Monday, August 7, 2017

Escaping Insanity: A Cruising Trip Report. Chilling at Sea (Part 1)

Need to catch up and read the previous day's events?  That day starts with this post.

Here's the Freestyle Daily for this day...

...and here's the video for this day AND the next day (both days were sea days).

Yep…slept good.  The CPAP didn’t strangle me; the rocking just lulled me to sleep; nice and quiet; BUT I WAS STILL UP AT 6:45 IN THE !#@$$(*&$% MORNING!!!!

I just don’t know how to vacation, I guess.

Not wanting to wake up anyone, I laid in bed for about 30 minutes before quietly getting up and working on the journal that would ultimately become this trip report.  Sheri woke up at 7:50, about five minutes after Eric arose.  Aaron, hearing everyone else and worried that he’d miss something, also woke up.  I started uploading the previous day’s GoPro captures – there was a LOT on there, and it was going to take a while to get it on the laptop.

While we were getting ready, I turned on the TV and found the Tyler and Jacky show, which I had heard from previous reports is pretty good.

That’s an understatement.  “Jacky” is Jacky Tang, who is a member of the Cruise Director’s Staff.  I don’t want to spoil too much, but this guy is downright hilarious, and he works really well with Tyler.  I can see him moving into an Assistant Cruise Director role very soon, especially as the Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy are coming online soon.  I saw Jacky on embarkation day (I think he was leading a ship tour), but I didn’t get the chance to meet him yet.  His character on the Tyler and Jackie Show…especially when you know his background and talk to an absolute riot!  All four of us watched the show at least twice.

We decided on O'Sheehan's for breakfast – as we opened the door, Joseph, our cabin steward, walked by.  He stopped and introduced himself.  We chatted for a few minutes; he was on his last cruise before the end of his contract, so he was excited to get home to see his family.  He was really upbeat and seemed to enjoy what he was doing!

We said our “so long!” and headed up to Taste.  Sheri ordered a mimosa – I had never had one before, so I took one for the team and tried one.

Not bad!

We all opted for the French toast breakfast.  No pics on that…sorry…we were hungry!

After that, we headed forward to the Box Office to sign up for the “Escape the Big Top” escape room.  While there, we decided to also reserve a table at the supper to watch “Company Men”.  Once that was done, we headed to Deck 7 and grabbed a seat to see what was going on.  They were just finishing up trivia, and, had we played, we would have gotten 2nd place.  We all made a mental note to look for the next trivia contests onboard.  Not that the Mushfam is competitive or anything, but…
After trivia, we decided to do a round of Cricket on the dartboard (we’re raising our kids properly!).

Since I had the drink package, I decided to try my first-ever Bloody Mary.  Nope…not for me…that one would most likely be my last Bloody Mary.  At least I gave it the old college try.

Aaron won that game; Sheri blamed her score on the movement of the ship.

After Darts, we headed aft and up to Deck 8 to see what the shops had for us.  We perused around for a little before heading out for our first encounter with the Waterfront.  For those who don’t know, the Waterfront is a promenade deck with comfortable couches/chairs and outdoor seating for a number of dining venues on that deck.  It typically is quiet for the first couple of days as many people don’t know about it.  We all commented on how much we liked it.  We found a place to sit for a few minutes to watch the ocean go by.

I then excused myself and ran back up to the room to check on the status of the GoPro.  Everything had (FINALLY) downloaded, so I reformatted the card and took it with me to head out.  When I made it back onto the Waterfront, it had clouded up and was just about to start raining a bit.  We met up and headed inside towards the District Brew House for the Cruise Critic meetup at noon.  The boys hit the restroom while Sheri and I walked up to one of the more well-known members of the crew.  Rowan, welcomed us and asked if we were part of the meet-up.  We smiled and nodded and talked with him for a minute or two while waiting for the boys.  When they arrived, without thinking, we put our hands out for some of the sanitizer he was holding, and he instinctively started doing the ever-popular “Washy Washy…good for you…good for me…good for us (to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down…just search for “Washy Washy Norwegian” on YouTube and you’ll understand).  We laughed and shook his hand; on top of the medley that he does at Garden Café most mornings, he probably gets asked to sing that by people 50-75 times a day, and we wanted to cut him a break so he wouldn’t have to sing it.  Though you couldn’t tell by his demeanor (all smiles), he has to absolutely hate that song LOL!

We headed to the check-in table, and Host Michell (I’ll use their online names, though you could probably figure out her name) was there to greet us.  We grabbed nametags and talked for a brief second with her before heading to a table near the window.  Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the roll call had surged to well over 100 names, with many/most expressing interest in the Meet and Greet!  Within a couple of minutes, people starting bringing sample flights of several beers on tap at the District.  Immediately after the beer came, we were offered several hors d’oeuvres.  We headed up to the bar to get the boys something to drink and then started meeting some of the other families at the meet-up.  I recognized a few from the boards who had posted pictures, but, again, being a bit of a lurker on the boards, there were a lot of introductions and “getting-to-know-you” talk.  Sheri usually prefers that I do more of the talking at events such as this, but she was getting into it a little bit, too, as we talked with the groups.

More beer…and more hors d’oeuvres…

I don’t think we’ll have to worry about grabbing lunch anywhere!

The senior crew then entered and started mingling around.  We got to meet the Hotel Director and the Executive Chef during meet-up.  Most other senior officers were also in attendance, which again impressed the heck out of me!

Then Tyler came over to our table.  I felt like I was meeting a celebrity (wrong cruise line…badum bum ching!)

As he walked up, I asked him if there were 50 clones of him running around the ship because he was everywhere.  He spent a good 4-5 minutes with us (he’s from Tennessee but went to school in Chicago).  He mingled just a bit more and then took on an emcee role as he introduced many of the staff in attendance.  After he was done, he turned the microphone over to Michell who introduced the Cruise Critic members in charge of the cabin crawl and gift exchange (kirkelyv) and the slot pull (Cyndi_at_home and Mike_at_sea).  Eric won a CruiseCritic lanyard in a drawing, and he immediately swapped everything out of the lanyard he had to his new one.  I think Aaron was just a bit envious LOL.

I walked up to introduce myself to Cyndi and Mike and got signed up for the slot pull.  I also got to meet some of kirkleyv’s family, including danddgrandma, who, along with Michell, we ran into several more times during the cruise.


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