The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Saturday December 16, 2006

The ship

Paul was up, showered and out to the free breakfast b7 7:30. Fool made so much noise he woke me up several times. He, grandpa and Zack ate breakfast buffet. I was just getting up when Paul came in with some breakfast for me…a cherry Danish, a sausage patty on toast and some coffee. I ate a little bit and then showered. By the time I got dressed it was only ten am and we still have time to kill before boarding time. We loaded the car and headed towards Kemel which is a little town on the gulf that has an old fashioned board walk with amusement rides, carnival games and a ton of neat shops and restaurants. We walked around for a while; saw some local school kids singing Christmas carols in reindeer hats. By the time we had walked the entire boardwalk, my legs were achy and I was getting just a bit cranky. Finally we loaded up the car once more and headed to the pier. It was literally jumping at the pier…buses, cars; taxi’s all trying to get folks unloaded at the entrance. We pulled up and unloaded the car and Paul set up the scooter for me. Thank goodness for my scooter. Paul takes the car to park it while we wait near the entry way. At the entrance to the parking lot, the Polish prince observes that it is gonna cost him 50 bucks to park the car for the week. He says to the attendant, that other cruise lines we have traveled with provided free parking for the handicapped. (I don’t have a clue WHAT those other lines are, yanno?) The gal sees the handicapped hanger in the window and says’ “Are you a veteran?” Paulie says yep, look at my plates….they are Purple Heart plates. She gives him a free pass ticket and Paulie just saves himself 50 bucks. Jeesh. Shister. We meet up and a NCL rep is there to meet us…we were allowed to move past the crowd and get special services to help us. We had our pictures taken for ID, then we went thru security quite quickly. It is nice to get ahead of the long lines, but I would much much rather be able to stand and walk and be in line than have to use a scooter because I CAN’T walk or I am in terrible pain. The cruise porter had given us some new tags for our luggage as we didn’t get any in the cruise packet. The ramp to the ship is huge, I guess for the ease of boarding the handicapped. The Norwegian Dream is the smallest ship I have been on. I think. We get to the room…right off the hall directly across from the elevators. Great. No hiking to the room. The rooms are small but clean and nicely decorated. We don’t have a fridge, darn. I wanted to keep some water in there for the evenings. We get rid of our bags and the four of us take a tour…we first go up to the 11th floor as it is the top floor this elevator goes to. We are on the pool deck where there is a buffet set up with Pizza, Pasta and burgers…nice salad bar too. We grab a bite to eat and then head back to the room. We pick up our flotation devices and head down to deck 7 for the 3:30 emergency drill. We are muster station M with a trillion other folks. We hear from the crew that we won’t start the damm drill until 4…grrrr…why do I havfta stand in this huge crowd of people with this stupid life jacket on for another half hour! The ship is supposed to SAIL at 4. Are they holding the boat for somebody? Nope. Waiting for fuel. Guess we can’t sail if we have no fuel. Finally the crew lines everyone up…we are seven deep from the front to the very back and guess where I am? Yep very back row, my butt plastered to the ship wall. I never was claustrophobic until this very moment. My face was in Zack’s armpit (I wonder if he put deodorant on, it didn’t seem that he did….). FINALLY drill is over and off we go to dump the floatation devices and head to the sail away party. Decks 11 and 12 were JAMMED. There are tons of kids…cripes if I wanted to be on a cruise with kids I would have gone Disney for heaven’s sakes. Ugh. Lots of kids and teens. Why aren’t these children in school for cripes sakes. There is a whole WEEK before Christmas…what ever happened to mid year exams and stuff like that? Do these kids MISS this stuff or are they out on vacation already. Who cares, all I know is there are too many freaking kids for ME. Of course, the congo line is starting and our little wallflower Zack jumps right in. The noise and the crowd is a bit much for me at this time of day, so I head back to our cabin to take a shower and do my nails. Paul gets back to the room around 6 and tells me Zack won the first dance contest with some girl who asked him to dance. Then he proceeds to tell me that they have been eating all afternoon as the sail away party was a BBQ. Great. No dinner for me I guess. I can wait until after the show. The show lounge is having a kinda preview of the entertainment. The show was very good, a very funny magician (and you all know how I hate magic acts) and a comedian I know I have seen before as he looks familiar. After the show Paul and I head up to 12 to the sports bar where there is a buffet. We had missed the main dinner which really honked me off. I love to have dinner on the cruise…the best meal of the day….appetizer, salad, soup, main entry, dessert and yes, an after dinner drink. Darn it anyways.
In the sports bar, there was a little gal making fresh Caesar salad. Wow. I took some halibut off the buffet. Ick it was as dry as cardboard. Not too impressed so far with the food from NCL. The hotdog I had earlier was only so so but the French fries were really good! The Caesar salad was WONDERFUL, best I have had in a long time (maybe since the last cruise?). I sure hope it gets better, but then again, this is ONLY a three star ship right, LOL!

Paul went to find Zack and grandpa. No one had seen the old man for a while. Not good…a missing grandpa. Our bags had arrived at the cabins so I unpacked while Paul went grandpa hunting. I decided that I would turn in for the night, but Paul said he was meeting Zack up on 12 in the disco. Have fun.



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