The EPIC cruise continues and one feels more and more distanced from the reality of daily life. Being catered to by a smiling and friendly crew of 1700 is very different from most of our lives at home.
Don’t know about anyone else but my reality doesn’t involve having someone knock on my door each morning to deliver a tray with coffee and orange juice. My towels aren’t replaced twice a day. My bed isn’t made-up with a cute towel animal placed on it along with a printed list of possible exciting activities I could enjoy the next day. I have dreamed about having that every day but alas it was someone else who had the winning ticket for the recent $1.6 billion mega lottery in the United States.
As we now know the Captain made the right decision when he diverted from St. Maarten and instead sailed to Antigua. My friends who rented a beautiful house on St. Maarten this week said they had rain most of the day while we had beautiful sunshine in Antigua. One downer was we learned homosexuality is illegal in Antigua and same-sex acts are punishable by a fifteen year jail term. Some EPIC guests actually stayed on board in response to learning about that. Others made a point of being proud and heading ashore. Antigua is a beautiful Island despite that despicable law.
We arrived at the small dock with its beautiful view of the town and the pastel colors of the homes and businesses. A few of us walked through the town and went to the old church which is being rebuilt; it is beautiful in its simplicity.
The weather remained perfect all day and many EPIC cruisers took one of the dozens of cabs around the port to tour the island and its beautiful beaches. The soft rain held off until everyone was back on the ship heading out of port. That didn’t stop another great sailaway party hosted by Scott Moster and his husband Dustin with plenty of champagne and good people. They have one of the owner’s suites in the Haven and have been incredibly generous in sharing it with so many of us so we can see how the other half live. The butlers and other crew in the Haven are incredible and I was lucky to have the opportunity to join Scott and Dustin and a new friend John for dinner in the Haven. Having gotten a behind the scenes tour of the Haven galley included in my tour of the ship with hotel director Nelson Martins it was great to have the opportunity to sample the food and impeccable service.
After dinner there was again the wide range of entertainment offered on the ship all coordinated by the superb cruise director, André Gaffney. The choices are varied and continue late into the night in the numerous bars and clubs featuring a range of talent from comedy acts and singers to dueling piano players.
Then as some of us actually slept the Captain was steering us toward St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands. This would be the first stop for the EPIC on American soil and we were given instructions on the immigration process that would take place on the ship. Each and every passenger and crew member would have to show their passport and papers whether or not they planned to get off the ship in St. Thomas.
The day dawned warm and sunny and many had planned tours on the Island from Jeep tours to snorkeling despite predicted rain. Once again it was the EPIC luck and the rain never came. Instead what did happen was many returned to the ship looking a little red from all the sun. The sailaway from our last stop before Port Canaveral was assisted by a pilot from the port joining the Captain on board to ensure it went smoothly.
The evening began with another LGBTQ+ happy hour at Spice H2O bar. Everyone was in a relaxed mood anticipating our next two days at sea and the weather forecast was good. A few of us went to Le Bistro, one of the specialty restaurants, for dinner and in my opinion it was the best meal I had on the cruise along with impeccable service.
There is one more group meal to look forward to on day twelve which will include an entertainment spectacle. The plan is for twenty of us to go to Cirque Dreams; an Epicurean evening. It begins with a three course meal and then a show with spectacular aerialists and various acts a la Cirque du Soleil. I am really looking forward to this as the cruise winds down knowing I will miss the EPIC and the good times and new friends I made.
Tags: Antigua, Cruising, Norwegian EPIC, Saint Thomas, Scott Moster