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ljrfrm

My Week on the Escape 10/28/18 - 11/4/18

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14 hours ago, ljrfrm said:

. But, people seemed to come and go off them regularly so I really didn't see anyone waiting either.  Maybe someone else might know the answer?  Hopefully you'll run BEFORE you partake in your UBP, haha!! 🙂

 

LOL!  I will try to remember that...treadmill  before drink :classic_biggrin:

 Thanks for the info!

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12 hours ago, LinnieRed said:

On the Sun at least, the machines turn off at 30 minutes. You can turn them back on but it does shut down. And there are signs saying 30 minutes max.

Thanks LinnieRed, that's what I thought, but i'm hoping its not the case on the Escape

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13 hours ago, OceanBlueWaters said:

RE:  Joggers on track.  I sympathize with you!  Clearly these people never exercised a day in their lives, yet they seem to feel the need to CLOG up the track on Cruise!  There were some with purses wrapped around them and "jogging" with slippers trekking along.  There were Grandmas/Grandpas who travel in pods and are on the track with no respect to others.  MOVE OVER!  They are in center lane shuffling along.  Some were in full dress and slippers trekking along.  Huh?  Where is the respect to others who are serious?   Good grief!

You were quite nice voicing your experience about jogging track 🙂

It is always a struggle for us...we are actually joggers, so even those walkers who are 2 or 3 abreast are in our way. We always seem to get in conflict there. we went to Customer service and they posted something in the dailies but never got better...looks like this ship will be no better...

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9 hours ago, misstamster said:

It is always a struggle for us...we are actually joggers, so even those walkers who are 2 or 3 abreast are in our way. We always seem to get in conflict there. we went to Customer service and they posted something in the dailies but never got better...looks like this ship will be no better...

I went after breakfast when many are out and about.  I bet its much better earlier in the morning - but I am clearly not an early morning waker upper!  It's such a busy deck - It would certainly be easier if there was another place for it.  It's a small track too - so I just felt like I was going in circles forever. It was though a pleasant change from the gym.

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8 minutes ago, ljrfrm said:

I went after breakfast when many are out and about.  I bet its much better earlier in the morning - but I am clearly not an early morning waker upper!  It's such a busy deck - It would certainly be easier if there was another place for it.  It's a small track too - so I just felt like I was going in circles forever. It was though a pleasant change from the gym.

ohhhh I saw you posted and I thought it was more of your review....:(

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Just now, cathi007 said:

ohhhh I saw you posted and I thought it was more of your review....:(

Haha, sorry.  I've been juggling posting and helping my son with college applications so it's taking me a bit longer than normal.  Trying to decide which is more important! 🙂

 

I'll at least get through Thursday recap tonight.  I promise!

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IMHO, for a nice walk on the Escape or easy stroller, not necessary for "joggers" and "runners" - I suggest using Deck 8, Waterfront as it go all the around the back of the ship and most of the time, i.e. morning hours - there's hardly anyone out there at all ... except, a few sitting on those giant loungers to read, relax, mediate or just chill.  Same is true on the lifeboat level, Deck 7 - it's quiet & virtually empty.  

 

Neither deck is marked and/or designated for walking, jogging & definitely not for running (use the machines in the fitness center)

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34 minutes ago, ljrfrm said:

I went after breakfast when many are out and about.  I bet its much better earlier in the morning - but I am clearly not an early morning waker upper!  It's such a busy deck - It would certainly be easier if there was another place for it.  It's a small track too - so I just felt like I was going in circles forever. It was though a pleasant change from the gym.

It was 6:30 a.m. when I was there.  It was clogged with people shuffling along travelling in pods.  No way was I getting up any earlier than that!  Forget the track...not worth the aggravation.  I hate Gyms, so did not partake. 

I did pass by the Gym enroute to Hair Salon and it is fabulous.  Views are amazing while exercising.  So is Hair Salon views.  

Going forward, I skipped exercise and got my Mimosa/Bellini at Atrium Bar for remainder of cruise (I am an early riser).  I will catch up on exercise next week. LOL!   Heck, I am on vacation!  It was a great cruise! 

Love your review thus far!

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Room service was ordered to be delivered between 7:30 - 8:00 am.  So, my alarm was set for 7:20 and once it went off, I woke up, put on my bathrobe, and sat out on the deck waiting for our delivery.  I ordered chocolate croissant and cinnamon rolls (and didn't make the mistake of "believing" that two came with each order), fresh fruit and coffee.  After sitting on the balcony and relaxing with coffee and calories, we got ready for our day in Bermuda.  We threw on swimsuits, with clothes over them as we had sightseeing to do before we (hopefully) made it to a beach.

 

My husband and I spent three days in Bermuda in 2015 when we traveled on the Dawn.  We had an amazing tour with Heidi Cowen of Byway Tours (I would totally recommend her and left her a 5 star review on Tripadvisor). However, Heidi does a group tour which we've already done so we wanted to switch it up. And, have the flexibility to go at our own pace and make changes depending on whether or hunger.  So, I decided to book privately.  I did some research online and decided to go with Lewis Foggo.  I reached out to Lewis via email about 2 months before the cruise. He immediately wrote me back and was always excellent with communication.  Lewis was charging us $60 an hour for all four of us - so for a full 8 hour day we planned to pay $120 per person.  Not bad compared to the NCL rate, especially given it was a private tour.  While I saw many positive reviews online for Lewis, I was a bit nervous since I was the one that booked him and we were spending our friends money.  Even though we had done Heidi's tour and saw many of the "typical" tourist sites on the island, our friends hadn't done so before, so we decided to repeat many of the places we've seen.  I had hoped to hit some new sites as well, as we had discussed hiking and cliff diving with Lewis as well.

