Monday, August 19, 2013

The Epic! Wednesday, June 19th

So here we were...back at Civitavecchia! We felt like we'd just been here, yet in such a short time, we couldn't believe at all we'd seen and done since we'd left! Here we were, about to board the Norwegian Epic! Megan had been talking about this ship for a year. The Epic this the Epic that, it's going to be EPIC! Good grief - we'd heard everything Epic for so long I don't know if there was anything we didn't know about this ship! 

We were able to board the Epic right away, no lines at all. This is a port day for many, if not most of the people on this ship. It seemed that most people boarded in Barcelona so they were off the ship for their day in Rome. They wouldn’t be back on board until last call at 6:30. It made the ship feel almost empty!

When we got on board our cabins were ready. How nice! This time the four of us are in one cabin. A Family Mini-Suite. It’s not a real suite, just a bigger balcony cabin, so no need to get excited! We’re on deck 12, cabin 12040. Mimi and Grandpop are in a standard balcony, but on deck 13. Cabin 13214. I think we’ll see a lot less of them on this ship since they aren’t right next door to us. We opened the door to the cabin, and of course we’d seen the videos, seen the pictures and sure it looked like we expected! It’s going to be one cramped week! But we’ll survive! On first glance I don’t think the odd bathroom layout will be an issue. We have this huge shower since we have the family mini-suite. I like that. And as I later compared to my parents standard balcony cabin, our room was a few feet longer and had more storage. We had the Pullman bed, which Alex slept on. They put it up during the day and dropped it down in the evening. He had no issues sleeping up there. He sleeps on a top loft bunk bed at home, so he probably felt quite at home. 

Once we did a quick drop off of our carry on bags, we went to have lunch. We went to the Garden Cafe Buffet. I enjoyed this very much. I loved eating outside, and I had a big fresh salad.

Since the ship was so empty, I told the kids to go get their bathing suits on and take advantage of the slides! They did, and Keith went and lounged somewhere near the slides while I went to unpack. There was plenty of storage for all four of us, but it was very strange space. No drawers but instead many small cabinets. And they were not very deep. So, for example if I folded a pile of men’s shorts, they didn’t fit in the cabinet without pressing on the door and bunching up. I had clothes everywhere, which made it hard to keep track of who’s clothes were where during the week. Don’t get me wrong, there was A LOT of room, but was it efficient? I don’t know. We used that drawer under the sink that I think is supposed to be for wet towels, for dirty laundry. That worked for us. 

Once I was done unpacking I went up to take some pictures of the kids on the slides.

Next up was our muster drill. It was in the Theater. Now, I honestly may have slept though the safety part?  But I have no memory of them going over the part of putting on the lifejackets or any real safety techniques that are common. We just went through a muster drill 10 days ago on the Navigator, so it was pretty fresh in my mind. I remember them showing us what decks our actual muster stations were on, but that’s about it.

Then it turned into a commercial for the Epic. Which was nice. I liked knowing where everything was and what there was to do onboard. But this was not a muster drill, it seemed to be a way to get everyone into the theater for their Welcome Aboard Intro Presentation!

Afterwards Megan, my parents and I went to tour the spa. I mentioned previously that I wanted to get Keith the week spa pass so he’d have a little haven to go to during the week to relax. I was surprised when they told me it was only $146 for the week! The spa was gorgeous. Absolutely amazing! If I wasn’t with the kids, I would have gotten the spa pass for myself. But I like hanging out with them and know I wouldn’t have used it. In the end I didn’t buy it for him. He felt with only 1 sea day he wouldn’t get enough use out of it. He knows he wouldn’t use it at night. He’s an early to bed kind of person.

We decided to go to Moderno for dinner. The Brazilian Steakhouse. We’ve been to similar restaurants here at home and this was by far just as good. It was absolutely delicious. As much as we’ve all enjoyed our pasta and pizzas the past several days in Italy, I was craving some BEEF! This fit the bill!

After dinner both kids went to their respective clubs and I did some laundry in the tiny, tiny sink in the room. I brought the tide packets for hand washing. Being gone for three weeks I had planned to wash some smaller items mid-vacation. I forgot to mention that while we were on the Navigator we took advantage of their $25 fill the bag special and fit A LOT in that bag! I inquired when we boarded the Epic about their special and it wouldn’t be until Sunday, getting the laundry back on Tuesday. That’s too long to wait at this point. So I hand washed a lot of underwear and some of the light cotton shirts Keith and Alex had. They all dry fast. I washed them, rolled them in the towels and there was a long clothes line in our shower. I had clothes hanging everywhere! Bu the next afternoon it was all dry. It worked very well. Meanwhile, my parents spent the money to send out some laundry. Individually priced my mom told me it would have cost them over $147! They scaled it back to around $75 I think….I like my way better! 

After the laundry, I read in bed waiting for the kids to get back. Tomorrow we dock in Livorno, which is the port where most people go to Florence and Pisa! Hey, weren’t we just pretty much there?

Well, our day will be amazing!  An absolute favorite of the trip!

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