Norwegian Cruise Lines – The Ultimate? Beverage Package

ultimate-beverage-packageThe Ultimate Beverage Package – Enjoy unlimited soft drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails and wines by the glass”

We’ve got this package for an upcoming cruise and it seems pretty cool.   But I was digging into the fine print, and… well,  NCL might want to reconsider the use of the word “Ultimate.”

Package does not include room service, package sales, ship specific promotions or beer buckets, designated Super Premium brands (subject to change), bottled wine, mini bar purchases, bottled water, fresh squeezed juices, select Lavazza coffee beverages, energy drinks, vending machines, wine stations or spirits, cocktails, draft or bottled beer and glasses of wine over $11.

OK, I understand in regards to room service and bottles of wine… But bottled water? Fresh Squeezed juices?  Specialty Coffee, i.e Cafe Mocha?

So, you can order premium Bahama Moma, and that’s just fine.  But, you’d better pony up for that bottle of water.  Bottled Water is just a bit too Ultimate.

But it’s cool.  NCL was gracious with us.  There is ONE bottle of water included with our Haven Suite.  Family of five.  I wonder how far that’s going to go.  I’m sure our butler will help us figure it out.

It’s OK.  I don’t make it a practice to drink bottled water, in general, any way.   I’m not that Ultimate.



Cruise Critic – Note to Self

I’ve been doing some research for an upcoming cruise we are taking, mostly lurking on a website called

Boy, Howdy, the vitriol and trolling that goes on over there is amazing,   A short list of users I hope of never have the displeasure of encountering:


Los Angles Union Station to Portland Union Station via the Coast Starlight

(Found this in my drafts from February of 2014)

Having just arrived home from my latest 30 hour excursion on Amtrak’s 14  – Coast Starlight, I wanted to jot down some notes.

Why must all of the Sleeping Cars of the train smell like poo by the second day of the trip?  Time and romanticism seems to obscure this confounding observation, but I really need to remind myself of this reality when contemplating a repeat booking.

Dining Car:
Surly Attendants, Unintelligible over head announcements, inconsistent 
announcements (First Call, Second Call, Third Call, Dinning Car is Open) and the walk-about reservation system is silly.  These folks don’t seem to be interested in serving customers. They seem to be simply burdened by them.  And going through the motions.  

Let me rephrase that.  There is almost a palpable contempt for the dining car customers.

That being said, everything I’ve eaten on board has been delicious.

Unions:  I am generally pro-union (in concept) , but if Amtrak is a example of what a unionized work force is like, then I want to steer clear, both personally and professionally.

Communal Seating – I’m so over this.  I think next time I will just bring some tupperware and when my meal arrives, scrape it into the tupperware and take it into the Parlour Car to eat in peace.

Especially breakfast.   I don’t want to be social for breakfast.

There are plenty of tables, but I think they want to reduce the amount of tables that need to be bussed.

Pacific Parlour Car:
I love the Pacific Parlour car.  It’s the (only?) reason I keep riding the Coast Starlight.  I can’t imagine taking trips without it, and haven’t considered other lines, because of it’s absence.

Attendant-  Seemed so desperate to retire and obviously not interested in being there.  Complained about slow bar sales and the impending elimination of the Parlour Car Attendant’s position, but was often absent.  In the evening, waited 15 minutes for her to reappear so that I could buy a cocktail.

On that note, Bottled wine prices seemed to be rather expensive at $30.  You can bring your own wine on board.  Hint, hint. 

The red bag of wet towels shouldn’t be stored in the shower.  There is very limited space in there to be start with.

Deviations from previous trips:   No more champagne or sparking ling cider during departure.  No flowers (fresh or otherwise) in the Parlour Car.

I think I am no longer in love with the Coast Starlight.    Aw, well, we had some good runs.

Some Poetry by Dana

Wild Daffodil (by Dana)
I’m a wild daffodil
A fish is by me
A bear comes by
And reached for the fish
But grabbed me too.
Right before he put
Me in his mouth,
The wind
Blew me away
And left me there to rot.

 The Dogs Bark (by Dana)
I hear the dogs bark
And scratch at the door.
I hear the doorknob turn.
I sway in the garden
And think any last words.
They come out
They stomp on me
And break my stem.
I know I can’t live to be a daffodil
Now I just lay there.

Brian Wilson – No Pier Pressure

Listened to this album via hoopladigital today, when I had some free time with just Dana and I after school. I’m not a big Beach Boys fan, but I really enjoyed it.

There are a few songs that stood out, and seemed to have vocals from other Beach Boys, including one called “Tell me why” that made me nostalgic both in a  musical sense as well as the break-up-y nature of the lyrics.

Brian Wilson – No Pier Pressure

Penguin Trouble (Strangeness in my iggy)

GavinsPenginTroubleThe kids have been loving playing Club Penguin, the last few months.  Especially since I’ve bought them a membership..  Gavin’s penguin shows up with strange name, however.

Contacted Club Penguin’s tech support  via email (no phone number available and they sent a nice note back a couple days later.

—–Original Message—–
From: support X
Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2014 1:49 PM
To: X
Subject: RE: Club Penguin Support Ticket: [X]


Hi there,

Here at Club Penguin, our number one priority is making sure that our players are safe. Since our beginning, we’ve made progressive changes to our website to ensure player safety. One of these changes involves the process of choosing penguin names.

When an account is created, the account is automatically assigned a temporary name that shows as the letter ‘P’ followed by a series of numbers. This is to ensure that no inappropriate names can be seen on our website before we are able to review the name.

Once an account has been created, our moderators review the name and either approve or reject it, depending on its appropriateness. When the name has been deemed appropriate by a moderator, the generic name will change to the original name created. If a name is not appropriate, the next time the account owner logs in they will be prompted to submit a new name.

Looking into the penguin account ‘****’, I can see the name has since been approved! If you have any other questions or concerns, please be sure to let us know. Were always more than happy to help!

Best wishes,


Club Penguin Support