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Drdarkknight

Live(ish) from the Norwegian Star - Panama Canal

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I can’t believe I’ve finally been able to start writing this! I’ve been waiting for this moment since I first discovered CC this past spring. Tomorrow my friend and I head down to Los Angeles to start our 15 day vacation. On Friday we begin our 14 Day Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Star.

About us - we both are from Canada. I am 26 and my friend is 23. I know, we seem really young to be going on a cruise this long. In January. Well, I lived in London for a few years and came back to Canada to renew my visa. I worked at a company here while I waited so I could save money to move back. Unfortunately that never happened and I was left with a big pile of savings, having declined holiday opportunities over the past year because I was trying to save. To cheer me up after, my friend and I discussed where we should go. He wanted to head to a beach somewhere but I wanted to go bigger. So we started talking cruises.

Both of us had cruised previously with our families. I have done two Disney cruises (Caribbean) and one Royal Caribbean (Mediterranean). He has done one Mediterranean Princess cruise. But we were kids and we don’t remember it and our parents were there! I can get really type A when I get in the mood so when he rocked up at my house to review our cruise options I had prepared an entire PowerPoint presentation. We’re talking itinerary slides, cruise ship features, example shore excursions...even the estimated cost.

We narrowed it down to three options, a 10 day Panama Canal with Princess, 12 day Caribbean with RCCL or the 14 Panama Canal with Norwegian. We really honed in on the Panama Canal and ultimately went with Norwegian for a few reasons

  • Longer cruise length. I could wrangle about 2 weeks off of work and my friend doesn’t work in January (he’s a construction PM and Canada gets pretty cold)
  • Full transit West to East. For whatever reason hitting ports on the western side of Latin America appealed to us a lot. Maybe because the eastern ones we could always do on a Caribbean cruise? I don’t know
  • 50% port days/50% at sea. We really wanted to experience EVERYTHING and to do that we felt we needed a bit of everything. I know some people would just stay on the boat during one port (we wanted to see everywhere) and others - like my friend’s parents who are avid cruisers - try to pick cruises with the least amount of at sea days (but we also wanted to experience boat activities)
  • Price. Pretty self explanatory.
  • The UBP. We are young and we are bar stars. I remember the NCL rep apologized that we would have to pay a $233 service charge each for the package and we just laughed because that would have been our bar tab after the second day.

And so, in late April, I booked our cruise! Another nine months to go...

We decided to buy the six dinner SDP. Since we had so many days on our cruise we thought it was worth it to try out the different restaurants. 6 dinners was enough to try each specialty restaurant once and then repeat. I was able to make reservations without issue except for Teppanyaki. We’re planning on making a break for it when we board Friday to try and get a reso there.

We also decided to use Norwegian for all our shore excursions. I know they are more expensive but as it is our first time cruising without our parents, we just felt by using the ship it would remove some of our stress. I don’t regret this at all so far. It turns out I can put a price on peace of mind.

We booked our flights in August. As anyone from Canada knows, flying isn’t cheap. Multi-city round trip we were expecting to be at least $1000. Much to my surprise my friend booked them using Westjet’s $99 companion fare. The flights ended up being about $370 each, return. Our flight to Los Angeles will be direct and the day before. It was really important for us that we fly out a day earlier. With Canadian winters you just never know what to expect. We would be landing at noon which meant we’d have half a day to explore Los Angeles. I love LA so there was no problem there!

We debated a bit about our hotel in Los Angeles. We knew we wanted to go out in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, so a hotel near the port would be a lot of Uber money and time spent in traffic. But we didn’t want to stay in WeHo either, because of the Uber and traffic getting to the port. We ultimately chose the Comfort Inn in Hawthorne. It was pretty much equal distance between where we wanted to be Thursday and where we needed to be Friday. It also came with a free shuttle from the airport. It came to $132 for the night.

Our flight home is actually booked through Fort Lauderdale, not Miami. It leaves at 2:30 and connects in Toronto. We will get home around 9pm, which sounds great except we have to go to a wedding out of town the next morning. No rest for us.

Anyways, l’ll try and make this as live as possible but will depend on my internet connection. Stay tuned...

 

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Sounds great. Hope you have a fantastic time. We've been through the PC twice, once in each direction. The PC is a fascinating and amazing accomplishment.

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We, too, are from Canada...Cochrane which is near Calgary. We will be flying into LA tomorrow from Phoenix and joining you on the Star. We travel to the U.S. southwest in the cold winter months. We have sailed several times with NCL. You should have a great time.:cool:

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Looking forward to hearing about your adventures on the Star.

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We, too, are from Canada...Cochrane which is near Calgary. We will be flying into LA tomorrow from Phoenix and joining you on the Star. We travel to the U.S. southwest in the cold winter months. We have sailed several times with NCL. You should have a great time.:cool:

 

Hey! We are actually from Calgary! I’m legit a 10 minutes drive from Cochrane.

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Hey! We are actually from Calgary! I’m legit a 10 minutes drive from Cochrane.

 

Small world! I lived in Cochrane and NW Calgary, now in BC! While I won’t be on this cruise with you, I will be on this exact itinerary LA to Miami on Feb 2nd! Looking forward to hearing about your experiences. Happy sailing! Looking forward to being on the Star in 30 days.

