Debark / Tour

Finally sat down and wrote the last day from our cruise last month. Well, knowing we had an afternoon flight and didn’t want to spend most of the day sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, we took advantage and booked one of the debark tours to the Everglades. However, once we knew we were going to be at least two hours late arriving back in Florida, we began thinking they would cancel our tour and we would just take the transfer to the airport. This was an incorrect assumption.

We spoke with the Excursions desk and they said the tour would continue, just two hours behind schedule, still getting us to the airport two hours prior to our flight. I emphasize our flight as it is important for each person to confirm that delays will not interfere with allowing enough time for airport check in, security etc.

Due to the later tour time, the driver rushed us to the Everglades National Park. The bus was comfortable, and had “facilities”. Another passenger learned from the guide that typically cruise debark excursions occur at the Everglades before it opens to the public. But because we were running late, it was already open to the public, hence the long lines.

I will say that the “public” were very understanding and polite. I’m not sure what they were told as they stood there waiting in lines, watching us parade right past them, but I didn’t hear a single unkind word.

Back to the tour. When we arrived, we had a few moments to (attempt) to go into the little gift shop or use the facilities while our guide got our tickets and positions set for us to skip the line to board the air boats. When they were ready for us, it was made as an announcement over the loud speaker to go down the pier towards the boat. They then filled up each boat one by one until we were all onboard. Each boat left the dock once it was full.

We did learn, once onboard the air boat, that our boat ride was going to be reduced from the typical 60 minute tour, down to a 30 minute tour. This was the only way we were going to be able to experience both pieces of the park.

When you head out on the boat, they turn down a canal, pause, then they rev it up and “go fast” down the canal. The driver will give a little history of the Everglades, talk about the wildlife that can be seen etc. The boat ride goes down one canal, turns and goes down another canal and so on. You will see other boats along the way.

If you get lucky, you’ll see a gator. Our guide (from the bus) told us about a group that came all the way from Thailand to the Everglades and they didn’t see a single gator. We saw one, so I guess we were lucky to at least see the one. It was actually very cooperative and just swam back and forth. When our driver spotted it, another boat was already stopped, looking and taking pictures. We were able to pull up and our driver turned the boat side to side so everyone could see. Unfortunately we couldn’t watch it for too long as there was another boat coming up behind us so we had to move along.

The driver continually looked for different birds, gators, or iguanas to show us. Then it was another fast drive down a canal and back to the dock.

From there, we were led over to a fenced area. There is a man, a gator catcher – which means, if you live in Florida and have a gator in your pool, he’s one of the guys you can call to come remove it – he has some that were not able to be returned to the wild so he keeps them here and he gives you a lot of information about them.

Once this demo was done, it was time to get back on the bus and head to the airport. Overall, even though it was a shorter boat ride than it should have been, and more crowded than we might have normally expected, it was an interesting experience and we were glad to not have to spend that time sitting in an airport terminal!

Cruise Food Day 2

Breakfast wasn’t much to look at, but it sure tasted good! On the menu, the left side are breakfast options that are available daily and the Chef’s special of the day is on the right side. I opted for the Scrambled Eggs with Green Asparagus and Swiss Cheese special.

I started lunch with the Crisp Field Lettuce with Cherry Tomatoes and the balsamic dressing (not pictures) followed by the Chicken Korma main. They put the raisins, almonds and “condiments” in a small bowl on the side. The condiments are onions and jalapenos. I don’t care for spicy so I left that off. And I topped it off with the Walnut, Pear and Chocolate Turnover. The last picture shows you the goodness inside! SO tasty!

After lunch we headed for the International Cafe so I could grab a latte, so I snapped a couple pictures again of the lunch time snacks available. Such lovely options if you just want a light snack!

As a side note, if you don’t want the dining room or buffet for lunch, you do have a couple of additional options out by the pool on deck 16. Majestic Princess has a couple of unique locations up here. They are the Noodles Bar, and the Burger and Lobster Grill. Here are a couple of images. Note that at the Burger & Lobster Grill, the lobster rolls have a surcharge. The other items do not.

An additional side note on dining on Majestic – besides the Crown Grill specialty restaurant, Majestic also has Harmony which is a Cantonese style dining. We opted not to eat here this cruise, but I did stop and snap pictures of the menu for you! The options look good, and we did dine with folks who did eat there, and the reviews were all very good. Will have to try it out next time.

Unlike some of the other Princess ships that have Slice Pizza up at the pool deck, Majestic, as mentioned above (Noodles and Burger/Lobster Grill), only has Alfredo’s as an option for pizza. But what yummy pizza it is! This day we opted for pizza for dinner. I should note that there are also a couple of appetizer size pasta options. One is a ravioli – not called a ravioli – it’s the Agnolotti Gratinati alla Piemontese. This was our first time trying the pasta, then we split the Pizza Majestic Princess. They both were so good! Alfredo’s is located on deck 6 in the Piazza. And we ended our meal with the Crostata di Mele Della Nonna (apple torte). Also delicious.

Day 2 was another delicious day of food on board Majestic Princess.

More to follow ….

Cruise Food – Majestic Princess Day 1

Goodness, there is SO much good food to choose from onboard a cruise! Day 1 was embarkation day. You have options even then. On Majestic Princess, you can dash to the International Cafe on deck 5 in the Piazza for a specialty coffee/hot chocolate and a light sandwich or sweet snack. Or you can head up to deck 16 to the World Fresh Market Place (the buffet) for a variety of food options. But my personal preference is to head to deck 6 in the Piazza to the Concerto Dining Room.

To me, there is nothing better than being pampered and taken care of when you’re cruising, so a nice sit down lunch is my choice! Here was the lunch menu on embarkation day:

I hate to say it, but I forgot to take pictures of my lunch. I opted for the Limestone and Baby Oak Leaves with Cucumber, Carrot and Red Onion salad with a balsamic dressing and the Broiled Salmon with Lemon and Dill Sauce for my main. Note that on the lunch menus (unlike dinner menus), Desserts are listed. At dinner, they give you a completely separate menu, after you’ve eaten. And for dessert, I had the most delicious Orange Souffle – that, I did get a picture of!

Orange Souffle

I also managed to get some pictures of some of the mid-day options at the International Cafe:

And then of course, there’s dinner. Here is the night 1 dinner and dessert menus:

The rolls are wonderful, I admit I cheat on my carbs reduction when I’m cruising because …. YUM!!! lol I should add that at lunch, the rolls came out warm, I was in heaven!

I digress, back to dinner! For dinner, I started with the Seared Garlic Prawns and I had the Southern Fried Chicken for my main. Always delicious! For desserts, one of the reasons you get a separate menu is because there are many after-dinner drink options to choose from. These typically have a surcharge, as noted on the menu. However, you can always get basic tea or hot coffee, which is included in your cruise fare. For dessert this night, I opted for the Crunchy Profiterole with a Pecan Gelato which was definitely crunchy, but delicious! Here are the images:

Well, that was food, Day 1. I’ll leave this post as is and do another for Day 2. I won’t have one for every day as, towards the end of the cruise, we did hit the buffet a couple of times and there were often too many people to get in and get good pictures so I skipped those.

I also want to add that, should you have any dietary concerns, Princess will do their best to accommodate. When you board, go see the Matre’d and let him know your needs.

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