 

We got off the ship at 8:50 to meet up with Lewis as planned at 9:00 am.  We found Lewis just where he told us he would be - standing near the taxis holding a sign with my name.  Lewis had a comfortable, new van and we climbed in and went on our way.  Our first stop was the Somerset Bridge, where Lewis had brought bread to feed the fish and we saw the world's smallest drawbridge.  If you stop here, go into the bakery that is there.  The ladies in the bakery were delightful and their delicious fresh cookies were still hot.  After buying some coffee and cookies, we were on our way to Fort Scaur.  While we had been to the Fort before, the views were still gorgeous and it was a great stop.  We visit a local golf course, just so I could take some photos to send to my son to make him jealous. It worked!!!

 

From there we moved on to the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse.  All the drivers tend to have the same routes, as this was the same order we traveled on our last visit. In fact, we saw Heidi in her van at several of our stops.  For us though, being on our own with a private driver, we were able to go at our own pace.  Something which seemed great at the time, but we would later learn there are so only many hours in the day and we simply would run out of time later in the afternoon.  On our last visit, I was not able to climb the 185 step to the top of the Lighthouse. I had been recovering from bilateral knee replacement surgery so waited at the bottom while the rest of the group went up.  We paid the $2.50 per person and started our climb.  For those worried about so many steps, it definitely wasn't bad at all. And, there are places to stop frequently with historical photos and descriptions to take you time while you catch your breath. Go up! It's worth it - what an amazing view!!!!

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Edited by ljrfrm

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After the lighthouse we headed into Hamilton. We had worked up a thirst and were ready for a drink!! Where's the UBP when we needed it??  Luckily Lewis came to the rescue.  He told us about an off the beaten trail (think hole in the wall) bar/lounge that was supposedly nice and cheaper than those on the main drag. It was called Casey's Lounge and we loved it. The owner was there behind the bar and he was the nicest man ever.  The bar and bathrooms were clean and he made us the BEST drinks ever!!!  I ordered a Dark and Stormy while my husband ordered the Rum Swizzle (which I tried! Yum!!). That had to have been the best Dark and Stormy ever. Plus, wow it was strong.  And, it was only $7.00.  Very impressed.  There were about 5-6 others in the bar, that appeared to be locals.  It was around lunchtime, and they were dressed like they had been working. If you want to find Casey's Lounge, it's next door to KFC (Lewis told us that's the only US fast food restaurant on the island). While we would have loved to stay for another drink, it was time for us to move on.  I stumbled getting back into Lewis' van - maybe that drink was even stronger than I thought, LOL.

 

From Hamilton we drove through what Lewis called "the ghetto" and headed to St. Georges.  Lewis spent his time talking to us about everything island related, and as we traveled through the poorer section, we talked about crime and drugs (both seem low to me, but definitely an issue like unfortunately anywhere else).  Lewis was a very smart man, and had great insight and knowledge on everything from politics to the history.  We definitely learned a lot.  We made it to St. George's and asked Lewis to recommend a restaurant. We invited him to join us (our treat) but he declined.  Lewis knows everyone on the island, and was always waving and honking to all.  While we went to eat, he hung out with the van and chatted with others.  Per his recommendation, we went to Wahoo's.  We sat out back on the water and it was a beautiful day with the sun shining. So much so they had to lower the shade as it was hot, hot, hot.  Our waitress was as nice as could be, but was probably 105 years old.  She was a bit slow.  Ok, she was very slow.  Lunch took well over an hour - and ate up a lot of our time in St. George's.  I ordered a Chicken Club which was great - the others all got some form of Wahoo, from Wahoo nuggets to Wahoo burgers.  I had a Rum Swizzle to wash it all down - nowhere near as good as Casey's.

 

We had to tour St. Georges quickly after the long lunch, as we had lost a lot of the day so far.  We walked around to look at stores, checked out the church and cemetery behind it, bought a few t-shirts and walked by Town Hall.  We then met Lewis at his van to move on.  We had planned to go to the beach for a few hours - but there was no way we'd have time for that.  Where did the day go?  I couldn't decide if I was sad that we lost the day without doing anything new to us (and no beach, cliff diving, or bathing suit activities) or was happy we had such a fun, full day.  I think it was a little of both.

 

No worries. We had another day still on the island. And, we had previously booked Lewis for the next day as well. We have plenty of time tomorrow!!  Let's just not be a pier runner!!  We chatted with Lewis on the way back to the ship and made plans for the next day.  He pulled up to the taxi drop off, and we paid him for the day.  We arranged an 8:30 am pick up time for the next day, said our goodbyes and headed back to the ship.  As we all had our bathing suits on and the sun was still out strong, we decided to head directly to Vibe.  It was a great decision!

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We easily passed through security and entered Vibe about 5:15 pm. We were greeted with a big "hi" and as we climbed into our chairs, they quickly came over with water and took our drink order. After a few minutes we heard an announcement. It was the captain.  Uh oh, this sounds serious - not your typical announcement. Wait!!  This is GOOD news!  The captain just told us that due to some weather patterns, we will be leaving Bermuda two hours later than planned. Everybody applauded when they heard this! This is huge. Remember, we lost a full day in Bermuda while floating around waiting for a parking spot.  While we all knew it coming into the cruise (ok, well most of us know it - those of us that booked while tipsy might have missed the tidbit of information), the thought of two additional hours on the beach is fantastic.  We quickly regrouped and rethought our plans for the morning.  We decided to meet Lewis at 9 am instead and add another hour to our day with him.  The new sailing time is 5 pm - so we'll stay with Lewis until 3 pm, then come back to the Dockyard, safely within proximity of the ship in an effort to avoid the whole pier running activity.  So - an additional 6 hours on the island instead of 5....AND, an extra half hour to sleep. Win, win. Thank you Captain!!!  I sent an email to Lewis and I had a response within 5-10 minutes.  The new schedule works for him - he'll see us at 9 am.

