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What the Heck is Wrong With This Ship?

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I’ve spent much of today trying to convince the higher ups I need to spend more time on the ship, in order to do a more thorough evaluation of the ship. Unfortunately it seems my request is being met with some hesitancy; at least I think that’s what “No Way Jose” means. Apparently the budget for flour has been thrown into a state of total disarray because of the enormous quantities of bread I’ve been eating. The breads and rolls on this ship, with the exception of the hot dog and hamburger buns (which seem to be pre-packaged), are the best I’ve tasted at sea. The variety of bread products is most impressive throughout the ship.

I hate SPAM in my e-mail back at home!! I also hate the shipboard version of SPAM, advertising junk mail included with the ship’s Freestyle Daily, when it’s left in the cabin each evening. Without looking, I automatically toss it all in the garbage can. On a cruise ship, where waste and garbage are an unusual burden, I’d certainly like to see them creating less of it themselves, by reducing the SHIP SPAM.

There is one area of weakness that I’ve yet to discuss, that since it’s the last day of the cruise, I can mention… because Julian and Alex won’t have time left to throw me overboard, and that is the furniture in the guest cabins. In standard balcony cabins for example, the lone chair looks like a cheap kitchen chair out of a 60’s diner, and an ottoman style stool. The mini –suites do have a sofa, but the extra chair and ottoman are the same as those in the lower category cabins.

Even our Romance Suite doesn’t have a comfortable chair. Even the chairs at the dining table in the suite are uncomfortable, and should be replaced with upgraded chairs. And rather than one ottoman style stool, there are two in the suite. The one in the separate powder room is fine, but they should put an office style chair with a back at the desk.

Of course these aren’t major issues, but a suggestion from me which I believe would enhance the guest experience without very major expense added.  This “complaint” along with the occasional bad cup of coffee, and the day the iced tea went rogue, are really the only things we could find to take issue with during our 12 night cruise. Those who follow my virtual cruise reports, and read the reviews I’ve done, know my philosophy is to try and offer a balanced report; pointing out the good and the bad. When “the bad” list is as short as it has been on this ship, you know you’ve had an excellent cruise.

When our group boarded the Jewel we had NCL Coupon books, which I looked at, and didn’t really thing would be of that much value to us, other than the coupon for the half priced dinner in any of the surcharge restaurants on the first night. There was also a coupon offering a free 6th dinner, after you’ve paid for 5 in the specialty restaurant. At the time I would have never imagined we’d get use of that coupon.  But tonight, we’ll be enjoying dinner free in Mama’s, because we’ve enjoyed these restaurants so much.

For those who don’t get the coupon books, just watch the Freestyle Daily for special 2 for 1 offers in the surcharge restaurants. On this itinerary, the 2 for 1 is generally offered on the port days. But that system can change depending on the ship’s itinerary, so just watch “the Daily” to save some money on your alternate restaurant bookings.

Today was “packing day”, as the cruise ends in Miami tomorrow morning. NCL disembarkation process is excellent, in that if you wish you are allowed and welcome to stay in your cabin until the color on your luggage tag is called to disembark. Unlike other cruise lines, who ask you to be out of your cabins by 8 A.M., NCL’s system doesn’t make you feel like you’re getting “the bum’s rush”. It’s a humane way to alleviate the stress and upset we already feel because our vacation is coming to an end, and we’ll soon be facing the more depressing modes of transportation on land; whether you’re flying, driving, or riding the rails home; the luxury of transport by cruise ship is over.

Normally I dread the feeling that the cruise is ending. Because my father remains in hospital at home this time I am anxious to get home and be with him. We’ve enjoyed the cruise so much, so it’s quite a contradiction for me to be happy the cruise is nearly over.

Over the years my father never really understood how much we loved to cruise. Though he acknowledged how fortunate I was to have a “job” that allows me to do so. Then, out of the blue, just prior to us leaving for this cruise, he told me how he’d very much like to be able to bring my mother and go on a cruise with us. That had a real impact on me because when he said it I knew that it would never be possible. We’d just left it too late, and that saddens me deeply.

I think it offers an important lesson; live life to the fullest; don’t put off for later what you may later regret, and most importantly enjoy your life! There’s no way for any of us to know what’s just around the corner, and that’s why we have to take it step by step, and participate in all of the joy life has to offer.

In 2007 I wrote the CruiseMates review of the Jewel. When returning I’ll be updating that review to include the advances made since the inception of Freestyle 2.0, so you can keep an eye out for that.

A final thought before I leave the ship – After all these years I’ve finally figured out why women love cruising so much……. Men have to put the toilet seat down, or risk being flushed away. Women are happy with either result.

-A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising-

As I was about to post this blog tonight, I got a call to our cabin. My son and sister and family are at the hospital with my father, and they called so I could talk to my father, to tell him that I love him. It seems he may not make it through the night. I wasn’t going to post any pictures with tonight’s blog, but these two, taken tonight, are for my father.

77690 What the Heck is Wrong With This Ship?

77691 What the Heck is Wrong With This Ship?

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Comment from Cheryl
Time November 8, 2008 at 8:56 pm

We have really enjoyed reading your blog Kuki, over the last week in preparation for our NCL cruise in February. You do it so well and keep us watching for the next episode. God speed home..but remember you are where you were meant to be this week and I am sure your Dad was happy that you got to finish your cruise..that was his gift to you.
A fellow Canadian

Comment from rollerdonna
Time November 8, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Kuki, I am sorry to hear your father has taken a turn for the worse.
You wrote a lovely tribute to him tonight, and those photos were just perfect.

Comment from Jeanette
Time November 9, 2008 at 7:43 am

Morris….I’m so sorry to hear about your dad.He is in my prayers.He is such a wonderful man

Comment from Luanne Russo
Time November 9, 2008 at 8:18 am

Kuki, I have enjoyed your Blog, and saddened by the condition of your father. I hope he makes a recovery, and can go on being the great father you have talked about. God Bless your entire family. Have a safe trip home.

Comment from Mgram (Pat)
Time November 9, 2008 at 10:58 am

Kuki, I am saddened to read the news about your father. I do hope that you make it home in time to spend some precious moments….long moments with him.

You and your family are in my thoughts……as Donna said…..Godspeed.

Comment from Jeanette
Time November 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

I just read the bad news..I am so very sorry

Comment from carrie
Time November 10, 2008 at 7:32 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. Blessings and peace to you and yours.


Comment from Randy and Heather
Time November 10, 2008 at 8:37 am


Thank you so much for your wonderful virtual vacations. We have not been able to get away this year and following your trip is a welcome get away, if only in our minds. Your family and your father our in our prayers and we wish you the best. Take care.

Randy and Heather

Comment from Dana Cline
Time November 10, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Please accept our prayers and thoughts for your father. I hope he can hang on until you get there – when my mom passed away, we still had two hours left of a 16-hour drive…

Comment from Magnolia Blossom
Time November 10, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Prayers to you and yours.
And thank you for the lovely thoughts about not letting oppurtinity escape us.

Comment from Carole
Time November 11, 2008 at 5:43 am

We are sad to learn of your father. I have sent you a card, along with my prayers.

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