Embarking the vessel formerly known as Pride of Aloha in stormy Miami, I am impressed with the streamlined operation at the port and am escorted swiftly aboard the ship.
Having expected much warmer weather this time of the year, I’m disappointed to find the storm getting progressively worse, but that didn’t stop some die hard cruisers relaxing in the hot tubs and pool as my guest and I enjoyed our first cocktail pre-Sailaway.
If you’ve ever read my cruising ‘On Locations’ before, you would know that I have some bad luck when it comes to selecting my cruising companions as they all have a tendency to get sea sick. This is finally not an issue with this particular sailing buddy, Doug Parker of Cruise Radio fame.
With four metre swells predicted as we sail toward Freeport, this is a very positive thing in my books!
We check into our oceanview cabin on deck nine which is, luckily, more spacious than I expected, with my three suitcases taking up a majority of the room, unfortunately for Doug. Thems the breaks when cruising with this addict though!
The perfect choice for a solo cruiser, or those wishing to make friends quickly, the ‘pub hoppers’ started at ‘Breakers Bar’ and we play drinking games throughout the ship as we discover who is the best at ‘sucky sucky’ (don’t ask) and ‘tip cup’.
Cocktails including the ‘Alien Orgasm’ and ‘Bahama Mama’ are served for the bargain price of USD$25 (for one beer and four cocktails) and we meet the most entertaining fellow passenger from the mid-West.
Robbie is the most ‘salt of the earth’ American I have ever met and his one liners have us in stitches for hours after the pub crawl.
Joining his family for dinner, once we manage to navigate our way to the dining room, we enjoy the best part of cruising, finding out about the people we will spend the next few days with…perhaps this is what ‘Cruising like a Norwegian’ is all about?
Or perhaps it’s about watching the many performances on offer onboard? Either way, we manage to squeeze both in as we join our newfound friends in the ‘Stardust Theatre’ for a spot of comedy with Rod Long who, whilst not as funny as Robbie, keeps the audience laughing through somewhat rocky seas.
Normally one to dance the night away, I check out the seventies dance party briefly before heading back to my cabin for an early night.
After all, that’s what cruising is all about..the option to do everything…or nothing!