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Old April 12th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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Kuki Kuki is offline
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April 12 – Evening – By Kuki
Well my cabin does seem a bit empty tonight. No clothing to unpack, and no Mrs. Kuki to blame for it. When I boarded the ship, I did give the Guest Relations desk all of the pertinent info, and they’ll go to work with United to see if they can “reunite” me with my luggage. On this particular itinerary it could make for an interesting chase.
The ship did supply me with a small toiletry bag, and a T shirt, and complimentary laundry, which they’ll expedite. So, while I may be dressed the same, I will be dressed.

Istanbul is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I’m sorry I didn’t arrive in time to visit its sites again. This cruise actually began yesterday, so those who boarded yesterday did get the day to see the city; the Spice Market, the Grand Bazaar, the Museums and Mosques.

I was previously on this ship for just two days, at her christening ceremony, when she was named The Pride of Hawaii, and so I spent the few hours prior to dinner this evening just strolling around a little bit to see what changes might jump out at me.

By far the most noticeable change is the enormous Jade Casino on Deck 6. The Asian themed casino fills the entire width of the ship on Deck 6 forward, just aft of the showroom. This could now be one of the largest casinos at sea, with all the slots and table games, surrounding a very large central bar. I suspect the bar may have been designed this large as it is the only public room inside the ship where smoking is allowed, other than the Cigar Bar.

Otherwise the décor of the ship has changed very little, and therefore lots of “island feel”, in the decorations and in the art, remain all around the ship.

When I got my first look at the ship’s daily activities paper today, I also got my first look at one of the innovations of Freestyle 2.0. The schedule of activities is varied, and jammed with options. There are no longer 2 set times for shows in the evening. Different shows and entertainers and entertainment are scheduled throughout the cruise, so if there’s a show you wanted to see but missed because you were dining, or doing something else, it will no doubt be repeated later during the cruise, and you’ll be able to catch it then.

We dined tonight at the Grand Pacific, one of the cost included dining rooms. The meal was excellent. I enjoyed a Spring Roll appetizer, Oxtail Soup, and excellent Beef Wellington, along with a hot apple cobbler with ice cream. If this an indication of the quality of cuisine we’re going to experience throughout the cruise, I’ll certainly be looking forward to all my meals.

I’m certainly jet lagged, and flustered from the airport running, and redirection of my luggage, so I am calling it a night early. I have a tour booked tomorrow to revisit Ephesus, and hopefully be tomorrow I’ll also begin including more detailed stories and pictures.
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