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<p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">After hardly any sleep I woke up at 6am to head to the airport. Stupid rules on how early you need to leave to go to the airport.</span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">We got to the airport and I’m pretty sure I’m cursed. First I couldn’t print a baggage tag through the kiosk so we had to go speak to a real person. Then I got randomly selected for a bag check before security. Which happens, but I have a Nexus card and get to go in a special line for security and customs so you’d think I’d be faster than my friend, who was in the normal line. Then my bag got pulled at security. TWO BAG CHECKS. </span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">Anyways now that we had 90 minutes to kill...we were starving. So we went to some beer garden in the terminal. I had a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast with a mimosa; my friend had eggs benedict and a beer. Yes, it was 8am and we were already drinking but hey we’re on holiday! </span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">The plane left about ten minutes late. I saw a lot of flights for the east coast were being cancelled so I for sure can’t complain. It was a quick three hour flight and then we arrived in Los Angeles. Our hotel provides a free shuttle and check in was quick and painless.</span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">Afterwards we were starving and decided to head to Santa Monica. I visit this part of Los Angeles every time I’m here but this was my friend’s second time in the city (essentially the first as he was a child last time). We were hoping to eat a Bubba Gino’s but there was a massive queue of people so we carried on down the pier to Mariasol, the restaurant at the very end of the pier. Given how busy the pier was we were surprised to be seated immediately, and overlooking the water. If it had been closer to sunset it would have been a dream. </span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">The restaurant brought us some complimentary tortilla chips with salsa, which was AMAZING. I ordered a strawberry daiquiri to drink, which was also very good. Unfortunately the food wasn’t so much. I ordered tacos and they were so disappointing. No cheese, no salsa. They had something resembling this on the side but it was the bare minimum. My friend ordered enchiladas and loved them, so maybe I just got the wrong thing. One final thing - we felt incredibly rushed. We were in and out in 40 minutes. We didn’t even have a chance to think about another drink or dessert. </span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">After lunch we went to walk the beach. It was about an hour or so until sunset, which is what I was waiting for. My legs got tired and I suggested we sit down. I thought we’d get bored but we ended up just chatting away which resulted in a very rewarding sunset. </span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">Once the sun went down we wandered the Third Street Promenade and drank a massive margarita at Cabo Cantina. It was DELICIOUS. Then we hopped in an Uber and headed to dinner in Marina Del Rey. The restaurant is called Chart House and from what I understand it is a franchise of sorts. The food was amazing. I ordered the oysters, lobster bisque and salmon. The salmon was the most disappointing but the other two were great. My friend also ordered the lobster bisque as well as Filet Mignon with lobster tail. We also split two bottles of wine. Whoops. </span></p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); min-height: 20.3px;"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;"></span><br></p><p>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

</p><p style="font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: ".SF UI Text"; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="font-family: ".SFUIText"; font-size: 17pt;">The view from our seats was great - overlooking the marina, though unfortunately it was a bit too dark. We would love to come back in summer. After dinner we called another Uber and headed back to the hotel to go to bed. Early for us but well-deserved after our long day. Plus, our cruise starts tomorrow! Why be tired?!</span></p>

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Ahh it’s finally cruise day! We woke up at 9 so we could take advantage of the hotel’s continental breakfast since we didn’t know how long it would take to actually get on the boat. We had been asked to select our boarding time in advance and we said we’d be arriving at the pier at 11. We called an Uber and left our hotel at 10:30.

We arrived at the pier promptly at 11 and headed straight to passenger check-in. Hardly any line - great! Okay, to be fair, they literally decided to open up the second half of the terminal check-in booths as soon as we got there. We were sitting waiting to board by 11:20 thinking ‘this is just great’ when we realized something....we still had ALL our luggage. I guess we kept thinking someone would take them eventually. I still have no idea what we were supposed to do with them, but we ended up taking our bags all the way with us.

Then we noticed a lot of people in the seats near us starting to leave. We had boarding card 12 but the guy was letting everyone go. Works for us. We board the boat and much to our surprise they had a luggage drop off area - so us accidentally taking our bags with us wasn’t the end of the world.

After putting our bags in the holding area we went to Spinnaker Lounge to try to get the final dinner restaurant we wanted - Teppanyaki. We got it! From there we went to Versailles for lunch. In my pre-cruise research I’d heard it was better to go to a main dining room for lunch and I would have to agree. We were seated immediately at the back of the restaurant, where there was a great view of the port. The restaurant never got too busy. I ordered calamari, shrimp penne and peanut butter cup cheesecake - all of which were amazing.

From lunch we went to explore the ship. And by that I mean we ended up in the Beer Garden. Once we heard the announcement that our rooms were ready we went to collect our luggage. We went to our room which was not big but definitely bigger than we were anticipating. We actually unpacked! Our mothers would be so proud! Then we toured the ship, for real this time. We drank at the pool bar where we met a lovely couple from the same province in Canada as us. We chatted with them for awhile and then it was time for our muster drill in the Stardust Theatre.

Once that was complete we went back to our room to get dressed for dinner. I know Norwegian doesn’t make you dress up but I LOVE dressing up. So I got all fancy and then we went back to the pool for the sail away. We actually met another person from our province. So weird - everyone we’d met so far was literally within three minutes from where we live. It was a good sail away except too short and also...we didn’t sail away for another hour. So we were actually at dinner when we sailed away.

For dinner we went to Cagney’s. I had the lump crab salad, the grilled shrimp with Cagney’s fries and Oreo cheesecake. It was a very good meal. I wasn’t particularly fond of the fries but I’m not a fries person. I ordered them based on reputation. I wish I could have finished the cheesecake but unfortunately it was just tooooo much.

We had about twenty minutes to kill so we had a drink and it was chilly! I know, it’s so pathetic coming from people who live in Canada. At 8pm we went to the Spinnaker Lounge for Where in the World trivia. I thought I had a pretty good idea but I did...not good. Then we headed to the Stardust Theatre for the Welcome Variety Show. They gave a preview of some of the entertainment. There was the Norwegian entertainment staff, a magician/contortionist duo called White Magic, some Russian acrobats and a comedian. I would go see all the entertainment shows previewed.

Once that was done we headed back to Spinnaker for a game called Sing it If you Know It. It was different. It’s like Name That Tune except you have to book it to the stage and start singing and then try to get people up dancing with you. I felt bad for the entertainment staff - I think they were expecting more people. They even delayed the start of the game in the hope people were making their way there after the show, but I don’t think many did.

 

This trend stayed true for the next activity in Spinnaker, the Welcome Aboard party. I think there were maybe 50 of us there? A fair amount were dancing though and the DJ played good music. I had anticipated a very heavy selection of older music and was pleasantly surprised that he had a 50/50 split between the older stuff and newer. Around midnight people started to trickle out and last call ended up being early, 12:30. Somehow we managed to stay up until 1:30. I wouldn’t say we were drunk, but we were definitely not sober... it’s okay, it’s an at sea day up next

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My brother and sister in law are on this cruise with you, so I'll be following along to see what you all get up to! Hope you go through the old locks on the canal, as the new ones look a bit too clinical...no soul!