 

We stayed in Vibe to watch the sunset.  And what a sunset it was! It was amazing!!! By this point I had several Bahama Mamas, those sure go down easy.  I was thirsty, and maybe should have started with water. We soon returned to our cabin to shower and change for dinner.  

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So, we were a bit confused about the entertainment schedule for the evening. Alvin had announced the day before that the Dancing with the Stars would be the night before. It wasn't.  My guess is he made the slip because it probably was usually on the Wednesday but due to Halloween, it was moved. Then, after the Captain's announcement earlier, Alvin got on and once again mentioned the Dancing would be tonight.  But, the Freestyle Daily showed the Perfect Couple game show in the Atrium.  Maybe they swapped them?  We really wanted to show our friends the Dancing contest.  It's always hilarious and we love the "Losers Lounge". So, we decided to take a chance and go to the Atrium. It took a few minutes to find four chairs together, but we found them. We sat down, ordered drinks and enjoyed "Throwback Favorites" with the Golden Octaves.  Once that finished, they announced that the Perfect Couple game show was coming up.  Ok, so it's not the Dancing with the (NCL) Stars, but we'd stay anyways. That's usually a fun show.  The Atrium gets so crowded and so far we've lucked out each time by arriving early.  We sat back and enjoyed the fun!  As the show finished, Alvin announced the rest of the schedule for the night.  So, the Dancing show is tonight - at 10 pm.  AND, I later saw it WAS in the Freestyle Daily. User error, I guess.  They called it the "Dance Battle".  I guess I've always seen it called something different. Since when do they have two game shows in one night??  Probably because it was moved from the night before.  I knew if we gave up our seats we'd be in trouble......BUT, we hadn't had dinner yet.  We also didn't really feel like another hour with the Golden Octaves while waiting (the John Legend and More set). So, we did what any other totally obsessed with food cruiser would do.  We all got up and headed to Taste for dinner. Our seats were snagged quickly - we definitely made somebody happy giving up 4 seats at 9 pm.

 

We were seated right away in Taste. We had a fun waiter who was there for us for anything we needed. Given it was already past 9, the service was quick as by the second half of our dinner, there were only a few table left eating.  I order the turkey salad and beef short ribs (served over noodles) with Creme Caramel for dessert. It was all good but I had ordered the braised short ribs before, and had forgotten it's just not my cup of tea.  I ate it all (of course I did!) and it wasn't bad at all.  Just not something I should have ordered for my tastes.  I survived the meal - the 2 glasses of win helped!  We then left the restaurant and tried to figure out what to do.  It was just 10 pm and the Dance Battle was about to start. I knew there was NO way we'd find chairs but we decided to swing by for a few minutes.

 

We got there just as the show was starting. We stood in the back and totally got pulled into watching it. We found a place to stand in the back where were weren't blocking anyone's view.  It was so funny. Couple #6 was just the best!!  The Losers Lounge was as funny as always.  And we stayed for the whole show.  I am not one to stand that long - especially in one place. It will sometimes start hurting my knees. But this was worth it.  Such fun!!  Bravo for having so much fun with it to.  I know much of what they do is the same each week - but somehow Alvin and his staff make it look like they are having such fun, and we are the only ones to see their jokes.

 

Once the show finished, we went back up to the cabin.  After standing for so long, I was looking forward to climbing in bed with the Freestyle Daily and my Kindle. We decided we didn't want to do room service again so we planned to hit the buffet.  So, we needed to have a bit more time in the morning.  Time to hit the hay!!

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9 hours ago, cathi007 said:

Thank you for my fix, lol 🙂

You are my incentive!! 🙂

Stayed tuned for the next chapter soon!  Give me about 45 min and then I'll try to crank out Friday.

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Day 6 (Friday) AKA Bermuda, Day 2:

The alarm went off and I turned it off and rolled over and groaned.  This is vacation. How can I be so tired.  One thing that definitely went by the wayside was my newly found exercise regime.  I rationalized it yesterday by thinking I walked up to the top of the lighthouse as well as walked around everywhere else. Vacation is a time that I eat, drink and gain weight. It's not a time for me to workout.  That new mindset stuck and I will admit I never made it back to the gym again. I actually had intentions to (possibly) go the following Sea Day, but....well, more on that tomorrow. For now, I climbed out of bed and made myself a cup of coffee.  I went out onto the balcony and saw it was breezy and overcast. I wasn't too worried - it was overcast yesterday as well and it burned off into a nice day.  Today is my beach day - and it WILL happen.  I hope.

 

We went up to the Buffet for the first time this cruise.  It wasn't as crowded as I feared and we easily found a nice table by the window.  I found myself some Cream of Wheat (venturing away from the Muesli just to shake things up), chocolate french toast, OJ and more coffee.  Wow, some people can eat! I'm jealous. The lady next to me had her plate literally piled 5 inches high with food. Impressive!  After our breakfast, we returned to the cabin to pack our beach bag and head out to meet up with Lewis.  Lewis was just where he should be, waiting for us with a smile.

 

Our first stop for the day were the Crystal Caves.  We never made it there on our last trip. We paid our money and waited around 10 minutes for our tour to start. The tour itself took 30 minutes. While the caves weren't too large or overly exciting to us, they were pretty and we enjoyed hearing about the history of how they were discovered.  The caves would occasionally drip some water.  Our guide told us these were cave kisses and if it landed on us, it was good luck. I'm happy to say I was kissed multiple times.....but so far, I haven't won the lottery. 

