People, after reading this cruise story, have asked me how I remembered so many details. The answer is....I don't know. Half the time I can't remember where I put my car keys.
Part VI : Wednesday; Learn to Rub Her the Right Way or A very Adult Day!
We both woke around eight. Diane was still pretty mellowed out from the night before until I knocked over a glass of last night’s wine into the phone. I grabbed a towel and mopped it up. We had to keep our appointment with Joe, and her body composition tester, in the fitness center at nine, before breakfast, so we got up and dressed as the ship was pulling into Ocho Rios. I find it interesting this ship does not need the use of a tug boat. With its azipods and lateral thrusters she can maneuver with speed or finesse completely on her own. The crescent shaped harbor was more attractive than I thought it would be, and since our cabin was on the port side we had a perfect view.
I grabbed a small piece of our anniversary cake and wolfed it down and then we left our white animal menagerie (2 birds and a dog) on the couch and headed upstairs to the spa. Joe was ringing up something at the register so we had a short wait. Diane climbed up on the table first, after removing her right shoe and sock. First Joe stuck a sensor to the top of Diane’s right hand and the top of her right foot. Joe then asked her age, her height (she calculated it in inches) and her weight (before the cruise of course) and entered the info on a keypad on the analyzer. It took about thirty seconds for the machine to do its thing. I went right after her.
The results included what percent of your weight is fat and lean and the number of pounds of fat, and lean (muscle plus bone). Another result is the basal metabolic rate. The metabolic rate is how many calories your body is using each day. And the machine analyzes your total body water content in liters and the percentages of how much water is stored in the fat and in the lean weight of your body. Finally the analysis recommends what your target for all the above should be and how many total pounds you should lose. Joe said the pounds will include water, everyone stores it, percentage of weight is more for women than men except in this case, I was storing more than Diane. I was over hydrated. I believed it, water seemed to be leaving me at the same volume that I put it in.
The bottom line was that Diane needed to lose 3.2 pounds or increase her muscle mass and I needed to drop 0.8 pounds or increase my lean mass as well. This could be accomplished by raising our metabolic rate with harder exercise. We walk a lot so she suggested we speed it up, carry hand weights, and pump the arms. In other words, become a little breathless and sweat more. If after exercising we could still talk to each other we were not working hard enough. She also recommended a good dose of vitamins including one that helps to keep everything flowing through your system properly. We both know what she was talking about. Elemis, in partnership with Steiner seems to sell a good product. She told us what a six month supply would cost and said that if we wanted the vitamins there would be full credit each for the analysis and she would throw in two really neat dry body brushes made from some kind of cactus fiber. We could come back to see her at any time during the cruise, nothing had to be bought then. We signed for the analyses and that was it. As a whole I found the session with Joe to be quite informative and helpful. We did come back and purchase a three month supply of Elemis vitamins for each of us. The price was almost the same as we have been paying for Zone vitamins so for us it was just a matter of switching brands.
After finding out that I needed to loose weight the first thing I wanted to do was eat breakfast, Diane agreed. So it was off to the Windjammer for omelets and a lot of fruit. You may be wondering why did we do not eat in the dining room more often. It is easier for us to have a Zone Meal (a balance of protein, and carbohydrates) in the Windjammer. Plus, we like the view and the omelet station.
After what for us was a late breakfast we went back to the spa and borrowed a couple sets of hand weights and headed down to, you guessed it, deck 4. We put on the speed this morning. All the decks were open and we walked hard. I broke a good sweat early with the extra weight. I will say this; the view of Ocho Rios was great. We walked (with me making a lot of circles on the helipad) for forty five minutes and then headed back down to our cabin.
We saw Collin in one of the suites down the passageway from ours and exchanged cheerful good mornings. Collin had already advised us that Ocho Rios was not that good of a place to visit. He said “this is not the real Jamaica, if you want to see the real Jamaica come back for a week and visit some other really beautiful places on the island.” It was obvious that our deciding to stay on the ship (that is right, two days in a row) was not a bad idea to him. He did tell us that Dunn’s River Falls was good; however, because of Diane’s back, we were not going to go and risk a slip and a new injury.
I would like to mention this about Collin. He was extremely friendly and cheerful. He kept the ice bucket and our wine bucket full, he watered Diane’s roses. He took the swan out of the bed where I had tucked it in and carefully placed it on the couch and he put the one that I left in the shower, with a bar of soap, back in the shower after he cleaned it, the shower, not the bird. He also had a surprise or two up his sleeve as we would find out later.
