Norwegian Star, PhD@Sea Cruise...First Day at Sea

Started the day with breakfast in the buffet. Almost had a traditional English breakfast, but for some reason there were no
fried tomatoes to be had...so I had to settle for eggs, beans, mushrooms and authentic English bangers. Authentic in the
sense that they look like tasty little sausages. and have pretty much no flavor whatsoever.
The morning was taken up with classes, and I shant bore you with the details. After they cut us loose at 1 I went to the
Blue Lagoon restaurant, NCL's casual "comfort food" diner. On the recommendation of one of the Hosts, I tried the Hot Wings.
Now, speaking as a guy who once devoted a year of his life (while I was a traveling salesman) to finding the perfect hot
wing, I can tell you: Maybe not World Class, but a lot better than I expected on a cruise ship.
After lunch I decided to veg out by the pool for a bit, as the weather is fabulous (about 80 degrees and sunny). At 4 I went
down to the Bingo. Got a $50 package, and won a $50 jackpot, so that was fun. Then back up to the balcony for some more
vegging, without the calypso band, and all the people. I must say, the Star's pool area is really well designed to handle
all the people on Sea Days, with adequate seating, and chairs/loungers going up in three tiers from the pool, so everyone can
see everything that's going on without the crowding you get on some ships. Me and the neighbors did spot a couple pods of
grey whales, and saw one breech...not spectacular, but a good omen for the whale watching is Cabo.
So, as I was dressing for our Group Dinner, I had a half-dozen chocolate dipped strawberries delivered (last night was a
plate of Canapes), part of the whole VIP thing. Not big on chocolate covered strawberries, personally, but they came in
handy when I finally got home at 1am and wolfed them down before bed.
Our whole group assembled on the staircase by the Soho restaurant to take a group photo. By the time we all got arranged to
the photographers satisfaction we had attracted quite a crowd of onlookers, wondering what the heck we were doing. Then off
for a group dinner. One of the reasons for the group dinner was to demonstrate that NCL's Freestyle thing works for groups.
It does. They reserved about 10 table (with agents, guests, and hosts we are about 80 people) in the Aqua Dining Room. I
assume they recommended some other guests to go to the Renaissance or something, because even with our group reservation,
there was no line of people waiting to get in. I started with some kind of asparagus salad thing which was unremarkable, and
then the Pumpkin with Ginger soup taht was to die for. Almost ordered another. For the entree I agonized over the Lobster
and Grouper combo or the Crispy Duck. Finally went with the lobster...bad call. Not that it was bad, but several of my
table mates had the duck, and they were all "oohing" and "aahing".
After dinner a bunch of us went to the show, a tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber "Music of the Night". Excellent performers,
and remarkably high production values. As most of you know I am not a big fan of cruise ship shows, but I was pleasantly
surprised, and may just have to hit the showroom again at some point.
After the show, I had to pop in to the Casino, where I parlayed my $50 voucher from the Bingo into a couple hundred...pretty
good night, and finally to bed at 1.
As I write this Captain Lars is announcing a one hour extension of our Cabo port call, from 5:30 to 6:30 - so the day is
starting well...no particular plans for Cabo, maybe take a whale watching boat..but I will let you know how it turns out!

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