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Blog: Blog2

Day 7: Red Funnel to Southampton & NCL Jade

After taking the allergy medicine, I slept ok. I woke several times during the night from the heat, but at least I was groggy enough to go back to sleep until 6:30. I fixed a cup of instant coffee that was provided in the room, and at 7:00, I went down to breakfast, which I had been told was “downstairs in the conservatory.” It was so beautifully set up with tables and tablecloths, and I was told that they’re only able to put the tables outside a few times a year. I got a bit of granola, yogurt, and berries and sat at a table outside. There was a menu of other things that I should order after the “first course.” I chose the smoked salmon and eggs. I also took the toast that she offered because of the lovely jams on the table. It was all perfect. However, I regretted eating the toast. I suppose I needed that confirmation that my belly still isn’t accepting bread.

I went back to my room, had a brief snooze, showered, and packed. Paula met me as I was leaving and reminded me that I needed to pay. She also offered me a ride to the ferry, and we had a lovely chat. That was so much nicer than walking and lugging bags after yesterday’s sweaty experience.

I purchased a ferry ticket and boarded quickly. This time, it was the express ferry from West Cowes that moves faster and is only for foot passengers. It really was a much faster ride. I saw the Norwegian Jade as we arrived at port. I arrived in Southampton with time to kill, so I took a quick stroll through the historic part of town. I’m glad I did it, because the history is quite interesting. Not only did the Titanic leave from Southampton, but so did the Mayflower!! There are also remains there from medieval times.

After my history lesson, I went over to the cruise port, where the Norwegian Jade was docked. The information online said that boarding would begin at noon but that you could arrive to check in as early as 11:00. I arrived around that time, and there was a brief wait before those of us who were embarking were allowed to check in. I’ve gathered enough points with NCL now that I am at their silver level, meaning that I get to go to a special line to check in. What I didn’t know was that everything would be priority treatment this time. After I my passport and credit card were checked, I was escorted over to the priority seating area, where I met the concierge. I was the first one there, so we chatted a bit. For some reason our boarding cards had to be reprinted, so as soon as they were delivered, we were able to board. I was on board and in my room before noon. What I haven’t mentioned is that prior to the cruise, I had been upgraded at least twice. I went from the cheapest interior cabin to a penthouse suite because the prices kept dropping. It only cost me $15 extra!​

​I checked out everything in the room, including a letter from the concierge, which explained how to get in touch with him, the butler, and the stateroom steward. It also mentioned that I could have lunch in Cagney’s Steakhouse, which isn’t usually open for lunch. I decided to try that for my lunch, instead of the buffet. I walked down there, got a seat near a window, and ordered a shrimp cocktail and risotto with scallops and shrimp. They were both quite nice, perhaps an upgrade from what I had experienced on previous cruises. I decided that I needed a vegetable, so I ordered the green salad from the menu before ordering dessert, which was a macadamia nut ice cream with a nut brittle. Delicious!

After a bit of exploring the ship, I returned to my suite to put on my gym shorts, since I had either forgotten my bathing suit or wasn’t expecting it to be hot enough to be by the pool. While I was in the room, the doorbell rang, and someone brought a flower arrangement and a basket of fruit. So nice!

I then quickly went up to the pool, but without sunscreen, I decided I should only stay about an hour. The sun was intense and felt much like an average day by the pool in Georgia. The pool water was nice too, and it was very salty. I noticed that I was more buoyant than usual! I had some time to kill, so I went to the gym for a brief run, a few weights, and some yoga poses. I noticed this sign. Doesn’t “transcend” have a “c” in it?? I might need to send Norwegian an e-mail…and maybe ask for a free spa treatment.

I went back to the pool for a few minutes and then went to my room to shower and get ready for the evening. When I returned, I found chocolate covered strawberries! 🙂 The suite life!

I eventually made it to dinner in the main dining room, where I ordered prosciutto with melon (thank you, Italy), the roasted vegetable salad with goat cheese, roasted monkfish (forgot to take a picture), and the hazelnut creme brûlée (didn’t eat it all, I promise!). It was a great dinner! Honestly, I didn’t finish the creme brûlée because I had a secret plan of checking out the buffet desserts. I wasn’t impressed by anything until I saw the crepe station. I couldn’t resist, so I ordered a crepe with Nutella and bananas. It was so good and so worth any calories and discomfort!

I checked out two different shows. The first was a broadway cabaret in the theatre. I didn’t really like it from the beginning, but I gave it a few songs before I decided to leave. The selections were just not great–sort of long, slow, and boring. Also, the female singers were singing flat belting in a way that was not good. Ugh, I wanted to help them with their technique and their song choices! I then went up to the Spinnaker Lounge, where they were having a party with live music. This lounge has a great view of the outside, so I admired the view as I waited for the music to begin. It started, and soon after, I realized that this girl also was not singing well. I can listen to a certain amount of bad singing, but I don’t find it enjoyable unless they make up for it somehow. That sealed the deal, and I decided to go sit on my own balcony. I sat on my chaise and watched as we passed between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. At some point, another boat started following us for quite a while. I think they were just having fun in the wake of our ship. I finally decided to retire for the evening. I turned on the television for a few minutes and saw the news of District 6 election on BBC News. They were in Atlanta, and here I was on a cruise ship approaching the North Sea!

Maybe I should look into a job as a cruise ship voice teacher and/or music director. Maybe that’s a thing?

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