Norwegian EPIC, In a Studio - SECOND DAY AT SEA

Good morning. Let me start with the downer part: My father passed away yesterday morning, just as I was posting the previous entry. Suffice it to say he was very near death for a very long time and, in fact, I got on the ship just a day after being told (not for the first time), that he might not last the day. So, it's not unexpected, and it's not exactly a tragedy. Yeah, I'm gonna miss the old guy, but I have had two and a half years to come to grips with his passing. Still, though the dominant feeling is relief that it's over, there is also a sadness to the finality. So, I'm going about my vacation and my life, as I am sure he would have said "Hey, kid...dont let it ruin your day". (and so, now I am sitting in the Living Room, crying. Shit!)
Anyway, back to my story. Got up a little earlier yesterday and headed out on deck to get seriously windblown and had some interesting conversation with some of the group. Then back down to get ready for the day, which is when I phoned home and got the news about Dad. Took a little break before trying my luck in the casino. Thanks to Moderno the night before, I totally skipped breakfast. Probably should have gone ahead and ate something, as it's clear I have won all I am going to this cruise. Though it's doubtful I'll stop trying. I did do well in the Slot Tournament qualifier. I am in 2nd place with a score that will probably hold up for the Final. I also got to 2nd place in the Blackjack Tournament qualifier, but kept slipping down the board, and I am currently 6th and will most likely have to get in another qualifier on Thursday, if I want to sit at the Final table.
Next stop was the Living Room, after getting suited up, to kill some time before the VIP Cocktail Party in the Haven. I met some of my fellow solo travelers. That was fun. It is an interesting and eclectic mix in the Studio complex. As far as I can tell the ages range from 20something to 80+, and everything from first time cruisers to people whove done 50 or more. So that was nice.
So, I went to the Captain's Cocktail Party. Hung out for an hour talking to bunches of interesting people.   The total lack of caring or anything approaching VIP service was reinforced when the Hotel Director, Richard, walked right past me, twice, without a word, as his secretary, RASHIDA (who is awesome), came right across the room to say "hi" and give me a hug, and talk a few minutes about my last cruise on the EPIC, where I was actually treated well by the HD and his staff...
 Decided to skip the Blue Man Group, in favor of dinner at Le Bistro. When I went there a foursome of fellow travelers asked me to join them. Some of my California/Nevada desert peeps. Great conversation, and a new connection: The one couple own a party bus company in Vegas, AND an exotic car rental! So, if you need a Ferrari or Lamborghini to impress the valet's on your next Las Vegas run, CALL DAVE HOLMAN TRAVEL, at 760.265.3687, and I can hook you up a deal. (how subtle was that commercial plug?). So, dinner was a nice French Onion Soup, followed by the Salad Gourmande which had endive and greens with walnuts and slices of smoked duck with a nice champagne vinegarette. The entre was rack of lamb. Very tender and tasty. Desert: Creme Brulee. Because I can't say no to Creme Brulee.
Decided to catch the Second City show at Headliners. Ran into a couple of ladies from the Solo gathering in the Living Room earlier, and talked a bit. And then two of the BDM's from Norwegian came in (Tamara, who handles New Jersey and Lisa, who is the BDM for South America), along with Martin, (that's an "ee" at the end), an agent from Argentina. I have to say, the show was not great. Could have been me, as I don't think I was in the right mood for improv. Or it could just have been an off night. It happens. After the show Lisa threatened me with physical harm if I didn't join them all in Bliss for at least one dance, so, just out of a sense of self-preservation, I wnet with them. It was kinda slow, but I danced. You know that saying about "Dance like no one is looking"? I've modified it to "Dance WHERE no one's looking". Really, it's best for all concerned. And I did get a chance to meet and talk to the Motown singers. That's the kids that do the back up for Legends in Concert, as well as the great Motown revue stuff in the Manhattan Room at the Legends Unplugged show.
So, anyway, it had been a long and emotional day. I slipped out quietly while the ladies were on the dance floor, went on down for a late night cookie and coffee in the Living Room, and headed to dream land, so I can be rested up for SINT MAARTEN/ST MARTIN today.
I'll let you know how that turns out.

later, dudes and dudettes!

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