At Sea Day #8

Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Nov 03, 2012

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Got up at 10:02 a.m. aboard Norwegian Epic. I finally made it up in time for breakfast! I went upstairs to the Garden Café to see the breakfast buffet for the first time. I slept in well past breakfast during the previous eight mornings of the trans-Atlantic cruise. Today I enjoyed a custom-made omelet, circular hashbrowns, french toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, biscuit, chocolate croissants, and other goodies.

Returned to my cabin to change into my swimsuit, then headed upstairs for our second hot tropical day. I was displeased to see both pools closed, with nets covering them, and the Epic Plunge waterslide also closed. How could all these water facilities be closed during a sea day in the tropics? I don't understand what is wrong with this ship. I haven’t had this problem on any other cruiseship.

Since many water features were closed, I headed up to Deck 18 and was going to lounge in the sun and read in the forward public section, but as I stepped off the stairs into the Deck 18 lobby, the door swung open as a guest excited the Posh Beach Club. Good luck again! For the second day in a row, I was able to grab the open door and sneak into Posh. I spent a bit under four hours there finishing my Lonely Planet Argentina guidebook while baking in the scorching heat. The thermometer on my clock displayed temperatures as high as 117º in the blazing tropical sun!

I saw Sally in Posh, a woman who has hung out with many folks I know on the ship. She was eating lunch at her loungechair. I didn’t realize that was possible. She said oh yes, just ask the bartender for the lunch menu. Fabulous! There’s nothing special on there – some sandwich options, hamburger, and hotdog – but it was excellent to be able to remain in the quiet confines of Posh without having to exit and go downstairs to the packed Garden Café for lunch.

At the Posh bar, I ordered a chicken caesar wrap with onion rings. This is the first time I’ve seen onion rings on the ship – I’ve never seen them at the buffet or on any of the restaurant menus. It was a nice change from potato chips and french fries. My lunch was delivered to my loungechair about 15 minutes later. Ahhhh, now this is the life! The great advantage of Posh is getting away from all the masses. Posh only had about 15 people there again today when I was there; similar to yesterday. So there’s no scrambling to find an open loungechair or one in a good location. You have your pick of some 100 loungechairs!

Came down to my cabin about 3:00 to drop off my finished book and grab a can of Coke. I called Guest Services to ask about the closed pools and waterslides. The agent placed me on hold so she could contact the Recreation Services Department. She then came back on the phone to explain that the pools are closed due to the movement of the ship. The water was splashing around too much, she said. This makes no sense – we are on a cruiseship; of course we are going to be moving! And the seas have been very calm the past few days – if the pools can’t be open on a calm day like today, when will they ever be open while at sea? It’s absolute insanity. I’ve never been on a cruise where the pools were ever closed during the day. What is wrong with Norwegian Epic? I got the same spiel about the waterslide – she said something about how the Epic Plunge is closed for the second day in a row because the bridge hadn’t given the approval to open it. The other two waterslides were open today. What’s wrong with the other one? I don’t understand. It was a frustrating conversation. Not satisfied with the explanations, I wrote a comment card and left it at the front desk later today. We’ll see if I get a response in writing.

This experience with the closed pools and waterslide today has further soured my opinion of Norwegian Epic. So many things have been disappointing on this ship. It is absolutely shocking how bad so many things are, especially considering his is Norwegian’s newest ship (launched in 2010) and the flagship of its fleet. This experience is really souring my opinion of Norwegian.

I know – "First World problems" – the pools and big waterslide on my giant cruiseship are not open. Pout pout pout. It’s a tough life. LOL.

Headed upstairs to the pool deck, where I read a magazine until Craig arrived sometime about 4 p.m. He brought his iPad and wanted to get some photos and video of the waterslides on that device. So we took turns coming down the two open waterslides (green and purple) and capturing some funny images and videos.

Sunset was really early tonight since we’re now on Atlantic Standard Time (same as Eastern Daylight Time) – sun went down about 5:45 this evening. Craig and I moved to the hot tub at Spice H2O, then I returned to my cabin at 6:05 to change into my gym clothes. Jogged and walked 30 minutes on the treadmill (2.62 miles), then got ready for dinner.

Sorted some photos on my laptop, then went downstairs to Shakers bar at 8:11 to meet folks for dinner. Tonight the group of eight dined at La Cuscina Italian restaurant, which has a $10 cover charge. I laughed that our waiter at the Italian restaurant is from India. I had a six-course meal tonight starting with fried calamari, then a caesar salad. Next was smoked salmon pizza followed by gnocchi with some pork thing and then seafood fettuccine. For dessert, I ate strawberry and chocolate ice cream. The food was all okay, but nothing stood out as really spectacular.

Craig, Jon, Ian, and I stopped by the “Fabba” party at Spice H2O. It was pretty lame, so I departed after a few minutes and came back to my cabin about 11:25. As if there hadn’t been enough problems with the pools today, I noticed my pool towel was missing. I had left it on the floor. During evening turn-down service, the stateroom attendant is supposed to take the used towel and leave a clean one on your bed. I tried phoning housekeeping, but there was no answer. So I called the Guest Services desk, and someone finally answered after the phone rang for three or four minutes. Two fresh blue pool towels were then promptly dispatched to my room.

It’s presently 12:28 a.m. and we are positioned at 18º 43.19’ N, 63º 42.06’ W. We will arrive early tomorrow morning into St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, our first port of call since departing Ponta Delgada, Azores, five days ago. I am supposed to present myself in the Bliss Lounge at 7:15 a.m. for U.S. Customs & Border Protection passport inspection. Ha! There’s a better chance of it snowing in St. Thomas tomorrow than there is of me being awake at 7:15 a.m.
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