Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Let's Start With the Ship

Part One: We're all going to die anyway

On the first day on ship, they have a mandatory safety drill for all the passengers. You are assigned a meeting area based on your room number where you go in case of an emergency to await further instructions. Because our two adjoining cabins fell into separate "teams," Morrigan and I were L2 while Mags, Eion and Tim were L3.

Morrigan and I had a rather boring time at L2, largely waiting for it to be over. L3 on the other hand....

Eion regaled the adults at his table with tales of Christmas and told them that if he were to die, he wanted to have his xbox with him. "I don't know why we're doing this anyway." he told a vacationing couple.  "If there is a problem, we're all going to die anyway." Way to stay positive Eion.

It was only later we discovered these:

We didn't know what they were but figured 1) they were called survival suits, they must be better than not survival suits and 2) if there were only 24 of them, they must be good. The duration of the trip was spent deciding which team, L2 or L3 would make it to them first and routine defections from team to team based on who had the better odds that day. 

For the record, both L2 and L3 survived.

Part Two: Bad Boys

We were located in what can best be described as steerage. Look at the ship. See those wee little portholes in the bottom? That's us, deck four. 

On the steerage deck the first day, we found a line that was consistently 20+ people long. It was there for a few hours and appeared to be a luggage claim area. We assumed that these were bags which had lost their tags or had not made it to the proper cabin for some other reason.

A thirty something man joined us in the elevator, having acquired his bags. I commented that it was terrible they lost so many bags. "Oh no," he laughed, "that's the bad boy line. If you are caught smuggling alcohol on board, they confiscate it and you get your bags there." 

Before leaving on the cruise, we researched Norwegian's alcohol policy and trolled some cruise advice sites regarding the liquor situation. Wanting to sell you overpriced drinks, the ship didn't allow you to come with a personal bar. One rather uptight site said it wasn't worth the bother. Imagine, they wrote, your embarrassment when the other vacationers discover you were in violation of the rules. Your shame as your contraband is taken from you. 

Let me tell you, if you were ashamed, you'd be the only one. It seemed, based on the demographics of the bad boy line, that people of all ages were want-to-be pirates. My favorite was this guy:

That's his wife with the cane catching up to him.

Fortunately, we had taken the advice of another site which recommended a product called Rum Runners. They are plastic bladders specially designed to transport alcohol and be undetectable to security scanners. Worked like a charm.

Cuba libres all 'round for steerage!

[Tune in for tomorrow's adventure: Eion - the ship's most popular guy.

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