Completed & Checked Off | Entertainment

Bucket list check | Small Dining Cruise

August 4, 2014

Welcome aboard the Yacht Starship!

This afternoon we decided to venture into Tampa to embark on a small scale dining cruise. Before I get any further, I must declare this as one of the most romantic activities we’ve done this year and I would highly recommend to everyone to journey at least once. We lived on Davis Islands for a year without making our way down to the yacht for a enchanting dining experience on the shimmering bay.  It is well worth two hours on a ship for the resulting adventure.

We arrived too early because turns out it doesn’t take thirty minutes to retrieve our boarding passes. We decided to wander off into the heart of Channelside and sit by a guarded fence that was restraining the beastly cruise ship in. I sat there gazing at the ship totally captivated by the size and the beauty. My hubby was not as enchanted as I was considering that in the Navy, there is much larger.

Soon after we decided it was time to venture back to the ship awaiting us. We were clueless of boarding protocol so we sat down in the company of a group just beyond the gates. We thought we were supposed to wait there until someone spoke to us. Nope, turns out we were trying to join a 1984 30-year class reunion. Considering my husband was -5 and I was -8, we scurried along into the ship after a few pictures of course.

The yacht was absolutely gorgeous and classy in every aspect. The floors were made of glossy hardwood, the views were vastly mesmerizing, and the staff were beyond gracious. The captain, the crew, and the chef were all memorable human beings. They kept offering to take snapshots of us and me being the photo treasurer I am always accepted. We were seated up a flight of stairs and around the corner at a charming window seat. Since the Carnival Legend was docked within yards of the dining yacht, if the windows magically opened, we would have been able to extend our arms and brush our hands against the large city on water.

We started our meal with some souvenir alcoholic drinks. Of course I went with the teal blue beverage and my love went with a refreshing craft beer. More specifically I chose the Blue Hawaiian cocktail with ingredients including rum and pineapple juice; my love chose the Cigar City Maduro craft beer. Of course we chose to do this because we were able to take home the glass as a souvenir. (Refer to my birthday at Disney story when I kept trying to find blue drinks and take as many souvenir glasses home as I could. It is becoming a problem!)

I hate to admit that I started feeling slightly woozy when we first took off and periodically thereafter. I have always had such an awful dilemma with motion sickness. I mean I can barely play high-graphic video games without having to stop periodically. 3D simulation rides?—-Forget about it! Prior to departure, I did not even consider the possibility of becoming sea sick though. No one else seemed to have an issue because it is a very smooth ride and the yacht does not travel at a high speed, but yes, there were a few times I had to just put my head down and drink some water. I overcame the feeling and got used to it although it was still a weird feeling standing up and staying still without actually moving. I knew I would get used to it and thank God for that!

The food included with the ship is a three-course meal. You start with your choice of soup or salad. Just like any place we go, I choose the salad and he chooses the soup. I always choose the house salad because I feel you can never go wrong. After we finished, we were offered a choice of our main entree. The choices ranged from prime seafood to perfectly crafted lasagna. We both decided on pork chop au poivre. It had been a while since either of us had any so that was our choice. Each dish that came out looked heavenly as if an artisan were creating a masterpiece of their dishes. Last but not least of the cuisine was dessert. There were two choices so we got one of each. I had some kind of apple cake and my love had a chocolate strawberry creme brulee.

The scenery for the cruise was absolutely exquisite! There was a dull speaker above us announcing history of the greater Tampa Bay waters. We could barely hear it of course but from what we did catch fragments of—it was intriguing. We glided through different channels then passed by both the Davis and Harbour Islands. We witnessed the top of the castle we used to live by on Davis Island so we reminisced just a little. We passed by the yacht club, the dog park, and all the million dollar homes dispersed along the island edges. The houses were enjoyable since because you can’t help to think all of that belongs to one family or even sometimes one person. Most of which all had pools on the edges of the bay. We saw fake cows and even an army guy just hanging out by the pool. It makes you wonder sometimes. Oh, the lifestyle of the luxurious! There is also a small airport on Davis Islands so in addition, we were able to see private biplanes souring through the blue sky to and from this airport, swooping down ever so gracefully like a swan in the sky. We were provided the perspective of the Tampa skyline from the navy blue waters and it was even more beautiful from such an angle. Along with many large ships in industrial Tampa, tugboats, and smaller private boaters, we witnessed teeny tiny kayakers enjoying a peaceful Sunday in the Sunshine State. Right before we turned around, we also saw a tiny lighthouse that was just too nautically adorable not to take a picture of.

After we finished our meal we decided to venture up to the promenade deck. We enjoyed the view of the water from outside along with the fresh ocean breeze sweeping against our faces. The sun was very vigorous so we were cautious about standing in the rays for too long. I learned this the hard way by sitting down too suddenly on chairs that had been directly under sunlight for hours. Let’s just say I bounced up faster than I sat down with what seemed like my buttocks  and legs on fire. There were people dancing and having a great time but mostly it was the reunion cluster. We were going to dance on the deck together, and we did a little bit, but it’s hard to dance to reminiscent 80s music.

After the meal and after our exploration of the top deck, we stumbled upon a small cubby near the bow of the ship. There was no one else around because it was near the entrance of the captain’s cockpit and everyone was too busy dancing their lunch off. Not to be entirely cheesy and typical or anything like that, we did the Titanic. I stretched my husband’s arms out without him even aware of what I was doing and then wrapped my arms around him. I found it comical because it was backwards. I should have been Rose and he Jack, not the other way around. We got a chuckle out of it though. My favorite part of our cubby, other than the perfect front view of our voyage, we came across something in the water. First I saw a dark dorsal fin and then hubby pointed out TWO! Yes, there were two do dolphins playfully dancing in the waters beside the ship! Even more so than the delightful dolphins, I will have to say being in my husband’s arms among the beautiful blue water and skies alike while the breeze blows our hair, this was the best part. It was just us and the world we just enjoyed each other’s company. Nothing more, nothing less.


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