 

Simon

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I woke up around 9:45 on our first at sea day. I couldn’t believe how comfy the bed was! I dragged my butt to the Market Cafe for breakfast before it closed and it was crazy busy. Afterwards I met up with my friend and we froze our butt off by the pool until 11. That’s right, it was soooo cold. It was really windy. I’ve been fighting a cold since before New Year’s and this cold was not helping. I felt pretty drained.

We headed to La Cucina at 11 for the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet. It was cool to be able to put faces to the people who run the ship. I had dragged my friend to the meeting (I forgot to mention it) but he ended up signing up for the slot pull.

Once that was finished we went back to the pool, eventually heading back to the Market Cafe for lunch. I had the most amazing turkey chilli! It was so spicy I loved it. By this point I was feeling a bit more alive but ultimately decided to head back to the room for a shower and a lie down before the afternoon activities I wanted to attend got started. I also decided to get the internet 250 minute package because I am an addict. My friend and I had bought the texting package on the iconcierge app after we realized he was going to spend the day drinking by the pool whereas I would be jumping all over the boat. So far the texting has worked great, though admittedly we’ve only used it to discuss the bucket of beer my friend ordered.

I went down to Gatsby’s for 2pm to attend an art history lecture because I am a nerd. Turns out there’s a lot of other nerdy people too because that place ended up completely PACKED. And I just have to say the lecture was bloody fantastic. The speaker (can’t remember his name but he does the art auctions too) went through the 20 most influential painters over the last 500 years of art history. He was a very good speaker. I took several art history classes in university but I learned lots of things I’d never heard before. This lecture has definitely been the highlight of my trip this far.

From there I headed to Spinnaker. I had a solid 45 minutes until Bingo would start but that didn’t seem like enough time to bother going back to the room. So I headed there and sat around for 45 minutes. I managed to not have to fight for a table at least. Holy crap bingo is expensive. I got the cheapest option which was still $39 for three cards per round. Closer to start time a lady asked if she could sit with me so I chatted with her for a bit. Bingo lasted about 45 minutes and was fun. I never win. I don’t just lose, I lose spectacularly. I think I’ve elevated it to an art form. Like, we’re talking going an entire round with no numbers called. So it didn’t surprise me that I didn’t win this time either.

It was Norwegian’s Night Out tonight so I went back to the room after bingo to get dressed. I always dress fancy in the evenings but it was nice to see some other people get all gussied up. We went to La Cucina for dinner and were sat right by the window. I really enjoyed this restaurant, which is Italian. I ate the beef carpaccio, shrimp risotto, seared salmon and tiramisu. The food was delicious.

Following dinner we went to the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar for what was advertised as the 18-25 Meet Up but was very much not. We stayed there for a drink anyways before my friend wanted to go to the casino. Of course. I chatted with one of the dealers about life on a cruise ship and soon it was time to head to Spinnaker for a game show called The Perfect Couple. The place was packed full of people and it was hard to find a seat. That didn’t end up mattering though, because we ended up competing.

We thought it was going to just be a trivia contest but it for sure was not. First I had to slide a lemon up, over and down his pant leg. Then I had to use a long stick between my legs and poke a hole in some toilet paper between his legs, blindfolded. Finally, I had to run with a balloon between my legs and pop it on his crotch and bum. Somehow we won! And it was a good prize, too - a bottle of champagne, a t-shirt, a coaster, a champagne glass, a beer cozy, a deck of cards and a flashlight keychain. All I had to trade was my dignity.

 

We had intended to go to the show from there, which was the music of Burt Bacharach, but we were laughing so hard over the contest we missed it. We went back to the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar before heading to the casino once again. We crawled into bed around midnight, which is early for us. But we wanted to be well-rested for our first port tomorrow - Cabo!

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Congrats on winning the contest!! Ha!!!! That's great.

 

Loving your TR so far! Thanks for sharing!

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We just completed our PC cruise a few weeks ago and I’m ready to read of your adventures. I laughed out loud about trading your dignity for the prize in The Perfect Couple show. Keep it coming I can’t wait to read more.

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Small world! I lived in Cochrane and NW Calgary, now in BC! While I won’t be on this cruise with you, I will be on this exact itinerary LA to Miami on Feb 2nd! Looking forward to hearing about your experiences. Happy sailing! Looking forward to being on the Star in 30 days.

 

we are also on the 2rd feb PC cruise, my first cruise

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Following along.

 

I so debated doing Panama on the Star February 2019 but I keep thinking I will not like the ship as it's older so talked myself out of it. That and the cost would be so high as I would want to have a balcony for that long a trip, I would miss having a balcony as I spend mornings and nights out there just enjoying the calm and the sound of the ocean. I have been on somewhat smaller ships (NCL Pearl) and like them but an even older NCL ship I'm not so sure about. I was on Celebrity Summit which was older and small and I was fine with it but it had a port everyday so that changes things a lot.

 

Soooooo I changed to another 11 day instead on a newer Celebrity ship. Then I see another review like this and I wait to hear if it's gonna be good or not and whether I made the right choice. Panama would be so nice but they are so pricey and for us Canadians we have to add additional exchange to it all ... :(

 

Hope you have a great trip.

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My alarm went off at 9 signalling it was time to get up and ready for Cabo. After breakfast at the Market Cafe we headed down to the Stardust Theatre to wait for our excursion to start.

We booked the Baja Highlights Tour. Shortly after our meet up time of 10:20 we were unleashed onto the lower deck to catch our tender to Cabo. From there we were ushered into our bus with our tour guide, Daniel. Our tour ran from 11 to 3:30. We were first taken to a scenic overlook where we could see Land’s End and El Arco. We were also given a complimentary drink - pop, water or beer. Obviously we picked the beer. The overlook was actually a restaurant but I can’t recall the name. Something Mona Lisa. It’s an Italian joint. If I ever come to Cabo I’ll for sure go have dinner there for the view alone.

