This was my first music festival at sea. I got to hang out at the mid-ship pool with 2000 new friends and watch Alabama perform on three different occasions. I enjoyed the music of bands I had never heard of but will not forget. My girlfriend and I line danced in the atrium, played bingo with Randy Owen and wore our bell-bottoms on the 70’s theme night.
The Pearl left Miami on 10/24/13 for a four-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, which is Norwegian’s private island. The spa offered discounts on services while in port. So after a short walk to the straw market in Nassau, I was back on board for a facial and a relaxing afternoon in the thermal suite.
The coed area of the thermal suite included a large mineral pool with lots of bubbles, a smaller hot tub and two shower stalls with color-changing lights. Heated, tile benches were available to relax and take a nap. Lounge chairs faced a large floor to ceiling window that overlooked the bow. The women’s only side had a sauna, a steam room and a cold plunge pool. The spa charged $38 for a one day pass to the thermal suite or $68 for a four-day pass. Since I was in the thermal suite every day, the four-day pass was a real value.
I have been on the Norwegian Pearl before. So whenever I saw someone with a dazed look on their face, I would ask if I could help. It is a great way to make new friends. Our room steward, Eric, made the best monkey I have ever seen out of a blue and white stripped towel. He also kept our small balcony cabin clean and neat. We ate breakfast and lunch at the garden buffet on the pool deck, and had dinner in the Summer Palace at the rear of the ship. I could always find something good to eat. If you don’t like a dish, the waiters are happy to replace it.
Sixthman organized the cruise and did a great job. Before the cruise, they sent me name tags and luggage tags. On the ship they had a representative at the front desk to answer questions. I told her I had left my name tags at home, and she immediately gave me new name tags. While on the ship, we also received Alabama and Friends beach towels, an autographed poster and special Alabama pins. On top of that, everyone got to have their picture taken with Alabama at assigned photo sessions. When I got home, I received an email with a web address where I could download my picture with Alabama. Other pictures from the cruise were also available for free download.
More than half of the people on the ship were over 50 and married. It was a friendly crowd which shared a love for country music and left me with wonderful memories.