Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by paul8: Relaxing cruise from Europe to FLA
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Relaxing cruise from Europe to FLA
WHY I TOOK THIS CRUISE:
I purchased a future cruise on a previous NCL cruise and had to use it up. Plus it was TA and I am just getting interested in TA crossings, plus they tend to be less expensive.
TRAVEL TO EMBARKATION:
I flew to Copenhagen on Icelandic ending up on business class. Reservations were made on coach but whereas I was upgraded to business at no cost and got to eat in the Icelandic Lounge and was able to nibble on lobster and clam chowda, I did not complain.
This was rather smooth, the fastest I have seen it; appears Transatlatic Cruises are speedy. I took my bags with me and 30 minutes after the cab let us off, I was on deck 11 getting something to eat waiting for the clear signal that our cabins were ready.
I left the ship as late as possible for I was staying in Port Canaveral overnight. The only drawback to this was that as this was a transatlantic cruise, according to what we were told by More NCL, there would be no early leaving per Customs officials. Disembarkation for me however was smooth as I left the ship late; there seemed to be few people which surprised me and I went thru Customs rather speedily. What did surprise me was that with all the experience the transportation people had, one would think that obtaining taxis and buses would have been smoother. I wonder what it is like when it is really busy.
The food was average, no great, good, nor poor rather average.
The cabin was quite adequate and the bed size was comfortable. I did not feel as if I was going to fall off it like I did on the Crown Princess in April.
Beware of the $26 washing day. I took advantage of it and would have been better off if I washed the items myself.
These I did not use for the Spa is too expensive and while the Fitness is free (how long will that be?) I did not use it.
Had NCL given away lanyards free I might have used the $.01 or $.02 slots but whereas they did not I chose not to patronize the place. Besides I do not like smoking.
From what I was told the childrens programs were quite satisfactory but there were only about 10 kids on board.
Needless to say I did not use this; it is costly and time consuming plus I am on vacation. If given time free internet time then that would be a different story.
I did not use the telephone at all but brought one with me in case of emergency. Before leaving the states I called the phone company to tell them I would be on vacation. Use of telephone, like the internet, is costly plus again I am on vacation. If anyone wants to get in touch with me they could either leave a message or call me upon returning.
I do not drink and have nothing to say about the bars but do suggest that one think about spending money for drinks aboard a cruise ship as this tends to be expensive.
One would think that during 15 days at sea there would be an odor from the bathrooms but such was not the case; I did not notice it nor did I hear of any comments from my fellow passengers.
GOLF DRIVING NET, BATTING CAGES, SHUFFLE BOARD, BASKETBALL/VOLLEYBALL COURT, BODY WAVES, SPA & BEAUTY SALON:
I did not have occasion to use these.
GALLERIA SHOPS, SHOPPING ARCADE:
I did not patronize these shops with the exception of an Acu-Strap that fits on your wrists for motion sickness. This was $10 and people that had them said they worked including one couple that sailed for more than 15 years. I decided that for $10 you could not go wrong, not that I get sea sick.
LATE NIGHT SNACKS:
The Sun has a limited late night snack menu. Basically you can get something to eat on the ship 24/7.
Towards the end of the cruise there was a chocolate night at 10:30pm which I did not attend as I am not a dessert person plus there is a crowd of about 3000 people all trying to get their hands on chocolate like it was going out of style.
The cabins were equipped with a dispenser for hand and bath and shampoo soap. Bar soap is available but you have to ask your for it.
The evenings entertainment was not bad on the whole however the days activities left much to be desired; one would think that there would be sufficient activities on a TA cruise.
I did not try any of these as I do not like eating alone. Also food is not that important to me; I eat mainly because it is a necessary evil. A couple said they were not impressed with Moderno. Other people I talked to said they were quite satisfied with the specialty restaurants.
I asked many fellow cruisers how they rate this cruise and the average was 5 the reasons being food, entertainment, communication and inadequate facilities for activities. For example there is no reason why a movie is shown in a room that is not suited for that purpose. Now for me the rating is different. Food is really not that important to me. I got quite an experience from other Cruise Critic members that had 10+ cruise under their belt and were experienced in tours. I do not believe you can put a price on this.
