It’s been a long time since I have written this review on our last cruise so I am having a hard time remembering but I’m doing the best I can. This day will be short. What’s more is I didn’t take hardly any pictures of this day and it has now been a few months since the vacation and I’m only on day three but I have to write it and get it done sometime. Sorry about lack of pictures. Here might be a good place to mention other items about the cruise. Hopefully it doesn’t get too wordy.
This morning, Linda was up maybe just a little before I was. I was just waking up when I saw I had a text from Linda asking if we were up already. It surprised me because usually I’m the first one awake in both cabins. Sophie happened to be awake quickly followed by Ella. We got ready and met Linda and the kids for breakfast at the Garden Cafe. However, before we even got up there, Linda had reserved a few seats on Deck 19 again which was great. We didn’t mind at all being up there. So we ate breakfast and then lounged….pretty much the rest of the day. This was the first real relaxing day I thought I had where I didn’t worry about where we were going to sit or trying to get anything done. We all took advantage.
Kaitlyn went to “Q&A W/ Broadway Star Brenda Braxton” and her report was that it wasnot very good. She didn’t give very much detail or advice. Kaitlyn asked for advice she would have on how to make it to the next level like she did. Her reply was that she had access to a prestigious performing arts school. Kaitlyn asked what she should do if they don’t have access to something like that and her answer was essentially, “well, that’s what I did”. So not very helpful.
Odds and Ends
Here is a good place to mention a few side notes because of lack of things to talk about. PAINKILLER…I loved that mixed drink during the cruise. I tried a number of other ones but found painkillers to be my drink of choice on the cruise. Heather found she loved bulldogs again. She used to like them back in college but lost her love for a while until the cruise and now she loves them again. We found a great little bar up on deck 19 which is where we spent most of our sea days anyway. Because deck 19 was a hidden gem for chairs, it also was one for the bar. We got to know the bartender up there and made sure to tip him so he knew our names. So more reason to just park yourself on Deck 19 to get away from the crowd a bit and have a bartender to yourself practically.
The water slides were fun but it is tough waiting in line on a cruise for a water slide because of the winds at sea…it makes it rather chilly, especially once you are wet. The drop slide was a blast! Unfortunately I only did it once. I would have liked to do it more but I went once with Ella and never found anyone else to go with me again. The tube slide was really cool but the line usually was a little long.
The games around the pool were fun to watch. Usually around 1pm they had some sort of big event around the pool. They were pretty fun and interesting and maybe not so much for children. This day was the Ms Norwegian Escape contest. There was a lot of booty shaking by both young AND old. Probably the most impressive however was by the Jamaican that worked on the Escape. She wasn’t our Director or Assistant Director but we usually found her around the bigger events. She could shake and move quite impressively, she would have got my vote had I been a judge and she been a contestant. Anyway, those 1pm poolside events were always fun to watch.
The pool was a freshwater pool which means it used sea water so it was fairly easy to float. The bad thing is the pool is 7 feet deep across the entire length so you could just jump in the pool and hang out. Also, the pool is a little cold so you didn’t want to spend too long in there.
The towels you get on the pool deck the first day. Each person can check out a towel but you can’t lose your towel or you get a charge. We were able to keep track of our towels for the most part but a tip if you don’t, many times late in the day towels are just left on the chairs. I’ve sat out there when not many other people were there and the towels went unclaimed so I knew this was normal for people to leave them. When we were short a towel between the two rooms I just ran up and grabbed a towel that left on a chair at the end of the day. You can then exchange your towel for a fresh one any time of day.
