Before dinner aboard the Epic, I decided it was finally time for me to check out the water slides. It wasn't that I had been avoiding them. Quite the contrary. But I didn't want to crowd the kid and, honestly, I'd be enjoying the quiet time when she was busy going up and down again and again. But I'm glad I did finally grab a tube and hit the slides.

They were all great fun. Although the one they call the toilet bowl was definitely my favorite. I prefer the ones you use a tube for and the green slide was way to fast for me! Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. By then, my junior traveler was long gone, having grabbed a quick dinner with her friend and heading straight to the kids' club, "Recess."

I opted for dinner at La Cocina, the ship's Italian restaurant that requires a small $15.00 upcharge for dining there. You walk through the Garden Café buffet restaurant and down the stairs to get there and once you hit the bottom step, you're in a whole other world. For a minute, I actually forgot I was on a ship at all. The restaurant looks like an Italian piazza, complete with a tree right in the center of it all. I ate in one of the side rooms decorated to look like a lavish library with some friends I had made onboard.

The food was very good and we nearly closed the place down drinking red wine and talking. It was really a fantastic ambiance for dining and spending time with friends.

My daughter opted out from dinner and stayed at Recess (the ship's kids' club) until midnight and had a blast playing games and watching movies. But if your child plans to stay there after 10:30pm, be sure to sign them in for the "late night" hours otherwise they'll be sent packing. Late night is $6.00 an hour plus tip. Well worth it for some grown up time!

Jenny-Block-Publicity-Shot-250Jenny Block is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage" (Seal Hardcover, June 2008 and Seal Paperback, March 2009), which has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. She writes a weekly column for the Dallas Morning News publication Quick called "Sex Talk with Jenny Block" ( Jenny holds both her BA and her MA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and taught college composition for nearly ten years. She writes for a wide variety of publications and websites, including,, American Way, Veranda, the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Voice,,, Spirit,, and