Amsterdam: Private 5-6 hour taxi tour with boat trip; walking tour of Marken, boat to Volendam, walking tour of Volendam, Schemerhorn, Windmill museum; scenic ride back to Amsterdam. Duration 9am-2:30pm; total cost 136 Euro plus per person extra of boat trip (4 Euro) & Windmill Museum (5 Euro) plus lunch. On our tour we had 3 people at a total cost of 50 Eur. We did not make the boat trip nor did we see as much of Amsterdam as planned due to a bicycle race and the rerouting of traffic. I would take the tour again and recommend him highly. Information: De Dagtoertaxi www.dagtoertaxi.nl, email@example.com owner Marius Hovius. Windmill museum email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.museummolen.nl.
Zeebrugge-Bruges Taxi Belgium: http://brugsetaxiservice.com/eng.html . This was supposed to be taxi transportation from the pier to Brugge-Bruges only by Brugse Taxi. Three taxis were reserved and were to meet us at the pier. The 1st taxi never showed up. The 2nd taxi had engine trouble and the group ended up taking the tram on the return trip. We in taxi 1 since the taxi never showed up at 9am, decided at 9:10am to hire another taxi operated by Jean Marie Schapdrijver, email@example.com. He had been at the terminal a good 45 minutes and took our 8 passengers to Bruges for 50 Eur one-way and was waiting for us at 2:30pm for the return trip at 3:30. This was too close for me as we had to be on the ship at 4:30 but the experienced Cruise Critic members assured me that the drive from Bruges to Zeebrugge and the port was only 30 minutes. Bruges Taxi Service does get good revues from other CCers but I cant recommend them because of this experience, rather in the future I will use the taxi operated by Jean Marie.
Lisbon: Tour included Sintra, Cascals, the Estoril Coast, Belem, & the Hills of Lisbon; included picnic lunch and famous Pastels do Belem, Ginjinha (Portuguese Cherry Liquor). Not included Palace entry (Eur 5) and ice cream (Eur 2.50). Cost of trip Eur 50/pp. Our guide was Bruno; the 4 taxis (taking a total of 39 people) were waiting for us at the pier. Since we had vans, we were able to go places that buses were not able to go. After visiting Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, we had lunch of wine, cheese and sandwiches. Later in Cascals we stopped for ice-cream and were back to the ship at 3pm as pre-arranged. The tour was through www.wehatetourismtours.com and Bruno gave a splendid tour.
Ponta Delgada: by Amazing Tours; Cost Eur 8 pp per hour. Ricardo, the owner was at the pier at 9am waiting for us, gave us a wonderful tour of the island, we stopped to see the hot springs, he treated us to pineapple grown in the Azores, and brought us back to the ship by 1pm. He suggested a local restaurant for lunch Casa de Pasto; I do not know what it is about the Portuguese, but the meat was very tender and the best we have ever tasted, reminded me of Emeril Lagasse (http://www.emerils.com). The price of the meal was quite reasonable at EU 53 for 3 people.
HOTEL IN COPENHAGEN:
I stayed at the centrally located Savoy Hotel along with 4 other cruise critic members (not in the same room of course). This is blocks away from Tivoli and Stroget. The rooms are quite adequate and what one would find in a European or Danish Hotel.
