Saturday, May 19, 2018

2017 Escaping Insanity Norwegian Cruise Line Trip Index

Pre-Trip and Introduction

Day 0 (Arrival Day)

Day 1 (Embarkation Day)

Day 2 (Chilling at Sea)

Day 3 (MORE Chilling at Sea)

Day 4 Swimming in (the) Trunk (of the) Bay

Day 5 (Tortola - Spending our 20th Anniversary in a Bath(s) in Another Country

Day 6 (Ropin' and Glowin' ... the beginning of the end)

Day 7 and Disembarkation

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Escaping Insanity: A Cruising Trip Report. Day 6: Ropin’ and Glowin’…the beginning of the end… (Part 2)

You can read part 1 of this day HERE.

After eating, we did a little more exploring around the ship and stumbled upon the Dolce Gelato store when it was open.  For research purposes, we all had to get one.

The other three decided that a nap sounded good.  Me?  Nope!  First, I called the box office to cancel our reservation for that night’s 7:30 showing of The Brat Pack; I would have definitely seen it again, but I think everyone was a little tired and wanted a down day.

I think that this may be a place to stick a pin for future reference…the other three decided on a nap, but I kept on going…just like I did the previous day.

Folks…this is known as “foreshadowing”

I headed to the casino and was looking for either a craps table or a blackjack table with $5 minimums.  Unfortunately, it appeared that $10 was the lowest min on any table that I saw, so I opted to head into the Skyline and have a drink or two while I did a little video poker.  I decided early on that $40 was the max I would play with, and I actually only played $20…I made it last about 45 minutes before it was gone.

I headed back to the room around 5:00 to see who was up.  I think Aaron was the only one awake, so we watched a little TV while the others slept.  A little while later, the other two arose, and we decided on the Manhattan Room for supper.  Being that it was nearing 7 pm, we were hoping there wouldn’t be too long of a wait, and we were seated within 5 minutes of arriving #yesssss

Geronimo was our server…he was awesomely insane!!!  He had a huge smile and a wit that just comes naturally to some people.  The entrees were a bit more hit-or-miss with this particular meal, but it was still a great experience with the waitstaff.

We asked to see if he would be able to take a family picture for us, and I jokingly said that he needed to be in the picture...the result?

Afterward, we headed outside to the aft to watch the wake…well…we tried to, but I think Sheri was getting a little vertigo from watching the wake fly behind us though the motion was the opposite direction.  We didn’t stay in that area too terribly long.

We still had a little bit of time before the Glow Party was slated to start. We walked around the shops a bit and checked out the photos that had been taken; Sheri and I were both noting which ones we were planning to purchase.  We checked out the art for a bit, too.  Eventually, we worked our way back to the stateroom and put on our now (just about) dry Glow Shirts.  Aaron decided that he didn’t want to go, despite prodding from me (teenagers…).  Around 10:30, Sheri, Eric, and I made our way back to Spice H2O, where the Family Glow party had just wrapped up.  I wanted to get some video of the party to post, so I wanted to get a couple of different locations over time.  We first started out near the front, just a little left of center.  This ended up being what I think was a perfect location to experience the party.  I’ll let the video speak for itself here.

More pics:

We then headed up a deck to get an overhead(ish) view of the party...yep...still insane!

After about a half-hour of footage, we all decided that we had received our fill of techno music, so we meandered around a bit and checked in on the Chocolate Cowboy, who had his regulars at the bar.  Sheri and I ordered a draft, while Eric got his usual cherry soda. 

…and then…

…it hit me.

Yeah, I probably should have paced myself over the past several days.  Exhaustion came over me, and I just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for about ten hours.  I dragged myself up to the room, and I collapsed.  As I (quickly) fell asleep, I hoped that I’d be back to 100% for the last full day of the cruise.

Yeah, right.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Escaping Insanity: A Cruising Trip Report. Day 6: Ropin’ and Glowin’…the beginning of the end…

Need to see what happened on the previous day?  Click HERE to go to the start of Day 5.

I woke up a bit before the other three, but I just laid in bed, enjoying the slight rocking motion of the ship as it was steaming west back towards the Bahamas.  The westward portion of the trip definitely seemed to be less choppy than the eastern portion for this particular cruise.

