Thursday morning, my alarm went off at an ungodly hour. The only thing that kept me from hitting the snooze button was three excursion tickets to Chichen Itza predominantly displayed on the counter in front of the mirror. Now that was worth getting up for…
Unfortunately, the Windjammer wasn’t open at 6:00 am to eat breakfast, so I went over to Park Cafe (located on the same deck) and had a breakfast sandwich and yogurt. Our tour group met in the Pacifica Theater and we were off the boat a little after 7:45 am. If you’re interested in reading about our shore excursion to the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza, you can head over to the travel section of my blog and read about it here. It was a fun day!
Back on the boat, I was surprised that we were back in time to quickly change and go to dinner in the main dining room. On all my previous cruises, the excursions to the mainland took all day and returned your group just in time to hop on the ship before we sailed out of port. Being back in time for dinner? Oh, I could get used to that! Looking at the menu, it didn’t take long to decide I wanted the Chilled Mixed Berry soup for a starter and the Grilled NY Strip Steak for my main. The steak was outstanding – then again, I was just a tad hungry from our all day adventure on the Mexican mainland. For dessert I ordered the Drunken Kahlua Cake – a sponge cake soaked in kahlua chocolate with sweet ganache frosting. A real treat!
After dinner, I saw three shows before calling it a night. CT Townsend was preaching in the Pacifica Theater at 7:45 pm and delivered a fiery sermon from the passage in 2 Kings chapter four where the Lord multiplied the widow’s oil to sell and settle her debts. It was an encouraging message for those who are at the end of their rope and have nothing left but the Lord.
At 9:30 pm, Jeff and Sheri Easter were in the Colony Club and I made sure to head that way in plenty of time to secure a good seat. The family kicked off their 30 minute set with “Life Is Great,” Dolly Parton’s “I Am A Seeker” and a solo from Morgan called, “I Need You More Today.” After Morgan’s feature, Jeff said, “For those who don’t know, that’s a Bishop’s song.” With Mark Bishop sitting off to the side and emceeing the Colony Club stage, that song took on another meaning. Jeff went on to say that they put their swing to the next song – “Where No One Stands Alone.” It definitely had their own flavor to it and was well accepted. About this time in the program Jeff apologized for being sweaty. He said, “We payed tribute to Tracy Stuffle at the other end of the ship at 9:25 pm and I ran from that end of the ship to this end to be here on time.” After a pause, he added, “…and I’m a pretty fat boy.” Everyone burst out laughing. Only Jeff Easter could get away with saying that on stage! Their next song was “I’ll Trade That Old Cross For A Crown” and then they closed their set with “Holding Up The Ladder.” They called up Mark Bishop to sing on that one and the crowd loved it!
Just as Jeff & Sheri’s concert was ending, the Guardians concert on the Pool Deck began, which meant I had to hurry to get there in time to see most of their set. When I walked out on the deck, stars twinkled above us and ambient pool lights glowed around deck below, the Guardians were in the middle of Pat Barker’s signature song, “How Big Is God.” This one always receives a hearty response and though the folks were scattered between the upper and main deck, they let Pat know how much they enjoyed hearing it. Up next was their snappy tune, “Packing Up,” and then Neil asked how many in the crowd have served in the military. Hands went up and he dedicated this song to them – “God Bless The USA.” The set finished up with John Darrin singing “Let The Healing Begin” and their power ballad, “Arise My Love.”
Conclusion: Thursday was a packed day. Leaving the ship at 7:45 am for the Chichen Itza excursion, getting back in time for dinner and then two concerts plus a preacher – I was wore out! But it was an outstanding day, and though it was a wee bit tiring, I’d do it all over again.