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  • Writer's pictureMarlene Bierworth

2. Life Aboard the Cruise Ship

Every ship is different when it comes to food, entertainment, activities and shows, trying to keep all age groups busy and content to whatever degree of fun they want.

The Norwegian Epic is a huge ship—18 floors—so boarding day is a little hectic. To our benefit, the ship never left the dock until 7:30, so although the almost 4,000 guests, on this particular cruise, staggered on at separate boarding times all afternoon, some of the hot-spots (like the buffet because everyone is starving) got a bit hectic. Especially difficult if you walked on with your cases and could not get them deposited into your room yet. Thankfully, it all ironed out as cruisers found their niches and the crowds filtered out.

We left the New York dock after dark. What a sight! All the lights of the city were displayed on the shoreline as we edged along the coast. This was my first sight of the Statue of Liberty, and the famous lady did not disappoint me. It was like she was saying goodbye and torching our way out to sea. A wonderful start to our cruise.

So aboard this ship, the daily activities provided different games that interacted with the guests. There were teaching sessions (we did hints for mobile phone picture taking) and demonstrations (fruit and vegetable carving is one I attended) Amazing what experts can do with food. I am sure I missed so many—can’t be everywhere.

Music is all over the ship, in lounges, the theatre, the bars, karaoke (which was good sometimes but mostly hilarious—people have no filters after a few drinks.) I love to watch people who know how to ballroom dance. I can swing my hips some, but I have two left feet when it comes to following steps. I do like line dancing, and one night there was a country party and the dance floor was full of people stepping out to the tunes.

The shows were spectacular! Burn the Floor took us through the history of ballroom dancing and its affect on today's trends. The comedian and magician were very entertaining. My personal favorite, the Epic Beatles sang, interacted, and dressed like the famous four the world knows and loves. Movies played every day on the big screen if you wanted to veg or of course you could watch tv in your room if you wanted (not me—we only turned it on once during the entire 15 days.)

There were four complimentary dining rooms, an inside and outside buffet, and three specialty dining rooms (all of which we visited, often.)

I tackled the water slides on one of our sea days. SO MUCH FUN! Never say you are too old to drop three floors, splash through what they called the toilet bowl, and swish out the other end at a rapid pace of ejection. There was a climbing mountain but I never tackled that—my arms are not very strong. The pools and loungers proved to be a great attraction, as the weather was surprising hotter than we anticipated. Hot tubs and full moon viewing while the late-night party on the pool deck filled the night air with music and fun. I took it all in at some point during our vacation and my daughter enjoyed a few hours at the spa.

I did this! So much fun!

If you were into engineering and learning about navigation, they had a viewing window where you could go and watch what was happening on the bridge. (no photos allowed—in case there was a spy onboard—I’ve seen those movies lol.) The captain and two top officers came to the theatre for a Q & A one day and we chatted and laughed at their senses of humor.

No huge waves of concern on the Atlantic crossing, much to my daughter’s relief. This was her first cruise and thankfully, she sailed through it with no ill effects. The cruise director took us through a virtual tour of the crew’s quarters and all the behind the scenes that happen to make our vacation the five-star quality it was. Very interesting.

Of course, us gals played cards on occasion, each of taking turns in the winner’s circle. We usually did it in the evening at the buffet so we could pig out on more ice cream treats—they had the most wonderful selection but my favorite was lemon sherbet. During the day they had a soft ice cream machine you could make as many cones as you wanted. LOL I did gain a few pounds despite the grueling exercise we did on excursions off the ship. (more of that in later blogs.)

What else can I say about life at sea? I loved it!

The Atlantic waters on all sides of us, with no land in sight for days. Generally 6 to 10 foot waves swarmed at the surface, (or sometimes calmer when whales or dolphins raced alongside the ship playing with us). We saw some white caps, but all in all it was pretty good sailing for the duration of our trip. Traveling through the Strait of Gibraltar (where we leave the Atlantic and enter the Mediterranean Sea waters) was exciting, with Africa on one side and Europe on the other.

I am going to close off now. Stay tuned for more blogs that will highlight our stops along the way in Bermuda, Portugal, and Spain.

Until then, hugs,

From Marlene at Heartwarming Romance.

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