First days at sea

Trip Start Apr 17, 2009
Trip End May 06, 2009

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Flag of Bermuda  ,
Monday, April 20, 2009

It has been a busy 2 days since I last posted. On Saturday, going through the embarkation process at the pier was easy, thanks to the VIP status that comes with having a suite. Why are we in a suite? Well, we had been on numerous cruises before, but never in anything more than an oceanview cabin until two years ago when we booked a Hawaiian cruise on the Norwegian Pride of America for our 25th anniversary. We were supposed to be in a balcony cabin when a month before the cruise, we got a call from NCL offering to upgrade us to an Owners Suite for a nominal extra charge. Of course we jumped at the offer. We had a gorgeous cabin, but it was all the VIP perks you get that really made it worthwhile. NCL is known for having the best suite program in the cruise industry. So now this is our third NCL cruise, all of them in suites. We've been spoiled and we can't go back to a regular cabin again. We would feel like we were missing out on so much. If I talk about something that we've done and say it was a VIP perk, I'm not trying to brag about it. I'm just outlining the extras we get so that you could see why we think the suite life is worth it. The funny thing is that NCL made a shrewd move giving us that OS two years ago. We've paid them back in spades since then. So that's our story of why we cruise in suites now. It's their fault.

Getting back to the ship, one of the first things we did was head to the spa and purchase 2 passes to their exclusive spa lounge. The spa has Jacuzzis, a Hydrotherapy pool, saunas, steam, and heated ceramic lounges in a large quiet room on deck 12 forward with a great view off the bow. When we made it back to the cabin, our luggage had arrived so we unpacked, then had to go to the muster drill, then go up on deck while we sailed out of NY harbour. Got some nice pictures of that here.

Now it was time to get to work. Huh? Yeah, I know. This is a vacation. Let me explain. We joined a roll call of fellow passengers on the Cruise Critic website, and we offered to arrange a get together for the roll call once we got onboard. I also designed a T-shirt for the cruise which I sold on the roll call. I ordered the shirts from a website and had them delivered to a person on the roll call who lived in New York. So after picking up the shirts from said person, Diane and I spent much of Saturday night and Sunday morning delivering the shirts and name tags and reminding people of the Meet & Greet scheduled for Sunday at 11am in the Magenta dining room.

The Meet & Greet went off well. People liked the shirt design too. Everyone was very appreciative of our efforts, so that was nice to know everyone was happy and had a good time. Approximately 80 people (out of 100 on the roll call) showed up and made some new friends. The Gem sent 8 of their officers as well to introduce themselves, answer some questions and wish us a great holiday.

So after all that was out of the way, our vacation could now start. We spent the afternoon chilling out in the spa. Those heated ceramic lounges are to die for. After dinner, we lost a little money in the casino, and retired for the evening. On Monday morning, the roll call is having a cabin crawl. Thankfully I'm not arranging this one. About 60 people will be meeting to go walkabout the ship viewing various cabin types from inside rooms to the grand Garden Villa up on the private deck 14. I should have some pictures of that to post later.

Til next time...
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