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Showing posts from November 2, 2008

Norwegian Gem Mediterranean Cruise in November: Opal Penthouse Suite (Room #11518) – Entry 4

No, we cannot afford a penthouse suite on a cruise ship, but we somehow ended up with one for this cruise. And, wow, let me tell you: It will be tough to give up the luxury.

The Norwegian Gem only has 10 penthouses on the ship (as well as a few additional penthouses that make up an even more exclusive “private courtyard” on the ship’s top deck). So, Linda and I are one of only 10 couples on the entire ship of 2300 people that are living this large. Now I know how John and Cindy McCain probably live. We have our own butler, which basically means I have someone to go get me cokes, we have our own doorbell (I know that means nothing to non-cruisers), and we even have a cordless phone that works anywhere on the ship. That way, if we need to contact our concierge immediately, we can do so.

Actually, we did try that one out. We were interested in knowing if we could see Mt. Edna volcano one evening, and so the concierge called the Bridge for us to find out visibility. She called us right ba…

Norwegian Gem Mediterranean Cruise in November: Malta (Escape to Mdina) – Entry 3

Tuesday -- Malta

“Get up extra early in the morning and watch the ship come into the harbor. It will change your life.”

Well, maybe we’re jaded, but it wasn’t a life changing experience. The approach to Valletta, Malta is pretty enough, but neither Linda nor I found it to be spectacular.

Valletta is a very “earthy” looking city, and if brown is your favorite color, then you’ll probably love it. It’s a walled-city, though, and that’s pretty cool. Neither of us has been to Israel, but Malta triggered that thought in our imagination. Is this what the Holy Land looks like?

The main thing to do in Valletta is to walk up the main pedestrian street and visit St. Johns Co-Cathedral, and like any good tourists, we did that. St. Johns is certainly worth a visit, but no matter how lovely a Cathedral is, there’s only so much time you want to spend there. So, we looked around for a few minutes and left. Shopping isn’t my thing, either, so wading through the mass of people on the main street wasn’t my …

Norwegian Gem Mediterranean Cruise in November: Naples (the City of Dog Shit) – Entry 2

Wednesday -- Pompeii (Naples)

All the information I read before the trip stated that Naples would be a gritty, trashy-looking place. And that was spot on. Naples looked very ghetto in a lot of ways. All of the apartment building were run-down and old, and the trash was everywhere. This is also a city where people apparently love their dogs, but have no concept of picking up their shit. It was all over the sidewalks. All over the place.

We seemed to be two of the only people from the ship that decided to walk from the port to the train station, and thank God for cruiser Tom Ogg. It was only because of his step-by-step directions (with pictures) that we were able to easily find the place. (Tom Ogg has posted a plethora of information to the Internet – just google his name and your cruise port destination, and you’ll probably find something very useful).

On the way to the train station, the sidewalk stopped. Actually, it was closed for construction, and this forced us to walk right out on …

Norwegain Gem Mediterranean Cruise in November: Rome or Vatican City? -- Entry 1

(I thought I'd blog daily, but I was having too much fun. I'll start catching up entries now, but I won't add any pictures until after we get home... The cruise ship Internet service is pretty good, but it's still 40 cents a minute.)

Thursday -- Vatican City

This is our ninth cruise (and our third with Norwegian), and I have to admit that I had some concerns about cruising the Mediterranean in November. After all, November is the “off-season,” and we assumed it would be rainy and cold. Actually, however, the temperatures have been in the 70s, and it’s been so warm and humid that I now couldn’t imagine cruising the Mediterranean in the summer. The off-season has the additional advantage of not being nearly so crowded. Trust me on this: if you come in November, you’ll still be sharing the experience with a lot of tourists everywhere you go – so just imagine how many thousands more would be in your way at “peak times.”

Ports are about choices. There’s always too much to do,…

Election Day 2008

As a reminder:

Voter turnout is expected to heavy across the nation. Therefore, election officials have decided to extend voting through tomorrow.

Democrats are asked to vote today, and Republicans are requested to vote tomorrow.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Math Humor

Have you ever noticed how funny math people are?

Someone: pick me up off the floor!