2021 Dec 27 | NCL Western Caribbean cruise - Tampa port, at sea

Bags are all packed.

COVID testing before boarding.

We got there early so there was no line.

Inside the testing tent.

Only had to wait around 30 minutes.

From the port to the boat.

First stop: a map of where everything is.

It's nice they have them by the elevators, too.

Although I make my own map of the main locations and put it on my phone.

Second stop: hamburger and fries.

First lunch on the ship.

I wish they had the fish carpet everywhere; there are still plenty of times I get lost.

Balcony room for the parents and Monica.

My favorite part of the cruise: getting tomorrow's Freestyle Daily event list and planning it out.

Don't want to miss anything.

Are they loading any of our luggage? Don't drop it into the ocean.

Our balcony room.

On top of the ship.

The pool area.

Ping pong and chess.

Other ships at the port.

Who do the water stream shooters in the children's area look like penises?

Big NCL on the smokestack in case you forget which ship is yours.

Gotta love the buffet, especially the desserts.

The library. On previous trips I went here in the morning while Ogii was still asleep to work on my computer, but the posted hours say its closed early, so I guess I won't do that this time.

Looking down the central elevators.

O'Sheehan's in the middle.

Bliss in the back.

The art gallery was snuck into this little corner area, although they changed out the art on the outer walkway walls every day.

Stardust theater in the front.

We have the casino all to ourselves.

Poker rules.

Ogii at a table.

A money grabber.

Venetian dining room in the back.

A gingerbread town in the atrium with a working train and a cruise ship.

Gotta bring our own good TP.

And a bunch of these magnetic hooks.

I thought we'd have extra.

But Ogii used them all.

Good thing they have lots of hangers, too.

All unpacked.

The only TV channel I watch is the front bow camera.

Our port bag and hats, ready to grab each day.

A fun little boat going by.

A tour of the spa. These heated seats are nice, but I'd rather sit outside by the pool.

A nice semi-private room.

Monica putting in her raffle ticket.

We didn't win.

Band by the pool.

Love the huge pieces of meat at the buffet.

And love the freedom to eat whatever you feel like.

First dinner.

Mom has one dessert, Ogii has two, Monica has none.


Sun is down.

This semi ran into the fence, and the cops were there for hours. You'd think it'd take like five minutes to get his license and insurance and be on his way.

The port had this neat outdoor area with a band.

The trees light up at night.

As does the port sign.

And the nearby highrises.

And the ship name.

There is a poker tournament tomorrow.

We wanted to sign up right away in case they filled up, but we were the first ones.

Majority Rules game show in the back Bliss Lounge.

Vocalist Patty Dess in the front Stardust theater.

The upper balcony seats are for rich people.

We got stuck at port waiting for a bunch of people whose flights had been delayed, so they couldn't open the stores. They could still do a giveaway, though.


Our cleaning lady didn't give us a Freestyle Daily for the next day, so we went to the front desk to get one.

Sunrise the next day.

With the parents.

Rolls for breakfast.

Among other things.

Everyone getting a picture of sunrise.

On our balcony.

Monica bought us massages for a Christmas present. Ogii was very tense after all of the traveling, so it was especially nice for her.

Free champagne.

More just sitting there.

The starfish bracelet is really neat, but the dolphin ring is one of the coolest I've ever seen.

Waiting for the next giveaway.

Ogii and Monica in the hot tub.

The pool area was pretty busy, although you could find open deck chairs farther away from the middle.

Ogii putting up some Christmas decorations.

Dinner at the Venetian restaurant.

It's quite upscale.

Although we weren't dressed up for it.

A great view behind the ship.

Time for the poker tournament. The first one was a satellite tournament, where the person who won got a free cruise and entry into the big tournament at the end of next year.

You started very short stacked, so you had to gamble.

I had a good hand until the board made four to a straight, so I had to fold.

Ogii got knocked out when she made a flush but the other guy made a full house.

I had a pretty good stack going.

Until my AK lost to KK.

Guess we'll have to console ourselves with some free alcohol samples.

A whiskey tasting some other people were doing.

I caught Ogii trying to sneak some chocolate without sharing it with me.

Looking around with binoculars.

Ogii and Monica did a champagne tasting.

The options.

Ways to tell them apart.

They beat everyone else.

Neat lights.

Bingo in the back.

This guy passed out in a chair in the atrium. It's only the first day; slow down, buddy.

A heart in the carpet.

Steak for dinner.


Soul Rocking Nights.

Ogii having a drink.

Newlyweds game show.

Musician and singer in the atrium.