The author and expert cruiser report from Olivia’s Western Caribbean cruise.

I cannot think of a better way to start the day than with room service breakfast in bed on an Olivia cruise. I usually wouldn’t dream of ordering room service. I can be a bit of a cheapskate. But it’s all included on the cruise. So we ordered the night before and awakened to a knock on the door and a lovely, healthy breakfast of egg whites and fruit and tea.

After breakfast, we both made our way to the gym for some time on the treadmill. Then it was off to the pool deck, which is where we spent a good part of the day today. We got to enjoy some morning sun. But in the afternoon, the clouds rolled in. The good news is that the roof over the pool deck closes, so we could sit out there as long as we liked regardless of the weather.

Although we didn’t participate, we did have a really good time watching the pool games. Let’s just say that there were noodles, ice water, and swimming involved. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination

At noon we popped into the Rotterdam dining room for lunch where we enjoyed delicious soups and salads. Then it was back to the deck for a performance by Lori Michaels and her dancers, which definitely amped up the party atmosphere on the boat.

We lazed the rest of the afternoon away reading and mingling and shopping the Olivia wear to be sure we got all of the goodies we wanted. Around 5:00 we made our way back to the cabin to take a short nap and get ready for dinner. While we were getting ready, I realized that despite packing in my new, giant Dakine rolling duffel, I still forgot to bring something to wear for the Black and White Ball.

But it didn’t seem to matter much. When we got to the show, we saw people wearing everything from formal to casual in black in white and everything else in between. Tonight’s show was amazing. A-mazing. After Tisha’s announcements, Sweet Baby J’ai took the stage as the emcee. She actually did a little stand-up comedy of her own and sang a little bit. She was quite funny.

“I had my straight girl shoes on tonight and they caught on the set. If I had my comfortable dyke shoes on, that never would have happened,” she joked.

And hearing her sing definitely piqued my interest in her performance later in the week. That woman can sing.

Finally, it was time for Gina Yashere to take the stage and all I can tell you is that we laughed from start to finish. She was entirely too funny.

About the Somalian pirates: “Hijacking a ship from a canoe? That’s the equivalent of doing a drive-by on a unicycle.”

About kids today: “And now there’s cyberbullying. Kids are too lazy to punch other kids in the face, so now they take their lunch money by direct deposit.”

After the show, we had lots of photos taken. They have backdrops set up all around the ship and photographers at the ready.

Even if there’s a line, it’s worth your while to wait and have your photos taken. It may seem goofy. But how often are you going to have a professional photographer at the ready? And if you want to buy them later in the cruise, you can. And, if not, no big deal.

It was finally time for dinner and we were ready. I was thrilled to see shrimp cocktails on the menu and I even ordered two. The waiters are happy to bring you as many items from the menu as you like, which is pretty cool – and a little dangerous. For entrees, we had the crab legs, which were terrific. And when it came time for dessert we opted for the no sugar added vanilla ice cream.

Yes, we also ordered the same sort of crazy chocolate plate with chocolate-covered corn flakes, a white chocolate mousse, a piece of dark chocolate, and fudge topped brownie. But we only had a nibble, I swear. We went for a stroll up on deck afterwards and there was a surprisingly warm breeze blowing and a bright and beautiful half-moon.

We soon made our way back to the cabin to prepare for our big snorkelling trip. Somehow I’m sure that despite the fact that we’ll turn the clocks back an hour tonight, 7:00 am is still sure to come early. We’re booked on the Fury Catamaran and Snorkel excursion and could not be any more excited.

So, until then…