Success! We made it to Barcelona (BCN) at about 11:30AM local time. That makes it 5:30AM back in Orlando, and boy, you can feel it. The flight was fine. But there was a lot of tossing and turning. I simply can’t sleep on any plan. Tara says I was out cold for a few hours. How she knew that is beyond me because she was comatose the entire flight it seems.
Barcelona’s airport is so nice. Clean, sleek, full of Spanish…very little I understood. I’m kicking myself for taking so many years of French in school. But I should be patient. We hit Cannes and Marseille in a few days, so touché. Since I didn’t have an internet connection, I couldn’t quickly translate or figure out exchange rates. This kind of thing would generally be done in the ‘research’ stages of the trip. But keep in mind our research time has been all eaten up by packing boxes. And we only booked the trip about a week and half ago. So there hasn’t been much researching. It’s been a lot of flying by the seat of our pants. Which can be fun, however.
We managed to get some Euro’s out of the ATM out here. Our cruise line actually charged to take us to the boat, which I thought was bizarre. Tara tried to get it for free via phone numerous times, but they wouldn’t budge. Good effort, kid. We managed to jump in a trendy little cab and mouth the words ‘cruise’ and ‘port’ and we were on our way. The cabbie understood about 2% English. It gave me a new respect to the challenges foreigners face while traveling to the States.
We made it to the port and identified our boat, the Norweigian Epic. Sweet boat. It was built in 2010 and is the biggest in the NCL fleet. We are so happy we were able to get a deal last minute. We are very fortunate to be here.
Getting on the boat was flawless. We were both dead-tired. Everyone who has traveled overseas told me to ‘fight through’ and not sleep. Are you joking? We were up too late the prior evening packing, so we were already in big trouble. We found our cabin, #13098, right in the middle of the ship. The rooms are great. Very narrow, but great hidden spaces for clothes, trendy shower and bathroom and a great big, round light above – almost like a skylight.
Generally, the first order of business is to attend the safety presentation at your assigned ‘Muster Station’ so you know what to do in the event of an emergency. Sadly, our first order of business was to fall face-first into bed and not move for hours. I did manage to wake up and attempt to make the presentation. I figured it was mandatory, so I called the front desk.
“Is the emergency presentation mandatory,” I asked.
“Generally it is, sir,” the nice man responded.
“Problem is, we’re sleeping and can’t move, I replied.
“ You need a rest, sir? If need a rest, you should take a rest,” he said.
“Exactly,” I said. And I thanked him and fell face-first back into bed.
The super nap was desperately needed. We awoke later refreshed (slightly) and planned to grab some dinner. We chose a place called The Manhattan Room. I had their special, seafood paella and Tara had steak (of course).
After dinner we explored the ship, even though it was about midnight and our clocks were all messed up. I lost a few hands of Blackjack and we bought a big bag of candy in one of the stores. Swedish Fish is a must on any of our excursions. We had tickets to Blue Man Group (complimentary for each cruiser), but we cancelled and set them up for Friday night instead. There’s a lot of flexibility on this ship.
It was back to the room for the most glorious night of sleep I’ve had in about 15 years. Tomorrow would be our first day at Sea to make our way across the water to Naples, Italy. Our trip is underway and we’re close to getting our clocks aligned.
More to come! Adios!