Coffee and Pistachio Roll

The rocking seas meant I slept like a baby and didn’t wake up until 10. So no lamb chops for breakfast this morning, instead just a coffee and my favorite pistachio roll in the beautiful Living Room.

Hopefully that means I won’t have ruined lunch! Such a tough life we lead.

Sint Maarten

We docked in Sint Maarten about noon after another choppy and rainy night at sea.

Despite the rough seas, we had a great dinner in Manfredi’s private room last evening. Manfredi’s is the complimentary Italian alternative restaurant. I had invited anyone on our Cruise Critic rollcall to join us and all together we had thirteen folks for a fun, delicious and loud evening.

I had eggplant parmigiana for my appetizer upon the advice (very good advice) of Lady McGrath of Aberdeenshire
And for my main I had osso bucco over saffron rissoto. It was tasty but I think Sister-In-Law Jennifer’s is better!

We awoke this morning to cloudy skies and scattered rain. But thankfully it was nice enough to be able to get a mile in on the promenade deck where I caught site of land and some sea birds.

As you can see from the title picture, by the time we docked the weather had cleared! We are the only ship docked in Sint Maarten today. So strange to see the piers and the shopping area empty. Last time we were here there were two or three mega ships plus some smaller ones. What a difference!

Made a quick trip ashore to visit the dutyfree and buy gin for the room. One of the many great things about Viking is that they treat you like an adult and allow you to bring on your own beverages. So $12 and 15 minutes later, I’m enjoying a G&T on the balcony!

With the daily restocking of the tonic in the fridge drawer we get in our DV stateroom, we are set for our crossing.

We elected to not take the included excursion since it was the same as what we did last spring. If you want to read about that you can look back at last year’s post. Instead I am going to head to the spa and enjoy a steam and some time in the snow grotto….unless of course a nap beckons 😂

Disappointed.

Just back from meeting with the Guest Services Manager. Disappointed that the upgrade offer from Viking was higher than what we declined three or four weeks before sailing. Makes no sense given the ship is at 56% occupancy. Seems like it would have been a good PR move for those of us who aren’t part of the 40% who took the generous cancelation offer last week. And it would have put some positive cash flow into what has to be a money losing cruise.

Oh well, our beautiful room is just fine and all it really means is I’ll be going to dinner in wrinkled shirts (the upgrade came with pressing).That will teach them!😂

We attended Trivia (11 out of 15 correct) and Name that Tune (13 out of a possible 16 points) but didn’t win. Oh well, “it’s just a game”.

The weather has worsened throughout the day so most of the time was spent reading in our cabin. It was so dreary that Mike suggested it would be a good day for tea time. So we went and enjoyed ourselves. But we only had 1.5 sandwiches and 1 scone apiece so hopefully we will still be hungry for dinner.

Our single plate of sandwiches-double decker tuna (Mike),salmon (uneaten), cucumber (split), chicken salad on pumpernickel roll (Clay)
What we left behind. Oh how I wanted that Dulce de leche tart!
Scone with proper clotted cream.
I’ve decided I like my scones the Cornish way!o

Day 2

Sitting on the balcony writing this having my second cup of coffee. We headed to breakfast in the Restaurant about 8:30 and were asked if we wanted to share a table. First time had that happen at breakfast…strange given how empty the ship is. We said sure and were pleasantly surprised to be seated with Fred and Susan, two fellow CruiseCritic members.

After our usual lamb chops and eggs (and a pistachio roll for me, we attempted to take a walk around the promenade. But it’s windy, a little rainy or salt water spraying so the deck was slippery. So instead I am up in the balcony enjoying the sound of the waves and the wind and the delicious in room Nespresso coffee.

I think I blogged last night that we asked about an upgrade when we boarded and had a voicemail last night telling us to come meet with the Guest Services manager today between 5-7 pm. So we haven’t yet unpacked fully. I stopped by guest services to try to get an idea of what kind of offer might be made-we don’t intend to pay anything extra for a Penthouse Veranda (that’s what we had in Asia and liked a lot but we are on a budget). We think if they offer either a Jr. suite or a man Explorer Suite for a reasonable amount we might fork over a few extra bucks just to try out them out. We will be keeping our fingers crossed. 🤞

Time to get ready to head to Trivia-wish ya luck!

Just how empty is the ship?

Viking announced a temporary change to their cancellation policy last week due to Coronavirus concerns which allowed anyone who canceled at least 24 hours before the cruise to apply the full fare to a future cruise within 2 years. Apparently a number of folks on this crossing took advantage. Based on our CruiseCritic rollcall (obviously not a very scientific sample) it appeared about 20% canceled.

However after seeing how few there were at the muster drill, in the World Cafe (buffet) and in the Restaurant (the main dining room) I think it may be a higher percentage. No word on an upgraded cabin yet…we had a voice mail stating we could meet with the guest services manager tomorrow between 5 and 7 pm to discuss any “offers”. Hmmmm, I was hoping for a complimentary one. 😢

I purposefully took the picture of Mike to emphasize how empty the room was, there were actually full tables to his right. But typically the room would have been full or close to it at 6:55 when that picture was taken. During our two hours at dinner (great conversation with our neighbors), no one was ever seated at the banquets along the interior wall to his left.

Dinner was tasty as expected-I had the only new dish to us-bacon wrapped plantain on a guava sauce. Very interesting and tasty!

Farewell USA

We left almost on time and thankfully the weather cleared and it was a beautiful afternoon for sailaway! We enjoyed a cocktail courtesy of a fellow instagrammed!

We had never sailed along Fisher Island before-since their ships are smaller Viking uses an older terminal on the opposite site from the mainline cruises.

It was interesting to see the progress on Norwegian’s new terminal. When we arrived from Europe in November of 2018, they were just starting the footings!

And we even saw our ride from that west bound cruise, Norwegian Star leaving ahead of us.

We need to head downstairs and put on some long pants for dinner but first we have to have some sushi, shrimp and crab!

Mustard! lol

Civilized “mustard” drill (we are “Stone Ground” today😂) aboard Viking Sky. Hope we never have to actually participate in a real muster but happy to review the safety procedures each cruise just in case!

Doesn’t seem as crowded as previous so it will be interesting to learn just how full the ship actually is.

Next up, time to sailaway and the weather has cleared!

Aboard!

All aboard Viking Sky in our lovely DV stateroom but we are “on the list” for an upgrade. 🙏🤞🏻

Here’s hoping that the Viking social media team has some pull! The Christmas swag was nice but a Jr Penthouse would be better! 😂

We had a quick Lyft ride from the hotel and were aboard less than 45 minutes after leaving the hotel. Absolutely no line at checkin-there we’re at least five folks in red scarves begging us to come to their station. The medical questionnaire included questions about visiting Asia or Italy and then an extra medical check of temperature.

We had a salad for lunch and are now awaiting the “mustard” drill as our friend Doug calls it. We figure we will be “Stone Ground” this time. 😂

Aboard!

All aboard Viking Sky in our lovely DV stateroom but we are “on the list” for an upgrade. 🙏🤞🏻

Here’s hoping that the Viking social media team has some pull! The Christmas swag was nice but a Jr Penthouse would be better! 😂

We had a quick Lyft ride from the hotel and were aboard less than 45 minutes after leaving the hotel. Absolutely no line at checkin-there we’re at least five folks in red scarves begging us to come to their station. The medical questionnaire included questions about visiting Asia or Italy and then an extra medical check of temperature.

We had a salad for lunch and are now awaiting the “mustard” drill as our friend Doug calls it. We figure we will be “Stone Ground” this time. 😂