TRAVEL THERE: OUR STATEROOM ON THE NORWEGIAN EPIC
So after the amazing Embarkation Buffet in the Garden Cafe, I was anxious to reunite with my suitcases. I’ve heard travelers should pack half as many clothes and twice as much money. I usually plan my cash very well, but I’m over the moon when it comes to clothes.
My Vacation Wardrobe
Some people are of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what you wear on vacation, because no one you know will see you. That’s not my take on it. I think you need to be very careful about what you wear, because you’re going to be looking at those photographs for a very long time. Facebook, blogging and Pinterest have only underlined that viewpoint.
By the same token, I do not live well out of a suitcase. Unless it’s just an overnight stay, the first thing I do when I arrive at my accommodation is unpack. My dear friend Deb pointed out a plaque to me on this vacation. It said, “I’m not OCD, I just like things to be organized.” Do you think there was a message for me in there?
The travel gods were still with us, because our luggage, in its totality, was sitting on our bed when we returned to the room. Bill escaped to the balcony and I started unpacking. The first thing I noticed was the large closet with a generous cabinet next to it and a little curtained alcove on the other side. I gleefully whipped open my suitcase and started hanging up clothes. For a while I was a happy little camper. There were plenty of hangers for the normal person and with the ones I’d brought from home, I got all our outfits hung up.
In the cabinet, I tucked away electrical appliances, accessories and other odds and ends. I took the life vests out of the bottom of the closet and put them in the alcove, creating plenty of room for my many pairs of shoes. My toiletry bags fit nicely next to the vanity. Soon, I was getting down to the nitty gritty and that’s when I hit the brick wall.
“Bill, there are no drawers in this room!” The desperation in my voice pulled him into the room. We discovered a large drawer under the sink. I think it was supposed to be a dirty clothes hamper, but I used it for Bill’s toiletries and some of his odds and ends. Then we discovered a pair of doors along the counter under the TV, but the doors had baskets attached to them. After a little head scratching, I put Bill’s under-articles, t-shirts and swimwear there.
Then I looked at my watch and freaked out. “Where am I going to put my lingerie?” I figured that Norwegian had cleverly disguised some storage areas, but I was tired and frustrated and time was passing quickly. I started jerking on anything that might hide a cabinet. Lo and behold there was a generous space in the back cushions of the sofa. (The sofa was attached to the wall.) I was going to live.
The suitcases went under the bed. All the totes, backpacks and other bulky stuff joined the life vests in the alcove. Soon I would need to get dressed.
Norwegian had cleverly disguised some other storage opportunities which I missed in that initial inspection. Under the sofa, I found a couple of drawers. One became the dirty clothes bin and the other I never had to use. I also did not store anything in the small cabinets I found up above the sofa. Truth be told, there was a lot more room for stuff under the bed and in that curtained alcove. The closet could be reconfigured to have double rods, one above and one below. In other words, a normal family of four could find plenty of room to stash away their belongings, if they fully utilized all the space available.
However, that same family of four would probably kill each other if they all tried to stay together in the stateroom, especially if they all tried to get dressed at the same time.
After nineteen years of marriage, Bill and I are not shy around each other. Good thing. The room’s twin towers are not designed for modesty. There is a curtain you can pull, but let’s face it, when either of us used the toilet, there was no question whether we did number one or number two. You could close the toilet door and pull the curtain, but you could not hide your purpose. As to showering in privacy, you may be able to stay safely behind the curtain, but every time I stripped down for a good dousing, I remembered something I’d left on the other side of the curtain.
Then there was the counter opposite the bed. Along the counter was the miniature sink, the TV and a vanity with a stool. Bill and I are taller than the average American, but we’re also of minimal girth. Neither of us could make it between the bed and counter without bumping something. When I pulled out the vanity stool and sat down to get ready, if Bill needed to get by, I had to stand up and let him pass. If you’re sharing that room and you’re trying to get ready, you’re going to be standing up a lot. See, the shower and toilet are right there as you walk in the room, but the closet and the sofa are on the other side of the bed, with the vanity stool somewhere in the middle. I’ll just leave the dressing dance to your imagination.
And here’s one more little piece of frustration. The bed skirt was attached to the bed by velcro. On several of the evenings, with my more dressy ensembles, I wore hosiery. Invariably, sometime during the dressing dance, the velcro would reach out and grab the hose. Some of you young things don’t realize why this would be so frustrating, because you don’t wear pantyhose, but the rest of you will realize just how maddening this was.
But as I finished my unpacking, the ship cast off from the dock and it was time to sail away. See you on deck, next week!