Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day Two -- Between Carolinas and Bermuda

Life is good chapter one hundred and twenty.

Today began as I dropped off to sleep in the warm, spacious and comfortable stateroom 90** aboard the M’V Norwegian Dawn. I have a written intro to the internet guy and a written invitation to a VIP party to meet the Captain tonight. I showered and put on t shirt, shorts and a lite sweater and made my way to the Garden Café (same name as on the NCL Sea) and had a bit of scr eggs, bacon, ham and sausage, some oj and some really good coffee. Scoped out the gym and it is, again, somewhere in size between the last two ships, but has a drinking fountain with a filler for water bottles, one of which I have opened and enjoyed.

After breakfast, I checked on the steak house, as I am in the mood for at least one monster steak meal this trip, and the twenty buck service charge can come out of the money I save on the internet. I suppose I am going to get the fifty buck package, but I will not be disappointed or totally stunned if he comes across with the hundred buck one, as the man (C**) has more than a bit of class and then some.
R***, the head concierge has phoned me and asked me to meet her for coffee in a few minutes, and so I shall.

// Time 1315 That memorable letter has had nothing but positive ripples since I wrote it. R*** was in the stairway when I headed down to meet her for coffee in the lounge opposite the purser desk. I find that she is the exclusive private property of the people with huge suites of rooms and the owners suite etc (and a select few complainers it would seemJ) and while we were having coffee we were joined by three other ships company – the director of hotel services, his assistant the the man in charge of food and beverages aboard. I told her I felt like I did in Kuwait when dining with the ambassadors and billionaires, but thanked her.

Following the meeting, I went and watched the first hour and a quarter of ‘The Alamo’ with Dennis Quaid and Billy bob Thornton. I was struck again by how there seems to be something fun to do for everybody aboard. Last night at the barbeque while still docked in NYC, a man was happily soaking in the jacuzzi in the middle of the Hudson river. I have mentioned before about the slot machine pullers happily ignoring going thru the Panama canal. Others virtually never quit playing bingo. There is a delightful reading/writing room here, where other old people are enjoying a quiet read of a book (they do not have the Davinci Code) and here I sit with my dell, the grey, stormy, wave tossed ocean and just a flood of nice experiences to write about.

When I got back to my room, my next door neighbor, H** (an acupuncturist, and perhaps a doctor at that)had sent me a letter to come visit. He was busy planning his shore excursions, and he very much wants to go with me on the fight to Tortola, and more so if we can move it up or cut it short just a little.

Then I used one of the new cards given to me to contact the director of food and beverage aboard, and he is going to try to track down where the Polish waitress is working and let me know. They were having a latitudes party to which he invited me, and which I politely declined. My bottle of ice water is full in my stateroom, and I am well content with life in general just now. In a short while, I will make my way to the internet café and see what they have for me, scoffing up a bit to eat along the way.

The room tv has replaced the digital display of information with a live camera shot of the ocean, and I am hoping that when it gets dark they will resume the flood of interesting information that was there last night, including wind speed and direction and a visual of how it was hitting the ship (quartering starboard).

It is 1545 And I have seen some of the rest of the Alamo movie, but not to the end. The ship is 33 deg 20.85min N and 70 deg 37.21 west. We are in the Saragossa sea off the south tip of south Carolina. I have sat with Dr H*** and discussed our plans to fly to Tortola.,. Heading 161 speed 21.3 knots. We are passing off Bermuda to the port side, but many miles away.

// I wandered over to the internet café and caught up with R***, who advised me the internet package offered me is the one hundred dollar one, so very naturally my first act was to send what I think was an effusive message of thanks to CV, thanking him for his kindness and generosity.

Then I posted a tiny blurb on the blog, cracked up at the S**’s blog (“the handyman hated me for my pursuit of a dream to own a functioning bathroom”) and did a quick read of pprune. I also got a hamburg, hotdog and fries up on the Bimini top bar, and was the only person there. Burgers still are nowhere near as good as they are on the Ecstasy, but measurably better than on the Sea. So, this cruise is really turning out to be a good one. I am invited to the Captains Party tonight, friends with the acupuncturist and his wife from the Bronx, prolly gonna take them flying, enjoying the computer, got cold water in the room frig, etc.

I went to the casino, got one of those buy ten get fifteen chip deals, and played blackjack till I was up forty, and quit. Watched some very attractive Germans playing the sliding coin machine game until my back could no longer stand it. At my room, there was a knock and a lovely Philipinna delivered a dish with the compliments of Hugo, the Hotel director. Presentation is everything, with silver dish, sliced onions etc, but all I recognized was onions, and I think the rest was herring. Oh well. Captains cocktail party at 1900, one hour from now

This is true. I had JUST taken a picture of the little stateroom 90**, two actually, put them on my hard drive and labeled them ‘not too bad’ when I noticed a little light flashing on my room phone. It was a recorded message from R***, the lead concierge asking me if I would be interested in an upgrade to an outside cabin with a balcony.

That was one time I didn’t need begging to work, and by the time I made it to the captains cocktail party, where I buttonholed him and the chief engineer on the reception line where they couldn’t get away, I had packed everything up and ten minutes later, having finished a tonic water with a twist of lime, I was on my way to room 10,*** which is portside, near to the aft end and has a double bed, couch, table and a balcony with two chairs.

At the captains cocktail party, the Food Service Director told me he had tracked down the Polish waitress and she was in fact the receptionist/hostess at Impressions restaurant, to which I repaired rapidly and found her busy busy and people waiting upwards of 40 minutes for a table. I don’t think they were particularly happy when I was seated within seconds. And we have a date to meet tomorrow to look at my Poland pictures..

So now, I am in a much nicer stateroom, and I had chateaubriand for supper rather than another hotdog by the pool, I have a date with the Polish woman tomorrow and amongst the top echelon of the ship, there is nobody who does NOT know who Mr B** is, and they are definitely giving me the VIP treatment.. I intend to repay by saying many many nice things about NCL on cruisecritics. And another letter for C** for tomorrow.


Dorrie said...

on my very first cruise, aboard the AIDALuna, I had an inside cabin. Never again! On my cruise with the NCL NorwegianGem I had at least a window.. MUCH better. But nothing beats having your own balcony, maybe next time...

Fin said...

I agree. My last cruise in the Jewel was a trans Atlantic with hurricane force winds and stops in Shetlands and Iceland, so being inside wasn't as wrenching as it would be, say, on a Southern Caribbean cruise.

When I did the MSN Med Cruise, my daughters brother-in-law was able to upgrade me to a balcony right at the dock, and I enjoyed it thoroughly on our stops in Italy, Spain, France and Tunisia.

Fijufic said...

I love these Fin. I always have to read them through two to three times in order to soak it all in...
I haven't taken a cruise since July of 1994...