6/25/2010 2:00 am
I just spent an hour catching everyone up on this Epic adventure and lost the file. Let me pour a little more Grey Goose and start over. Like the blog I guess the best way to go is start with tonight and work backward before the task becomes to great. Sorry I can not post many pictures since I have no way to resize them on this netbook.
Full moon in the middle of the Atlantic and the weather remains exceptional.
We are just back from Fat Cats and the Slam Allen Blues Band. It was like walking into an old blues bar in Chicago and the music just grabs you. Thee place was packed until closing about an hour ago. Tonight was special with 2 of the keyboard players from Howl at the Moon taking turns sitting in for one set. I took some video and will post when I get back.
Great news the navigation channel just went live on the TV and I now know where the ship is. We are still headed SW well south of the western edge of Ireland still headed toward the Azores at 20.6 kts.
Back to tonight it was dinner at 9:00 in the Manhattan Room with the big band sounds of the NCL band. Most of the dance floor was full of tables at the start of dinner but the continued to remove tables as people finished opening up more space for those that wanted to take advantage of traditional dance music. The band was to continue to play until midnight there. The food was excellent with some at the table having steak, some grouper, and some lamb shank. I understand why as I went out on the pod launching deck better known as the promenade daeck on most ships and met 2 of the 3 executive chefs onboard to get things running well. They are taking no chances and have duplicate and triplicate experienced people in all key rolls. Besides the chefs 2 hotel directors, 2 concierges, 2 food and beverage directors, and 2 cruise directors.
Continuing back in time things get a little hazy with the first ever martini clinic on the Epic. They did a great job and added some tests to keep those of us perhaps drinking a little too much on our toes. So name 10 parts of the body that only have 3 letters and ass is not one of them.
I returned to the cabin to try and blog but was struck by the sight of a huge school of dolphins in the middle of nowhere off my balcony. I took a picture to make sure it was not just a side effect from the 7 martinis.
I am not sure how to cover the rest of the day but at one point I had 11 NCL employees in my suite including 2 hotel directors (Sean and Klaus) all working to solve the minor issues in my room. I had 2 temperatures of water, burn your skin off or major shrinkage cold. The hotter you turn the3 controls th3e colder it got and if you went the other way it went all the way to full burn. The army figured it out. The fine workers in France had reversed the hot and cold water lines so when the temperature control of the mixer sensed the water was to hot he called for more cold and got more hot so it called for more of the same. The same was true if it sensed it was too cool. That was solved but not the end of the shower story.
I do wish I could post pictures to help you all understand what happened after my last post getting ready for dinner. The shower is remarkable in the suite with and rain head and 6 jets plus and hand held all contained in a massive chrome housing mounted on the wall. I decided to enjoy it since the water temperature issue was resolved and I did not have to use the shower in the second bathroom again. The rain shower hard was about nose high and there was a handle at the bottom of the housing that I thought would raise it. Well it raised it and the whole unit fell off the wall. There I was covered in soap, 50 lbs of shower equipment in my hands, surrounded by glass. So what else could I do but move the assembly around to rinse off and lean it against the wall, get dressed, and call for help. All I can say is when I returned this morning the shower is fixed and the best news the rain head is at the proper height .
Moving back in time lunch today was in the Epic club. They had already changed the design of the Courtyard Grill and Bar that saw furniture for the first time yesterday. They had removed much of the seating in the open air space and added tables for those that wanted to eat outside the main dining area. Today for lunch it was shrimp cocktail again but with scallops as a main dish. It is rough out here in the middle of the Atlantic but somebody has to do it.
The morning went fast. A quick breakfast in the Epic Club and off to get set up for the Meet and Greet. The Bistro was standing room only with well over 100 folks showing up along with both Hotel Directors (sean and Klaus) both Cruise directors, the Food and beverage director, Assistant Hotel directors, and the Captain. As a Joke I had added Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer to the roll call. Well they both showed up as well. You have to give Klaus credit he stayed for almost an hour after the meeting ended standing at the reception desk, little notebook in hand, addressing concerns of all those that had them until the last person left. You all need to understand the staff and crew have been working 18 - 20 hour days for the last month to make this cruise possible. They finished the last critical pieces only minutes before we boarded the Epic. I guess it does not matter how you got to the finish line but the fact you finished but these people are drained and looking forward to returning to some semblance of a normal life at sea.
I just want to say in case anyone from NCL reads this that I want o thank each and every member of the crew of the Norwegian Epic for there effort and focus on their customers. Without them going the extra miles I would be sitting in NJ wishing the Epic was ready. Is it perfect yet? No. Is it more then I expected? For certain. Those of you planning to cruise on the Epic in the future you are in for a special treat like nothing else NCL or any line has ever delivered.
A couple of notes in closing. We have not seen the congestion problems reported from the one or two night cruses where everyone was trying to everything in 24 hours. Smoking in the casino should not be an issue with one side set aside as no smoking with tables and machines including the casino bar. The sides are separated by the massive atrium area with only a small section that needs to be crossed by the none smokers. O’Sheehan’s rocks with great food and always at least one bowling alley open. Try it for Breakfast no crowds and excellent omelets.
We will see what tomorrow brings. Day 3 of 7.
Enough for tonight. It is almost 2:30. I don’t want to sleep and miss a moment onboard this ship but I need to.