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Lobster, chocolate and knee-buckling hugs

The adventures of Carol Brown, representing Norwegian Cruise Line on a 6-month mission on the open sea to train the crew, explore new ports, seek new friends and experiences, and to boldly go where she has not gone before.

Carol’s log: Cruise Date: June 1, 2011 (Skagway)

My new best onboard friend is Manuela the acupuncturist. She is 50-something, from Portugal and shares my outlook that life is about experiences and going with the flow. She has a 29-year-old son and a husband who works in construction. She keep promising or threatening to do acupuncture on me for my insomnia, sea sickness and the persistent cough I’ve had since I joined the Norwegian Star. Somehow I manage to escape her needles.

Tonight we go for dinner at the beautiful Aqua restaurant which is one of our main dining rooms and the place where quite a few of the Jamaicans work as waiters. The walls of the Aqua are decorated with abstract paintings showcasing deep red and blue paints. They are interesting to look at and give the room a cheery feel—that and the floor to ceiling windows that allow in light and scenery for those fortunate enough to capture one of those rare seats. For dinner, of course I order the lobster but within three bites of the tasty white meat, I’m coughing and choking on the lobster and have to run to my cabin to throw it all up. I come back with a sore throat, red puffy eyes and a runny nose and that is when all the guys decide to visiting our table. Earl stops by, then Floyd, Blake, Felicito, and Dilbert a gorgeous 20-something from Nicaragua. Now I probably shouldn’t have said “stopped by” because what they actually did was post up at our table. You’d have thought they were finished working because of how much time they spent talking with us. They brought us desserts that weren’t on the menu but that were absolutely scrumptious. Of course, Manuela and I loved the attention and didn’t complain.

After dinner we head to the fancy Stardust Theatre with it plush red velvet seat and three levels of seating where the Second City Show is in progress. We were very glad we had missed the beginning because what we watched sucked. Now I know that comedy is subjective but we thought this was really awful and not funny in the least. And we weren’t the only ones. There were polite chuckles but clearly most of the audience did not find the sketches amusing and there was a steady stream of guests heading for the beveled brass exit doors. We followed the crowd.

Our next stop was the Market Café where the Chocolate Buffet was in full swing. I died! There was chocolate covered fruit, a fountain spewing chocolate, a variety of chocolate cakes, puddings, candy, ice cream, cookies and anything else chocolate I could desire. And not just milk chocolate either. There was dark chocolate and white chocolate too! Have you heard the saying “In the abundance of water the fool is thirsty”? Well, I was that fool!  I couldn’t choose! The lovely servers offered me delicious descriptions of everything and even though I drooled and long to taste everything, all I had was a chocolate banana and some strawberries. Lucky for me the Chocolate Buffet happens every week. I’ll just pace myself. Next week the triple layer cake!

The evening ended with me standing in the I95 with Myles, a chef, and Stan Sykes aka Mr. Motown, trading sexual innuendos and hugs because they were trying to see who could give me the hug that would cause my knees to buckle. Myles won and now I get my knees buckled daily. Ah, ship life!

The voyage continues…


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