 

Although I had read that the step could be wet and possibly slippery, they seemed dry and we had no issues. As we were heading up from the caves, we passed the next tour.  I could tell from the NCL stickers they were wearing, the visitors were on a ship sponsored excursion.  There were SO many of them. They really should have broken them up more for the tour. The poop people in the back couldn't hear anything!  We briefly shopped around in the gift shop and I bought a small bottle of pink sand ($4.95) to give to a coworker as a thank you for covering while I was gone.  

 

Once finished, we returned to Lewis' van and he drove us to the Swizzle Inn. Another place we had never been. We went upstairs and sat outside on the deck. We ordered Nachos (delicious!) and a pitcher of Rum Swizzles. We had a nice time there as we were by ourselves.  As we were leaving the restaurant started filling up for lunch. While I was glad we went by, the Rum Swizzles were much weaker and less flavorful than those at Casey's the day before.  It was definitely a touristy place complete with a gift shop.  We returned to Lewis' van and climbed in for our ride to the beach.

 

While it was by no means cold, the weather just wasn't what I had hoped.  As we pulled up to Warwick Long Bay it seemed so windy. Lewis drove a bit further to Jobson's Cove Beach which seemed a bit more protected. He pulled into the parking lot and we climbed out.  Lewis went to the back of his car and pulled out a cooler.  Lewis is the man. He knew we were going to the beach today so he packed us a cooler of beer. AND, also some home made Rum Swizzle to try, complete with cups.  It was good too!!  Thanks Lewis.  We had also bought a "to go" box of Nacho chips to munch on the beach as well. There's a primitive bathroom there near the parking lot so we made a quick stop and we were off. We loaded up our stuff, I had the big beach bag with towels over my shoulder and the to go box of chips in my hand.  My husband grabbed the cooler and we were on our way.  Lewis hung out in the parking lot waiting for us.

 

We walked down to the beach and it was still windy. We decided to take the path towards Horseshoe Bay, looking for small coves and areas blocked from the wind.  It was windy but not cold,  we were however hoping to find a peaceful area away from people or wind.  As we rounded the corner past some rocks, we found the perfect spot.  The only problem was you had to climb over some rocks to get there as it was tucked away.  It looked perfect though so we walked over there and started climbing. I had already taken out our NCL towels, as previously we had laid them out when we thought we found a spot. Only to change our minds and moved on. SO, I had towels in one hand, chips in another, and a bag hanging from my shoulder.  And I had to find a way to get to this cove. Anyone see where this is going???

 

I was wearing flip flops and I was worried about climbing rocks with everything in my arms. My friend and I noticed that as the waves regressed, we could run quickly through the sand to get to our secret cove.  The problem was the waves were crashing in quickly - so we ended up having to time it perfectly, then run fast, get on a rock to wait for the waves to go out, the run again, then rock, etc.  We were about 3/4 the way to the cove when a wave was coming. I was worried about getting my shorts wet so I stepped up on the rock to wait for the wave to retreat.  As I did that, I have no idea if I slipped, the wave hit me or was just clumsy, but I lost my balance. With everything in my arms there was no way to catch myself. I went down. Then the wave came. I landed up my butt and the wave circled around me.  Luckily, my cell phone was in my front left pocket and I landed on my right side. Somehow it was spared.  But nothing else was. The box of chips, the two NCL towels, and my whole beach bag was soaked.  As was I.  So, here I am all wet, with no dry change of clothes, no towel to sit on (we still had two more hours at the beach) and I had just noticed I only had one flip flop on. Where was the other? We scoured the shoreline and looked out further. It was nowhere to be found. Great. Now I'd have to take the walk of shame back onto the ship.  Just then my husband (who had made it to the cove) yelled, "here it is". Somehow, my flip flop made it to the cove before me.  I have no idea how it washed ashore there but I was sure happy.

 

Once we all made it to the cove (let me add, I was not hurt at all....other than my pride.  I was just wet! ) we stood there and tried to figure out where we could lay out the towels to dry. But this time I was covered with sand as well.  Those of you who have worn wet jeans shorts before.....it's not fun.  So, guess what we noticed.  The tide seemed to be rising. We were worried if we stayed in our little cove we'd end up having to swim back. So, all that and we stayed for 5 minutes.  Ayyyy.  Once again, I didn't want to take the rocks. After all, I was already wet so I took the water way - and didn't worry about the waves crashing on me this time.  We returned towards Jobson's Cove and guess what?  We were all by ourselves and the wind had died down.  I spread out the drier of the two towels (which was still soaking) for my husband and I to share - and we cracked open our beer - which I totally earned. I still had the box of soggy chips also (which cost me $5) but we didn't eat them due to the minor/major water incident. So, I basically was just carrying them around until I found a trash can. Oh, and have you ever carried around 2 completely soaking wet NCL towels?  They each weighed about 10 pounds.

 

Our plan was to return to the ship at 3 pm so we'd have a bit of time to shop.  At 2:30 we went back to Lewis' van.  My friend had a change of clothes for herself so she gave me her cover up to put on so I could take off my wet shorts.  I had fun tell Lewis about my adventures, and he told me I'm not the first customer to have a mishap. One time, he actually had to take someone shopping to buy a change of clothes.  Lewis had a tarp to put on his seats, and a broom to brush off our feet. He was prepared - he's been through this before.  We headed back to the ship - although I didn't have the exact beach day I planned on, it was a great day.  We arrived back to the Dockyard at 3:05 or so.  We paid Lewis and thanked him profusely, promising to let him know the next time we return.  I didn't want to shop holding my giant beach bag and 40 pounds of wet towels, so we parked the husbands in Frog and Onion with our things, and then wandered around for some last minute shopping.  

