out, though, and didn't turn it in.  I did show it to her, though, and got a good laugh from it.

We shipped the boys out a few minutes before we left in the hopes that they would start getting ready to turn in for the night.  They were pretty much ready when we arrived at the stateroom.  This day turned out to be another fantastic one, but we were all looking forward to tomorrow, when we arrived at St. Thomas!

Day 4 starts HERE.

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