Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Caribbean Cruise Adventure - Days 1 and 2

[Composed 11/20/2017]

There's something magical about stepping on a cruise ship. Perhaps it's the sheer magnitude of the logistics needed to power a floating city; or maybe it's the latent feeling of adventure that our sea going ancestors surely felt; or maybe it's the joy of knowing that you're stepping into a world of free, unlimited, on-demand soft serve ice cream? Regardless of the reason, I was definitely psyched to board the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, the Getaway.

After spending a day and a half board, I can say that the ship is almost comically large. It took us 7 minutes of walking to get around the perimeter of the state-rooms, which by my crude estimate puts the perimeter of the ship at nearly 1/3 of a mile. The atrium is on deck 6 and the pool is on deck 15, and the schlep up the stairs between the two is nothing to laugh at. At the very top of the ship is a friggin ropes course.

So far, we've only found two disappointments with the ship itself. The first is the sad excuse of a 'jogging track' they offer. It's a relatively short loop (8 times around is one mile) and the track is in a high traffic area around a restaurant and lounge chairs. I know that cruise companies want to check off as many boxes as possible when describing the amenities of a boat, but this is pushing it. We found strolling was much better on deck 8, where we could walk around most of the perimeter of the boat without having to dodge sun-bathers and such.

The second let down, is that they offer smoking in the casino. It appears to be the only location inside the boat where you can smoke, and while I can guess why they offer this, it's still a let down. The use of auto-shufflers for Black Jack is another strike against the casino. But, the minimum bets are quite a bit smaller than around here, so maybe that will lure us in for a little gambling time.

The food and entertainment on the boat has been solid, so far. We enjoyed the Howl at the Moon, Dueling Pianos Show, even though I'm pretty sure they didn't know the Garth Brooks song we requested (and bribed tipped them to play!). The behind the scenes talk by the cruise director was, as always, interesting. Shira and I even managed to catch a bit of a rehearsal of the Burn the Floor Musical. This wasn't open to the public, but a cleaning person saw me peeking through the glass and let us in. What a treat it was to get to see some of the behind the scenes action of the show, and kudos to the cleaning person who put the happiness of the guests over everything else.

We did the ship's version of Hibachi for dinner tonight and it was tasty enough, the folks we shared the table with were enjoyable company and the chef attentive enough to cook our vegetarian options first. In general, we've been enjoying the food and the buffet has plenty of veggie options for us to try.

Tomorrow morning we'll arrive in Roatan, Honduras, and all this low key fun will come to a crashing halt.


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