Thurs / Friday 9-15 to 16 2011: BOS to CPH overcast; BOS wx cold front coming thru, fall like weather predicted for next few days
I left the apt at 6pm, asked the concierge to call me a cab to the airport but a cab was dropping someone off so I hopped in. At the Icelandic terminal I got in the line for Saga/Business (there was not any line at all) got my ticket, went thru TSA, & used the lounge. Funny, but I thought I made reservations for the coach end, however I didnt complain. The shrimp cocktail was not bad and my hands were too shaky to eat the lettuce; the New England Clam Chowda was okay but no comparison to Legal Seafoods. I tried to get online while at the Icelandic lounge, followed directions, couldnt so I gave up, my temper was flaring later I remembered that I did something wrong:). The plane flew about 30,000 altitude, since the moon was shining bright it looked like the clouds were dancing. Flight from Boston to Reykjavik was rather calm considering there was a hurricane and rain showers below us. We arrived in Reykjavik about 6am local or 2am Boston. On the flight from Reykjavik to Copenhagen, I met a lad who said Denmark just had an election. I mentioned that Malmo is not far from Copenhagen and he stated that they have already begun construction of a Metro to there. He also mentioned that many Danes buy houses in Sweden because housing is cheaper; he added that those Danes work in Denmark, pay taxes to Denmark but because they live in Sweden they are not allowed to vote. I asked him if Denmark is as expensive as they say it is; he replied yes. During both flights, I did not get much sleep, rather watched the monitor on the back of the seat in front of me. We landed in Copenhagen, partly cloudy; it was nice to see the sun again. After picking up my luggage I should have gone to the Forex booth to change money but I didnt so went thru customs using the door nothing to declare. At the Information Desk I purchased the 72 hour Copenhagen card which to my surprise expired at 2am Monday; I was not aware you could buy the card for day. I asked directions to Central Station and was told to take a left, go straight, take train 2 and go downstairs. Translated that means go take a left, go past the sign that says train #1 and walk until you see train #2, upon entering an escalator whisks you downstairs. Three stops later and I was at the Central Station, no changes were involved The walk to the Savoy Hotel was not bad considering I had 1 bag @ 2 carryon plus a laptop.
Sat 9/17/11 CPH: High 61, low 55, mostly cloudy, wind NW 21mph
I didnt do much today; put on yesterdays underwear since they were washed last night and dried quickly. First I had breakfast, which I take it was a Danish breakfast since Im in Denmark. Then I had trouble with the laptop, brought it down to the front desk and both of us do not know what she did but she fixed it. It seems I know more about desktops than laptops. As it was raining outside when I left the hotel the clerk told me I could use one of the umbrellas the hotel lends at no cost. Walking to a Foreign Exchange I cashed $100 into Danish Kroner also cashed $50 into DKR then into Euros getting 20 Euros; the currency exchange had to do it that way and I needed the Euros. By that time it was noon and time to eat so I found a restaurant for 59 DKR plus water of 20 DKR. After the meal I took a nap, actually was still tired from the airplane ride yesterday. The evening clerk gave me several inexpensive restaurants but the only one I could find was one called Burger something; the place sold pizzas and burgers and mostly does a take-out business. I had a burger for 39 DKR plus 20 for water. Now $1 = approx. 5 DKR so that would make water about $5 for .5 liters or 17 oz by my calculations which is way more than I would spend in the states. I tried my Nook in the burger joint but it isnt working probably; maybe it misses the states?. Between eating lunch and supper today, my nook went on the fritz; I will have to get it fixed when I return to Boston. The clerk at the Hotel Savoy told me that the old elevator they have is one of the oldest in Denmark.
Sun 9/18/11 CPH: High 60, low 54; rain; wind NE to NW 12mph; 1002mb
I walked to Tivoli today, got there at opening time, about 11am, entrance fee paid by the Copenhagen Card, walked around an hour, nothing doing, so left and stopped at Jensens Boefhus for a 59 DKR meal. This was the first time where the waitress asked me if I wanted bottled water or tap water. Naturally I said tap since I have enough of the bottled water. As I was eating, it rained roughly 5 minutes. It seems that everyplace I go, I get bottled water and what I do not drink I take with me. There remained in my wallet 500 DKR and that was for 3 meals; my intention was to splurge on a taxi from the Savoy Hotel to the cruise port on Tuesday. Its strange to see the way people dress here as this weather to me is raw but one sees men in t-shirts, shorts, girls in short shorts; sort of like Boston in winter and one views a man in shorts. The desk clerk informed me of a Danish Pizzeria that makes its own dough. I started to walk to Fontana Di Trevi, borrowing an umbrella as it was raining out & had a tuna fish sandwich that was more than filling for 38 DKR. It is located in a basement did not have knives, forks, or spoons; it mainly relies on take out although there is one table for eat in. The hotel clerk told me that whenever he eats there he has a sandwich but admitted he has not been there in awhile and did not know they served lasagna saying he would not have it as the place is known for its pizza and sandwiches.
