Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sea Day Q&A: Answers

I pulled this list of question around 10am (ship's time) this morning. So, if you posted your question later, I'll address it on the next sea day (Thursday).

Here are the answers:

Most anticipated port and why?

This one's easy: Cairo. Why? It gets us onto another continent. And, we get to see the only remaining wonder of the ancient world. I should, however, note that I also think this could end up being the most disappointing port as well. I'm concerned about the “Mona Lisa phenomenon” in which standing in front the actual thing is less impressive / inspiring than what one might have anticipated. More on this concern later.

How much money have a lost in the casino?

$10 on about an hour's worth of video poker. If I play roulette, I'm sure I will lose more.

How long before our luggage showed up?

Our bags were in front of our stateroom by 2:30 in the afternoon. So, that's about two and a half hours from when we dropped them off at the pier. I wouldn't say this is typical (I know that bags were still being delivered when we left for dinner around 6pm. But, our experience has usually been very good.

How quickly do the spa treatment reservations fill up?

This one is tricky. I called the spa today, and I could get an appointment for most services at some time. That said, I couldn't get any service at any time. So, if you're looking for a special treatment at a particular time, I think you're wise to book ahead. Indeed, you're traveling with a couple thousand other people – it's always good to plan ahead and book early. For example, we switched our dining room table and made our specialty restaurant reservations upon embarkation. Required? Probably not. Stress free? Absolutely. If you know what/when you want something, arrange it early and then go party!

How are the healthy dining menu options?

It seems that each evening the main dining room offers “Vitality” options. These consist of a healthy starter, main, and dessert course. Yesterday's options included a fruit salad, salmon entrĂ©e, and (I believe) the low-fat blueberry/peach cobbler that I ate. The main menu also has a few of what I would call “healthy-ish” options. The one's we've had (on this cruise and others) have generally been good. That said, if you're looking for organic, all-natural, free-range whatever... just keep looking (and likely not on a mass market cruise line). Finally, the portion sizes on most of the dishes are generally pretty “modest” (my polite way of saying small)... in fact, some of the individual tapas items in Barcelona were actually larger portions. Thus, overeating is really an option., not a requirement.

Have I been to the “quarterdeck” or done other nautical things?

Sadly, Jack, the quarterdeck (bridge) is off limits for steerage-class swabs, like me. Modern safety and security regulations. But, I'm not sure you'd be impressed by the seamanship – no masts, no rigging, and “the wheel” is not a joystick. I have, though, participated when they ran out the guns... firing the food cannons at us. Now, that's my kind of broadside. Or is that broadening my backside?

Any musicals on the ship?

Jack, you musical aficionado, yes... as it happens tonight we'll be seeing a “Broadway / West End” style production entitled “Now and Forever.” It features selections from popular, contemporary musicals such as Mamma Mia, The Producers, Contact, The Fully Monty, etc. It's actually the second time we'll have seen this show, having been on Navigator of the Seas out of Florida with the entire family over Thanksgiving last November. We'll also have an evening of opera later in the cruise. More details to follow.

Did I notice a naughty room?

Sadly, I did not see the naughty room. But, I didn't carry any liquid contraband onto this cruise (though I did last summer without incident on NCL). I do, however, know the naughty room was in effect as I overheard another passenger whining about having lost his travel iron (and all of his clothing was wrinkled – the horror!). Experience tells me that they take safety hazards (such as irons) more seriously than revenue hazards (such as liquor). Indeed, in Barcelona, it's super simple to bring booze onto the boat. RCI doesn't scan the carry-on luggage and and the Spanish police/military/port authority hardly seem to be looking for booze. If you don't turn yourself in or look guilty, you shouldn't have a problem. Just keep the candles, irons, missile launchers, or other dangerous items at home.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the excellent info.I have a few more questions but do not want to hijack your time.I'll just let them trickle in once and a while.Look at me I'm already talking ship lingo."Trickle"
    Sorry about that.