Me, mom, and dad attended the "Disembarkation Talk" from 10:00 until about 10:45. Vivian joined, but only for a few minutes, after which she left feeling sick.
After the talk, we hauled ass, as much as you can haul ass with mom and dad in tow, to the Breakfast Buffet, which stopped at 11:00. We made it in time.
Today was a lazy day at sea. I spent some time working on my blog entries, making sure my last batch of postcards could be mailed from a U.S. port, getting an itemized list of our expenditures, and renaming and organizing the latest photos.
I did a "photo tour" of the ship today:
We spent a good amount of time here drinking, and for that late snack on the last day at sea.
We didn't find this jewel of a place until halfway through the week. We never did have a good deli sandwich from here. This was the place I found the chourico tapas that dad said weren't chourico at all. But I'm not bitter.
I never ate here, because I don't like sushi.
There were tons of video games in this room, some very large as you can see. I never played any, so I'm not sure if they were free or not. My guess is that those kids were swiping mom's and dad's ship key for each game. Ka-ching.
The pasta bar featured two different pastas, along with variously topped pizza choices, every day for lunch.
You had to get out of the pool to get to this bar. It was right under the basketball courts, which can be seen in the next picture.
There were two pools. The bigger one is in the foreground of this picture. The canopied area in the middle housed the four hot tubs, and then there was another, smaller, pool behind the hot tub area. In the background, you can see the basketball court upstairs, and the bar that is in the previous picture, underneath it.
There were also two ping pong tables, and a small stage in this open area housing the pools, hot tubs, basketball court, and poolside bar.
In addition to the workout equipment, daily sessions of indoor cycling, aerobics, yoga, and pilates were offered. There were also a few seminars, such as "Secrets to a Flatter Stomach" and "Detox for Weight Loss," the latter of which ran from 2:00 - 2:30, followed by the Chocolate Buffet from 2:30 - 3:30. I kid you not.
Back, neck and foot massages, manicures, pedicures, etc. And some seminars, such as "Aromatherapy Secrets," which I'm sure ended with an array of special NCL products being made available.
This is lounge contains a bar, a stage area, and windows all around. It's where we listened to the ensemble playing Big Band music and saw that Humpback whale outside the window at which we were sitting, where we heard Walt give his whale talk with the unwieldy slide projector, and where we listened to Twice as Nice do their "Motown Revisited" show.
There were about three rows of pews on two sides in this cute little chapel. I never saw anyone actually using it, but a lot of people passed through it to get from the hall by the elevators to the Observation Lounge. Odd placement.
This is the lounge in which no one ever showed up for the Friends of Dorothy Meetings. But, again, I'm not bitter.
The only time I spent in the casino was walking through it until about the third day when Vivian pointed out an alternate route. I receive no enjoyment or entertainment at all in gambling in casinos.
A close up of some of the slots. I saw $1.00 ones, quarter ones, and nickel ones, but there may have been others. There was a little buffet table set up in one section of the casino, and I'm not sure if the drinks served while you were playing were free or not. Is "one-armed bandit" politically incorrect now?
Unbelievably enough, I spent no time here. They wanted $.75 per minute to use a computer, and charged $3.95 per e-mail transmission. What a ya, nuts???
Aft, for the children. It has a slide connected to it, which takes you down into a little pool.
I assume this is what kept us on course, and provided Internet access and the television entertainment in the cabins.
There were many shops on board. Lots of jewelry, t-shirts, souvenirs, and all those duty-free desirables like liquor, cigarettes, and cigars.
This is where all the shows were held in the evenings. The ground floor was accessible via deck six, and the balcony was accessible via deck seven. This theater was also used for talks requiring big groups, such as the disembarkation talk, and to play some games, like Jeopardy.
This is where they suckered you into buying shots they took embarking and disembarking the ship, as well as cameos throughout the days, for about a 500% markup.
The books are in those glass cases, so they won't come sliding off the shelves. Toward the back to the left was a "conference room" area, and to the right was where the green, felt-topped game tables were.
Where Kezia (that's her with her back to the camera) played, we "sang along" at times, and where one day the played, "Music Trivia."
From a technical communications perspective, this directory was nicely done. Not only did it show the layout by floor, it had an index by category of activity, or function of the room, down the left hand side.
This area opened up to three floors of the ship: decks five, six, and seven. There were two glass elevators to the right, and two to the left.
They were in this one. Next door to them, in 6014, was Uncle Dennis, Aunt Terri, and Cynda. Next to them, in 6013, was Lucille and Bob.
To the right of Lucille's and Bob's cabin was ours.
I had to cringe when I came across this sign on the door of a restroom while walking around taking these ship pictures. Obviously, the red circles are my editorial markings, and were not on the sign itself.
Personally, I'd add a comma after "maintenance," and not use the "Pls." abbreviation. But, hey, that's just me.
I spent about 40 minutes in the hot tub outside on deck eleven. Only two of the four hot tubs were open, so it was quite cramped in both of them. It was also very windy on deck as we forged full steam ahead in the rain.
Lesson Learned: Never sit in a hot tub downwind from five kids in the hot tub upwind splashing and being generally spoiled little inconsiderate brats. I think that would make a good "Confucius says" instead of a lesson learned, though "Confucius says" is probably politically incorrect these days.
We went to the Chocolate Lovers Buffet from 2:30 until 3:30. The huge chocolate pieces and ice sculptures were awesome; here are a few of them:
l-r: stranger, mom, ice sculpture, stranger, chocolate sculpture, stranger
(Just so we're perfectly clear.)
We each got a plate full of chocolate. We each left some on our plate, as we're not all that big of chocolate fans in our family. I love plain milk chocolate and plain white chocolate. Most of the stuff had chocolate mixed in with other foo-foo stuff that I don't care for.
From there, we went up to get some "real food." We were going to have soup and sandwiches today, but they weren't available, so we went to the Garden Cafe where we had finger sandwiches, some tacos, and hamburger- and hot dog-type food.
I took a nap from about 5:30 until 7:00, and then Vivian, Mom and I attended the 7:30 "Farewell Variety Show." We got there at about 7:10, and the passenger Jeopardy Game was being played on the big screen.
There was a row of PWT sitting in front of us. Adults, in their 30s at least. They were talking about how much "fun" they had the other night going up and down the aisle of cabins, and knocking on doors and running, making the people think someone else who was passing by knocked on them. Something to that effect. Something a 12-year old would enjoy. Then one of the them said, "That's the most fun we've had on this trip." I repeat, Pure White Trash.
The show consisted of about a ten-minute comedy routine by Joel Sanders, followed by about a 10-minute dance routine by Dima and Olga, and ended with about a 15-20 minute juggling show by Greg Kennedy. All four of these folks had acts in the shows earlier in the week. Overall, I'd give the show a grade of slightly above average. It was good, but not great.
Exiting the theater, we ran into Uncle Dennis, and told him we were going up to the Observation Deck Lounge to listen to "Motown Revisited." This show starred two singers, a gentleman and a lady, whose group name was Twice As Nice. The gentleman, Wesley Stevens, was formerly with the Stylistics and the Commodores.
Uncle Dennis joined us after a few minutes. Viv, Mom, and I had one drink up there, and we listened to about 6 or 7 songs before calling it a night, as I still hadn't packed. We walked back to our cabins and dropped mom off.
Vivian and I went back up to the Sports Bar, where we had a late night snack of a salad, a hot dog, a tuna melt, fries, and coleslaw slaw. Free, of course.
I finished packing at about 1:00, and placed my bags outside our cabin -- two hours ahead of the 3AM deadline.