Mon 9/19/11 CPH: partly cloudy, high 61, Low 52, wind NNE 15 mph, pressure 1009 mb, humidity 85%, visibility very good
First I walked to a bank to get Euros but was told they first had to convert the $ to DKR then DKR to Euros, the teller told me that I would lose conversion in that way and to try Forex at the nearby central train station as maybe they would do it. Forex told me they could only do it by DKR then Eur. So I guess it is back to my bank in the states. Then I walked to Stroget the walking street and could not see anything in it; seems its popularity is blown out of proportion. There was a bike race ending or something. I walked back to Jensens Bofhus for lunch and had a hamburger. Was thinking of getting something else but I decided against it which was good. When I got back to the hotel the clerk informed me that taxi fare to the cruise terminal was 180 DKR; as I had 200 DKR left it meant that supper would have to be charged. For supper I went to an Italian restaurant near the hotel, had spaghetti with meat sauce as that was one of the cheapest on the menu. Upon receipt of the slip I noticed that I was charged for 288 DKR. Had I not said anything, well I doubt it was an honest mistake. So I was refunded 100 DKR & change which made me happy as then I had more than enough to pay for the taxi. When I returned to the hotel there was a message from Tracy. She told me that she and her husband were out of DKR and asked if I would I pay for the taxi and they would reimburse me; I gladly replied in the affirmative. Back at the room I started to pack as they wanted me to meet them in the lobby at 11am the next day.
Tue 9/20/11 CPH AMS: partly cloudy, high 59, low 57, wind NW 17 mph, humidity 77%, pressure 1018 mb, visibility good
I started packing last night then woke up in the am as I could not sleep and finished packing. All that remained were the ready for the day stuff which I packed after breakfast. Tracy and her husband met me in the lobby, Tracy saying our cab is here. He almost took us to the airport until Tracy corrected him and he drove all around Copenhagen because there was a bike race going on. Other cruisers paid a high price for taxis but it seems we were exempt for at the airport our driver turned off the meter when he realized his mistake. Upon entering the cabin I saw 2 double beds which totally blocked up the entrance. So I asked Sidney Louis, my stateroom steward, to make the 2 double beds into 1 and what a difference. The suitcases went under the bed and the clothes were hung up in the closet with care. A balcony is a nice room to have, I do not need a balcony but for the extra $ it is worth it in my mind. Still my friend Bernie and others say that an inside is all cabin is all one really needs because how much time do you spend in the cabin? Most cruisers do not spend much time, however I do and the bigger the cabin the better?. For supper I had 2 lobster tails with fish and vegetables; the lobster tails did not compare to down Maine. Two lobster tails were needed, 1 for me and 1 for my friend Lou. At the dining table I took pictures of the two couples at supper but forgot to get their email addresses.
Wed 9/21/11 At Sea on way to Amsterdam; cloudy, 61F, sunrise 7:09am, sunset 7:40pm
This morning at 12:30am I went to Deck 11 & the Sports Bar for a midnight snack. The daily calendar showed this restaurant open until about 5:30am. The weather appeared to have warmed up a bit. Getting back to Bernie (above) and his like for an inside cabin, that feeling seems justified as the cruise lines do not exactly give you what is called a roomy cabin. It is okay for a short period of time, but in reality how much time does one spend in a cabin? Bernie is planning a trip to the Panama Canal and last I spoke to him was thinking of changing from an inside cabin to a balcony as recommended by the travel agent. Met Frank from KY at breakfast; he cruised extensively with his wife but stopped when she passed away. A few years ago he looked up and asked her if it was okay to resume and now he cruises quite often. It appears he lives on cruise lines returning to KY for just a few weeks. For the remainder of this year he had 2 cruises planned. He was very interesting due to the fact that he has cruised so much. The Cruise Critic Meet and Greet was held in the Observation Lounge on Deck 11; there must have been about 100 in attendance. Various Officers from the ship were there, and irate member posed a question to the Cruise Director that should not have been part of the M&G. Steve introduced the Officers, introduced Dave who coordinated the Cabin Crawl, and other member. It was time for lunch so I took the elevator to the Seven Sea Restaurant and sat with a couple from Scotland, a couple from FLA, and a gentleman from FLA. After lunch I went to the Casino for a lanyard but was told I had to go to the front desk and purchase one. So I went back to my room and used the lanyard that said Holland America Line on it as HAL gave them out free. I was going to see the movie Vikings but my eyes had another idea; just could not keep them open so I went back to cabin for a nap. Supper with two couples both from GA and a female I never was introduced to. Two women worked for a phone company and it was humorous to hear the changes that were made from the party lines when phones were first used to todays telephones. The first phones had as many as 8 party lines and mention was made of a teacher that brought in a phone to her classroom and the youngsters queried how to operate the thing. Then Showtime with pianist and singer Claire Maidin (http://www.clairemaidin.com) in the Stardust Lounge; the audience gave her a standing ovation and she returned for several encores.
