Saturday, 13 August 2016

August 3, 2016 – At Sea on the Costa Fascinosa, the Captain’s Reception, and Formal Night

Today we slept until 8:30 AM and had a room service breakfast. We then slept until about 1:30 in the afternoon. We had a late room service lunch and then sat on our huge deck for a while. We didn’t last long as the sun was extremely hot, but it was nice to have the option of having a deck to escape to, unlike our cabin last year which did not have a balcony. We listened to Harry Potter for a while.
We showered and watched some news on TV. It was interesting to the see the different perspectives in the world from Russia, China, Britain, and Europe on what the hell exactly is going on in this wide world. No one agreed.

No land in sight as we left the Balearic Islands heading for Sicily.
So, we discovered that Costa adds sugar to their "fresh squeezed" orange juice which tastes reminiscent of Tang.
The sugar crystals were easy to see on the empty orange juice glass.
On this cruise, the "cake of day" was not the same cake every day like our last Costa cruise. We were amazed.
We dressed for the cocktail party with the captain that we had been invited to (we're Coral level on the Costa card loyalty program). We were a little late for the reception, which turned out to be mostly alcoholic drinks and an exceedingly sweet fruit punch and some very sketchy canapes, similar to those that were brought to our room on the first day. We were in an auditorium, all sitting facing the stage where four flamboyantly attired dancers, two men and two women, pranced around and then hunted in the audience for victims willing to disgrace themselves in public, dancing on stage. Then in a strange turn of events that surprised us, random couples went and joined the dancers and victims on stage to willingly dance in front of an auditorium full of strangers. It was a bizarre spectacle. We never saw the captain (perhaps he hated the music as much as us and had left?). We left, as the music and dancing were neither pleasing to our eyes nor ears.
Just what you want to do when you're on a cruise, get scooped up by some rando dancer and forced to dance on a stage in front of an auditorium full of strangers. And yes, the men are shirtless but with little short jackets.
In the halls on display is the "Little Captain Program" where all of the pictures of this pay activity for children are of young men pretending to be a captain for the day. Yes, a woman could never be a captain. How backwards.

Slightly more diversity of the leadership roles on this ship, Costa Fascinosa, compared to Costa Magica, but still pretty homogeneous

Unfortunately, the story is different in the officer roles. This is still very homogeneous. 
Clearly these light fixtures are made out of real diamonds.
We wandered around the ship and then decided that we would give dinner in the dining room assigned to us another try. It turned out to be our formal night. We hadn’t even realized it, but Bill was wearing his jacket and April was wearing her silk dress, so we were dressed for it.

We did not like the looks of the dinner that we ordered off of the paper rolled up and tied with a bow. Everything was previously frozen on the menu except for the lettuce, cheese, and bread. April ate almost nothing other than the bread at the table. The mussels tasted fishy and she was not about to repeat the food poisoning from the year before (on the Costa Magica).

The vegetarian option in the entrees was the only option not previously frozen. It consisted of a couple of slices of tomatoes, some slices of onion, and under cooked potatoes, covered in breadcrumbs and baked. Gross.

Bill finished his gross dish, but April tasted how fishy the seafood penne was and remembered the food poisoning on the Costa Magica the year before. She chose not to eat hers and risk another bought of food borne illness.
The only not frozen option in the entree section was this sliced tomatoes, under cooked potatoes, and onions with bread crumbs concoction. It was legitimately gross. April didn't eat this either.

For the toast, normally carried out with some cheap swill, our server offered us 7-Up as we had refused the alcohol. We appreciated WiWin accommodating us without hesitation unlike our experience when we first arrived on the ship and were not offered and then refused an alternative to the welcoming bottle of sparkling wine (even though all we had wanted was a bottle of sparkling water, which eventually was rectified).
Get me out of this restaurant!
So this is what hell tastes like.
The captain's table was not very diverse.
We watched as a microphone wielding man whipped the dining room crowd up into a napkin twirling frenzy almost completely in Italian, as the Pizza Pie song again featured into this formal night event (just like last year on the Costa Magica- it must be a thing).

The pizza pie song appears again. We heard this at the formal dinner last year on the Costa Magica. Let the napkin swinging begin.
Let's take the tune to "We no speak Americano" and talk over it rapidly in Italian and a bit of English.The night just became even stranger.
The desserts were underwhelming and we retreated from the restaurant.

On our way back to the cabin, we spent some time photographing ourselves in front of the odd wallpaper pictures emblazoned upon the hallways. Some of them have a very “rapey” feel to them, as if the women have been roofied and are now at mercy of the deranged looking men.
We were mesmerized by the awesome pictures on the wall leading to our cabin.
Let me imitate these images so I can remember them forever.
This is how a Costa dinner makes me feel.

I'm staring off into the distance dreaming of the day I'll be on land again.
We got ready for bed and retired, as we needed to be up earlier for our port call in Palermo, the next day.

This picture was taken as we entered the Captain's Reception (never saw him there) and was given to us as a gift. The captain of the ship is plastered on the photo of us. What a cute memento.

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