The queue and treatment getting on the ship was much the same as an airport much to my surprise and dismay. One of our two bottles of water were confiscated as the seal was broken, I now need to do some research on the dangers of opened bottles of water, obviously not enough to drown somebody or even enough to assault somebody in need of a good wash so these guys must know some sinister side to water. Now we all know its about the cruise companies ripping you off so why can't they just be honest about it.
On board I was impressed with the cabin, not so impressed at having to live with another 2000 people in close proximity, Christ get me back on my bike and get my tent back! The first surprise was the bar, expensive yes but also every transaction has 15% auto gratuity added, now i was really pissed off especially as the bar staff although pleasant are not efficient, matter of fact I found the whole experience to be like that, queuing for restaurant which is half empty, several waiters hanging around being ever so pleasant but taking an age to get your drink and food order and then the food (which is excellent) seems to take an age also. Judy at the Applecross Inn would have a fit!
We decided to go for the all inclusive drinks package being Scottish and partly alcoholic (which had a 15% gratuity added to the advertised price grrr), then we found out at the end of a very messy evening which culminated in us dancing to rave music in the nightclub that when we asked for a bottle of water to take to our room that wasn't included in the drinks package. The other treat in the drinks package is that you have to wear a red wristband which marks you out as an alcoholic to your fellow passengers, of course its also easy to spot your like minded friends so thats a plus side.
I also have to say that there are some very talented artistes also which along with the whisky numbs the physiological pain. An interesting but very different week for us then, enjoyed the chill out and sunshine but cruising isn't for me, I can see the appeal but the crazy gratuity system annoys me, we also get charged $12 each a day for gratuities as well. Gratuities given for good service I understand, this system is simply a tax and I hate it. Moaning over, I'm sure if you like mixing with 2000 people in a confined space being fed meals non stop then I can understand the appeal. We just spent the last year with only ourselves to talk sometimes meeting interesting like minded people, my thoughts on the road ahead, the never ending road of tarmac, concrete or gravel, I'm going to be glad to get back to that but not this. I did say to Fiona I was going to tie myself to my bike with an extending dog lead when I get back because I never want to be that far from my bike again! Still not ready to come home so some more exploring in a hire car first, watch this space!
|Our Hotel in Miami, noisy but nice|
|Our room on the ship, bigger than the usual cabins we get on ferries!|
|A bit posher than DFDS|
|We are sailing, we are sailing, home again (not) , across the sea|
|Its Party time, but not for us, we dissaprove of this behaviour|
|Norwegian Cruise lines private island|
|Another passport stamp|
|British Colonial scene|
|I thought this was hillarious, imagine being charged with "loafing"|
|White pith helmet in keeping with Colonial rules|
|Another Church for my sisters collection|
|The Hilton, well posh|
|The Lucy pink Dolphin enjoying its stay in the Bahamas|
|Fi Swimming with the fishes|
|Us paddling with the fishes|
|Parking lot for cruise boats|
|Dinner on the poop deck, actually the spew deck as I saw guys cleaning it up the next morning and no it wisnae me!|