On the bright side of having to bang out two blog entries in one sitting, I had about an 18 hour day yesterday, so if you think I was up before 11…you’re mostly correct, unless you count the call from Jen at 9 that involved me basically saying “so, I’m going back to bed now”.
By time I actually felt like leaving my stateroom, it was primarily for the technical presentation about how the ship works and whatnot, featuring the captain and chief engineer. I managed to only get there for the Q&A session, but there were a few interesting questions asked – some about the stabilizers, others about the desalinators (they primarily use reverse osmosis, if anyone is wondering), one person asked about the fuel types, apparently the ship has 105,000 horsepower, apparently we have two days at-sea at the beginning of the trip because the port isn’t available until Wednesday, and most notably, there’s a “jail cell” on the ship. I really wanted to get a picture taken in there.
Also worth noting is that the water has been pretty rough since late last night. It’s not stormy out, but it is windy and there are lots of waves, so the ship is definitely rocking back and forth a lot. Even I was feeling a bit queasy, so I wasn’t taking chances with anything more substantial than soup…which brought its own challenges as it came from the buffet…but, I got it worked out.
Went back to the SL for a bit, but only a short bit of time, because I wanted to see the crew talent show. While the crew didn’t do the “Only Time” bit that is one of the best memories of my Bahamas cruise in 2007, there’s usually some interesting stuff, and it’s always fun to see the crew do something other than their ship duties; it adds dimension. Two people did traditional dances from their respective cultures (China and Indonesia), which got me thinking a bit. Both had very ornate costumes, but the movements weren’t terribly technical, leading me to believe that each dance had more of a cultural context to it, which was obviously lost on me. I was also a bit curious about the Chinese dance specifically, because the audio track was in 4/4 “common time”, which is far more common within western musical conventions or eastern music reflecting western influence. Another crew member did a magic show; while the acts themselves were relatively common parlor tricks, he definitely had the stage presence on lock. A few others did a K-Pop style dance routine, which was very well received by the audience. Finally, a woman (who apparently was Elsa in a stage performance of Frozen at Disney Shanghai) sang a song from “A Star Is Born”, and was fantastic.
Jen found me about 2/3 of the way through, and we decided to stay for the “Splashtown Extravaganza”, a stage performance of the kids programs. It was circus themed, and the kids demonstrated rope spinning, ‘juggling’ (which involved two handkerchiefs, tops), some clowning, devil sticks, and plate spinning. As one would expect such a performance to go, it was a bit of a cat rodeo, and you could tell that the practice levels were minimal-at-best, there were a couple of the kids who showed promise. One of the older plate spinners actually did a fairly good job. The really little kids basically posed with UV reactant face paint, but as one would equally expect, cuteness was the theme at the time – the UV picture was about the only one I was okay taking since the light obscured the kids’ faces pretty well.
This answered at least some of my questions about what they do with the kids, and the staff working with them clearly loved what they do. It strikes me as one of those jobs that’s probably very demanding (after all, ‘those parents’ take cruises, too), but the right personality would probably have the best days at work, more often than not.
Back to the SL, Wendy was talking to Alyse for a bit; we caught her up on the ship gossip and talked about her work as a freelance court stenographer. The general manager and another guy dropped by the SL and talked to us for a bit; my desire for a selfie in cruise ship jail didn’t seem like something they were willing to accommodate, but officially became a running gag because they were like, “you have to commit a crime”, and then we spent a minute or two trying to figure out a crime that could land me in cruise ship jail, but not actual-jail. We continued talking until the 5PM meeting started. Our final round of trivia revealed that “AT&Team” got second place, which we were okay with. It would’ve been awkward figuring out who got the T-Shirt.
I’ll never quite understand how Norwegian’s restaurant reservation system works. The mobile app says one thing, the touch screen panels say another, calling them on the phone said another thing…and going to the restaurant never seems to require more than a 15 minute wait anyway, so what’s even the point? Anyway, it was the steakhouse tonight, and it was fantastic. Food was great, lots of fun, our wait staff was wonderful…and both the GM and the cruise director came around; we talked to them for a few minutes and my desire for a cruise jail selfie came up again.
Went to the hipster bar to hear Justin perform; Stephanie and Greg weren’t there, but I did get a quick audio recording of his beatbox. One of the things I came to realize about the raunchy humor is that it’s basically funny once. After the initial shock value, the replay is about 95% less funny. Justin still did a good job on the performance side of things, but I didn’t laugh nearly as much.
Went back to the room and packed, settled up my tab (i.e. got a refund because I ended up with a negative balance!), blogged, and dropped by the farewell party.