Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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

Part 1 can be viewed HERE.

Since the Brew House was scheduled to open at 1, we all started dispersing around 12:45-12:50.  Sheri and the boys were going to chill (interpretation: they were probably ordering a drink or two LOL) at the Atrium while I did the group slot pull and the cabin crawl.  I talked to Michell a bit while we made our way to the casino for the slot pull.  I think we had around 25 people take part, and, when all was said and done, we each only had a net loss of $10.  We had a lot of interest, with that size of a group all watching a single machine!

Once that was done, many said their goodbyes, while the group of us doing the cabin crawl huddled together to hear the logistics and the route that kirkleyv had set up for us.  The first stateroom was a studio.

These first pictures are of the Lounge set up for those staying in the Studios.

Entrance to Studio Lounge

Inside a studio...they're small, but, for many, it is a no-brainer decision to book one of these since it beats having to pay a 100% supplemental fee for a stateroom to cruise by yourself!

These staterooms are DEFINITELY cool for a single cruiser. The Studio Lounge was definitely neat, and that, coupled with the rest of the ship surrounding you, will definitely keep you from being bored (unless you’re trying to be bored).

Stateroom de la Mush was up next, and I went ahead to open things up while the rest of them made their way aft and up to Deck 12.  Joseph was around, so we talked for a quick moment while waiting for the group.  When they arrived, most initially just popped their heads in, thinking it was a standard balcony.  When I opened up the door to the balcony, they saw the angle and all went out to check it out.  Sunshine155 and her husband were curious about the price of the stateroom as they were comparing it to their mini-suite (their cabin seemed a bit bigger, but our balcony had a lot more room).  Speaking of which…

…we went to the mini-suite next, and they had their room decorated really nicely, with chocolates for visitors.  I made a mental note to do more for the stateroom for the next cabin crawl!

After that, we all made our way up to Deck 15 aft for a penthouse suite.



I’m just going to let the pictures speak for themselves!

Yes...both a shower AND a tub in there!

Two doors to the huge aft-facing deck!

Awesome views of the ship's wake from the balcony.

Some of the veteran Cruise Critic folks surprised one of the ones doing the cabin crawl who was celebrating a birthday with a delivered cake, decorations, etc. (you can see some in the pictures).  For the life of me, I cannot remember whose birthday it was, though – I forgot to write it in my journal...sorry!  Needless to say, they pulled off a good surprise!

The slot pull and the cabin crawl took about an hour, and the rest of the Mushfam was probably getting a little antsy.  I said my goodbyes to all (declining multiple offers to take a piece of cake for the road) and thanked them for helping put on all the events!

I’m VERY glad that we signed up for the various events that was set up on the Roll Call.  I think we had a good mix of people that seemed to get along well, and, as I mentioned earlier, we found ourselves in the same place as those we met on a number of occasions.  Thanks to all who volunteered to put everything together!

Back to the task at hand…linking back up with the rest of the Mushfam.  The boys were apparently dying of hunger (on a cruise ship with free food 24/7).  I was in the mood for a drink, so, after wandering around Deck 17 and hearing a few minutes of the Mr. Sexy Legs Contest going on poolside on Deck 16, we met up and decided to head to Margaritaville for snacks and a drink.  As we walked up, one of the performers had started singing the theme song for the restaurant.  As he got to the refrain (“Wasted away again in Margaritaville”), I cleared my throat to do my duty as a true Parrothead after the next line.

“Searching for myyyyyyyyy…..lost shaker of saallltt”

That’s my cue.


I think I was the only one in the entire restaurant that did that.

At least the performer acknowledged my efforts with a nod and a smile.  “He knows it!”, he said.

By the third refrain, we had about 6 tables shouting it out.  I’ll take that as a victory.

I ordered a bottle of Landshark Lager, and Sheri got something...a zombie, perhaps?  (regular & spiced rum, apricot brandy, orange & pineapple juice, and sour mix):

Even looking at the picture, I couldn’t remember what it was she ordered.  It was good, though!

We also ordered the most-popular appetizer on the menu: the volcano nachos.

Landshark photobomb #finstotheleft #finstotheright

Messy…but good!

The food was good and the beer was cold, but that wasn’t the best part of the experience.  The guy playing the guitar and singing was REALLY good.

He was doing mostly music that you would normally hear on RadioMargaritaville (Van Morrison, Bob Marley, etc.).  He did an awesome calypso rendition of Hotel California by the Eagles, too!  Orly Penate is his name, and I struck up a conversation with him between sets.  He mentioned that he’d be doing a different set of music at Tobacco Road that evening, and I told him I’d try to make it for a little bit.

For those who may have missed it, that is called foreshadowing.

The boys asked about the arcade, and we set them free with the warning that we knew exactly how much they spent in there.  After they left, we talked with a family from Michigan at a nearby table for a few minutes.  Despite their rhetoric about staying in there for the rest of the cruise, the boys did return from the acrade after about 15 minutes, and we bid Margaritaville adieu, giving Orly, who had started a new set, a friendly nod as we left.

It was definitely too windy for the Ropes course, and we didn’t have our swim gear on – our plan was to let people get the water slides out of their system on the first sea day so we could have smaller crowds on the second sea day.  We looked at the lines of the slides, but they didn’t look too bad at all.  Still, we stayed on course and squelched the idea of changing into swimming suits/trunks.  After a little bit of searching around, we figured out which deck we wanted...we headed down to try a cruise ship favorite...

Yes, folks, it’s that age-old game found on every promenade deck of every ship…it’s Shuffleboard!  Now, if we’re going to play it, we’re playing by the rules!  We studied the posted rules for a couple of minutes while another family finished up their game.

It was around 4:00, and the next shot at trivia was at 4:30. We headed to the atrium and grabbed a seat.  This round’s theme was “Where in the World is Norwegian?”.  This could go really well or, if I mixed up the ports from other cruise lines, it could go really badly for me.

I prefer not to say how we did.


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