After that we headed through the hotel zone to a town called San Jose. I didn’t expect this as part of the excursion and was initially a bit put off, especially when I found out we would be stopping there for an hour. Even more so when certain shops and restaurants were ‘recommended’ to us. Boy, was I wrong. It was the highlight of the whole excursion. We spent the first 35 minutes walking the streets which were so quaint and colourful. Once street had all these colourful doily flags hanging between the buildings. There was a lady standing outside a bar who told us to come visit when we were done. We actually did head back there because we appreciated the fact that, unlike many people outside their shops/bars, she invited us back when we were done, instead of right then, right now. I made two purchases while we were wandering the streets. I bought my mother a mosaic candle holder from one shop and further down the town I purchased a good friend of mine a Day of the Dead bride. She loves that sort of thing and won’t be expecting a gift, so it felt really good picking this up for her. Then we returned to the bar where the lady had spoken with us earlier. I believe it was called the Just One More Restobar and it was amazing! Very cute and eclectic and the staff were lovely. They have a rooftop patio with a view of the street with all the fancy flags and the mountains in the background. Also, we each got a beer and it only came to $4.

After meeting up with our tour we headed back to Cabo where we visited a glass blowing factory. I also wasn’t expecting this and was again a bit unimpressed because I’ve been to glass blowing factories a million times. This was really enjoyable though. The demonstration lasted about 7 minutes and in that time they made both a turtle wearing a sombrero drinking a tequila bottle as well as a vase. They would throw paper in the seemingly-finished products that would immediately light on fire to prove how hot they were. Thankfully the shopping time didn’t last long and we were back at the pier for 3:30.

We hopped on a tender back to the boat and I was taking photographs of the marina when everyone spotted a seal. Myself and a lot of passengers took some photos when all of a sudden a boat came along that looked like it was going to hit the seal! But nope, not only did the seal dodge the boat there was another one that had flopped back onto it’s...trunk? Back seat? And was hitching a ride! It was hilarious.

We got back to the boat and went for a drink at the pool. Keep in mind we hadn’t eaten ALL DAY. It’s fine, we survived. I went back to the room to get ready for dinner. Tonight we went to Versailles. I reserved the main dining rooms for our port days. For tonight’s menu I ordered the salmon tartare, Cajun shrimp and the chocolate lava cake which were all good. The service was faster at the main dining rooms than the specialty.

After dinner we went and had a drink at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar before heading to the Stardust Theatre. For tonight they had a mentalist. So he basically was a magician who used some mind skills to make people do his bidding. So basically me at my most passive aggressive. My friend left after the first trick because it ‘wasn’t his scene’ which henceforth will mean he wanted to go to the casino. But it was a good show regardless.

Shortly before 8:30 we met up in the casino and I dragged him to Spinnaker for the Who Wants to Bazillionaire game show. Weirdly/ironically the first contestant was one of the ladies we went up against in the Perfect Couples contest. Even weirder was my friend ended up being the next contestant. He won a fair amount of prizes though it was largely items we won the night before.

From there we went back to the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar for karaoke. This was our first time. We LOVE karaoke but we’re hesitant to do any because everyone was so good. This is a common trend I’ve found on the cruise ships I’ve been on. Karaoke is made up of amazingly talented people, whereas back home everyone is pretty average or worse. Not to impune everyone else’s talent (my sister is a professional musical theatre singer) but it makes it very intimidating.

We had a lovely couple next to us who knew all the songs. After enough drinks I decided to register for it and after looking for many, many songs that they didn’t have available I eventually found Sugar, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy. The lady who had been sitting next to me all night definitely helped - she was so e enthusiastic. A short while later one man had the wrong song playing which we didn’t realize (we being the two of us and the couple next to us) and we got so into it before they stopped. When they ran out of singers I asked the girl next to me if she’d like the sing the aforementioned song and she said yes. The four of us got up and sang One More Night by Maroon 5. It was such a great experience to have with relative strangers. Before they left the lady and I made plans to do another song later in the cruise.

Following karaoke we planned on heading straight to the club but we headed outside first where we ended up meeting a guy also from Canada. The three of us chat for a bit before we went our separate ways. My friend and I headed to Spinnaker for their club night and they were playing some pretty good music. There were a fair amount of younger people on the dance floor which was nice. We actually requested a few rap songs by Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z. We were pretty much the only people dancing but I enjoyed myself because I love rap music. I went and spoke with DJ Trapp afterwards to thank him for playing our requests and he said he was happy to do it, and he didn’t expect anyone to request rap songs.

 

They did last call so we grabbed another drink and headed outside. I started to feel pretty done shortly after that, mostly because I was tired but also because I hardly ate today, which meant I was a bit drunk. So staying outside didn’t last long and we were in bed by 1:30 (2:30 with the time change). Tomorrow is another sea day.

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As much fun as you're having, are you going to survive all the way to Miami??? Glad you're liking it!

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8am wake up call for Acapulco. They announced people could leave the ship pretty much as soon as I entered the washroom. We got ready and headed to the Market Cafe for breakfast. Then we over budgeted for travel time to get off the boat. We needed to meet our excursion on the pier for 9:15. We were off the boat by 8:50. Oops.

It turned out to not be a big deal as a line was already forming. It seems like once again we picked a popular excursion. We were doing Historical, Picturesque and Cliff Divers. I wanted to see the cliff divers bad so there was no way we weren’t doing an excursion without a stop there. They filled up a mega bus shortly before we got there so we were led to...a 12 person van. You could tell how disappointed everyone was. It turned out to be the better deal since not only was it a smaller group but also there are several places in Acapulco the large busses can’t access, so everyone had to transfer to vans anyway.

Our guide Virgilio took us first to Hotel Los Flamingo which was...underwhelming. It used to be a Hollywood hot spot back in the 50’s but now rooms go for $70/night. The pretty much summed up Acapulco. I found the city to be very rough, for lack of a better word. It was also HOT. I don’t handle heat well at all and I started to feel pretty queasy.

Our next stop was La Quebrada to watch the cliff divers. Let me just warn everyone - when they say you have to go down (and then climb up) a fair amount of steps they are not kidding. It was very steep and I was surprised so many older people made it down. By this point I was feeling really ill so I decided to sit on some steps in the shade. I had a good view of the cliff divers but I couldn’t see the water. I don’t regret it though as I definitely felt better afterwards. Sometimes you have to make a small sacrifice in order to not ruin your day.

