Today is the second day of my cruise on Anthem of the Seas, and it is a sea day as we make our way to La Rochelle, France.
We are sailing through the Bay of Biscay today, a patch of sea that has been feared by sailors for hundreds of years. Due to its exposure to the open Atlantic waters, the bay often encounters treacherous weather conditions and swells making ports inaccessible.
While we did not encounter treacherous seas like many unlucky sailors in the past, the sea was far from calm and the weather was quite dreary throughout the day. There was no rain, but was quite cloudy and chilly outside. I'm hoping we encounter more sunlight later on in this cruise!
Despite traveling west, the ship's time shifted one hour forward today to match with Spain and France's time zone. I took it easy this morning with a small breakfast at Cafe @ Two70 while catching up on blogging.
I had reserved a 12PM lunch at Jamie's Italian on this cruise, so I was looking forward to a delicious Italian meal! While I plan to eat primarily at complimentary dining venues on this cruise, I did treat myself and my friend Samantha to lunch at Jamie's with onboard credit I received when booking the sailing.
Jamie's Italian is my favorite Royal Caribbean specialty restaurant, and we ordered quite a few dishes to try. Starting our meal was the black truffle arancini, ultimate garlic bread, and burrata.
For the main course, I ordered my go-to dish of eggplant parmagiana and penne pomodoro. Samantha loved her baked lasagne and truffle tagliatelle.
I was far too full, so I took my dessert (Amalfi lemon cheesecake) to go!
The meal was fairly quick, with us in and out in a little over an hour. The food was up to par (and maybe even a bit better) with Jamie's Italian on other ships, and our server Ronald was fantastic!
Funny enough, Jamie Oliver himself was onboard Anthem of the Seas for the day yesterday to work with the staff on training and quality! It definitely paid off as the meal was delightful.
After lunch I decided to test my luck with my Crown & Anchor Society free play money at the casino. I quickly turned $8 into $30, but I am not much of a gambler, so I decided to cash out my winnings instead of losing it all.
Following today's (extra large) winnings, I took a walk around the pool deck to get some air. I fully expected the pool deck to be nearly empty, so I was extremely surprised to see a ton of guests "sunbathing" under the cloudy skies!
I've never seen so many guests on the pool deck during a dreary weather day in the Caribbean, so it was fun to see the cultural differences in attitude toward far from ideal weather.
After a few rounds of cards in the Solarium, we attended an afternoon "Where in the World?" trivia session at Schooner Bar. We were given a series of clues in order to guess where in the world the trivia host was describing. To my surprise, we did pretty well!
After such a large lunch at Jamie's Italian, we decided to skip the Main Dining Room in favor of a lighter meal at Solarium Bistro.
Solarium Bistro is a Mediterranean-inspired complimentary restaurant served buffet style (with main dishes ordered via a menu). From hummus to falafel, grilled vegetables, and salmon, it hit the spot for a quick dinner. Not many people even know this restaurant exists, so it was relatively empty.
This evening's festivities first brought us to karaoke in Boleros followed by tonight's big band jazz performance in Two70. I love jazz music, and Royal Caribbean always has amazing big band jazz performances, so I was excited to check it out.
Tonight's performance definitely did not disappoint and it has been my favorite entertainment thus far onboard. Samantha and I were both in jazz band throughout high school, so we are total geeks when it comes to jazz music! From the musicians' excellent improvising skills to watching guests dance to the tunes, it was a wonderful way to end our second day on Anthem of the Seas.
Tomorrow we are docked in La Rochelle, France!
There was a Titanic staircase backdrop for formal night photos tonight.
There are no chairs on the promenade deck aside from the smoking area. Usually there are chairs to sit and watch the view, but I haven't seen any on this ship.