Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sea Day #3 Q&A: Answers

You asked. I answered.

Any recommendations on the need for local currency?

Yes, you'll want euros for “walking around” money when on shore. I always use the local ATMs of major banks with my checking account's debit card. It provides a decent exchange rate and is hassle free. There are plenty of easily accessible ATMs in Barcelona, Athens (including at the port terminal), and Rhodes (in the new part of time). We grabbed 200 euro for the cruise (not including first days in Barcelona)... and I have 85 of it left after making small purchases, buying food/drinks, and paying admission fees when in port.

Also, don't forget to notify your checking and credit card companies of your travel plans. You don't want to be cut off when away for suspicious activity!

Is there a sushi station aboard the ship?

Yes, the Windjammer seems to have sushi every night. It's not as good as the sushi bar on NCL, but it's pretty good. Last night, they also had a “raw bar” with oysters on the half shell.

Have you attended an art auction?

No, we actually haven't had one yet. It will be held this afternoon. I'm not sure if we'll attend, but it's likely.
Who's on board from Park West working the auction?

Steve is the Art Auctioneer (he was aboard the NCL Jade last summer with us as the Art Director). Elizabeth, who I don't know, is the Art Director.

Is health food available at breakfast and lunch?

I think it depends on what you define as “health” foods. Salads (and related raw veggies) are available at lunch; fruit is available at breakfast. The hot / warm food options are probably less healthy overall at the buffet. Portion control and prudence in one's selections are probably the best strategy. That said, they don't exactly offer “spa cuisine” in the buffet and if healthy means “all natural, organic, whole foods with minimal additives and processing” to you, well, you've probably booked the wrong cruise.
Is the pool deck or solarium crowded on sea days?

It hasn't been especially crowded. The solarium has been more so than the pool deck. For the most part, it's been pretty cool outside on sea days (low- to mid-60s). And, the ship has an older crowd that seem to be less about the “fun and sun” vacation. I'm sure at the weather “improves” (as Floridians we're quite happy with this respite from the heat), more people will take to the deck chairs.

That said, I've noticed when walking by that idiots still seem to want to reserve the best chairs early.

How is the entertainment besides the night show?

In the evenings, the musical groups around the ship all seem pretty good. And, there's something for nearly everyone (from big band to country). I get to listen to them every evening while posting on the blog. ;-)

The daytime activities are pretty much standard cruise fare. We mostly attend the art seminars and port lectures, as well as the occasional art auction. Honestly, we are kind of atypical cruisers. We're not big “sit in the sun” people – we could do that at home in Florida. We couldn't care less about most of the sports / games / activities run the cruise director's staff throughout the day. I know how to fold napkins, don't need to show off my “sexy legs” in a contest, and have never wanted to climb a rock wall. We mostly cruise because we like visiting a variety of new ports on a sort of travel “tapas crawl,” if you will.

Beer Selection: Update

I was lamenting the lack of wheat beers in an earlier post. I have to ammend that response. I was able to locate Reifer Weizenbier (Ankerbrau Nordlingen) in the Colony Club! I'd never had this before. It was ok. (not great), but any port will do in a storm, I suppose.


  1. Reading your blog had been a pleasure. It is full of insight and humor. You have a talent with words. Thank you for keeping us informed.

  2. You mentioned euros for "walking around" money. Does that include Egypt?

    4/20/2009 group - bikn4fn

  3. Oops, forget my previous post. I didn't read down far enough to your Egypt comments.