Sunday, August 13, 2017

Escaping Insanity: A Cruising Trip Report. MORE Chilling at Sea (Part 2)

Part 1 can be found HERE.

After lunch, we decided to head up to the Sports area to see how busy the mini golf was…with the ropes course closed, it was jammed!  At the same time, we all glanced at the water slides and noticed that the lines weren’t too bad.  It was unanimous – we were heading back to our room and putting on our swimming attire.

Up first was the Aqua Racer – an enclosed slide that you ride tubes in.  We started up the stairs and grabbed tubes.  As we ascended the flights of stairs, I realized two things:

  1. It was REALLY windy…holy cow…it nearly took your breath away; and
  2. The Ms. Norwegian Escape contest was going on, and, as we got higher and higher up, I could actually see some of the contest…holy cow…it nearly took your breath away.

(something tells me I’m going to pay for that last one when Sheri reads it)

The boys went first, and they chose to go separately (no surprise there).  They will allow two tubes to ride down together, so Sheri and I opted for that.  I got my GoPro started (there are already a million videos of the Aqua Racer online, but it’s something you just HAVE to do) and sat down on my tube to wait for Sheri to get situated.

Sheri started down first; however, as she pushed off, she rotated around so that she was heading down backwards.  All I’m going to say about this is that you will want to see the outtakes video of this ride down so you can hear the audio of her predicament.  I nearly had tears running down my face from her reactions/comments!  One word of note, though – if you do find yourself going backwards, do everything you can to grab the wall at the bottom to spin back around, because there’s always the chance that the water at the end could flip you; if that happens, you could be going head-first into the side/end of the slide, which could be a lot of trouble.

Along with an attendant, there was a photographer grabbing pictures.  I really liked the individual black-and-white pictures of the boys.

Up next were the free-fall slides!  Sheri wanted no part in these, so she found a chair (yep, mid-afternoon, there were chairs to be had!) and started reading while the boys and I started back up the stairs.  I was going to go first so I could see who won between the boys.  As we got the top, the attendant noticed that I still had my wedding band on, and she said that it had to be removed to ride it.

I didn’t feel like heading down, giving Sheri the ring, and then heading back up, so I told the boys I’d meet them at the bottom.  Now, in the attendant’s defense, there are posted signs stating that no jewelry was to be worn on the slides – I was thinking that they were talking about necklaces/bracelets/etc.  She was following the posted policy, and I wasn’t going to argue at all with that, even though I know that there was no way that ring was coming off my finger LOL.

I headed back down to meet the boys.  As I was working my way down the stairs, I heard the horn going off, which indicated that someone didn’t make it up the incline a little over half-way through the slide.  My assumption was that it was Aaron who didn’t make it.  When I got to Sheri, Aaron came walking up, which meant that it was Eric who got stuck.  I headed back up the stairs to where the “Escape hatch” was (no pun intended…well…maybe it was a little bit intended…insert rim shot here), and Eric didn’t quite know what happened.  When we made it back to Sheri, someone overheard Eric getting stuck and recommended going without the rash guard shirt that he was wearing.  Aaron was up for riding it again, and Eric didn’t seem traumatized at the previous attempt, so I grabbed the GoPro, and we all headed back up.  I talked to the attendant to see if I could hop in to film them, and she nodded, saying that it was a common request.

It was a quick ride, as the video shows.  Aaron swore that he won, but the photo-finish shows a tie, in my opinion.  At least Eric made it all the way down!

With the water rides done, we decided to take in a little of the lido deck, there was a clothing sale going on between the pools.  Sheri and the boys looked at what they had to offer while I turned the GoPro on to capture some footage.  “A Minor Trio” was performing poolside, and they provided some good background music for the sun worshippers.

About 6-7 minutes later, the other three had checked out, and we then had a quick pow-wow to decide our next move.  Margaritaville was just a few steps (and a deck) away.  The Unlimited Beverages Package was burning a proverbial hole through our proverbial pockets, so we went up and grabbed a couple of drinks from the bar.  While there, we had fun talking to a couple also at the bar who were interested in the GoPro I was using to take pictures.

After we finished our drinks, the losers from the previous day’s shuffleboard event wanted to exact revenge on the winners, so we headed down to the shuffleboard areas.  Both of them were being used, however, so we decided to head back to the stateroom for a bit to relax before supper.  When we opened the door, we noticed another delivery for us:

I called the box office to cancel our reservations for After Midnight that night and then decided to grab some footage from the balcony; as I headed out to record, I saw something I had not expected: there was a bird flying alongside the ship!  The closest land, if I had to guess, would have been the Dominican Republic, but I bet we were still a good 60-80 miles north of there.  I opened the sliding door to tell the rest of the crew, and, when they came out, the bird had flown away.  As expected, they didn’t believe me and made comments about senility making an early appearance in my life.


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