The show was still great and I got some great photos. There were about seven divers who climb the rocks themselves before jumping back off. The cliff is 100 feet. So obviously super easy to do...

Once our group met up again, which took some time as everyone climbed back up at their own pace, we headed to the obligatory shopping stop. We were offered complimentary beverages of either water, pop, beer or margarita. I got a nice cold beer and between that and the air conditioning I’d started to feel a lot better.

We then drove for awhile until we got to the Chapel of Peace which had amazing views of the city. There was a girl there getting photos taken for her quinceanera, so that was pretty cool to see. We then drove back into downtown Acapulco for our last stop, the Fort of San Diego which houses a museum containing old artifacts. We rushed through this a bit as the tour guides realized they were pressed for time, but my friend still really enjoyed it.

We were delivered back to the pier and greeted with some much-needed water and a cold towel. My friend went to try and change a dinner reservation, submit our health forms for Nicaragua and see about changing one of our shore excursions while I took a shower. We went up to the pool for a bit and there was a mariachi band playing, which was a nice touch.

We got ready for dinner early because they had a Mexican Folklore show in the Stardust at 4:30. My friend ended up not going because our safe broke. I went by myself. It was a very good show but I had heat exhaustion and was getting pretty sleepy. Still, the parts I was alert for were great. I was annoyed with myself because I’d been saying the whole cruise I hoped they would show cultural performances.

After the show I met up with my friend to head to dinner at Aqua. Our safe was fixed briefly because SOMEBODY didn’t actually check it when they were done. They got their watch out and then carried on living their life. Priorities, right? For dinner tonight I ordered the smoked salmon tartare, hot and sour soup, lemon-pepper chicken and chocolate volcano cake. With the exception of the soup and dessert, dinner was just okay. I’d had the salmon tartare in Versailles but in Aqua it seemed...goopier? And the chicken was quite dry. Oh well, can’t win them all.

Following dinner my friend went to get the safe fixed for real and I went to the show at Stardust. Tonight’s entertainment was a comedian. He was pretty funny but I would be interested to hear his real routine, as this act was very geared towards an older, cruising crowd. My friend made it about halfway through.

 

Once that was over things got really crazy. We were going to have a few drinks at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar and then watch the karaoke but we never made it inside. We met up with the couple from Canada we’d met on the first day. Our group grew when they introduced us to a couple from the UK. Suffice it to say I did not get to bed until 3am. It’s going to be a rough at sea day tomorrow...

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when are the laundry bag days on the star?? thank you in advance

 

I brought my own laundry detergent to do smaller items in the sink but I believe laundry is tomorrow and you get it back the following day

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Why did I stay up drinking until 3am? I finally dragged my butt out of bed around 11:30 and met up with my friend for lunch at O’Sheehans. I was actually feeling okay. Their wings really are as good as people say. I love chicken wings with buffalo sauce and it was just what I needed.

Because I was still a tad hungover I went back to the room. There wasn’t anything going on that I wanted to be at and with three long port days coming up there’s worse things to do than hang out in bed. I think we were on some rough waters because the boat was really rocky, and not just because I was hurting.

I eventually crawled out of bed again around 2 to go to trivia. The overarching theme of today is Hollywood so the trivia was movie trivia. Now that I am good at! I had to laugh when I got there as it was actually Scene It, the board game. But they just did twenty of the clip questions. I did really well and came in third. I think most people found it really hard, as there were only a few teams that had more than ten correct answers.

I had about 45 minutes to kill until my next activity so I went back to the room and worked on a colouring book (I am a child). At 3:15 I headed back to Spinnaker to buy my bingo cards. As per always, I lost again.

From there it was back to the room to get ready for dinner. Tonight we did Moderno Churriasca, the Brazilian steakhouse. Now, I don’t eat red meat, not because I’m a vegetarian or anything. I just don’t like the taste. But in an effort to get the best of my experience on the cruise I decided to try this restaurant anyways. It was good food. The salad bar had lots of yummy options and I did manage to try about 75% of the meats that came around. We ended up passing on dessert as we were pretty full at that point.

We had a bit of time to kill before the show so we went to the bar (where else) where we ran into our new British friends from the night before. We lost track of time and had to book it to the Stardust. The show tonight was Band on the Run, which is a medley of songs from the 60’s and 70’s. I was impressed with one of the female dancers and one of the female singers but underwhelmed overall. Some people near us actually got up and left, which I thought was kindof rude.

 

From there we headed to Spinnaker for Movie Sketch Trivia. It was less trivia more sketch but absolutely hilarious watching the cruise director staff reenact scenes from famous movies with...limited props. My friend wanted to call it an early night so he went to bed. I stayed at the bar and had another drink, but I still made it back to the room for bed by 10:30 which is a miracle for me. We had to meet our shore excursion group at 8am the next morning so some sacrifices had to be made.

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Thanks for your post. I will be on the Star next month and am really enjoying reading your adventures.

 

Are all the electrical outlets in the cabin 110?

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Thanks for your post. I will be on the Star next month and am really enjoying reading your adventures.

 

Are all the electrical outlets in the cabin 110?

 

No there’s only one. I brought my Bluetooth speaker with 7 USB ports so we wouldn’t fight over it

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Good choices were made by not making it a late night. I slept pretty well until about 3:30am but then the Star docked early and it was LOUD. I tossed and turned all night after that. My alarm went off at 7 and we got ready. Because of the early start time we elected to do room service. We requested it to arrive between 7 and 7:30 and it came at 7:33. We were getting nervous.

From there it was down to the Stardust to meet our shore excursion. We had booked our excursion for Guatemala last because we wanted to go to Antigua, but on a guided tour. We nearly decided to go with something else but then realized we were being stupid so we booked the Antigua on your Own tour. When we arrived on the ship earlier in the week I noticed they were now offering Colonial Antigua, which was the guided tour we wanted. We asked to swap shore excursions and were put on a wait list. Last night when my friend got back to the room we found the tickets for our new excursion!

