E&B 2012 Highlights (a.k.a. The Christmas Letter!)

2012 was a great year for us, full of traveling and transitions. Read on for the details!


At the start of the year, Brandon and I were recovering from our pre-Christmas trip to Mallorca and our week of ski lessons in Garmisch-Partenkirchen between Christmas and New Year’s. Both trips were enjoyable for completely different reasons, although I might have enjoyed Mallorca a bit more since it didn’t involve bruises, blisters and lots of falls! Brandon loved finally getting back on the slopes with the Intermediate/Advanced class while I happily stuck with the Beginners.

I started my third year at the Hohenfels Tax Center on January 3rd. As one of the senior preparers, I played a key role in the training at Vilseck and Bamberg. Brandon continued to work as the Executive Officer (XO) for the Badger Team, the Counter-IED training team.


We knew we would be departing Germany sooner rather than later, so we made sure to get our final “souvenirs”: a custom-made dining room hutch for me and a 2011 BMW 335i xDrive for Brandon.

I continued to play clarinet with the Bläserphilharmonie Regensburg up until our move. In February, we had a weekend of rehearsals at Burg Trausnitz, followed by a weekend of concerts to celebrate Fasching, Germany’s Mardi Gras. The concert featured marches of all origins and genres. The audience was quite surprised when I introduced Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” in English.


After spending a few months around Hohenfels, we started venturing to other countries again in March. I finally made it to Poland to do some pottery shopping with my friend, Rudi. We stayed one night at the Blue Beetroot in Boleslawiec and did some serious shopping in the two days. I definitely should not have waited so long to go, but I made the most out of my one trip!

At the end of the month, Brandon made a quick 2-day trip to Brussels for some NATO meetings.


After the craziness of playing the piano for all of the Holy Week and Easter masses, Brandon and I spent the next week in Slovenia for Spring Break. I actually blogged pretty thoroughly about this trip, so you can read about all of the details here. It was a beautiful country and a memorable trip around Lake Bled, the Julian Alps and Ljubljana. Another place where we would definitely go back!

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

After Slovenia, Brandon had to go back to Brussels for another NATO meeting. While the long drive was not fun, at least he could bring back as much Belgian beer as he wanted!

With the nicer weather, comes Fest season in Germany. We enjoyed the live music, carnival rides, crepes, and Maß biers at the Nürnberg Volksfest and the German-American Volksfest.

Nürnberg Volksfest

Crepes at the Nürnberg Volksfest

German-American Volksfest at Hohenfels


In May, the moving madness began! After some question about whether the orders for FT Leavenworth would actually arrive, we finally received the Request for Orders (RFO) on May 2nd. We were able to get the official orders on May 8th and could then start making all of the transportation arrangements. There’s a lot to coordinate with an overseas move, including household goods, unaccompanied goods, shipment of two cars, the special shipment of our wine collection, what to sell/give away, and what to carry with us. Needless to say, we worked it all out, and by the end of the month our household goods and my car were on their way back to the U.S.

Loading our household goods into the truck

In the midst of all of the moving arrangements, life went on. Brandon was inducted into the Order of St. George and was farewelled by the Badger team. I wrapped up my duties as the 1st Vice President of the Hohenfels Community Spouses Club and prepared my successor at St. Michael’s Catholic Parish to take over my role as the musician.

At the end of the month, we escaped the moving madness with a trip to Norway to visit my cousins there. (You may remember that we last visited them in August 2010 with my parents.) It was nice that the Norwegian holiday of Whit Monday (Pentacost) corresponded with the American Memorial Day! We flew up to Trondheim on Thursday night and took the train to Oppdal on Friday morning. Over the long weekend, we hiked to the Losvold summer farm, observed muskoxen, and just generally enjoyed the beautiful scenery and generous hospitality!

