Our Trip to Europe April-May 2013

By Pete Grant
with the help from Lynda, Bobbi, and Dave

Our ship
The back of our ship docked in New Orleans, waiting for us to board.

On the previous day, the only photo of our ship, The Navigator of The Seas, we were able to get was a view of the back end as the port facilities had the rest of the ship hidden behind their buildings.

On our first sea day, rock climbing was the top item on our agenda. We wanted Bobbi to at least give it a try - and wow - did she ever surprise us! She made it to the top on her first attempt! She climbed all the way to the top, stopping at the halfway point only because of a bit of nervousness about the equipment safety (a.k.a. fear of heights :) ).

Lynda climbing
Lynda was first
Lynda climbing
A bit more overhanging
Lynda
Lynda showing off
Bobbi
Bobbi, all harnessed up, studying the route
Bobbi
... and the first steps - she's doing well!
Bobbi
Higher up the wall, Bobbi reaching up for a good hold.
Bobbi
Bobbi more than half way to the top (see the halfway bell)
Bobbi
And next:
ring the bell
Bobbi
Aaargh! I pressed the shutter button too early! Next time
Bobbi rappelling
Rappelling (being lowered) back to the ground.
Bobbi climbing
...and lowered
past another climber
Bobbi rappelling
... all the way to the ground
(or the deck)

Our favorite pastime was drinking wine. Most of the time we took advantage of our Diamond Plus status benefits, one of which was daily free wine from 5:30PM to 8:00PM. That's right, free -- and all you can drink! Wow!

On board
Having a glass of wine
Bobbbi Yatze
Bobbi had brought a Yahtzee game with her
Yahtzee
Soon we were joined by our dinner table friends (L to R):
Lynda, Bobbi, Marty, and Jane.

We attended a daily class on Italian language. Our teacher, Elena, was excellent. She was so good that us students got together and presented her a very nice and well deserved gift.

Elena
Elena on one of her sessions.
Elena
Always smiling
Learning Italian
.. and students intensely paid attention to the class

And then, it was time for lunch.

Going around from L to R:
Bobbi, James, ??, David, ??, ??, Marty, and Jane.
Arlex, our room steward, and Bobbi
 

Another game we played on the ship was a Poker Run. It involved getting a poker playing card in an envelope at each of the five bars we were to visit. At the end, the envelopes were opened for one player at a time and whoever got the winning poker hand, received a prize of $250. I believe.

Game 1
Gathering up for the start
Game 1
Lynda signalling she had received the game ticket envelopes
Game1
Lynda grabbing another envelope
Lynda & Bobbi
We also enjoyed our balcony in many ways, including having a glass of wine every now and then.
Dinner
One evening I was the only male guest in our dinner table.
Here is my harem of seven women (one Australian is hiding and the other is barely visible behind Mardy).
Bobbi skating
Bobbi on roller skates
We decided to try out roller skating. It turned out to be more difficult than expected due to both wind and boat rocking. But we survived - and without a single fall.
Lynda skating
Lynda skating also

Next, we jumped on the climbing wall once again.

Lynda climbing
Lynda on a harder route
Bobbi climbing
Bobbi on a route she hadn't done before.
Lynda climbing
Lynda again
Bobbi climbing
Bobbi on the wall again

We also played miniature golf on the windy - and rocking - sea. The game was a part of our group meeting with the friends we had met at the pre-cruise party. Here are some photos of our participation in the event.

Golf
Lynda concentrating while the rest were totally oblivious to her game.
Golf
And then it was Bobbi's turn to concentrate.
 
Mingolf
She's got it rolling towards the hole - a hole-in-one possibility!
 
Mingolf
Well, she didn't quite make it, but she did get a score for a hole-in-two.
Mini golf
Lynda made it --
but...
now, was it a hole in one?
Miniature golf
Bobbi is concentrating
once again