Aboard the Norwegian Star
We have cleared Cabo San Lucas, the southern tip of Baja California. With the main coastline farther east, we are a lot farther out to sea, now heading south southeast toward Manzanillo.
As anticipated, dinner last night was at Versailles. We approached, at 7:20 PM only to find a long line leading up the stairs. At the restaurant’s entrance was a crowd of people clustered around a host with clipboard.
Helaine went down the stairs, figuring we’d have to get our names on the list and wait. As she approached, the host asked for any threes or fours… and the rest, as they say, is history.
Did we cut in line? I’m not really sure. If it’s just serendipity, does it count as a bad deed? Hopefully not.
We walked in, and this dining room is magnificent… but in a different way from Aqua. This is very old style elegance. The fixtures and wall coverings all spoke to a distant point in time. Everywhere you looked were waiters, waitresses, busboys, assistants and captains. This is a ‘full’ service restaurant.
Looking around, my first thought was, this reminds me of the Titanic or Poseidon. It had that kind of stately, first class, old school cruising, feel. OK – probably not the analogy you want when you’re already on a ship.
There were four or five choices for entree, but we all had lobster tail. I started with the “light cooking” New England Clam Chowder as my appetizer.
Maybe it is light cooking, but it sure tasted rich. It was smooth enough to use as a lubricant! Something was making it creamy. My guess is… cream. Still they’re saying light cooking, so I’ll just live the fantasy and discard any fears.
On CruiseCritic, Helaine had read comments saying the lobster tail was dry. I have had more succulent, but it was still very good. One of the waitresses bathed it in drawn butter from a gravy boat.
Before I go on, I should mention how grateful we are to CruiseCritic. This is a really valuable resource. We learned a lot before we left home and came prepared. If you’re taking a cruise, this is a must bookmark site.
After dinner there was coffee and dessert. There is one thing I’ve noticed about the coffee onboard, it is strong enough to use as industrial solvent! I’ve seen them make it and they’re using Folgers. This doesn’t taste like the Folgers I’ve made.
After dinner, we headed to the casino. There was a structured hold’em game starting, $3/$6, and I sat down.
Hold’em is in a separate room, away from the main casino. The dealers aren’t poker proficient and neither are the players. I won a few bucks, but it wasn’t the kind of poker action I enjoy. I really wish it was in the main casino.
I will try again. I do enjoy playing poker and feel as a reasonably good player I should do well. There are many fish at sea.
The girls had walked through the karaoke bar earlier. Helaine wanted to burrow her head when she heard some of the off key singing. Now I wanted to try!
Helaine wouldn’t go, but Steffie would. We headed to the Carousel Bar and got the master list of songs. It didn’t take long to find “Jessie’s Girl” and put my name on the list.
I figured “Jessie’s Girl” would be an easy song to sing. I’ve heard it a million times. What I didn’t know was, Rick Springfield doesn’t sing it exactly as he wrote it! Of course that only became obvious while I was singing and looked at he words on he screen.
Two questions: Where did those extra lyrics come from? Where did they go?
As I finished, in walked Helaine. She heard the end of the song as she approached.
Helaine and Steffie were kind as I asked, and asked, and asked again, how I’d done. Of course I’m insecure. How could they not know that?
Rick Springfield does not have to worry for his job… and I won’t be filling in on summer vacations.
That was enough. We were off to bed – another restful night, gently rocked to sleep.
Breakfast this morning was in a buffet type cafe. I actually would have preferred a full service breakfast, but by the time we were up and dressed, breakfast wasn’t served.
It is cloudy today. There have been patches of sun, but mostly it’s gray. The seas are lightly undulating. We are heading into the wind, meaning it’s very breezy on deck (though interestingly, not on our balcony, where I’m typing this).
There are dozens of little activities scheduled every day. Some are of interest, most are not. There was a cooking demonstration scheduled, so we headed down to its location and began to watch. The chef, from Austria, was difficult to understand – but we were trying… and then… the announcement.
Over the PA came the voice of Tommy, the assistant cruise director. A school of dolphins had been spotted on the port side. Bye bye demonstration.
We got to the rail on deck 7 and saw a cluster of people, all trying to see the dolphins. Nothing.
Then, from out of the sea, a cluster of dolphins arched their backs above the water. I tried – and missed catching it on the camera.
Helaine said, this alone was worth the price of the trip! She was right, and with a little luck, we’ll see more.
We decided to head up to the pool to sit and sun ourselves. There were deck chairs on the starboard side, blocked from most of the breeze… and blocked from any sun by the clouds.
It didn’t take long for another voice to ring out over the PA. This time it was an officer, from the bridge. A large whale had been sighted over the port side.
We ran over. Nothing.
We kept watching, along with dozens of others. Still nothing.
Finally, in the distance astern of the ship, I saw a column of spray rising high into the air. Thar she blows!
As with the dolphins, I tried but couldn’t catch a good shot. And, as with the dolphins, hopefully this won’t be our last opportunity.
I’m picking this up after a nap. Helaine and Stef are getting their nails done.
A quick step onto the balcony reveals a change in the environment. I’m starting to feel a little tropical humidity. Not much – just enough to notice.
In just a while we’ll be having dinner, then seeing a comedian. Tomorrow I’m going to the Colima volcano.
My plan was to try and find someone to go with me, as there’s a minimum charge. I don’t think I’ve had more than a few words with anyone other than Helaine and Stef. Even if I go myself, I think it will be worth it. How often do you have a chance to see a real volcano up close?