As most of you know, we just got off the ship yesterday from a seven day Caribbean cruise. It was lovely – just lovely! Every night before dinner you have the opportunity to “stroll the Promanade Deck” (also known as Deck 5) and have your picture taken by oh so many eager photographers with a wide variety of scenic backdrops, Two out of our seven nights were “Elegant Nights”, which basically means – no shorts, no swimsuits with coverups on, etc….. you get the picture. On these nights, you see everything from tux to khakis and polos for the guys and evening gowns to dress pants and a nice top for the ladies. Some folks may shake their heads at the thought of dressing for dinner – I mean – who does that except the folks on Downingtown Abbey and people on cruises? But, I actually found it enjoyable and fun to get all “fancied up” and have our picture taken.

Now, dinner on a cruise is not a hamburger, coke, and fries that you can chow down in five minutes flat. No, when you go to dine on the ship, the waiter pulls out your chair, places the napkin in your lap, and hands you the menu for the night. You choose an appetizer and a main course. You can choose as many of anything that you like. It gives you the opportunity to try a variety of things that you’ve never eaten (and will never try again – escargot – ugh) and you may find that you like something new – chilled strawberry soup with mint is delicious! If you like lobster, you can order two, three, whatever of them. Ms. Janice, from Biloxi, MS, who sat at our table, liked shrimp! Oh my – she ate shrimp every way they had it! Dinner has so far taken about 60 minutes or so.

Just when you think dinner is over, they hand you the Dessert Menu. While you’re drinking your coffee and eating dessert, it’s ssshhhhoooowwwww-time! Yes, our talented waiters and waitresses also entertain us – so we got dinner AND a show most nights! By the time we’re finished and ready to leave – it’s been about an hour and a half. When’s the last time you spent an hour and a half just eating and sharing conversation with friends around the dinner table? When our girls were little, we always sat at the table – the TV had to be off. Now, we usually eat in the living room in our recliners watching TV! We definitely don’t “dress” for dinner – taking off work clothes and getting “comfy” is more like it.

The next time I decide to cook up a big meal, I’m going to “set the table” and turn off the TV! As far as dressing for dinner – don’t push it! God Bless, Courtney

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