The Independence of the Seas whist pregnant: Day 2-3
Day 1-3: Southampton (Boarding, The Ship, Cabin #1700) Day 2-3: At Sea, At Sea – includes Chops Grill specialty restaurant Day 4-5: Gibraltar & Cartagena Day 6-7: Palma De Mallorca & Barcelona Day 8-9: Valencia & Malaga Day 10-11: Cadiz & Lisbon Day 12-14: Sea Days (including Giovanni’s) and Conclusion
Day TwoDay two of our 14 night voyage on the Independence of the Seas was a sea day as we headed south from the UK to warmer climates and very very windy, so big waves and lots of ship movement. As you probably found out in the Day One Trip Report, I was traveling after unexpectedly finding out I was pregnant! My morning sickness was pretty bad early on, but I took some ginger tablets. We headed to the Windjammer for breakfast but I could barely manage some orange juice. Ben said the coffee at the buffet was the worst he had ever tasted and he was so glad we had the drinks package for unlimited coffee at the cafe which he said was superb. My mum ate beans on toast with tea, Ben had an omelette and loads of fresh fruit. I love sea days because you get views like this!
After that we went Ice skating. Ice skating on a ship? How cool is that! I thought it was awesome and really unique. It was tons of fun, but the rink is quite small so you can’t go very fast or do anything fancy. Both Ben and I are fairly experienced skaters but my mum just watched. We all agreed we were really looking forward to the ice show. Ben was hoping to do some surfing on the flow rider, but the entire of deck 12 and 13 was closed due to heavy winds and all the pools were closed. This is one of the downsides of cruising south from Southampton. I do enjoy sea days as an alternative to the hassle of a flight, but on the other hand, the Bay of Biscay can be a real pain especially if you’re traveling in September onwards. For lunch we ordered room service as I wasn’t feeling good. Room service was very basic but it was hot and our experience was that it was good quality and excellent service. We ordered pepperoni pizza, a burger and a cheese plate. Ben devoured most of it and then he fetched me a hot chocolate and cookies from the cafe. We sat out on the balcony even though it was very windy – we felt it was sheltered and I wrapped up warm. Fresh air really helped and I spent so much time on the balcony this trip. My mum watched the afternoon movie in the theater and ate a sandwich in the cafe. She said it was pretty quiet, so if you’re a movie go-er this might be an option. She will watch literally any movie on the big screen, even if she’s watched it before.
Chops GrilleAlthough it was formal night we decided not to eat in the main dining room. We did get dressed up, but I wanted a more intimate and quicker experience to be honest. So for dinner we went to the specialty restaurant Chops Grille. We had prebooked the 3 meal package. I had the Caesar salad which was perfect, followed by the bacon which was excellent, then the 9oz fillet, with peppercorn sauce, cooked perfectly as requested. Ben and my mum both had the mushroom soup and said it was fantastic, along with the bread which was still warm! Ben loved the shrimp cocktail, but my mum was unimpressed by the beef carpaccio and felt there was nothing in the appetisers she would order if we returned but she does prefer something a little simpler and felt the food was a little too “fancy” for her! She too had the fillet and loved it, whilst Ben had the short ribs which were full of flavour and incredibly tender. Sides were to share, between the three of us we tried asparagus, mushrooms, corn, fries and baked potato. All were good and seasoned well but way too much for us to eat it all!
I usually drink a bottle of wine with a dinner like this but had to stick to water. This may have dampened my enjoyment somewhat, but a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things. This was certainly shaping up to be a different cruise than I usually take, with no booze at all and early bed times. After dinner, since it was formal night, we made the most of our photo package and got five different sets of photos done with at least 5 photos in each set, before grabbing some drinks in boleros and enjoying the ambience. The service was incredibly quick, and the waiter very friendly and efficient. We had a towel stingray in the cabin on return!