Norwegian Getaway, 11/29 - 12/6 ST THOMAS

Our day in St Thomas started badly, but improved over time. Rolled out early, got some coffee, and realized I had never received vouchers for our 9am excursion. "Accessible St Thomas" was the only wheelchair accessible excursion on offer from Norwegian when I was preparing for this trip, so I booked it. So, I was there at the excursion desk when they opened to inquire. They told me the excursion was cancelled, and that everyone had been notified of same, which was not true. I ran back to the room and checked thru 200 saved and deleted emails, and nothing. Looked thru my phone log for a call from NCL (I know all their numbers), and nothing. Finally I checked my bank account, and, sure enough...the $98 had been refunded on the 28th. Which would be when I was busy getting across the country to board the ship, and not obsessively checking bank balances on the off chance someone was sending me money. So, I was a little pissed and stewed for a while. Then I decided to try and see if I could make some other arrangements. Heading back downstairs, we ran in to Sean Wormhoeringer, the Hotel Director, taking pictures with all his staff. They saw us and ran over to get a picture crowding around Steve and I, so it was hard to stay mad. But I did explain the situation, and he immediately went to get Greg, the Shore Excursion Manager. He repeated what the desk guy had told me, and I assured him I had NOT received any notice. He also told me he was not aware of any other excursion I might book on my own. He was apologetic and all, but basically said there was nothing he could do. So we gave up the dream, grabbed a little breakfast and headed out to the mall to do some shopping. Hit my favorite gourmet grocery to stock up on some sauces and condiments that I can't ever find in California, went to the bank to restock the cash supply, and we were in a souvenir shop getting some trinkets for the keikes when Greg walked in and asked us if we were still up for an excursion. He had managed to arrange a private excursion starting at 12:30. Obviously the answer was "yes". So we paid for our purchases, went back onboard to lay Steve down for an hour before heading back and finding our tour guy.
We loaded up and headed out. In an 18 passenger minibus, with just two of us. Went to a all the usual spots to get pictures (Mountain Top, Magen's Bay, etc). Being just us, and having done our shopping earlier, we basically ran thru the 3 hour tour in 2 hours, which was fine, as Steve had been up a long time, and got back to the ship around 2:30. Steve was exhausted (mountain roads are hard work). We did have a great time, the guide was cool, and I am VERY appreciative of the extra effort Sean and Greg went thru on our behalf. Now I have to talk to someone about the $248 charge on my account.
So, I laid Steve back down for a bit before we got dressed for dinner. Back up around 4:30, tooled around the ship until our dinner at Teppanyaki at 6. We went in and took our seats, and were joined by the loveliest family from Chicago. In one of those things that happen on ships, we were already acquainted with two of them. A couple days ago, sitting in O'Sheehans, someone came up to me and said "Good presentation" or something. The lady at the next table with her daughter asked if I was on staff, as the senior staff had just done a thing in the lobby. I assured her my presentation was a little less than all that. But we chatted a few minutes as people do. And then she walked in to Teppanyaki with her husband and 2 more kids in tow. We proceeded to re-introduce ourselves. Tammy, Don, Bella (15), Miles (12) and Gabby (11). The children really were delightful. I have noticed the teens/tweens I meet while traveling are generally more enjoyable to be around than the ones I meet elsewhere. I think travel brings on maturity. And curiousity. And dampens the attitude. Which is why I recommend people take their kids places. So we all talked about the weather in our respective hometowns, what we did today, etc. Gave the kids a quick tip on chopsticks which Gabby mastered immediately, and Miles just couldn't get. Our cook showed up and started the show. He was great. Especially with the youngsters. Flipping food in their mouths, etc. The dinner was excellent. And I did get some video which will be uploaded here, when I get to a cheaper internet connection.
After dinner we moved around the ship looking for some good music. There was karaoke in the Grammy Experience that didn't suck too bad. And a piano guy at the Martinia Bar who was quite talented, but wasn't starting his Beatles Tribute set for another hour. Bliss wasn't really happening yet. So we hit the casino for a few minutes until Steve decided he was done for the day.
It was, overall, a long, tiring but ultimately excellent day.

Tomorrow is a day at sea, and I for one, and looking forward to just chilling out and resting up for Nassau and Atlantis on Friday. I'll keep you posted!

[here I go: If you are looking to book a trip, give Holman Travel a call at 760.265.3687. And keep clicking on those ads, I may have to pay for that excursion ;-) Thanks]

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