Vision OTS Post-Refit Cruise – 1st to 5th November 2013

November began at 24c and we also gained another hour so were 2 behind GMT. A very lazy day reading on the balcony after going to the lecture. I finally finished a book I began on Independence a year ago!
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I had booked Chops Grille for 7pm, having last eaten in one back in 2009 on Jewel. The menu had changed and what I had then was no longer on it. My waiter was Iiuri (pronounced Yuri) and he was wonderful. He remembered me from Park Café the day before. It was easy to forget that room used to be the Showboat lounge. After that feast it was bed!
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Another lazy day on the 2nd with more reading on the balcony. It was Giovanni’s Table at 7pm, which replaced Portofino (or Fartofino as we called it on Jewel for obvious reasons!). Portofino also had a better menu. I ended up waiting 20 minutes before I could ask for my bill! Absolutely knackered so bed after finishing my book.
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There was an eclipse on the 3rd but thanks to Captain Ban telling everyone it would be at 10am, I missed it by 90 minutes. We had also gained another hour. No reading during my lazy day because I had a migraine coming on so went back to bed in the afternoon. The view of the sea was getting boring by now. I love being on Vision but could not wait for land for a change of scene! Stephen Bayliss was giving a special performance in the Centrum before dinner. It was 50s and 60s night later, also in the Centrum. It does annoy me these things are there. Once upon a time they were either in the Viking Crown Lounge or Some Enchanted Evening Lounge. 2008 and 2009 they were but 2011 everything including Captain’s booze up had been moved to the cramped Centrum. You can understand it on something Voyager and above with the Royal Promenade but these don’t have the space, even less since they’ve taken more away.
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The penultimate sea day saw the excitement of birds and even a rainbow! It also rained after dinner. Grrrr! Trust me, land could not come fast enough for some activity.
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Land ahoy on the 5th – wooo! It was bonfire night back in the UK and I could have happily let off fireworks to celebrate civilisation as we approached the gorgeous port of Philipsburg in St Maarten. Much to my surprise we were first to arrive. I knew Liberty had left Barcelona the day before we sailed from Lisbon but thought she was ahead. A shame we couldn’t have sailed in tandem for a day or so. Norwegian Epic and Disney Fantasy were coming from the other direction. Someone thought Epic was a Royal Caribbean ship. I’d have thought “Norwegian Cruise Line” on the side would be a big giveaway! While someone else said the Disney was QM2, which had actually sailed from Southampton about 18 hours earlier. Dark hull, red funnels, Mickey Mouse. Easy mistake.
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After breakfast I went around the ship but forgot the Some Enchanted Evening and couldn’t access Chef’s Table. Then ashore for some dock pics before the heavens opened. Back on to change and dry off before my noon tour.
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