We tried to get reservations for the 10 of us in either Savor or Taste. We were still rookies to the freestyle dining and decided late what our entertainment schedule was going to be so we showed up and tried to get a reservation. We were split up a bit in Savor but we thought it was going to be OK as the other table was right across the way. Kaitlyn, Ally, Leighton and Ella sat at the other table while the rest of us sat at a table. Ally and Kaitlyn didn’t show up right away so the server was slower on getting them water and bread. We had to tell them to bring them some stuff right away. Actually, here is where we found the biggest difference between Disney and Norwegian was their dining. Norwegian always seemed confused and unorganized with our group. They were slow to get the second table water and bread and slow to even take their order YET somehow they got their food long before we did. Now I’m not talking 30 minutes but I would say they had their meals 10 minutes before ours even after we repeatedly told the servers we were actually together. On top of this, they never took the kids order for dessert. We got ours and we had to tell them to get the other table dessert. Plus somewhere in between we had different servers which caused more confusion. There was no “thank you for coming” or seeing if everything was OK they just simply STOPPED coming to check on us. There was more bad service at the Manhattan room on Day 6 but I’ll talk about that on that night.
We needed to get out of there because we were going to a comedy show. The very first night we saw a comedian we all liked and he was going to be at this particular show so we decided we were going to go. There was 3 other comedians plus the emcee and they all did a pretty good job but the guy we saw the first night was the one we definitely liked again this night.
After we took the young ones to their club and the older ones went looking for something to do in their club. Kaitlyn is a pretty good singer so we suggested Kaitlyn go to karaoke but she didn’t want to so we decided we were going to check it out ourselves. This took place at the 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar and we showed up early but the bar wasn’t open until karaoke took place so we had to kill time for 30 minutes.
The wives went looking around and Chris found a singer he liked to listen to by the name of Orly Penate. He is a solo singer who plays his electric guitar and belts out familiar tunes. We would see him almost every night playing in a different location and I think almost every night we came in on “No, Woman No Cry” which of course is now on my Spotify travel playlist. I’m not sure if Orly made it a point to not eat until after his set but every night, no matter what time of night he played, he’d sign off with, “I gotta go and get myself some dinner.” Guessing it was more like his catch-phrase for signing off if you will. We saw him at the Cellars this night where he played until 9pm and 5 o’clock Somewhere bar was finally open by that time.
Anyone can go in and do karaoke. There was one little girl, probably about 10 or 11 who was quite the performer. She went up on stage probably 5 or 6 times in the 1 or 1 1/2 hours we were there. It was really neat but by performance 5 and 6, it was getting old. We would go back to karaoke another night and also pass by there many other nights and once again, see this little girl on stage singing.
So here is a gripe I have with their karaoke. The set up sucked!! There is no sheets of paper to look through to see what songs they had. You had ONE small little screen to type in your song or artist and see if they had that song and their song choices were severely limited. So you’d type in a song that you can sing….nope, they don’t have it. So you look for another song….nope. Meanwhile other people are waiting for you to pick a song because there is only one flippin screen! So you select your song (FINALLY) and then you wait for the person to call you up. If you’ve done karaoke before you know that the person running it needs to actually be capable and having a personality helps. The first night we were in, you could barely hear the person and they had very little personality. If your song didn’t work. Too bad! She would quickly go on to the next. Finally, the words were on the big screen BEHIND you or off on one of the TVs on the walls in the distance if you can see that far. Not the best set up for karaoke at all. Why would there not be a monitor in front of the singer like EVERY KARAOKE SETUP, EVER?!!!
Chris found “Proud to be an American” which is a great crowd pleasing song. That’s the type of song where it doesn’t matter how you sing it, the crowd will get into it and sing with and of course they did for Chris and he played the crowd. Everyone in the bar loved it. After a long time I finally picked “Fools Rush In” thinking it was Elvis (really I was thinking of I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You). Nope, I got up there and saw Sinatra on the screen. Well I panicked a bit cause I didn’t know this version but thankfully something didn’t work and she couldn’t get the song to work. This was after looking for a long time for a song. NOW it didn’t work so I said screw it and I was done for the night. I was ticked at the selection and the whole set-up and the experience itself.
By this time it was closing in on 10:30 and we didn’t want to pay extra for the kids to be in the Splash Zone because we had to be up early the next morning for our excursion so we went to pick up the kids. I believe we went to get some late night snacks at the Garden Cafe buffet and by the time we were back to our rooms and settled in it was about midnight. Time to get rest and ready for our first port day.