We were escorted to the bus and our guide, Rita. She was by far the best guide we’ve had so far. She was so knowledgeable and friendly. It is a 90 minute drive to Antigua and I may have dozed off a bit but Rita was talking to entire time, no easy feat. One thing to know about any tours to Antigua - the large busses can’t go into the town, as it is a UNESCO world heritage site. So we got to the outskirts and then piled onto two smaller busses that took us to one of the many churches.

The first of two churches we visited was actually ruins, as it had been destroyed in an earthquake a couple hundred years ago. They also explained weaving to us briefly. I bought a small bag for my sister for only $5. From there we walked through the main plaza to another church. This was a gorgeous church. My favourite fact was that the church was designed by the Spanish but built by the mayans, and they didn’t necessarily know what everything requested was. For example, they had never seen grapes before, so the grape stucco on the front of the church is rather...extreme.

From there we started walking to the jade museum/factory. Let me say for anyone thinking of visiting Antigua - the roads are terrible. They are very uneven cobblestones and small sidewalks. I have bad knees and was very cautious and nervous walking the whole time. Lots of elderly people had a lot of difficulty. Antigua is also about 5000 feet above sea level. It didn’t bother us, being from western Canada, but between that and the street conditions several individuals had to take taxis to the next stop.

The Jade museum was five blocks away so we spent the next 20-30 minutes walking there. I was not looking forward to this stop, assuming it was just another shopping opportunity. It actually ended up being the highlight of my visit. We first were given a brief lecture on jade by one of the archaeologists who revitalized Guatemala’s jade industry back in the 70’s. I was so confused walking in because she was a white American, but she definitely knew what she was talking about. She showed us different ‘jade’ products that were fakes tourists usually buy. But we had pieces of real jade in our hands at the same time in order to tell the difference.

Yes, there is a store, but we were definitely not pressured into buying anything. Speaking of pressure, Antigua was definitely the worst for people trying to sell you their products. Everywhere you went there was a dozen artisans trying to sell scarves, keychains, etc. They just follow you around. If we went into a location they would stand outside the entrance waiting for us to come back out. They even do things like send round small children or teenagers with babies to try and make tourists feel guilted into buying things. It was intense.

Our last stop was at a restaurant for a traditional Guatemalan lunch. It was a lovely little restaurant called Arrin Cuan and there were three tour groups there. They had live music and a buffet. Unfortunately I have a chronic illness that flared up shortly before my trip and I promised my doctor to be careful while in ports. That meant not eating anything I wouldn’t at home and not drinking anything that doesn’t come from a bottle. So I turned down the beans, fried plantains and beef stew but I did eat some amazing rice, a tortilla and a piece of chicken with tomato salsa. I ordered a coke for my drink since it was bottled. Lunch was good (what I could have) and we had thirty minutes to kill afterwards.

We wanted to wander around like we did in San Jose Del Cabo but everything in Antigua looks the same and we were worried we’d get lost. So we basically went for a short trip around the block and waited to catch the small bus back to the big bus. We are so glad we changed our excursion. Without a guide we’d have been totally lost and probably spent half the day at a bar. Good decisions were definitely made.

We got back on our bus and started the 90 minute ride back to port. It was mostly a sleepy bus ride. I read my book. Closer to port Rita came round and spoke to everyone individually and also handed out friendship bracelets, which I thought was a nice touch. Around this time I looked at my phone and realized it was 3:08. Interesting, since we were supposed to be back at 3pm and all-aboard was 3:30. I didn’t panic or anything because I knew through my research that the ship won’t leave without all NCL shore excursions back. Because of this we were about 40 minutes late leaving port.

We had awhile before dinner so we went to the pool for some drinks. One of the bands, Pink Elephant were playing modern hits. I wouldn’t normally mention this but they played Cake by the Ocean by DNCE and the singer forgot about all the f-bombs in the song and really struggled with censoring it. We (and her backing band) thought it was hilarious.

Dinner tonight was at Versailles where I had scallops, mushroom ravioli and Nutella creme brûlée for dessert. It was just alright. One of our friends said they found the food on NCL mediocre but I don’t find that. I haven’t had a bad meal, just compared with the specialty restaurants the main dining room is a bit underwhelming.

We had a few drinks between dinner and the show then headed to Stardust for the White Magic show. They are a British magician and a Mongolian (I think?) contortionist. They were excellent. I only have preferred the Russian acrobats more. Contortionists freak me out, though. She literally spun herself in a circle using her mouth with her body flipped behind her. So crazy.

From there it was off to Spinnaker for tonight’s game show which is called Liars Club. In it the cruise director, comedian, one of the entertainment staff, and the shopping manager I think? were given words and had to make up a definition. One of them was telling the truth. It was pretty hard and the words were a bit odd like ‘crapulence’ and ‘erecterine’. Some of the older folks left.

From there back to the bar for some more drinks. I noticed our friends from America watching karaoke and popped in to say hi. The husband grabbed two chairs and made space for us. They are the nicest people. We watched karaoke for about an hour and my friend got up and sang Jack and Diane by John Cougar Mellancamp.

 

At 10:30 they were hosting an 80’s party in the Spinnaker Lounge so we invited our friends to come with us. They were a bit underwhelmed as there was hardly anybody there. For the entire ‘party’ it was only the assistant cruise director and one of the staff members dancing. I felt really bad for them. The music and videos were fun, though, and we had a good time. Our friends even ended up staying up for awhile into the club night, which got a lot busier compared to 80’s night. I was in bed around 1am which yes, was probably too late, but Nicaragua had a later start time.

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following, as we are doing this same itineary and ship in April. we love the Star, this will be my 3rd time on her.

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Sounds like you're having a great time, I really like your attitude.

I'm enjoying following along on your trip, thank you :)

 

We're on the Star next month, same trip but starting in Miami,

I can hardly wait :cool:

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9am wake up call for Nicaragua, where we had booked the Granada Nature and Colonial Architecture Tour. We had breakfast at the buffet and then headed to the Stardust for our meeting time of 10:10. The place was packed because we hadn’t been cleared to go ashore yet, so they were very behind.