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With the husbands tuck away neatly in Frog and Onion, my friend and I wandered around the Dockyard for awhile. We went into the Dockyard Glassworks store and found some beautiful jewelry.  I bought a cheap bracelet and my friend got a necklace.  I also bought one more small bottle of sand for my other coworker.  After about 30 min of shopping we were ready for Vibe. We went to collect the husbands, who were still busy drinking beer.  We told them we'd meet them on board (and begged them to not be a pier runner), gathered up our bags (I was a nice wife and told him I'd carry the 60 pound towels back to the ship) and headed to the ship. On the way, my friend's flip flop broke (or as she put it, "I blew out my flip flop") and she ended up boarding with just one shoe.  I was so laughing - can you imagine if I wouldn't have found my flip flop in the cove?  We both would have been doing the walk of shame - wouldn't that have been a sight? 

 

We showed our ID's, scanned our ship cards, and tried to catch an elevator. There were a lot of people so we started walking up the stairs. But, to go from Deck 4 to 18?  Oh my.  On Deck 8 we stopped and called for an elevator. The doors opened and I was staring face to face with an elevator of what looked like 20 people.  No room!  We hoofed it another two flights and tried again. Guess what opened?? The same elevator that had stopped for us on Deck 8.  The same lady staring at me, clearly thinking "please don't push your way in".  We stayed and waited for the next elevator which had room, and made our way up to Vibe. The husbands soon joined us - they hoofed it the whole way up. Good for them!!

 

Once up to Vibe, we hung out to watch the pier runners. At one point, we saw one! They made an announcement for multiple people missing. More names that I've heard before being called. Wow - that many folks missing??  Soon they only announced just one name.  It was Mark.  Everyone else must have been on board, because although they announced quite a few names, now they were only looking for one person. A bit later, we saw a lady down on the dock looking at her watch. We decided she must be Mark's wife and she is pissed that he is still at Frog and Onion drinking. A few minutes later she got in a car and drove off. Ok, so maybe she isn't Mark's wife. And, maybe Mark isn't even missing because soon we were leaving. We shoved off at 5:15 pm.  Bye Bermuda. It's been fun.  After a Bahama Mama, I headed back to the cabin to shower and get ready for dinner.  

 

Tonight we had our third specialty restaurant reservation at Le Bistro.  Our waitress was a hoot. She was honestly the best.  We all ordered Tempranillo again, and she came and poured us all a glass from the bottle.  She caught my husband and my friend's husband pushing their glasses up to each other, comparing and joking about who got more. She started laughing and came back with the bottle to top off the one that had less. Then my husband took a sip and she topped him off.  Well, throughout the night - she was eagle eye on us and pretty much any time the wine went down, she was immediately there filling it up - and measuring so they would all be the same.  I ordered the French Onion Soup and the Goat Cheese Salad as appetizers as I just couldn't decide.  I had the Beef Tenderloin which was delicious and we ordered the fondue for dessert. The fondue was good but much smaller than it used to be and definitely less yummy pound cake.  I still ate it all though!

 

As we walked out of Le Bistro, we saw Alvin filming his announcements that play all day on Channel 17.  You know, the one where he talks about what's going on and all.  We stayed and watched him film and even joked we were going to try to make him laugh. He saw us and after the tape stopped rolling he came up to say hi.  I told him "we were going to make faces at you" and he laughed. He asked us if he could interview us to play on TV tomorrow.  I said "it depends, what will you ask us".  Once we learned it was simply how we are enjoying our cruise we said sure. Now, remember we just had unlimited pours of Tempranillo with dinner so we were happy. Maybe not the best time to partake in a TV interview, ha.  Later, I was worried maybe we made fools out of ourselves but when I watched it on channel 17 the next day, it wasn't bad at all.  He asked us how we liked the food, what our favorite part of the cruise it (my friend answered "the entertainment" which was an answer Alvin loved) and thanked us for sailing.  As  he thanked us and signed off, I blew a kiss to my TV fans everywhere. Oh my - I can't believe I did that, ha. It was fun to watch the next day though and I was able to record the interview so I can keep a record of my NCL TV debut.

 

After the interview, we headed over to the Atrium to see what was up. We got a table in the back of the Atrium near the bakery/Starbucks.  As we were sitting there, I saw the performers from For the Record come up to buy some coffee.  The performer that played Duckie was hanging out over in the corner so I decided to go talk to him.  He was such a nice boy.  I told him how much we enjoyed the show, and how impressed I was with his voice and acting.  He seemed genuinely pleased with the compliment. We discussed the differences of what I saw from the previous time when the show was in the Supper Club and now.  He told me he's been on board since June and will stay until February.  We had a nice talk and when I left, he moved on to chat with some other ladies.  I hesitated to bother him but he did really seem to enjoy chatting and talking about the show.  While this was going on, we were listening to the Bob Marley set from Golden Octaves. That finished and we watched the Lip Sync Battle game show.  It was just ok - I know it really depends on the passengers performing, and while it wasn't bad, it definitely wasn't too exciting.  

 

After the Lip Sync Battle, we decided to go check out our photos.  While we usually don't buy them, our friends wanted a couple and I did want the embarkation one with the four of us.  We went and pulled out our photos and at first I thought it was great. Then I looked more closely.  It was the weirdest thing - my husband had a giant milk mustache in the photo. Seriously - like a big white mustache.  He has no facial hair so what is this?  I asked the worker there, and he told me that they could try to reprint the photo with less light and see if that works.  My husband happened to push chapstick on right before the photo so our theory is somehow that caused a glare?  Who knows - but we agreed to have them reprint it. They initially told me that they had to charge me for the photo and then if I don't like it they would refund me. I wasn't comfortable with that because if the milk mustache doesn't disappear, I don't want to photo. He agreed and put in the order and told me to come back the next day.  We then went to look at the jewelry displays and I bought a diamond ring.  Ok, shhhhh, it's really not a diamond ring, but it looks like it.  It was a $40 ring - my husband got off easy this time!