It was now about eleven o’clock and Diane wanted to watch the excursion channel and book a swim with the rays for the next day and a snorkel and swim trip in Cozumel for Friday. We never book except through RCCL. We have heard too many horror stories about bad leaky boats, late returns and missing the ship and things of that nature. I suppose we could save a little money but we set a budget for the whole trip and if some things cost a little more, we just spend a little less somewhere else, i.e. trips for tee shirts, a nice budget blowing ring or necklace in Cozumel, less drinks on the ship. Vacation (in a Motorcoach or on a ship), just like Life, is a trade off sometimes. I just don’t care to worry about the price of every little thing.
We made our choices for Don Foster’s Sting Ray City snorkel tour for twelve thirty on Thursday and a Catamaran snorkel and swim for ten am on Friday in Cozumel. I followed the instructions for booking through the TV and accidentally bought the first excursion twice. I discovered that about a minute later after looking at our sea pass charges. I would have to have those charges removed. I planned to take care of it right after lunch. We did nothing but sit for a little while on the balcony and then headed for lunch in the Windjammer again.
I had some kind of seafood stew with mussels and clams and shrimp and boy was it good. Also some lamb, Greek salad and other stuff. I chased that with a Canolli, (I hope I spelled it correctly), that sinful little flaky pastry with the cream filling. (it ain’t a Twinkie) The server recommended that I take two.
I only needed one so I took it, walked away, took one bite and turned around for another one. The server reminded me that he said I should take two. I loved those things, from then on if I noticed they were in the Windjammer or the Promenade café, I was asking for one faster than you can misspell canolle.
After lunch it was back to the spa for our couple’s massage class. Not having a professional massage before, I was not sure what to expect, other than I thought it would be a pleasant experience. We arrived and were told to have a seat in a very attractive marble waiting room overlooking the bow. We did not have to fill out any forms as I saw others in the room doing. In about five minutes, Stacey the young looking and attractive massage therapist came and shook our hands, (Stacey’s hand felt strong but her skin was very dry which surprised me) and escorted us into a small room with marble walls, piped in music and a padded massage table. There were two low cabinets in two corners, one with a small sink; both had bottles of oil and small vials of aromatherapy scents sitting on them. Stacey asked who wanted to receive the first massage and I said Diane. She asked if Diane had underwear bottoms on (no massage if you don’t) and if so to undress and then to lie on the table. She would step out to offer Diane some privacy. It sounded to me like Stacey is from England; she pronounced all her e’s hard. Privacy sounded like preevacy. Diane thinks she is from Australia. Could be. At times, when she was giving me instructions, I had to listen carefully.
Diane positioned herself facedown on the table, with nothing on but her Victoria Secrets, covered by a sheet. In a minute Stacey stepped back in.
She moved very slowly and deliberately and uncovered Diane’s legs or leegs as she pronounced it and we began. First she selected a blue bottle and poured a generous amount of oil into my hands and hers. It smelled faintly of eucalyptus. She moved over Diane’s left leg, and I took the right one.
I know that touch is very powerful so I really wanted to learn. I watched Stacey very closely. She showed me different strokes that can be used, from a delicate touch to deep-tissue kneading. Strokes varied in speed and pressure. First, I had to keep my hands relaxed and start working slowly and rhythmically to warm up Diane’s muscles, and gradually build up speed and pressure. Always stroke firmly in the direction of the heart and lightly on the return. Do not lift your hands; Diane should feel the massage as one long series of strokes. We moved up and down her legs, very lightly over the back of the knee, a very sensitive spot. I started to get a back ache, Stacey, seeing my position, said don’t just use your shoulders and hands, move your whole body, stay on top of your hands and use your legs to move. I did and it worked much better for me and Diane. After a few minutes, Stacey asked Diane how I was doing. I heard a muffled “Great!” Stacey told me I had the hands for it, that I was doing greeat. We applied thumb pressure to her feet and heels, back to the legs and we moved to her back and shoulders leaving one hand in contact with her at all times. We lightly stroked her back to warm it up applying more and more pressure staying off the spine. We moved to the head of the table to message her shoulders and neck, squeezing the muscles of her shoulders. Diane was feeling pretty good by this time. We used very little oil because the friction is important; also do not pour oil in your hands over the person because drips are distracting and cold. Stacey was not using the anti-stress oil that I would use at home because she performs so many massages; exposure to the oil all day long would wring her out. We finished and now it was my turn.
Stacey stepped out and I undressed to my Hanes and climbed on the table.
Stacey retuned and Diane, who looked kind of sleepy, took my right leg.
