NCL cruise extras

A few other photos, that didn’t seem to fit in the daily posts … here is the La Cucina restaurant which serves Italian food in the evening, but is the VIP breakfast and lunch restaurant; beautiful and quiet, with as many as two wait staff to each table (we never saw more than about five tables occupied, when we were there!):

The carpet in the hall to our room is decorated with fish heading the same way as the ship – except for the occasional rebel that is supposed to represent Norwegian, that “cruise different”:

Excellent steak dinner at Cagneys, our first night (I didn’t bother with daily food pictures!)

Our of the central areas of the ship:

Dinner preparations at Teppanyaki:

A “towel elephant”; we had a different towel animal every night including a rabbit (it was Easter), frog, pig and bear!

We enjoyed a fruit carving demonstration:

And that’s the end!

NCL cruise day 7, at sea with a tour

Our second “at sea” day, heading back towards the USA; we managed to get on the Behind The Scenes tour of the ship! First stop, the huge main kitchen that supports the “general” restaurants … Our pre-lunchtime tour meant that a lot of prep work was happening, ready to feed up to a couple thousand people!

Further “down” in the ship we passed the garbage and sorting areas – a presentation told us that about 98% of the ships garbage is sorted and eventually recycled, often via contracts with specific USA based companies (a label on a massive tank of used cooking oil had the name of the company destined to receive it):

Then on and past the cold stores – this one for ice cream, and there’s still lots in there considering it’s nearly the end of the cruise!

By now well below the waterline, on deck one, we reach the laundry area – central there is a perhaps 20ft square machine that irons and folds bed sheets; two men feed the sheets one by one, and at the other end either nicely folded sheets, or crumpled failures, emerge! I do not want this job …

 

The final part of the tour took us to the bridge (right underneath our stateroom!) which was very blue; I saw the webcam that had been providing views “back home”; we were then shown one of the control stations used to maneuver the ship at port – off to the side of the bridge, with a glass floor view of the sides!

We were told that this the last picture is the Captain’s chair (though unsure if it’s a joke or real!)

NCL cruise day 6, Cozumel

Our final port, and seeing MANY other cruise ships we decided to skip our planned trip to a “private island” (which clearly will be very crowded); here’s some of the ships already in port at sunrise. Cozumel, unlike yesterday, is a more typical cruise port – full of hotels, jewelry stores and other tourist trappings; we’ll stay on the ship instead:

A much bigger Norwegian Cruises ship now joins us, the Epic; it’s taller, longer and carries 4,100 guests, compared to the 1,936 of our Sun … It gets quite close (even closer than this)! From the port you get a good idea of the size difference (we did go ashore for a short while, just to confirm that we didn’t need to go ashore!):

 

 

In the evening we went to our only onboard show, a surprisingly entertaining rock music tribute that ended with some of the crew up onstage:

NCL cruise day 5, Costa Maya

In contrast to yesterday, todays port had only our “small” cruise ship – and really not anything else, not even a port town! We learned that some serious hurricanes had destroyed much of the area in the last ten years, even destroying the massive concrete dock – clearly most businesses have not returned, even at maximum zoom on my Sony camera, there’s nothing but trees!

Our trip today was some 50 miles, an hours coach ride, to Chaccoben mayan ruins, though we did stop at a very strange area for a few minutes; it seemed nothing more than the tour guides family garden, but I don’t know what it really was! Anyway, on to Chaccoben – these ruins are not as huge or spectacular as those you’ve seen on TV, but for being smaller they were perhaps easier to comprehend – it was quite clear how much work had been needed to create the level areas and the massive constructions!

All the structures are built on top of a huge raised area that itself is maybe 50ft above the floor of the jungle – all that area had to be built, an enormous amount of work; and then the “pyramids” built on top!


The last pictures show a small amount of the original colored plaster finish – the original constructions, in their smooth colored finish standing so high above the surrounding jungle, would have been truly awesome, I’m sure!

NCL cruise day 4, Belize

Waking this morning we found that we were no longer alone, with three other cruise ships joining us for this “tendered” day (no dock, so land is accessible via a fast 50 passenger boat which during it’s 15 minute journey was the only time I felt less than fine with the ocean!) …

What should be obvious is that the port now has about 10,000 visitors instead of the 2,000 or so on our ship; it made the day much more crowded and busy than we’d expected and rather spoiled things. But as we headed off for “cave tubing” we didn’t yet know that …

I’d imagined riding a tube down some underground river and seeing amazing rock formations, but the cave tubing experience was more of a “float in an underground lake” event; we first hooked up 16 people in their tubes, to travel as a single group through the pitch dark caves (hope you don’t mind some random persons feet tucked under your shoulders!)

There were some spectacular rock formations in the caves, and happily some of my waterproof camera photos came out ok:

NCL cruise day 3, Roatan

Our first port since leaving USA, we arrive at Roatan (an island of Honduras):

Today we took a trip to an “animal preserve” which had many black Iguanas, and the opportunity for photos with a parrot and a monkey!

Here’s some more photos, of the iguanas as well as the parrots and monkeys (from my Sony camera):

 

In the evening, after a very good dinner, we enjoyed live music, Glenn Miller style:

NCL cruise day 2, at sea

Today we were “at sea” traveling the nearly 800 miles to our first port; we explored the ship, ate food, sunbathed on our balcony, tried our hot tub …
Still doing my morning walks – quite a lot of sameness walking in circles, but I got to watch some nice at-sea sunrises! Apart from that, the view all day was of the Gulf. No other ships, no land, just water …