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Edited by ljrfrm

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We hadn't gone to Headliners yet for a comedy show so thought we'd give the 11 pm show a try.  We stood in the Stand By line for about 10 minutes and then they let us in. Our seats were about 3/4 of the way back, and once we were in there were still plenty of seats left.  We ordered Gin and Tonics and sat back to wait for the show to begin. We saw Lucas Bohn perform and enjoyed him. He was a funny man and with a fun act.  

 

After the show my husband and I started talking. I forgot to mention something that happened earlier in the day.  We both decided we wanted a massage. It was a spur of the moment decision - he actually mentioned it and then I jumped on it. We booked a couples massage while returning from Vibe. We saw the spa ladies standing out in the spa hallway and asked them if they might have an opening. They did so we booked it for 1:30 pm the next day - Saturday, our last Sea Day.  So, after the comedy show, my husband said "I think I want to cancel my massage.  It's so expensive and I really don't need it".  I told him I was also having buyers remorse.  Mine though wasn't as much about the money, as it was about not wanting to impact my last Vibe day. I wanted to stay out all day and enjoy - and I knew by the late afternoon the weather would be cooler - so didn't want to lose my "sun time" earlier in the day for a massage.  I wasn't sure though if we could cancel them the day of the massage. So, we went by guest services to ask. I knew they wouldn't be able to cancel the appointments but wondered if they knew the "rules".  The guest services lady told me that we should be able to cancel them if I call in the morning. I wasn't sure if I believed her, so I'm not even sure why we asked. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

 

While in the Atrium, we picked up luggage tags for disembarkment.  That is truly the most depressing thing to do on a cruise. Well, other than actually getting OFF the cruise.  We chose Grey tags, with a 9:40 am time.  I thought we had priority disembarkment for our Gold status but that was the time wanted so grabbed them.  We then returned to our cabin to find a fun towel animal, our last Freestyle Daily (boo) and crawled into bed.  We debated about what time to wake up. It's a Sea Day, we could sleep in. But, you know me.....I hate missing breakfast.  But, good news......time to move our clocks back one hour.  An extra hour to sleep. AND, even better news - the following day we get to "fall back" once again, for the end of Daylight Savings Time.  What perfect timing is that!!

 

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Day 7 (Saturday - Last Sea Day):

The last Sea Day is always bittersweet. You spend months, and sometimes over a year, planning and dreaming....and then it's all gone in a flash.  I had several things on my list of "to do's" that hadn't been crossed off yet.  It will be a full day!!

 

I'm not sure if anyone reading this has read my first "My week on the Escape" review (this is my third).  If you have, you'll know that I had a "mishap" on the drop slides.  Talk about walk of shame........let's just say I experienced the trap door firsthand. If you want details, feel free to look up that review. Anyhow - ever since then, I've gone back and forth on whether I will try the slide again.  After suffering for several years with Post Traumatic Slide Disorder, I decided I had to get back on the horse.  Time to put my big girl panties on and climb up the stairs to experience the thrill (or trauma) or having the floor drop out on me again. Maybe this time I'd make it to the bottom. So, the drop slide was added to the Saturday "to do" list.  In addition, I was just nuts about Food Republic. How was it that I hadn't made it there yet??  Sinful.  So, Food Republic was on my Saturday "to do" list. I hadn't read my book on the Waterfront yet.  It would be added to my "to do" list as well.  Lastly, I just had to spend the day in the sun.  Those were my plans for the day.  I wasn't asking too much......was I???

 

Before going to bed, I knew I had to set my clock back. I was totally confused how to do that.  With my phone on airplane mode, would it switch automatically?  I was connected to the NCL wifi, so maybe it would?  Or wouldn't it?  Going to Bermuda it didn't, and I ended up manually switching to another time zone to get the right time.  So, using that as my guide, I manually moved my phone back and hour before I went to bed.  I woke up to my alarm the next morning (I know - crazy I set an alarm for a Sea Day but there was so much to do this last day - I couldn't waste any of it) at 7:30 am.  Or was it 8:30?  Or 6:30?  I was so confused.  My phone had changed times on it's own - so it had gone two hours back.  We turned the TV on to figure out the true time, just as my husband drew open the curtains and opened the door (part of our daily morning routine on cruises). He immediately said "no Vibe today".  What??  No!!  I need my last dose of Vibe.  I looked outside and it was overcast and the seas were starting to look rough. Not necessarily nasty, but not smooth sailing like we've had up until now.  It doesn't matter. I will go to Vibe, it will clear, and I will have my day of sun.

 

Before anything, I reached for the phone and called the Spa.  I asked if we could cancel our reservations, knowing they would most likely say no.  Well, they said "sure, you can cancel them".  I said "thanks", and then they added, "Just so you know, you will be charged 50% for each treatment".  Well, we would be paying $159 plus 18% gratuities.....so uh, no.....I won't be canceling and paying 50%. No way.  She did tell me that if they were able to fill the slots, we wouldn't be charged.  So, we told her we'd check back in with her later to see if they filled them or not.

 

We met up with our friends at Taste for breakfast.  I had my Muesli, OJ, and fried eggs with toast and bacon.  Coffee was served just as the "Good Morning Girls" came by with today's selection, Bear Claws.  OMG, they were the best ever!! The water was getting rougher and we were starting to rock. We looked out the window from Taste and the waves were crashing. Following breakfast, we went for a walk and noticed the Waterfront was closed. We couldn't go outside. Oh no, this isn't a good sign.  We later noticed we could on the highers decks but the Waterfront remained closed all day.  So much for item #3 on the list.