Eventually, we all were up – we were not in any real hurry today, as there were no major plans.  We all hoped that the ropes course would be open, and, at first glance on the balcony, the winds didn’t seem too bad.  Despite having no plans and not needing to be anywhere, we were all up and ready for breakfast by 7:30.  We decided Savor for breakfast.

Breakfast was done quickly, so we decided to venture up to the Sports area to see how busy the mini golf course was.  It was DEAD!!!  I strapped on the GoPro and made a complete fool of myself videoing the entire round.  I’ll save you the gruesome documentation (think Happy Gilmore meets Blair Witch).

After we finished, we checked the clock to make sure we were doing good on time; we decided to stop by the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar to do a little pre-Glow Party painting on the t-shirts that we brought.  We played a bit of lawn bowling and then headed down to get in line.  At 9:15,  several members from the event staff showed up with shirts, paint, and brushes/toothpicks.  Jackie was among them, and, as I got up to where he was in the line, I asked how he was still standing after doing the 70s/80s Dance the previous night.  He smiled and admitted that he was dragging a little bit.  I told him how great of a job he and the rest of the staff were doing as I grabbed some paint and made my way to where the others were.

Most of the Mushfam was putting their names/nicknames on their t-shirts.  I opted for something more sentimental…a tribute to Bob Ross.  I put a happy little tree on the front and, after realizing just how bad/ugly/forlorn it was, put an arrow pointing up to the neck with the words “NOT Bob Ross” underneath.

We took our shirts back to our stateroom to dry. The time was just before 10:00…the time that the ropes course was to open.  Sheri determined around the time that we booked the cruise that she was definitely not doing the ropes course, so she became the de facto photographer.  I again played the role of “guy-that-looks-like-an-idiot-with-a-Go-Pro-strapped-to-his-forehead” and got harnessed up with Aaron and Eric. 

I won’t bore you with the details….WHAT A RUSH!!!  I’ll admit here and now that our boys know no fear, and they displayed that as they walked out on the plank that hung over the ship (with only water below you).  Neither of them blinked when the photographer asked them to let go:

I made it out on the plank, too, and got a picture, but remember the role I was playing (yeah, it was THAT bad). 

I had a couple of women behind me that were probably 5-10 years older than me, and, while we waited to cross the various beams/ropes/etc., we talked quite a bit to each other.  One of them got stuck on the first zipline right after I crossed, and it became the talk of the rest of their time up on the course!

If you can handle heights, I strongly recommend that you do the ropes course – it is about as high on the ship as you can go, and the views are simply breath-taking on the top level!!

We did pretty much the entire course in about 30 minutes.  There were some places where you had to wait, but that is to be expected.  For something included in the cruise fare, oh yeah….definitely a thumbs-up from me!

Hi Mom (literally)


Aaron flying through the course

Never looked worse! (but the view up there!!!)

Seriously...quit showing off!

After the ropes course, we headed back to the room to drop off a couple of items and then made our way to the atrium.  It was close enough to noon (about 10:45), so Sheri and I got a couple of drinks at O’Sheehan’s while we sat around and people-watched for a while.  The boys made their way to the arcade for a bit.  At 11:15, we grabbed some chairs at the edge of the Atrium to watch master pastry chef Jackie do a cupcake decorating demonstration. 

Let’s just say that there were a lot of laughs at that one!

After that was TV trivia, so we had to stay and try our hand at that (we didn’t win).  Once the trivia was over, we all realized that we were getting hungry (though, knowing the boys, they likely had already been in the buffet twice since breakfast).  The weather was beautiful…actually, I guess I should say that “The Weather is Here…I Wish You Were Beautiful!” (it’s one of my favorite Buffett songs).

Yep – we opted for lunch at Margaritaville! 


We haven’t had a Cheeseburger in Paradise yet!

(plus, Orly was playing up there)

We walked in and exchanged big smiles with Orly as we were seated.  Sheri opted for a Landshark Lager, while the License to Chill called to me (silver tequila, blue curacao, and margarita mix).  The server accidentally called it a License to Kill, and, based on the amount of tequila, it may have been a better name.  It was GOOD, but it had some power in it!

Of course, I ordered another one later on (insert evil grin here)

The burgers were good…really good!  The boys ended up running out after a while, and Sheri and I just sat and enjoyed being there.  Good food, great music, amazing surroundings, and I was with the love of my life.

I might have actually started to relax for a bit around this time.