Norwegian EPIC In A Studio - Last Day at Sea

Oh. lawdie, what a day we had...Last day at sea. Up early, wrote the last post, got packed and moved in to the new digs, a 12th deck balcony. As much as I liked the Studio, a balcony is better. It just is. Maybe someone can build some solo cabins with balconies?

After getting transferred I decided to sit down for breakfast at Taste, where I joined another agent and his wife. Good breakfast. We then decided to team up and do the Trivia. Honest to God, it was the hardest trivia I have ever played. We turned in a 25/40, which I thought was pretty sucky until I saw everyone else's scores. One team behind us had 28. And some yahoos got 35, which Matt, the Cruise Director said was the highest score he had ever seen on that particular test. So, third place didn't feel so bad.

After trivia I strolled around the pool talking to people, and trying to get in touch with Rashida and/or Richard to figure out the plan for EPIC Club. I think we finally decided that dinner is out, to be replaced by breakfast and lunch. Which is all to the good. I have had dinner there, previously. But I have not had breakfast or lunch. So, I'll be doing that today.
Woo Hoo.

I then went to the casino to check out the Slot tournament leader board. I was still safely at #2. So, over to O'Sheehans for a burger and some soup. Good. Nothing to die for, or complain about. Then back over to the casino to play in the Final of the slot tournament. I came in 2nd, and got one more bottle of wine. I had just managed to give away the last bottle, which I dropped on the lovely barber, Ashleigh about an hour previous. After the Slot tourney they started the last round of qualifiers for the Blackjack tournament. I went ahead and bought another entry, since I was not feeling confident my 6th place score would hold up. As it turned out, it did for the first two rounds, and I was in the third round, playing against my own score. Did not do well at all, and on the 5th hand the guy next to me went all in with $7k in chips and hit a blackjack and it was pretty much over at that point. So, no Blackjack final this time. Oh, well.

Headed upstairs to get ready for dinner. I had been invited to dine with Richard Janicki, as well as my friend Pat, and her husband and cousin, and another agent of my acquaintance, Theresa, as well as Richard Wagner, the guy who owns the Beyond Ships website. Might as well get in a plug here: Beyond Ships is a nice site, with information and pictures on hundreds of ships, some fairly obscure ones. I have been running into Mr. Wagner all week, as he is also staying in the Studio Complex. He is more interesting than he thinks he is. And if you are looking for good, solid information on a cruise ship, his site is one of the better ones out there.
So, dinner: I had a crab cake starter that was unremarkable and a nice salad with a chicken skewer and a ginger soy dressing that was quite good. For the entree I went with the Jerk Chicken. On the waiters recommendation, and with the assurance that the Exec Chef on EPIC is Jamaican and knows from Jerk. It was excellently spiced, though a little saucier than you'd find in a real jerk shack in Ocho Rios. However the fried plantains alongside were just nasty. Not soft or crisp ( I can eat them either way), but tough and basically tasteless. However...it turns out Richard Janicki is quite personable when he get's to talking. He told us about his home in Greece (he is French), and the various ships he has worked on, as well as a story about the time he cooked for the Queen of England, when he was cooking at Barclay's Hotel in London. In general, it was a nice group to dine with, and a good dinner overall.

After dinner I hanged out on the balcony for a while before changing for the White Hot Party. Decided to check out the karaoke on my way. Ran into some folks at Bliss, and listened to Anne, a new friend from the Studios, and Crickett, who were both excellent singers, and a bunch of others who, well...weren't. But, you know, that's part of the fun of Karaoke as Spectator Sport. After a little of that, I headed up to the White HOt. Got waylaid at the Family White Hot on the pool deck, and talked to some of the moms on board...I am not sure that LMFAO is really "family" friendly, but, hey...what do I know.

After a few minutes there I finally made it out to Spice/H2O for the *real* White Hot Party. It was banging. Pretty much the best one I have ever been to. One of the cruise staff yanked me out to dance before I even got all the way in, and I couldn't disappoint her. But as soon as she turned away, I made my way up to where a group of the solo travelers had a table. Joined in with them and over the course of the next two hours had a bit o' damn fun! I ran back to the cabin and grabbed the bottle of champagne I had won in the Slot tourney, and shared it around, when Jimmy Buffet walked by. I stopped him, just to say "hi", and offered him a glass of bubbly. He accepted, and then spent the next couple hours hanging out with us and telling stories and having a good time. A bunch of staff and crew were in the area also. Talked with Gunita from the Casino, Matt the CD, the Legends back up singer/dancer kids, my Jersey boys (who I finally persuaded to call me Dave instead of Jack), and, finally, Ashleigh (who also does Jimmy's hair, so now I can say I have a celebrity barber). Talked with a fellow agent, Kris, for a good long time, as well as finding out more about the Buffet impersonators life than, frankly, anyone needs to know (kind of a private "A Pirate Looks at 63" thing). All in all, as I said, the best White Hot ever.

But, finally, about 1:30, things were winding down. Or I was. So I took my leave of the last few at the table and headed home for a good nights sleep, and dreams about The EPIC Club in the morning.

Can't wait to tell you all about it.

Auf Weidershen, mein kinder!

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