Thu 9/22/11 Amsterdam 8am-4:30pm; partly cloudy; 61F; sunrise 7:28am, sunset 7:39pm
Waking up at 6:45am I got ready for the day and proceeded down to Deck 5 near the Java Caf to meet Francis and Ed for our taxi tour of Amsterdam. Eventually we got off the ship and met our taxi guide Marius. The tour is explained above under Tours/Transportation; the morning started out cloudy but the sun finally won and it proved to be a fantastic day. For lunch Frances and I both had fish sandwiches at 3 EU each while Ed had a vegetarian for 4 EU. When we got back to the ship at 3pm I immediately went to the cabin to work on numbering the photos taken. Supper was at 5:30 with 2 couples that were part of a group of 400. In the end I got to talking to one of the couples, one of them mentioned Amateur Radio. He was Charles (http://www.charlesekanter.com) who lived in FL in Key West and was very active with communications during one of the hurricanes. Both he and his wife are amateur radio operators and sailed the Caribbean for 15 years. Both are writers and it will be very difficult for them to retire; they told me their income is from real estate. I called the staterooms of the 8 cruise critic members that were signed up for the taxi to remind them to meet at 8:30am tomorrow on Deck 5 in the Java Caf.
Fri 9/23/11 Zeebrugge-Bruges 8am-4:30pm: partly cloudy, 62F, sunrise 7:37am, sunset 7:44pm
A wake up at 5am then I could not go back to sleep and ended up tossing and turning until 7am when I got ready for the day and proceeded to deck 5. For the review of the taxi service please refer to the Zeebrugge-Brugge taxi above under Tours/Transportation. We were left off at the market square and each went separate ways. I went with a group; who we made up our own tour building by building. After lunch the others went someplace and I could not find them so ended up going to a local store to buy Jeans but something told me not to buy so I didnt. I walked back to the square and the taxi was there well before the 3:30pm pickup. Back at the ship I went to my cabin, took a nap, then went to 5pm supper and then to the magic of Erix Logan (http://www.erixlogan.com) ; there is just so much magic you can see, they all are basically the same and eventually you have an idea of how the tricks are done. The 7pm show was so interesting that I did not stay to see the 9pm show. At 11pm I got up and went to Deck 11 for a midnight snack.
Sat 9/24/11 At Sea: overcast, 62F, sunrise 6:59am, sunset 7:19pm
I spent the day going to the Latitudes meeting for NCL cruisers and working on organizing photos. Fred and I had breakfast together again and at lunch I met him again and we sat with 2 couples, 1 from FL and 1 from Niagara Falls Canada. For supper I sat with another couple from Canada and Fl. Tonights show Shout the Mod Musical with 5 ladies from the UK was ok but nothing to write home about. Tonight we turn our clocks back. Today was laundry day, for $26 all you can stuff in one bag, I sent the pr of pants, shirt, sweater I wore since leaving Boston; would have been cheaper if I washed them myself.
Sun 9/25/11 At Sea: partly cloudy, 68F, sunrise 7:26am, sunset 7:32am
I saw the movie Life as you know it, then lunch, next International Trivia with Cruise Director Pedro. The cruise critic roll call had a cabin crawl/poker run; I showed up at the Sports Bar and was given a piece of paper. Each participant in the poker run was to sign his name along with the card he/she drew. I went to my cabin so did not get all the instructions plus I do not gamble although for the $5 fee I was thinking of it.
Mon 9/26/11 Lisbon: sunny, 83F, sunrise 7:31am, sunset 7:28am
For the tour and review, please see Lisbon above under Tours/Transportation. The tour was great and many thanks for bht195 (Tracy) for arranging it. The fact that the day was sunny with temps in the 80s only made it more enjoyable. We got back to the ship at 3pm and Bruno offered us a taste of Cherry Rum (free) but as I do not drink I went onboard to the a/c. Someone mentioned at supper that the Sun got a new captain for the TA leg. Taxis were available at the pier for cruisers who did not reserve a tour. Pedro, the NCL Sun cruise director from Portugal, warned us to be careful of pick pockets saying they are very clever. A woman on our tour kept her money in her bra; I think that even this was not safe, just makes stealing a bit more difficult.
