Back On Dry Land

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Had an incredible week sailing on the Norwegian Spirit with our group of 14:
Front left: Niece Candice, Nieces Amelia and Adele, Peter
Second Row: Nancy, Brother Rich and SIL Cindy, Sister Lynn, Mom Joan
Back Row: Me, Nephew Joseph, BIL Kevin, Matt, Dad Vince

14 strong.  The rules were you could do anything you wanted as long as you were at the restaurant at 8:00pm for dinner.

We ate ate the Windows restaurant the first night, but from then on ate at the other main restaurant for the rest of the week (except for the last night), as it gave us the opportunity to have two round table next to each other.

We tried to mix up parents with the kids a couple of nights, but the kids (young adults) wanted their own table.  They had too much fun together and all the cousins welcomed Peter to their band of merry men and women...

Food was good...the portion controls left a lot to be desired though.  On the first night, three people ordered the Salmon and when their plates arrived the size of the Salmon was different on each.  Now, you can order another if you care, but it is little things like that which I notice.  Across the week, my double espresso at the end of each meal came in three different size cups with different amounts each time...portion control.

The staff tried to rush us almost every night.  That was bothersome.  When you are at a table for 8 and 6 are still not there, do not shove a menu in my face please.

It is different today.  On past cruises, you had the same staff waiting your table for the week and you tipped them individually...You met your room steward the first day and saw them during the week if oyu needed anything and tipped them accordingly.  I never met our room steward this cruise. and different people provided different services  Now, they add a $12/day per person gratuity to your room bill.  At the end of the cruise, I asked it to be lowered to $8/day per person due to the lack of, every alcoholic drink you order has an automatic 15% gratuity added to it.

Shows were well done on board especially the troop from Second City who performed three times during the cruise including a last night late show for mature audiences.

Matt ended up on stage with them during one of their routines where he had to fill in words throughout the sketch.  They were at a Radio Shack where one of the people was looking for...(insert Matt here ) "Vibrators"...well that took them off on a tangent indeed!

The performance took another turn when one of the audience decided to pass gas that enveloped half the room including the stage area...they people from second City did not let it go unnoticed, which became a hilarious bit in itself!

More cruise pictures will be forthcoming for those without Facebook as they are posted on my page there.

Came home to the news that a co-worker had lost his 5 month battle with cancer and attended the Memorial service for him Tuesday afternoon.

Jim leaves behind 5 children under the age of 16...a very sad situation.

Congrats to Jennifer Gray for her winning the Crystal Ball on DWTS. Did not see the final shows, but did see news reports about Bristol not winning and scandals over voting and mom not being there for her, instead, attending a book signing...

18 Of Your Sparks

  1. First off, I'm glad that the cousins enveloped Peter into the flock. I know he's probably one of the youngest (if not THE youngest), and it can be tough to fit into a well-established family group like that. Kudos to your nieces and nephews for making him feel like part of the family (since he is!).

    I know you had a wonderful time, spotty service or not. I can imagine how having an adult son can be a real hoot, as well as an embarrassment (*snort*). Glad you got to make the trip, but so sorry to hear you returned to sad news. I know you know that that is one of my biggest fears, leaving my kids at such a young age.

    Have loved seeing the photos. If anyone has any more, I hope you get tagged on them so that I can see them on FB. :)

  2. Unknown Says:
  3. Welcome back. Glad you had a good time. I haven't been on a cruise in quite a few years, but when I went it was like you said...I had the same steward for the whole cruise and the service was great. Too bad it's not quite as good still. But glad everyone had a good time.

  4. DrillerAA09 Says:
  5. Welcome back indeed. Glad to see that the trip was a good one for everybody.
    I have never been on a cruise, but we're talking about making next year our first.

  6. Travis Cody Says:
  7. I've never cruised before, but I'm looking forward to doing it at some point in the near future.

    I don't like the automatic gratuity included in what you pay up front. Maybe I'm old school, but a tip to me is for service provided and I get to decide the amount of the tip based on my grade of the service. Staff gets a wage for doing the job. I tip them when they do the job flawlessly or go above and beyond. And when I tip, I'm tipping the individual(s) specifically involved in what I thought was excellent service, not the entire staff who may not have had anything to do with my experience.

    But despite the automatic gratuity nonsense and lack of portion control - there's a joke in there somewhere but it's too early for me to find it - it sounds like a wonderful time with plenty of great moments to remember.

    My condolences on the loss of your co-worker.

  8. Coco Says:
  9. Welcome home! Despite the service insufficiencies, it still sounds like you had a marvelous trip and made some beautiful lasting memories.

    Perhaps only that particular cruise line, or even that particular ship, has made those inadvisable changes in their service policies. When Mom and Dad came home from their Alaskan Cruise last summer, they raved about the service, and the young man who was their steward is now on Mom's Christmas card list. I don't remember which cruise line that was, though.

    Hugs and happy holidays to you and your family, Vinny. It's nice to "see" you again.

  10. LAC Says:
  11. Welcome home! Sorry to hear of your co-workers loss. Cancer sucks.

    Sounds like a great tradition to cruise on Thanksgiving!

  12. Sounds like you all had a wonderful time sans the lack of portion control and other services. I laughed when you wrote about the Second City show, I could picture a room filled of people suffocated by that awful smell.

    Also, saying a prayer for you Dad that everything goes well and for your friend and his family, what sad news and it doesn't matter what time of year it is.

    Lastly, I have TJ writing a blog it's titled Music Insomniac -

  13. ...forced gratuity sucks...Welcome back, kids!!..

  14. Anonymous Says:
  15. Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

  16. TopChamp Says:
  17. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your trip - it sounds like you had a lot of fun x

  18. CiCi Says:
  19. Nice pictures of all of you all dressed up and being glamorous.
    Glad you enjoyed your time away even if the portions were not to your liking. You are right about cruises in the past being much more obliging and personal service.

  20. Mc Whitless Says:
  21. Aww crap, I forgot to say something whitty!

  22. Mike Golch Says:
  23. Welcome back Home.Now a word of a different kind. Sorrry for the loss of your C0-Worker to cancer.Travis posted that about you and a link as well.Man Hug.

  24. Dianne Says:
  25. sounds like a wonderful experience

    I love the family portrait on the stairs
    everyone is so shiny and happy :)

    so sorry about your co-worker

  26. Mimi Lenox Says:
  27. Love the pics and the family entourage. I know you must have had an incredible time that each of you will always treasure.
    Thanks for sharing your family with us.

    My condolences on the loss of your friend.

  28. TopChamp Says:
  29. I'm sorry I missed your friend's passing when I read this on my reader. Condolences to you and to his family.

    And best wishes to your Dad as he undergoes his treatment too.

  30. mic Says:
  31. Back on the saddle, I mean couch again.

  32. Sounds like quite a trip. That's bad, though, with the tips added in - especially on the drinks.

    Sorry to hear about your co-worker.


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