 

Ever the optimist, and refusing to accept the inevitable, I returned to the cabin, changed into my swimsuit (it wasn't cold yet so maybe there was hope??) and we made the trek to Vibe.  We claimed our seats and started to soak up the sun.  I didn't order a drink as we were rocking and rolling and it was windy. I thought they might blow away.  After awhile the umbrellas started to tip in the wind. Although they were closed, they were still being blown over.  I was surprised they didn't go around and lay them on their sides.  Our clothes, bags or other items were blowing.  And, it started sprinkling.  This was our cue to pack up and leave. We ended up only staying in Vibe from about 10 am to noon. So much for item #4 on the to-do list.

 

Leaving the Vibe was incredible.  The Seas were angry.  I had never seen anything like that and had to take some video.  I had to hold on to the railing as I felt like if I didn't, I'd be blown into the water.  Throughout the afternoon, the waves got bigger and we started rocking more.  Those pretty white airsick bags were placed around the ship, including at all elevators.  It was pretty funny trying to walk - people were staggering about like they were drunk.  In all my cruising, I have never experience anything like this. While I know that this was probably minimal compared to those cruise ships caught in storms and making the news, this was new to me. It really made me realize how it could be scary being caught in one of those storms.  There were a few moments were it did feel a bit uneasy as the ship would pitch to one side and things would fall.  And by no means was this bad probably compared to those newsworthy events. So, I do get it now.

 

Once we left Vibe, we took a walk down to the pool deck to see if it was less windy there and we wanted to stay. What we saw was crazy. Water flooding out of the pool, splashing everywhere.  The band was "trying" to play but a few minutes later they stopped and the pool was eventually closed.  While the actual outside pool area remained open, they closed the entrance to the Garden Cafe, I'm sure because they didn't want people to slip.  We walked to the spa and asked them if they were able to fill our spa appointments.  The lady was pretty rude and I don't think she even tried. So, I guess we'll be having 1:30 massages.  This could be interesting the way we were rocking and rolling.  Maybe I should have told them I was sea sick and I was afraid I'd get sick all over them. I didn't go there, and instead decided that since I had no sun anyways, I might as well go and enjoy my massage.  

 

At this point, it was 1:00 pm.  The massages were at 1:30.  The drop slide had to be crossed of my "to do" list too.  SO, maybe it was time for Food Republic.  I remembered it being fast so we thought we'd give it a try. We went to talk with the host, who told us that he couldn't get us out in time for our appointment. Food Republic was packed.  Everyone like us who waited to the last day, plus with everyone inside....we'd soon discover all indoor venues would be full throughout the day.  So much for my list.  I'm batting 0-4 today.

 

We went to the Garden Cafe for a quick lunch before our spa treatment.  While it was crowded, we had no problems finding a table.  It was hard to walk at times, as nobody could walk a straight line.  There were a few times that something fell of the counter when the ship leaned to one side. I found a salad action station and had them make me a salad. It was SO delicious - wow, I should have tried this before.  I grabbed a slice of pizza also.  As I was in the buffet and I remembered something else on the to do list.  With three times on the Escape, I still have never made it to try a crepe.  I must do that tonight!  We gobbled down our lunch quickly so we could make it to the spa by 1:30.

 

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Edited by ljrfrm

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Enjoying your review & pictures. We are planning a cruise for 2019 & touring many sites you have reviewed.

 

We have a question concerning Somerset Bridge. You mentioned a bakery near the bridge with good cookies. Do you have more information about the bakery? Name, location, how far from the bridge?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide

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39 minutes ago, ljrfrm said:

Day 7 (Saturday - Last Sea Day):

The last Sea Day is always bittersweet. You spend months, and sometimes over a year, planning and dreaming....and then it's all gone in a flash. 

 

This is sooo true!

 

39 minutes ago, ljrfrm said:

 

I'm not sure if anyone reading this has read my first "My week on the Escape" review (this is my third).  If you have, you'll know that I had a "mishap" on the drop slides. 

 

 

I haven't, but I'm going to find it and read it! 

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LOL.  I just went back to find your reporting of the drop slide incident.  My sides hurt from laughing.  Too funny.  Love your review.  Thanks!

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2 hours ago, miranco said:

Enjoying your review & pictures. We are planning a cruise for 2019 & touring many sites you have reviewed.

 

We have a question concerning Somerset Bridge. You mentioned a bakery near the bridge with good cookies. Do you have more information about the bakery? Name, location, how far from the bridge?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide

I don't have the name but it's right there.  You can't miss it.  When you pull into the parking lot to stop at the bridge, it is the bakery parking lot also. It looks like a small house - the only building there.  You will be parked in the back so just walk around to the front door.

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49 minutes ago, mrsbear60 said:

LOL.  I just went back to find your reporting of the drop slide incident.  My sides hurt from laughing.  Too funny.  Love your review.  Thanks!

Hahah, between that and my incident on the rocks, I probably don't sound like a graceful person at all.  I'm definitely not a ballet dancer!  🙂

At least I can laugh about it..........hahaha

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At 1:30 we went to the Spa to check in for our massages.  The Spa was packed, I had never seen it so busy. I was worried we'd be stuck waiting for awhile and was trying to figure out if I should be annoyed.  Before I had time to make a decision, someone came to take us downstairs to another room to wait for our turn.  We had a brief form to fill out and before I had time to finish it, she came to get us. Now, my husband and I had argued about whether this was a "couples massage" or if we both had massages that happened to be the same time.  I was convinced she told me they had a couples massage at 8 am, and if we didn't want that, she could put us at the same time but in different rooms.  I didn't dream that.  She said it - so I just knew I was right. I actually told my husband I'd bet him one million dollars.  We, as both ladies came in at the same time to get us, they said "are you looking forward to your couples massage?".  Uh-oh.  I think I'll be hearing about this!