Tue 9/27/11 At Sea: mostly cloudy, 73F, sunrise 6:55am, sunset 7:09pm
I had a breakfast with a couple from NY who now reside in FL. The woman was more interested in conversing with a woman at another table, which I considered rude. She also put her hands on every muffin until she found the one she liked. Some people believe the world revolves around them. Eventually both women left and I asked the husband what he did in his former life. He told me that in NY he had a furniture business and moved to FL on his wifes recommendation. He tried to find work, out of boredom of doing nothing not the he needed the money, but was unable to. He tried the window cleaning business but that was not for him. Then he worked in insurance and ended up working for Prudential retiring after 10 years with disability due to a back injury. It was a nice conversation; he did all the talking and I the listening (Im a great listener?). At noon the captain came on with his daily announcement. The ship is traveling at maximum speed of 24 knots, the seas are rough and we are expecting to pick-up the pilot boat for Ponta Delgada tomorrow at 8am. I went to the Norwegian T-shirt Promotion but really do not need a T-shirt. At lunch I sat with Frank, one of the couples from Niagara Falls that I had already met, and a couple from FL. Frank told a joke about a Panda Bear who goes into a restaurant, eats, shoots up the place, then leaves. The Maitre-D tries to stop him; the Panda told the Maitre-D that he is a Panda and to look up Panda in the dictionary. The Maitre-D does and it says a bear from Australia who eats, shoots, and leaves.
Wed 9/28/11 Ponta Delgada, Azores: Partly Cloudy, 73F, sunrise 7:35am, sunset 7:29pm
We had a tour by Ricardo age 38 and owner of Amazing Tours. The review is under Tours/Transportation above. He was waiting for us at the pier at 9am, gave us a wonderful tour of the island and returned us to the ship by 1pm. We asked his suggestion for a restaurant for lunch and he suggested Casa de Pasto Restaurant O Aviao. The steak we had was, as the French say, magnifico; juicy, tender, and prepared just right. Taxis were also available at this port for cruisers who did not reserve a tour. Tonight I caught the 7pm show of Nadeen Queen of Hypnosis. It was okay but basically it was the same show I saw on the Crown Princess in April 2011.
Thurs 9/29//11 At Sea: partly cloudy, 74F, sunrise 6:56am, sunset 7:02pm
About 12:30am I went to the Sports Bar for a midnight snack. Breakfast with Frank again and a couple from CA; she is still working; he retired at 42 after selling his trucking business. Next I saw the movie Little Fockers in the Borneo Room, saw the movie on the Crown Princess in April. Lunch was uneventful; two couples from FL, both Navy retired men. Next the movie America and the Passenger Train with host Richard Luckin. He is a passenger who brought material with him and is presenting this free of charge, so we were told. I went to the Stardust Lounge to see Hypnosis Revealed with Nadeen and was not impressed. At supper one of a gentleman ordered pea soup which is usually green but the soup was served brown and the couple he very upset. He complained about the food and went on from there saying NCL has cut back etc. Well if you want to complain you will find something to complain about. During Showtime Encore I asked a couple I had met their opinion. He said that out of a 10 this cruise probably ranks a 5; he said the dining room employees do not seem to care, the language conversation could be better. He reminded me that I asked his opinion and he was giving it to me.
