travel

Cruise Day 4: At Sea

It was S’s turn not to sleep well last night.

It’s the only At-Sea day for this cruise. For the most part, on board activities are pretty much the same as any other day. So, not a lot that’s holding our attention.

They do have a behind the scenes tour. S did this when she went to Alaska with Princess last year. We sign up.

Ok. So. It’s about half the price of Princess’ tour. And they let about 4 times as many people participate.

But.

The Princess behind the scenes tour is like, here’s all the stuff that happens behind the scenes at all the venues you normally see from the other side. Behind the scenes in the Galley (food to sample). Behind the scenes at the print shop (customized note pads printed). Behind the scenes at the spa, at the kids club, in the engine rooms & bridge, at the photo center. (Group photo with the captain. Also an apron and bathrobe to take home – all kinds of stuff that’s included that offsets the fee.)

Princess is spendier for the tour, but you feel like you get it back in ‘experiences and stuff’ from the various departments visited.

Also, high security, limited availability, and no photos allowed (other than the group photo with the captain). They collect your phone to be sure, and give it back after. Because you’ll be in engine rooms and on the bridge. It’s a safety issue.

###

MSC’s behind the scenes tour is more like, here’s what it’s like to be a crewman on the ship. We visit their mess, their laundry (the laundry is especially fascinating), their promenade and stores, and the galley (no sampling). The only part of the ship that we see from another view is the Yacht Club. Ooh, there’s a place to spent time. Private part of the ship, for the highest spending passengers.

Our tour guides are really nice – (later we run into one of them and ask him to confirm instructions we received from the less trustworthy front desk — to give us real the scoop for our disembarkation needs. He better understands what we’re asking and steers us right.)

MSC gives us a logo drawstring bag when we’re done. So… something.

We don’t regret taking the tour. It’s hours of at-sea time we would otherwise be bored to death. But it’s not as impressive as the tour S had with Princess, and that I hope to take someday.

Afterward we go to the ‘welcome back’ cocktail party and up to the buffet for lunch. There are endless restaurants on board that seem to only serve dinner – only the buffet is open for breakfast and lunch.

Off to starboard, Sardinia is a ghostly shape on the horizon. Also there’s an MSC cargo ship.

Then we head back to our cabin to read and/or nap.

After an hour catnap I feel like a person, and read for a while. S sleeps through afternoon tea (just as well) and even dinner (I go on my own, though I just pick at it).

I sort out some billing issues and then head back to our cabin. I bring S an iced tea and get myself some decaf. But pretty shortly we are back to books and then bed. I’m surprised S can still sleep, but maybe she is also fighting something off. Sleep is the best thing for that.

And tomorrow we will have a very full day in Barcelona. Just as well to get her rest and feel better.

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