Transatlantic Voyage Norwegian Epic – April 20th – May 1 2013
This post is sponsored by The Seeker Wine
I’m going to start this by saying that for 2.5 days I dutifully recorded my many activities, then I met up with BJ decided to have non stop fun instead and that went out the window. This is probably better for anyone reading this since play by plays can be pretty dull anyway. So here is the recap of the first 4 days with the last 2 being more succinct. 🙂
I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Miami with Jennifer and caught a cab to the airport. Left the hotel at Noon – Arrived around 12:20 Embarkation was quick and we were on board by 12:40 One of the quickest embarkations I’ve had to date.
We were told that the rooms were pretty much ready and we could leave our luggage in them, so we went to our respective floors dropped off what we had and made our way to lunch at Taste restaurant, where I actually sit no typing this.
The announcement for the safety drill came on and I recognized a familiar voice. It was Dan Olsen who was also the cruise Director on 3 of 4 of our cruises on the Jewel. It’s always nice to run into familiar faces (and voices) while on board a ship.
The afternoon went by quickly and it was soon time to head to meet up with Silvia and Jennifer and head to the solo lounge. Besides ourselves we recognized another traveler from the April TA last year. Juan from South America. The gathering was well attended and they planned a group dinner, but we decided to head to dinner together as we had some catching up to do and we hadn’t yet met anyone that we gelled with and wanted to eat with besides each other.
After a tasty meal accompanied by live music at the Manhattan room we went to Headliners comedy club and spent a few hours at Howl at the Moon the dueling Pianos show. The best part of the show is joining in and singing loudly whether you can sing or not. A second to that is choosing songs that you know they don’t want to tackle just to see if they will.
I decided to have a long sleep in so the night before I popped a couple of over the counter sleeping pills. I had a great rest and felt like I’d be able to get through the day and more importantly dancing through the night without ending a nap.
When I got to the Bliss lounge for Cruise Critic Meet and Greet the first face I saw there was Dan Olsen the Cruise Director, He told me he saw a few familiar faces from past cruises on the Jewel. He’ll be on the Epic a bit longer and then will be a CD on the Breakaway! Unfortunately we’ll miss seeing him on our voyage as he doesn’t come on until mid-summer.
I thought that I’d head to the gym, well actually I did head to the gym but the treadmills, elliptically and rowing machines were full. I guess this is a pretty health conscious crowd because last year at lunch time the gym was anything but full. Realizing that I’d have to get there later I figured that I’d have lunch instead. Exercise can wait, besides if I keep running up and down the steps not to mention dance, I’ll have more than enough exercise each day for the comparatively little that I usually eat. And here I now sit typing this up thinking about what I should do next.
About 8 staff members showed up to the M&G including Kaj the Hotel Director and Dan Olsen the Cruise Director who was most recently CD on the Norwegian Jewel.
Jennifer and I decided to head out for photos with Captain Frank and the dinner at Le Bistro on that I was able to get complimentary due to my Platinum Latitudes status. I brought my bottle of The Seeker wine Rose and wine dined like Parisians.
As a Latitudes Platinum member I’m entitled to a free dinner at Le Bistro. Jennifer was available so we put on out fancy dresses for Dress Up or not Night and dined Parisian style enjoy a nice bottle of The Seeker wine Rose. Which went perfectly with our non meat dishes, though I could see it going good with a Chicken dinner. We finished that off and so the bottle that I chose from the menu that came gratis I was able to give to Jennifer for a later meal.
Afterward we changed clothes and figured we’d hit the dance club after briefly stopping by to listen to the guys at Howl at the Moon.
It was right after our dueling pianos stop that I had the best experience of the trip so far. Getting ready to head up the steps to Bliss I passed by what thought was a familiar face, I wasn’t sure but the thought nagged me for the few seconds it took me to go up a flight. I finally looked over the balcony and figured at worst I’d embarrass myself by yelling out the wrong name. B.J. I called out, and lo and behold he turned! B.J. We had met on the Transatlantic crossing on the Epic the year before. He had also taken the return in October which I wasn’t on, so I had missed seeing his smiling face, hearing his funny jokes, enjoying his sunny disposition and tearing up the dance floor with him. I didn’t think that I’d see him again but I’m beyond glad that I did. Needless to say that night the both of us along with Sylvia and Jennifer spent a few hours on the dance floor showing people “how it’s done”, being silly and just having a good time enjoying each other’s company.
An Epic TA Jennifer, Sylvia, and B.J. well it seems like it’s going to be a great trip!
Since we lost and hour and I didn’t get to sleep until about 3:30am I made sure I had the Do Not Disturb sign set and just slept in until I felt like getting up. Sometime around 11:00am I managed to roll out of bed , wash and proceed to dress. Before I but on my makeup there was a ring on the phone from B. J. telling me to get up as they were still serving breakfast for late comers like me and that he’d meet me upstairs.
Somehow (because I was still half asleep) I made joy way up there and had some lunch while talking to him and Barry then Barry and I decided to head to musical trivia which we almost won, but worry not, we made up for that almost later on! The Men Behind Blue Man Group was next and was actually a really cool Q and A with four young men that spend a good portion of their professional lives the shade of Cookie Monster.
We made a quick stop near Bermuda to drop someone off for a medical emergency, so I took advantage of the sunny weather and hit the water slides for two hours! The truth is I think this is my favorite part of being on The Epic. I enjoy climbing to the top of the stairs and looking out onto the ocean while getting ready to take a plunge down a slide about 40 feet. I honestly can’t stop smiling and laughing when I’m on it, and anything or anyone that can make me so that continuously is A-okay with me!
I don’t remember what I did that morning, probably slept until 11am because that is what mornings on vacations are for, I don’t care what anyone says about Breakfast being the most important meals of the day, if it doesn’t start at Noon it’s not the meal that I’m going to be most interested in.
Besides when dancing all night and losing an hour of sleep every other day due to crossing the date line sleeping until 11am or even 2pm makes the most sense.
I know that I had brunch with BJ because that was what we did, he had breakfast and sooner or later I made it upstairs and we had brunch and somewhere along the way Barry would show up and we’d all go over the days activities to see what we were interested in. That day we decided on musical trivia again…and this time we won. Completely. Every single answer was right. Thanks to Barry who knows even the most obscure piece of television trivia.
The question that got us all questions right, (even bonus questions) was what was the full name of the skipper on Gilligan’s Island.
We rounded out the afternoon with Margarita tasting which is really the best deal for liquor on the ship. So be it Margarita, Martini or Beer take advantage of it when you see it!
That evening I had dinner with BJ, Sylvia and Jennifer. For that I brought The Seeker Red specifically for Sylvia and BJ the two meat eaters in our group. BJ noticed the hints of Vanilla right away and truly enjoyed it. I shouldn’t have been surprised that his palate would catch it because even though he currently works in a different field he actually went to school for Culinary Arts.
The evening was rounded off with heading to Fabba night with Jennifer and dancing of course.
I love a vacation where my biggest questions are: “Do I get on the water slides before I eat or after?” and “Where are I going to eat dinner tonight?”
Part two soon to come!
Notes / Comments:
3014 passengers. About 700 more than last year, and it’s noticeable. There were about 60 children on board.
The Cruise Critic Meet and Greet was in the Bliss Lounge at 11:00am
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