Why Do Football Players Wear Towels In The Back Review of Norwegian Gem Transatlantic Cruise Barcelona to Boston

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Review of Norwegian Gem Transatlantic Cruise Barcelona to Boston

A solo Atlantic cruise in December was just what I needed – no phones, no emails and just lots of days of lazing around and doing whatever I liked on a brand new boat.. Just perfect!

Launched: 2007 Passengers: 2,384 Register: Bahamas Tonnage: 93,000 Crew: 1,154 Dec: 15

Since I was traveling alone, I decided to be outside, even though that’s not my nature. When we arrived at the Barcelona airport, I spoke to someone who seemed likely to take the same cruise. I met Pat and Mike, a nice couple from Connecticut who had spent the previous week in India for their son’s wedding. They did not like India and were happy to go back to civilization. I met another compatriot and then a very nice American colleague, neither of whom wanted to take a taxi to the ship. (Too much luggage, I was told). 20 Euros later (with tip) I was in the glittering gem ports of Norway. The decoration, looking from afar to the flower on the ridge, were gems. I should have guessed that. No fanfare, no lines, and within 5 minutes I was through the duty free zone and on board.. Fortunately the decor was more subdued than most NCL ships. However, there was turquoise, blue, melon and burgundy everywhere. The carpet pattern in the corridors resembles the ocean and I was later told that carpet dolphins swim towards the front of the ship to help you find your way.

It was 5 pm when I boarded. I met our cruise critics at the star bar at 6 p.m. Nice bunch of people, but I was lucky enough to sit at a table with two English couples, Wendy and Mike and Ken and Jean. They were friendly and welcoming. I found out that Wendy and Mike now live in Florida and the other couple in California. After an hour or so of pleasant conversation, I was invited to a party, but I declined. I was still wearing jeans, an item of clothing forbidden in fine dining. They recommended the Blue Lagoon and I had a great Tex-Mex meal there. The evening’s entertainment at the Stardust Theater was a singer-dancer version of Sammy Davis Jr., who I loved even when he was alive. I stayed the whole show and won $54 in a quick draw (Like Lotto scratch off cards).

Day 2 I really wanted to sleep all day, but with the meet and greet at 1030, that wasn’t possible. All 103 cruise critics were there and we met some of the staff. I met several other people whose names I knew from the board. It’s always good to associate a face with a name. An art lecture (and later a free print), a Red Hat Lady meeting where I seem to have been the only party attendee with Ken and Jean. Ken excused himself and Jean told me a very interesting story of his life until morning. Mine is not that interesting eighth! Everything from the daughter of a chip shop owner to a single mother after a failed marriage to finding her way to America with her second husband Ken and their teenage daughter.

Day 3. I slept so late that I forgot breakfast. I went to the gym but felt sick with a headache and only lasted a few minutes there. I was walking by the outdoor pool and the sunlight was warm even though we were now in the Atlantic. Bingo for 40 minutes, and I left $ 35 poorer. A very long art auction yielded a free second print, but not much else.

Day 4 Funchal is our only port of call. Madeira is a jewel rising from the Atlantic, with poinsettias on TREE, beautiful orange cone like flowers – aloe. And bougainvillea. The island has a steep mountain top with volcanic peaks and the Nuns Valley below. It was a beautiful day. At the top of the toboggan run, an accordionist dressed in white with a Madeira hat entertained us while we waited a few seconds for our sleigh to arrive – flanked by a two-seater by two white men in dainty straw hats. Toboggans or sleds were fun, When the speed slowed or stopped, the men added wax to run over the slow spots. A photo taken on the road shows two large women huddled in a sled with their mouths open. I bought colorful Madeira hats and football shirts featuring the local hero who apparently plays for Man United. We returned to the ship before leaving.

Day 5. I was scheduled to go to a bowling tournament, but I arrived ½ hour after it started. What a concept, bowling in the sea. The waves did nothing to help my aunt. We each threw a ball and the other person finished the shot. My team was easily eliminated on the first try. The highlight of the day was the murder mystery parties. We were assigned to teams of 6, each with a story, and taken to the Grand Pacific dining room where we performed our parts. I played Holly Day, the wife of a billionaire on vacation in Hawaii. It definitely kept the conversation going during dinner.

Day 6. Tonight’s performance, a comedy troupe from the second city was excellent. Boat – excellent, spacious, always touchable, even after only 6 weeks of sailing 1.

The rest of the trip was a blur. I read 3.5 books. I slept well. It was warm enough on the open deck that only a long-sleeved shirt was necessary – no jacket or coat needed. My overall impression: Excellent food Very good specialty Teppenyaki restaurants (like Benehana) and excellent Italian La Cucina. Do your own laundry on board. Various entertainment, some just good, some excellent. Efficient room managers and towel pets every night.

I would definitely travel on the Norwegian gem again and wouldn’t hesitate to do a transatlantic cruise, even in winter.

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