Sunday morning we got up early, had breakfast, and got ready to head down to the cruise terminal. Despite my preparations (and without going in to all the details), my suitcase was given to the cruise terminal with no tag saying where it needs to go and I ended up pretty mad because it had all been out of my control. I had forgotten an actual luggage tag on my suitcase but I had put a paper one on when I checked it with the airline so LUCKILY, they were able to identify it without going through it (I have a big issue about people going through my stuff…) and I ended up getting my bag delivered to our room right after we got to the room and had just finished checking it out. I had already been down to the customer relations desk and described the bag and what was in it (I know they had to ask but what did they expect me to say?…clothes, shoes… just like any other bag!!)
Aside from the baggage situation, it was really a breeze for us to get on the ship. My in-laws had previously taken one cruise with Norwegian so they got us all onto the ship as soon as we all checked in and got our key cards. After that, we walked into the waiting room, took a group picture then pretty much just walked right on to the ship. It was interesting that we walked on so quickly since so many people were sitting there, having already checked in before us but for whatever reason, they were waiting to board.
We didn’t do much between having lunch while we waited for our rooms to be ready, then checking into our rooms until after the life boat drill. We considered ourselves HIGH CLASS (we can dream!) because we got to sit in a dining room and be entertained by one of the entertainment guys who did the life boat drill for us. I guess it was a disruption for many people who wanted to watch the Seahawks vs. 49ers game so they kept yelling, “FOOTBALL” (stupid Americans is probably what the crew were thinking!). Eddie Spaghetti assured everyone that although they were missing the first few minutes of the game, they were NOT missing out on any crucial information necessary in the event of an emergency. He then jokingly asked who was playing in the game and everyone freaked out. Come on people… first of all he lives and works on a cruise ship.. these people work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. They don’t have time to pay attention to football or any other sport for that matter. The game was listed in the Freestyle Daily (Norwegian’s little daily news pamphlet that is left in the room so you can get an hour by hour description of what’s going on around the ship) so I know he was just kidding when he asked who was playing.
After the life boat drill, we went up on deck and watched the ship leave. I heard we were going to pass and maybe see some of the lower ninth ward. I looked and looked and took lots of pictures but I’m not sure exactly where it was. I did see some docks that were pretty badly damaged and I was pretty sure that was from Hurriacane Katrina.
If I haven’t said this already, the Mississippi is MUDDY! Some of the pictures I took made it look like it was blue, but if you looked down from the ship, it was pretty scary because it seemed like we were in really shallow, murky water. I don’t think that was the case though. I learned in a Q&A session with the captain and the ship’s first officers that it’s not super deep but also not a risk however they do have to dredge out the Mississippi often so the ships can pass.
I’m really happy I saved the Freestyle daily from every day of the cruise so I can remember what we did each night for the most part. (This was my 5th cruise and I am thinking now that I wish I had saved the programs from all the nights of all the other cruises I have taken!) The first night we went to the Variety show and a game called Sing It to Win It. The game sounded like a lot of fun. I was imagining a game show where the band plays some of a song and you’d have to sing it with the band to win it, but that was not the way this game was played. They divided the room in half and they would play a song from an ipod. Anyone from each side of the room would try to run up to one of the two microphones first and sing the song then people from each side of the room would just have to go on the dance floor with them and dance or sing along or just support the person who ran up and sang the lyrics (hopefully) first. So there were points for the person who sang it first and points for the size of the group that gathered. It was interesting but it could have been different in my opinion. I didn’t participate so I can’t complain. It was entertainment nonetheless.
My goal for my next cruise is to keep all of the freestyle daily type pamphlets and to take pictures of the menu outside the dining room each night and to take pictures of my actual food. The food we had was GREAT every night. I have a few pictures I took but I didn’t take any the first night. I think the first night was the night they offered surf and turf. My hubby got that kind of by accident but it was fantastic. I can’t remember what I got the first night other than a mushroom soup that I wasn’t crazy about. That was actually the only food item from the dining room the entire cruise that I didn’t care for and it wasn’t even horrible, I just didn’t care for it. So maybe next year, or whenever we can afford to go to Alaska, I’m on it. Pictures of menus and food every night!