It felt really good, my face in the whole in the table, closed eyes and soft music playing. Stacey had hands, let me tell you, she could press and squeeze. She could feel knotted muscles and give them special attention, like my shoulder blades and lower back, Diane’s right calf. Diane’s hands felt good but she was not as strong. I had four feminine hands rubbing and squeezing and kneading my legs, my feet, my back, neck and even my head. I was being indulged; a massage-a-trois’. It was wonderful. I feel asleep and did not know it.
I heard off in the distance, “that’s how it is done.” Diane told me I could get up now. I did not want to. I dressed and Stacey came back in. She showed us the different massage oils and essential oils like lavender and such. One bottle of oil came with our class and we bought a bottle of aching muscle oil. We paid for the course, 110 dollars each and that was it. She suggested that we go to the fitness center and hit the sauna and showers. Seemed like a good idea to me.
There was one thing that surprised me. We started the session at two, it was now four thirty. I had no idea, it seemed like only a few minutes had passed.
We hit our separate saunas for about fifteen minutes, showered and headed back to our cabins, feeling very relaxed and a little bit tingly at the same time.
Sometime later, we started the process for dinner, Caribbean night. I put on a Jones New York navy blue suit and a light blue shirt with French Cuffs; antique silver cuff links, a matching art deco Fossil wrist watch and a J Garcia tie with big bright red, blue, gold and purple squares. Diane wore a sea blue and green long loose skirt with a tropical design made out of gold thread, and matching sleeveless top. She slipped on white sandals with gold studs on the top. We thought we looked pretty good, we knew we were feeling good. We had rubbed each other the right way.
Diane and I walked into the dining room, Wanich, in his vest that matched my tie, pulled out our chairs and said good evening. Betty told me I looked spiffy. We ordered a bottle of Asti. I ordered the Pepperpot soup, pork loin stuffed with apricots and nuts and Diane ordered fish with Mango Salsa.
We both ordered the crab and shrimp salad appetizers.
We all asked about each other’s day. Quinn and Mary took the rafting trip; our friends from Tennessee went on a jeep safari tour and sampled the local cuisine (big mistake) at a small Jerk Chicken bar. Mike and Betty stayed on board. I told them about our day, and to tell you the truth I was a bit out of it. I was under the influence of Stacey, Diane and three glasses of Asti. I did not even notice when our Tennessee tablemates fled the table, due to illness. Sometime during dessert it seemed like something was different, not sure what, oh well.
Dinner was two hours tonight, everyone (not ill) was pretty mellow and talkative.
We finished dinner, roamed around until time to go to the ice show at nine. Diane had picked up our tickets sometime Monday, without me. First we stopped by the excursion desk to fix our too many tickets problem. There was a very short line, we told the excursion person what I did, he said it happens all the time just ignore the extra tickets when they arrive in our cabin and he would remove the charge. Fine, on to the show.
The ice show was cool (no pun intended). Being close to the action was a big plus. It was composed of musical numbers, flyers, and acrobatics using some kind of ring, along with a mock figure skating competition. The fake judging and sit and cry segment was a little corny, but when one of the male skaters hit a triple axle, even he got excited.
Show over we had a little time before the Love and Marriage show at La Scala, it was a busy night tonight. We grabbed a macadamia cookie or two on the way there.
The show was an absolute adult’s only riot. One of the couples that were chosen (by drawing) was the Norwegian Windmill. I could not believe it.
Diane would not let me put our names in the pot. No way, no how. Considering some of the questions she was right to refuse. There is no easy way to accurately review this event. Jeffrey asks eight questions of the couples who are seated back to back, after the man and wife answer all eight; he reviews them to see how many answers match. Points are awarded for the most correct, some questions worth more points than others.
Some of the questions were the following (not necessarily in the proper order):
1. What color is your wife’s underwear? (she is not wearing any)
2. Two part question, what size bra does your wife wear? (She isn’t wearing one)
3. When and where did you meet for the first time? (three men missed this one)
4. What was the most unusual place you did the horizontal mambo? (you can answer this one for yourself, cause I not going to tell you my answer)
The Norwegian couple won, I think they were cheating, whispering to each other in an unknown tongue, but that is just my opinion. They received a bottle of champagne and a lot of laughs.
The night following a good day was now over, we tried the Vault lounge but it was too smoky for us so we tried High Notes for some Latin Music instead. We danced for awhile and then called it a night. We opened our cabin door and found our tickets for the excursions, and a white elephant on the bed. I understand that seeing one of them is a good omen, a sign of good luck. I think I was about to get lucky. (I told you that this was a very adult day!)