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Bilsen | all galleries >> Galleries >> NCL GEM -- Fake Brothels, Real Booze and a Few Mosquito Bites > DAY 2 - THE SPA AND A LESSON FROM THE WITCH WOMAN
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My wife and I enjoy sea days. Since thereís nowhere we have to be, we like sleeping in after late nights. We also love using room service as a wake up call. Pretty much every night we leave the door hanger menu ordering coffee, juice, fruit and muffins to be enjoyed on the balcony to the music of the ocean. This works doubly well for me since I wake up at the pace of a mastodon with the temperment of a velociraptor. RCI has a bit wider selection on their menu but NCLís is quite sufficient, room service calls 5 minutes ahead and delivers on time. Call this aspect a draw.

Our normal at sea day involves her going to the pool deck for sun time and my avoiding the sun like a vampire. I also bought a spa pass for the week ($119.00) and even though I didnít use it all that much, itís nice to have jacuzzis, hot stone loungers and a terrific quiet place to look over the bow. I donít know that Iíd spend the money again, but I also donít know that I wouldnít and the spa staff is uniformly friendly and generally terrific.

I also learned a lesson this morning when I called the main office for dinner reservations at about 11:00 AM. Whoever the lady is that I talked to was put off by my reservation for 10 people. I originally asked for Magenta at 6:45 (with Rodell) since everything except Teppanyaki was showing green on the board from 6:00 to 8:00 PM . Apparently the restaurant board has the same value as a promise from a Senator. It took three calls, two hangups, a LOT of negotiation and assorted refusals to move her off her insistence that we take 8:15 and we ended up with 6:00. Lesson learned - always make reservations the day before and do it in person standing in front of the maitre Ďd. Another mosquito bite from Freestyle.

So after a great afternoon in the Spa, my at sea office and the cabin (while my wife was off at a raffle winning a green slime bath and losing at Bingo), we gathered the group for a Rodell-less dinner in Magenta. Once again, the selections were excellent, the food was well prepared if a little cool and we learned another new twist to NCL. The chairs in the MDRs were apparently designed by prison chiropractors to drum up business.

The first hour is OK but at about the 1:30 mark, glutteal parasthesia (look it up) sets in. By the second hour, desert seems more like parole than finishing course. Since many on shore restaurants have similar seating to encourage turnover, Itís entirely possible that all cruise ships have these torture chairs, BUT nobody else forces you to sit in them for that length of time. I never got our waitresses' name since she didnít have time to tell us. The mosquitos were swarming that night.

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