Day 1, Saturday, September 10, 2016
Mom and I left Sarasota for the Norwegian Cruise Line ship Escape on a Cruise Connection bus. The bus was about 45 minutes late picking us up. Listening to the people already on the bus, we found out that this was the first time this particular driver made this run and had already gotten lost a few times. Incredible in this age of GPS! As we continued south, the driver kept making wrong turns and getting lost. We arrived at the ship about 2 hours later than plan. Since the Escape was setting out at 7 PM, mom and I were not too concerned. The majority of the passengers was on another cruise line that sailed at 4 PM. Some of those passengers were not understanding, reminding the bus driver about the deadline and thus adding to his pressure. I can understand their concern, but voicing it repeatedly did no one any good. A sympathetic passenger seated behind the driver communicated directions he received on the phone from the bus line. Somehow it all worked out with two hours to spare. I wish people could relax and enjoy the adventure instead of gripping and making everyone’s experience less than enjoyable.
Boarding was simple and took only a short time. Before we knew it, we were having a snack and checking out our mini-suite upgrade. The room has a balcony and an extra-large bathroom with a double sink and a shower with jets like a car wash. Because I am a gold level traveler, I had a complimentary four-piece box of Godiva chocolates waiting for us in our room.
After settling in, we toured the ship, found the fitness center, the spas (10 different rooms offering a myriad of pampering experiences (with boarding day deals, naturally). There are four are complimentary dining rooms and 21 specialty restaurants. This is the largest ship I have been in with capacity for 3,963 guest and 1,646 crew.
At sail time, we went poolside to say farewell to Miami. Following a prime rib dinner, we went to the theater to see a preview of the upcoming shows. It looks like we will be having lots to see and do.