 

We talked briefly to our ladies (mine was from Holland - she seemed very nice) and told them where we hurt or what we want them to concentrate on.  Now, here was my mistake.  I had made the decision I wanted a hot stone massage.  My husband asked for the deep tissue massage.  I really should have asked for the same.  Now, it's not that my hot stone massage didn't feel good - but it just wanted enough. Not enough time actually massaging all my sore knots and I felt like she spent too much time going to get stones.  Every time I was starting to enjoy it, she walked away for a minute.  While all this was going on, the ship was still tossing and bobbing and it was totally rocking me to sleep.  While my muscles may have needed something more, it definitely was relaxing. In the end, they put my hand into my husbands hand and left us there holding hands.  For some reason, I thought she had picked up my hand and was holding it. Then I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't let go. It slowly dawned on me it was his hand.....I was so relaxed I think I forgot he was in the room.  We got up and dressed and waited for the ladies to come back in. I knew they were going to try to sell me something. Luckily, it was the last day so they wouldn't hound me for another massage, but they did try to sell me a tonic for my tight muscles. I said "no thanks" once and they dropped it and never asked again.

 

We had arranged to meet up with our friends in the Atrium following the cruise.  We thought we could grab one of those tables in the back corner where it wouldn't be crowded. I had brought our Cards Against Humanity game which we hadn't played yet.  For anyone that has played that game, it's definitely not something to do in public with a lot of people. So, we were looking for a corner somewhere to play where we wouldn't bother anyone.  As we got to the Atrium we realized how little we had thought this out.  There was a Deal or No Deal game going on.  That draws a huge crowd always. Couple that with the windy, and now rainy day outside with mega waves and everybody is inside.  Not only was it not an appropriate place to play the game with so many people, but there was a table or chair to be had.  Ok, plan 2......let's go to the District Brewhouse.  We got there about 3 pm and it was also packed. But, we did find a table. We ordered drinks (Red Light District for me) and I gave the bartender our card.  The bartender was actually the one from Vibe - I guess they brought him down inside to work.  I gave him my card for the drink, and then my friend and I decided to run up to the cabin to get our deck of cards (we didn't want to play the other game with so many people around). I told my husband to remember to grab my card when they brought our drinks. We ran up for the cards and came back down and played for a few hours.  I do want to add that I won again!!  3 for 3 on this trip. 

 

Anyhow, while we were playing I had a view out the window towards the bow of the ship. Oh my, those waves.  It was crazy watching them crashing and splashing. I tried to take some photos but it didn't do it justice at all.  We all commented towards the end of our time there, although the waves were still large, we felt like we had gone through the worst of it and it was improving.  I do want to add that while this was not the day we had planned - not even close - this was one of my favorite days on the ship.  I love Sea Days - and everyone seemed to be in such a great mood on the ship, despite the weather.  It was also so nice that other then our massage, we just did a lot of hanging out without having to be anywhere at any certain time.  By 5:00 pm though, we did have to start paying attention to the time. We had reservations tonight at 6:00 pm to see Choir of Man.  It was soon time to head up to shower and get ready.

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Edited by ljrfrm

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We went back up to our cabin and I remembered we hadn't watched our TV interview yet. While getting ready, I put on Channel 17 to watch the interview. It came on the first time when I was on the shower but my husband saw it.  It looped around again so I did catch it (and record on my phone) before we left the room.  I had totally forgot I blew a kiss to my fans until I saw it.  

 

We had to shower and get ready quickly and there was no way we'd make it to the Supper Club at 5:30 like we initially planned.  We left our cabin about 5:40 so we arrived there about 15 minutes before the show started.  We got a booth which was comfortable and seemed good - other than that darned pole in the way.  That's the problem with the Supper Club. Unless you are early and sitting in front of the poles, you will have one blocking your view wherever you sit.  My husband and friends had a much better view than I did but I still saw most everything - I just needed to shift side to side at times.

 

Our food arrived as soon as we were seated.  Our last time in the Supper Club, we didn't eat until the show started.  This time we were served immediately and were already on our dessert when the show started. Those that arrived early were already done with their meal.  I ordered some wine, as I didn't want beer. I can't drink beer with visiting the little girls room - which I really didn't want to do during the show.  Right around 6 pm, the Choir of Men came out.  They wandered the audience and chatted with everyone.  I thought that was great fun.  One of them told us (many of you probably already know this - I didn't) that the bar had a working tap so when we were ready for refills, just go on up on the stage to get some more.  My husband and friend went up and I followed to take a few photos. I'm such a tourist.  Dinner was a salad, Beef Wellington and something for dessert. I'm blanking - maybe cheesecake??  I actually thought it was all good - much better than our last Supper Club meal. 

 

The show soon started and it was great.  I will say I was expecting spectacular - only because of all the reviews. I mean, it was really good, don't get me wrong. I think maybe it was because we were further back and I had that darned pole, and we didn't really feel in the middle of everything.  My one piece of advice is to try to get there earlier and sit closer towards the front.  Again, I really did like it - it just wasn't that spectacular event that I thought it would be.  It was a lot of fun though and they were all quite talented.

 

Going to the earlier show of Choir of Men meant that once we were out, the night was still young.  It was our last night, and we wanted to make the most of it.  Before that though, I realized we needed to go by and pick up our photo and see if the milk mustache was gone.  It was.....although if you looked closely, you could still see a shadow over his mouth but it was barely noticeable and even if it was, it almost just looked like the beginnings of a mustache.  Ok, I'm sold.......I'll buy it.  We actually bought 4 photos - although two of them were for our friends. But we had the Lattitudes discount so I bought them all.  I ran up to the cabin quickly to drop the photos off and then we went back down to the Escape Theater.

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