Norwegian STAR, 2011, Boarding Day

BOARDING DAY - We got to the port just before noon, went thru security, walked right up to the VIP check-in line, took ten minutes there, then about 10 minutes in the Concierge lounge waiting for our butler, Andrew, to escort us onboard. We were in the stateroom by 12:30. Doesn't get much quicker than that.

There was a bottle of champagne and some chocolate strawberries waiting for us. The room is awesome. Basically, a little less than 500sf, all open, except the bathroom, with curtains to divide the bed from the couch/bed, and both from the dining area/desk/vanity/closet area. I have a bunch of pictures, but I probably won't post them til I get home, satellite internet being so slow and expensive. The bathroom is very large, with roll-in shower, large sink, plenty of grab bars and a fold down shower seat. There are also two sets of closets (for a total of 4), half a dozen night stands, and a Lavazza coffee maker. Very cool, that: pop in the pod, hit the button,out comes coffee (or espresso, depending on the button). And it just eats the pods, so, nothing to throw away.

After checking out the digs we went up to Cagney's for lunch. One of the nicer perks of a suite is breakfast and lunch at Cagneys. Better food, AND no lines. We all had the pan-seared scallops, mom and Steve started with the shrimp cocktail (the shrimp are simply HUGE). I went with the crab cakes. Oh, and some Cagney's Fries. I have been missing those. It was all very good.

When we got back to the room, there was another bottle of sparkling waiting for us, along with some canapes, and an invite to the Lattitudes Party at 1 tomorrow, and the Captain's Cocktail Party at 7. We chilled in the room, figuring out the light switches and coffee maker til 4, when we went to the Sailaway party and BBQ. Based on the weather reports all week, I didn't think it would happen (The mighty SoCal Blizzard of '11 was a complete bust, by the way). It was cold and a tad windy, but no rain, so we listened to XCite, the pool band that's been here since the last time I was here (or maybe they left and came back, I don't know). It was fun, if a bit cool. We did finally decide to have a bite to eat in the buffet, rather than continue to brave the chill, though. As soon as the casino was open we went down, at mom's insistence. (My gambling Jones doesn't come from nowhere, you know). Bloody awful for all of us. 'Nuff said.

After dinner and casino it was back to the room. Busy time. First, Patrick, the Concierge came in, then the two stewards (whose names escape me at the moment), and then Andrew again to see if I was going to be in the room for a while, as the Hotel Director, Filipo wanted to drop by. So, got Steve ready for bed, watched an episode of HOUSE, and waited. Filipo finally called and asked where I was having dinner, I told him I was heading to AQUA, one of the main dining rooms. He said he would meet me there. So I ditched the family and went to dinner.

When I walked up to the desk at Aqua, the restaurant manager. Sawant, greeted me by name. He said he had just been looking at my picture. I love how they do that. lol. Anyway, he seated me and called Filipo. I started with the Smoked Salmon appetizer. Excellent. About a pound of salmon, and three leaves of greenery...the perfect ratio. Then the beef broth with ravioli thing. Also good. Just as my Mahi-Mahi showed up, so did Filipo. We talked for a few minutes. He apologized for not getting to me sooner. Poor guy - first day on the job, and a bunch of trucks didn't show up, etc. I assured him I understood what a hassle boarding day is for everyone on the staff. Anyway, I finished my meal, virtuously eschewing dessert, and went up to the showroom to check out the Welcome Aboard show.

Good News! My favorite cruise staffer, ever, is onboard. Maria, the Transylvanian Princess Herself. We talked for a bit before the show, but she had to go be introduced and stuff.

After the show, I ran up to the room to get the strawberries, then down to the Spinnaker Lounge for the 80's party. I have to say, as much as I love the suite complex they put here on Deck 12, (replacing, along with some other stuff, the Spinnaker Lounge up front with glass all around), I do not like the new lounge. The ceilings are too low, and the seating is terribly boring. Just several lines of cocktail tables, and a few boothy things along the wall. I understand they have to try to accomodate a bingo parlor by day/nightclub by night in the same area, but, especially after partying at the Bliss Ultra Lounge on EPIC, this just doesn't get it. However, I did talk to Maria a while, caught up on what we've been doing the last year, and she introduced me to all the cruise staff and dancers, while sharing out the strawberries.

About 11 I was done in - boarding day, with the drive and all, is always tiring. So, off to bed. And, as I type this, the Captain is announcing that we have turned around and are heading to Ensenada to drop of an injured passenger. Which explains why I woke up with a view of ocean, instead of land. Anyway...TTFN.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing. Your post is awaiting moderation.