Fri 9/30/11 At Sea: partly cloudy, 75F, sunrise 7:31am, sunset 7:37pm
This morning I had breakfast with Mr. & Mrs. Richard Luckin, Frank, a couple from FL who have lived in various states as he worked for Excide Battery & was transferred a lot. Richard gave a documentary yesterday afternoon at 2PM in Dazzles on America and the Passenger Train. What was nice about this was that he was not part of the NCL crew, the passengers really enjoyed the movie/talk and it was entertainment provided by an outsider filling the void of entertainment NCL provided. Richard also told us that the Sun was not made for NCL but another line. I went to the Library and picked up the daily crossword and trivia puzzles then went to the Windjammer Room and ended up participating in Trivia with host Claudine. At lunch I sat with Frank again, a lady from OR & a couple from FL. I asked the lady what she thought of the trip; out of 10 she gave it a 6. After lunch I went to the Observation Lounge and participated in International Trivia with Pedro then saw the movie Eat Pray Love in Las Ramblas. After supper with Frank and 4 people from the Legendary Tour Group (could do without eating at the same table with that group) I went to 7 & 9 pm shows of The Comedy of Ross Bennett who was very funny; perhaps the audience liked him more so for NCL really does not have that much in the way of activities for a TA cruise. He closed his shows by telling those under 50 the procedure you go through in preparing for a colonoscopy which the audience found very humorous. Next I listened to the Crew and Guest Karaoke in Dazzles before going to the Garden Caf for a late night snack. For late night snacks NCL really does not have a variety but food is always available.
Sat 10/1/11 At Sea; mostly cloudy, 75F, sunrise 7:08am, sunset 7:09pm
I had breakfast with a couple from Canada via Poland and a couple from FL. The couple from Canada have been on 22 cruises with Princess and liked that line mainly because of the perks; they rate this cruise a 6 out of 10. I saw the movie Something Borrowed and was a participant in Urban Legends Trivia II. Next lunch and the captain gave his daily announcement saying we should miss hurricanes Ophelia and Philippe but the seas might get a little rough tomorrow. After that I saw the movie The Most Beautiful Train in the World with host Richard Luckin. Next I saw the movie Mamma Mia. Supper with Frank again, a couple from Michigan, and a retired ATT employee from Buffalo, NY; then Showtime with guitarist Fabio Zini (http://www.fabiozini.com/) and he was fabulous.
Sun 10/2/11 At Sea: mostly sunny, 82F, sunrise 7:40am, sunset 7:42pm
Breakfast with Frank, the GM couple and Mr. & Mrs. Luckin from Fri breakfast; Richard said the Packard Automotive movie will be shown tomorrow at 3PM in the Stardust Lounge. The conversation was basically automobiles and the history of the Packard Co. Later I saw the movie Eat Pray Love in Las Ramblas which is another NCL Sun mistake. The room was too small for the movie and should have been shown in a larger environment. In, I met Frances (see 9/22/11) and we talked about various things; she gives this cruise about a 6. She said that last night she & Ed ate at Moderno and was disappointed. I went to the Great Outdoors as there was a food presentation on German food but as it was near lunchtime I did not have anything. Lunch and then I went to my cabin to work on a few things. Supper with Frank, Charles & Corinne, and a couple from FL. Frank told a joke about a man who purchased an auto for his wife. When he came home one evening, she said that she had good news and bad news and asked him which he would like first. He replied that he had a bad day at the office and would like the good news first. She told him the air bags work. I left to attend the concert FourEver in the Stardust Lounge but ended up going to Dazzles to get a front row seat for the 10pm entertainment of Ross Bennett: Late Night Comedy. When I got there a band was playing with the sound blasting. At 8pm Karaoke Idol Round 2 and then at 9pm I listened to Dance Music with Flyer. After the Ross Bennett show people said that they liked his Stardust Lounge performance better and you could tell as he really did not seem to know what to say. Then I went to Las Ramblas to hear Kim Dootlittle on the guitar but she was finished so I went to get something to eat in the Great Outdoors but ended up not eating. Actually it was that plus the fact that the Sports Bar is right next door and there you can get waited on although the menu is limited so I went to the Sports Bar instead.
Mon 10/3/11 At Sea: sunny, 82F, sunrise 7:13am, sunset 7:14pm
I had breakfast with a couple from FL & Utah then saw the movie Salt followed by Cruising Conversations with Charles & Corrine (see 9/22/11). The Cruise Critic group luncheon with about 62 people in attendance including the Captain; the person I was sitting next to said that Four Seasons was better for supper as the menu is a bit different and service is quicker (I did not find this to be the case). During the afternoon I sat in for the movie Packard: An American Classic Car in the Stardust Lounge. I had supper with Frances and Ed in Four Seasons and was out in time to catch the evenings performance of We Will Rock You which did not impress me as I do not like Rock and Roll and the noise was a bit loud. Back in my cabin I began to pack.