We were not called until an hour after we were supposed to be, then lined up for the tender boats. The issue was that the Coral Princess was at port that day too. San Juan Del Sur has never had two ships before and they didn’t have enough room at the pier to dock all the tenders. Not a good start to the day. My friend was furious, threatening to ask for a refund, basically allowing this to ruin his day.

As soon as the bus left port I immediately fell in love with Nicaragua. I’m not kidding. I was obsessed. It’s such a beautiful place. It was a two hour drive through the most beautiful scenery (the trees!!!). I’m from Canada - Nature is not supposed to impress me.

Our first stop was in a town called Catarina. There was an overlook that showed Lake Nicaragua and if you looked closely you could see Granada in the back. It was beautiful. My friend stopped being a grumpus. We also had time for shopping at this stop (shocker) and I purchased a gift for my fathera feather that was framed and painted with a Nicaraguan cultural scene. It was $12 which I thought was reasonable and then the store owner basically bartered with himself and offered it to me for $10. He clearly didn’t know who he was talking to because I never barter.

Back on the bus and into Granada. The buildings were all so colourful and eclectic I loved it. We walked to a restaurant called Mirabello for a late lunch. They were serving tacos and they were SO GOOD. I only had the chicken tacos but I went up for seconds, which I rarely do. They had a band that played an instrumental version of Despacito and I think I was the only person who recognized it/knew it and I clapped so loud the band laughed. My friend and I both commented we’d probably visit this restaurant on our own, as the food was quite tasty (especially the salsa).

We then went on a brief walking tour of the city into the main plaza. We only had ten minutes so we went into the main cathedral which was massive. Then it was back to the bus for the two hour ride back.

I started getting nervous towards the end because we were definitely going to be late back for the last tender. I know that shore excursions wait but I still got stressed. For nothing, as it turns out.

On the tender back I was surprised how many people were complaining about their excursions or that they hated Nicaragua. We LOVED it. Not only was it my favourite port stop, I would actually come back here on my own. Ironic considering I didn’t really care about this stop. Kind of like Cabo, which is so far my second favourite.

We made a call earlier in the day to eat dinner at the buffet because of timing. The karaoke superstar competition was at 8:30 and we didn’t get back to the boat until 7. The buffet was Greek-themed tonight. We don’t like buffers for dinner and I don’t like Greek food but it worked in a pinch. We won’t be going back there for dinner this cruise, though.

Karaoke Superstar started at 8:30. Our friends from karaoke found us and I was selected to be a judge. Because I’m a passive aggressive crazy person I intimidated the contestants by saying that my mother is a music teacher, I play three instruments and my sister has a musical theatre degree. There were four contestants who sang one song each. This was then narrowed down to two who sang a second song. There has been one guy at karaoke all week who is clearly musical theatre trained so obviously he won.

From there we went back to our usual bar for an hour before returning to Spinnaker for an adult comedy show. The comedian on board leads tomorrow but I’ve been impressed how utilized he’s been - this is the fourth time we’ve seen him (opening night, his show, liars club last night, and now tonight). He was pretty funny. Again, I think he was pandering to an older, cruising, overwhelmingly white crowd but the jokes were at least still adult, as advertised. And man, that place was PACKED. Even the staff were commenting they’d never seen it so busy. It was standing room only.

 

Following that my friend and I went back to the bar for our ‘final’ drink. It was my friend’s final drink. We met up with our friend I had stayed up until 3am with after Acapulco. My friend left after his drink but I didn’t because I always forget about my hangovers until I get them next. I didn’t go to bed until 1:30 but I stopped drinking about an hour earlier so I may actually be fine for Costa Rica tomorrow.

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Loving your review....sounds like your having a blast!

 

 

And....they haven't even gotten to the Canal yet!

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Alarm went off at 7am and I was surprisingly fine. We had time for a quick bite to eat at the Market Cafe before going to the Stardust for 7:50. This was a disastrous time because the Red Bull stand wasn’t open yet. Today’s excursion was Discover Costa Rica, and at 9 hours the longest excursion of our trip.

We boarded the bus with our guide, Bernie. His English was almost impeccable. He’s clearly gotten a lot of practice as he was a terrific guide. We first drove for an hour until we got to - you guessed it - a shop. As opposed to other places we’ve been there were no stalls. It was literally a big gift shop. All the prices were in USD and expensive at that, so I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything there. This was true for everywhere we went. No small shops selling cute trinkets, all gift shops. Even more disappointing about this shopping stop was it was promoted as an overlook that happened to have shopping. And yes, the view looked lovely except we were on the side of a highway and not allowed to cross, and two large tourist busses were blocking the view from the gift shop.

From there we drove another thirty minutes or so to the town of Palmeres, where we did a very brief walking tour of the plaza. While in Nicaragua I loved both the natural scenery and the buildings, I did not in Costa Rica. The natural scenery was fantastic (I kept calling it Jurassic Park) the buildings and houses we saw were all kind of run down. Even the plaza we walked through was a bit underwhelming. I was hoping to see a sloth but they were hiding.

Back on the bus for another hour drive. I fell asleep for some of it. We arrived at Doka Estate, a massive coffee plantation. Two groups arrived at the same time. We ended up being the group to go do the tour first. It was pretty interesting. Our guide took us through each phase of coffee production. I don’t drink coffee so my knowledge is limited. I thought coffee beans just came out that way, roasted and all.

Following the tour we went to lunch. Unfortunately I couldn’t eat much of it, so I just had rice and chicken. I did add some salsa to it, for effect. I wish we’d had slightly longer so I could have visited the butterfly garden but overall I felt the amount of time spent here was an appropriate amount. Back on the bus for another 45 minute drive (have I mentioned the overwhelming amount of driving on this excursion?) to the Botanical Orchid Garden.

We were pressed for time by this point - probably because of all the bloody driving - so we only had fifteen minutes here. It was my favourite stop so the fact we had to rush through it was quite disappointing. On one half of the property they have all these birds like macaws, parrots and a cockatoo. They were beautiful. I don’t traditionally like caged animals but our guide explained that people in Costa Rica sometimes illegally keep them as house pets and once they are confiscated they aren’t all able to be released back into the wild, so this private business owner looks after them. On the other half of the property they have their orchid garden. I don’t really have an appreciation for flowers but they were pretty. Again, I wish there was more time to explore.

