Martini Contest

Ivan, Lil Dave and I slept in until 9 am on June 3, 2013.  It was great to get lots of sleep.

It was a Sea Day today, so the boat was floating away to it’s next destination which is Naples, Italy.

Ivan wanted to get everybody together for breakfast at the Taste dining room.  But, only Denise and Ken came.  We found out later that Neal and D had breakfast in their room.  I’m not sure why the breakfast in the dining room closes at 9:30 am.  It should be until 10:30 am or later since some people are probably still jetlagged.

Ivan and I both got salmon eggs benedict which tasted good.  I felt a little sick, think it was seasickness.

Right before 10 am, Ivan and I headed up to the Sports Complex.  It was time for Family Dodgeball.  Neal and D came to play as well.  It was kids and adults playing.  The balls that were used were meant for kids so they were really small and soft.  Not good for dodgeball.  Ivan was annoyed and stopped playing.  I played a bit.. but it wasn’t that fun like it usually is.  I prefer playing with just adults and with bigger balls.

We went to go chill in the room for a short time before going to the Champagne Art Auction.  Ivan and I sat on the chairs on the big balcony and worked on the blog.

The Art Auction is by Park West which is a major rip-off.  Ivan and I go just for the free champagne.  The artwork was the same stuff we’ve seen on our previous cruises.  Ivan’s family and D met us there.  Ivan got a chance to play auctioneer.

Ivan the Auctioneer

I wouldn’t bother buying any artwork on cruise ships.  If you’re rich, I’d go buy art in a proper art gallery on land.

Lunch time was at the buffet with a very limited selection of food.  The food wasn’t very good at all.

Later, Ivan and I signed up for the Martini Tasting for $15 per person.  We were sitting by four young English people.  On the poster, it stated the tasting would feature a contest with prizes.

An Indonesian man named Kadek was our tasting guide.  He told us that Martinis were invented by Terry Thomas in San Francisco in 1860.  It was actually first called the Martinez with many different stories as I’ve seen on the internet about it’s inception.  The drink contains gin or vodka.

There are 2 classes of martinis: Classic and Designer.  Kadek covered the first class the Classic Martini.  It has 3 types of martinis: Classic, Dry and Extremely dry.

The group got to try a Classic Martini which was good, but strong.  Kadek gave us the recipe as well.

Next, we covered the Designer Martinis which I definitely prefer since they taste better.  This martini was created in the 1980’s in Manhattan.

Our next martini tasting was the Cosmopolitan which gained popularity because of the tv show Sex and the City.  I love Cosmos and forgot that it was a martini.  It was very tasty.  Kadek recommended that Cosmos taste better with a good Cranberry juice like the brand Ocean Spray.

Kadek was a funny guy and helpful.  He did ask one question about martinis, but nobody got it right.

The third tasting was Vanilla Bansee which was very banana-y.  I know Lil Dave and his dad Big Dave would like this one since it has crème de banana in it.

Me & Ivan with our martinis

Speakeasy Martini was our last tasting.  It doesn’t even contain vodka or gin.  This one was tasty.  Try it at home with the recipe below.

Speakeasy Martini


1/4 oz. Southern Comfort

1 oz. Bols

1 oz. Grand Marnier

Splash of Sweet & Sour

3/4 oz. of Champagne


Put the first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake it.  Pour into a cool martini glasses and top with champagne.  Serve.

Ivan asked Kadek about the contest containing prizes.  He said our prize was the martinis.  I don’t think that’s right.  If there are prizes, they should be given away.  He only asked one question and nobody got it right.  He should have asked more.  I don’t like false advertising.

Ivan and I headed to the Sports Complex for the Family Soccer.  Neal and D joined us.  I didn’t feel like playing.  I couldn’t play anyway since I didn’t have trainers (sneakers) or closed shoes on.  Ivan went back to the room to get his dress shoes.

Neal playing soccer

I watched Neal and D play with the kids and adults.

Ivan joined later.  He played goalie, but he was really bored.  The game turned out to be tied.  Each team didn’t win anything, but a piece of paper which if you collect enough, you can then win a prize.  Carnival cruise line is better since you’ll win a medal or a gold Ship on a Stick when you play games.

We met up with Denise, Ken, Neal and D for the Mr. Epic Contest.  I really wanted to be a judge.  I asked the assistant cruise director if I could be a judge and he said yes.  I joined three other women.  It was two English ladies from London and a lady from Malta.

Neal somehow was asked to participate in the contest.

Mr. Epic Contest contestants

Too bad he got kicked out in the first round since his dance wasn’t very good.

The contest had a variety of men from all over the world like USA, England, Belgium, Spain and Malta.  It was fun choosing who to kick out based on their dance skills and hula hoop skills.  A guy from New York was a good dancer who I found out later was a professional dancer.  It turns out that the guy in the contest from Malta was the son of Maria the Malta judge.  She didn’t want us to kick him off, but he wasn’t a good hula hooper.  Oh yah, the assistant cruise assistant didn’t want us to kick off the Spanish guy since he’s different.  I think he just wanted to please all the Spanish people on board.  I thought to myself Hey, this contest is fixed.

It was up to the audience to pick the final winner by their applause.  I was rooting for the New Yorker.  The winner turned out to be the Spanish guy.  I was disappointed that the judges weren’t given anything.. well, unless you count the kisses on our cheeks from the winner.  I’ve judged the Hairy Chest Competition on Carnival before and I was given a medal and a bottle of champagne.  Norwegian needs to step up their game a bit… stop being cheap.

After the contest, New York (that’s what I called the New York guy since I didn’t know his name) was dancing around to the fun house music.  I saw the two English girls from the Martini Tasting and came over to dance with them.  I love to dance.  A girl who was friends with the English people from the tasting loved me.  She said Let’s be friends.  I said Best Friends like in the tv show The Inbetweeners.  I hope she got the reference, otherwise I probably sounded like a right geek.  Her name was Amy and she looked like a hippie.  She loved my blue highlights.  Her friend Bethany joined us in dancing.

Ivan left to go shower and said that I should come get ready soon.  I danced around and enjoyed the music for awhile.  Amy and Bethany said they would be at the nightclub later and they hoped I’d see them there.

Later on, Ivan and I met up with everybody else at Headliners for Graffiti Classics.  It’s string quartet who play classical music with dancing and lots of humor.

Graffiti Classics

It was really quite entertaining.

Dinner was in The Manhattan Room.  I got prosciutto, melon and fig for a starter.  It’s so hard to be pescetarian on a cruise ship since the meat is free!

Us at dinner

I got the bean burrito for my main which had lots of rice inside and a BBQ sauce.  The BBQ sauce was really lazy – the chefs aren’t very inventive on this cruise ship.  Ivan thought a nice chipotle sauce would have been better.

Ivan left early to save seats for Blue Man Group. I stayed for a bit, but thought I should leave since I didn’t order any dessert. I walked around a bit and then went to the Epic Theatre to find Ivan.

The theatre was was getting filled up fast.  Unfortunately, there weren’t six seats available in the middle of the theatre in the first few rows.  Ivan did find six seats off to the side though.

Ivan and I have seen Blue Man Group a few times in Las Vegas.  Ivan has also seen it in other cities.  Denise didn’t like it since she thought it was weird and left a few minutes in.

We thought it was hilarious as usual.  It’s the old version while the new Las Vegas 2.0 version at the Monte Carlo is awesome.

Me with Mr. Blue Man #2

I got a chance to take a picture with one of the neutral Blue Men at the end of the show outside of the theatre.

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