Tue 10/4/11 At Sea: mostly cloudy, 84F, sunrise 6:47am, sunset 6:48pm
I had breakfast with a couple from FL and a couple from CA; we ordered and when the food came the couple from FL left saying they did not feel well (the seas were not rough). That left 3 people and I am not much of a conversationalist as my voice is soft so basically we ate and ran. I saw Frank at another table and glad I saw him for he is 85, looks to be in good health. But one never knows. I went to Dazzles and saw the movie Chicago then to Windjammer to play the True/False trivia Urban Legends 5. Lunch with 3 couples from FL and an anonymous gent then went to my cabin for a short nap and saw the Norwegian Sun Crew Talent Show in the Stardust Lounge in the afternoon. I had supper with Frances and Ed in Four Seasons Restaurant then saw Farewell Variety Showtime starring Fabio Zini.
Wed 10/5/11 Port Canaveral: partly cloudy, E force 4 moderate breeze, sunrise 7:19am, sunset 7:01pm, humidity 60%, 75.2F
Breakfast with Frances & Ed and the service was slow; the people at the next table were served faster than us and I whispered to Frances that maybe you have to be Spanish to get fast service, Frances replied jokingly maybe its because I am white. I went back to my cabin to kill time and wait for disembarkation which went rather smoothly; please see above for more detailed information. Getting a taxi from Port Canaveral proved to rather difficult. One would think there would be an easy pattern as this is done several times per week but I guess not. The taxi I took was AAA taxi, www.aaataxionline.com, which took me to Comfort Inn and I really cant complain about the place since I used it for only 1 night. In the afternoon I called AAA to take me to the airport Thursday at 5:30am; they quoted me a price of $80 for 1 person which I found out is the usual price for 1 person. For lunch I went to IHOP across the street then back to my room to use the free Wifi. I called ATT Wireless to have my phone service restored then called Barnes & Noble about my Nook and ended up going to Starbucks about a block away. In Starbucks I reregistered the Nook and all my downloaded books we restored; I just had to download them again. There was a restaurant next to Starbucks but I ended up speaking to Angel Mercado who works for Four Points by Sheraton. He suggested several restaurants for supper and even gave me the telephone # for Cocoa Beach Shuttle which he said would take me to the airport for $33 but he stated not to state a time as this would be on a share basis. I called them, got a price of about $75 plus extras but I specified that my flight leaves at 8am and should have not done that so I decided to stay with AAA. For supper I went to Floridas Seafood, 490 Cocoa Beach Cswy, Coconut Beach, FL, within walking distance from the hotel. This restaurant specializes in seafood and is well worth the experience. Upon leaving I had a nice chat with Samantha and chatted about the cruise.
Thurs 10/6/11 Port Canaveral (80F humid) to Boston (70F)
I arose at 5am and was at the lobby by 5:15am. At 5:25am I called 888 Taxi and asked them if they had a call for Comfort Inn in Cocoa Beach for 5:30, the dispatcher said yes. A few minutes later the phone rang, the Comfort Inn clerk answered it; turns out the taxi would be a few minutes late. When driver picked me up he said that the dispatcher could not find a record of my pickup and also stated that for one person the price was $110 to the airport. He then got a call on his cell phone from the dispatcher about another passenger who wished to go to the airport. We stopped to pick that passenger up in a gated community that cost us a few minutes. Now I was prepared to go to the airport solo and was not prepared for this delay. I will never use 888 Taxi again. The planes from Orland to Newark and Newark to Boston were full and I cant explain why.
I read in the boards of Cruise Critic about washing underwear. So now at the embarkation port I always purchase detergent and soak my underwear about 5pm then let it dry for a good 30 hours. I purchased the quick drying kind so the underwear is dry overnight and the socks by 30 hours. But sometimes I just wish that all cruise ships had an automatic laundry. Less
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Cabin review: B28063 Family Balcony
Cabin was quite adequate for one person with too much storage space for one person. Drawback was that bed was too big for the room. I did not notice any noise but I live across from a hospital with a helopad so that probably has something to do with it. There is a line in the shower for drying clothes which came in handy when I was drying my underwear and socks at night.Read All Family Balcony (B2) Reviews >>
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