Then we were on the bus back to port which took yet another hour and a bit. We were thirty minutes later than anticipated but still an hour before all-aboard. I know it seems like I complained about this excursion but I want to stress that the guide was phenomenal and my main issue was with the amount of driving and its effect on how much time we spent in the different areas.

We went up to the pool for a quick drink before getting ready for dinner. Tonight we were back at Versailles. I had the clams, grilled salmon and volcano cake. One of the pool waiters we know was serving beverages at the restaurant and kept our wine glasses filled. And so it begins...

A drink at the bar before heading to the evening show, a quartet called These Guys. I was actually expecting (and dreading) a barbershop quartet. They were advertised as a modern spin on classic songs. Much to my surprise they had a backing band and all the songs were older. They were just okay. It’s not that they aren’t talented - they did do one song as a barbershop quartet and it was great. I will absolutely see their next show, which is that style. Besides that song I only really enjoyed their cover of Begging by The Four Seasons. This is because one guy rapped the verses, which was amazing. I love rap so I would have liked it they did that in every song. But they were probably pushing it doing it the one time.

We decided to skip the game show and went to the bar before heading to karaoke. Somehow I have become known by the cruise director staff and the guy hosting karaoke bullied me into getting up. I mean, he kept mentioning me by name, pointing his mic at me, etc. I wasn’t offended it was all in good fun. I did get up eventually and did Rolling in the Deep by Adele. I must have been drunk because who on earth tries to sing an Adele song at karaoke.

 

When I drink I get chatty and none of our normal people were around so I started talking with the youths. Which led to drinking games and dancing on the jogging track and going to bed at 3am. Oops.

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Really enjoying your review!

 

I'll be on Star for the April 22 eastbound transatlantic. It will be my first NCL cruise (but #32 overall). I'm in a little older demographic (ok, a LOT older) but, mentally, I'm stuck at 27 years old, so I can relate to a lot of what you're saying. Except at my age, I'm hungover after only 3 drinks and getting to bed before midnight! And it takes 2 days to recover!! Not sure how I'm going to handle this UBP. ;p

 

I haven't made my decisions on where to use my dining package (I'm purchasing just the 3-dinners), but the Italian sounds like it should be one of my choices.

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Woke up at 11 and tried to find food to no avail. For anyone who doesn’t know, O’Sheehans (at least on the Star) seems to not be 24/7. I showed up about five minutes before ‘lunch’ was supposed to start at 11:30 and they said they wouldn’t be opening until at least 11:45. There was an activity I wanted to attend at 12 so no food for me.

I met up with my friend and went to Spinnaker where the magician from the other night was giving a workshop. It was interesting to learn some tricks but it would have been nice if each table had been given supplies. It’s a lot easier if you can actively practice what he’s telling you but it’s all in good fun. They did promote their DVD’s. I may get one after their next performance as my godson is interested in magic and I haven’t bought him a souvenir yet.

From there we went to O’Sheehan’s for some tasty wings. I went back to the room for a bit where I cleaned up. We’re on day 10 so it kind of looks like like a bomb went off in the room. Not anymore! My mother would be so proud of me.

At 2pm I went down to Le Bistro for a wine tasting. This was the first one I was able to make as art activities kept pulling my attention. Unfortunately there were only three of us so the event was cancelled. One of the hopeful attendees was saying they need four people to proceed. The sommelier came out to give us the bad news and brought a bottle of Bordeaux with him. This red blend would have been one of the wines today. He poured us a sizeable glass, for sure not a tasting glass, and apologized again. It was a bit of a bummer because I love wine and would like to learn more about it. The topic would have been Old World vs New, basically comparing California’s to European wines.

As it turned out, the gentleman who was waiting was quite knowledgeable about wine so I chatted with him about it for 45 minutes. It was almost like I got the wine tasting. As it turns out I seem to have a good taste in wine for someone my age. I’ll take it. Hopefully if there is another wine tasting it can actually occur.

I had a drink at the bar and chatted with some older folks from Ohio I met a few days ago. Then I went back to the room because bingo was starting later today at 4pm. Our dinner reservations were for 5 so I knew I wouldn’t have time after the game. It was budget bingo today so only $20. The downside is it isn’t really budget bingo because it’s only one game instead of three. For a change I got so close to winning; I was only off by two. It was actually a tie because somehow the cruise director team had duplicate cards in the same batch. We knew because they both had the same verification number.

For dinner we went to the 5pm show at Teppanyaki, the hibachi restaurant. There was only twelve of us which made for a small group. You get both appetizers which are miso soup and seaweed salad. You choose your entree, which is the part of the meal actually cooked in front of you. The chefs were cute and kept singing while they prepared different portions of the meal. Everyone received garlic rice and vegetables. I had the seafood teppanyaki which consisted of calamari, scallops and shrimp. It was good but I was much more impressed with the appetizers. Maybe if I’d gotten chicken it would have been better. This was just seafood with soya sauce. Still, I enjoyed it. For dessert I had the green tea cake and ice cream. I only ate the ice cream. I wasn’t a big fan of the cake.

Then it was - you guessed it - back to the bar. We enjoyed a drink there before heading to the show which was Vegas with the production cast. It was pretty bad. We were sitting with a lady we knew and she was pretty intoxicated so we had a great time. Don’t worry, we were in the very back so we weren’t ruining anyone’s viewing. So yeah, terrible show but one of my favourite times going to one.

Then it was to the Spinnaker for 55 to Stay Alive, which is Norwegian’s version of Minute to Win It. I didn’t play but it was hilarious to watch. After this we were back to the bar hoping to make it to karaoke when we ran into a couple who was in the previous game show. We’d seen them around the ship loads and apparently they had as well so we got to talking. This lasted for hours. We actually got a noise complaint but it wasn’t us making the noise it was the group of twenty youths slightly down the boardwalk. They did join us eventually which of course resulted in going to bed at 4am. Not this again.

 

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