Losvold Summer Farm


The Bjørndals & Caves


My last day at the Tax Center was June 1st and two days later we were on the inaugural sailing of the Carnival Breeze for our “Last Hurrah Cruise.” It was a 12-night cruise departing from Venice with stops in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Athens, Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Messina, Sicily; Olbia, Sardinia; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Livorno, Italy; Monaco; and ending in Barcelona, Spain. Needless to say, it was a wonderful trip and I need to blog about it in more detail at some point! For now, enjoy these few pictures.

Acropolis; Athens, Greece

Mount Etna, Sicily

Porto Cervo, Sardinia

Via Appia Antica; Rome, Italy

Ponte Vecchio; Florence, Italy

Eze, France
(Nice & Eze Excursion from Monaco)

Carnival Breeze in Monaco

After the cruise, we kept working on the final moving details and tried to savor our last few weeks in Germany. We took lots of walks around Großbissendorf, ate at our favorite restaurants, visited Kuchlbauer’s Bierwelt in Abensberg to celebrate Brandon’s birthday, and enjoyed a final day in Regensburg that included a tour of the Thurn & Taxis palace and Sommerfest.


After finally selling our “beater” car, cleaning & clearing housing, and mailing our final packages, our time in Germany came to an end when we flew from Ramstein Air Force Base to Baltimore on July 10th. We picked up Brandon’s car at the Baltimore port the next day and started driving to our next adventure at FT Leavenworth, KS. On our way, we stopped in Iowa and Nebraska to visit family for a few days, and then began the moving process in reverse! Gradually, we were reunited with all of our belongings and settled into our new home in Platte City, MO.

At the end of the month, we attended the 60th Haugland Reunion at Inspiration Hills outside Inwood, IA.


The first weekend in August, we drove back up to Iowa for the “Fasse Birthday Bash,” celebrating Emma turning one in July and Hannah turning five at the end of August.

The next weekend, I visited my friend Allie who lives in Nixa, MO while Brandon started his coursework towards a Master of Science in Administration through Central Michigan University at FT Leavenworth. On August 13th, Brandon started his Intermediate Level Education (ILE) classes at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC). In typical Army fashion, they changed the name a week later to Command and General Staff Officer’s Course (CGSOC). All I know is he goes to school every day and had a lot of reading and assignments until Novemeber!


Over Labor Day Weekend, my sister and her family were our first visitors to our new home. We visited several kid-friendly attractions in Kansas City, including Science City, Hallmark’s Kaleidiscope, the Kansas City Zoo, and Alldredge Orchard.

My parents and Aunt Sandy were our next visitors a few weekends later. We explored historic Weston, MO on Saturday and then enjoyed the beautiful weather at the Plaza Art Fair on Sunday.


Brandon’s family came to visit us over Columbus Day weekend. Brandon’s dad was born just up the road from us in Atchison, KS, so we went up there for a crafty Oktoberfest and to learn a little family history.

I started the Becker CPA Exam review classes on Oct. 11th. The first review section was Regulation, so at least I eased into it with a topic with which I’m comfortable: individual taxation. There are four parts to the exam and I will be done with the first two parts of the review by the end of the year. My hope is to take those first two parts of the exam in January/February 2013 and take the last two parts by the end of April. While my application to take the exam has been submitted to the State of Tennessee (where we are legal residents), I am still waiting for approval to schedule the exact dates to take the various parts.

This year was my 10th reunion from Wartburg College, so I went up to Homecoming with my sister and her family. I was a little disappointed that more folks from the Class of 2002 didn’t attend the reception, but it was nice to see those that were there. And I always have a great time with Hannah and Emma!

On Halloween, we announced via Facebook our biggest news of the year: we’re going to have a baby in 2013! Little Pumpkin Cave is due May 24, 2013.


We finally found a free weekend to go up to Nebraska so Brandon could be in Lincoln for a Husker football game. Brandon and his dad attended the Penn State game and were treated to beautiful weather and a 32-23 win. I stayed in Omaha to watch the game from the comfort of Brandon’s sister’s house. (However, since I didn’t attend the game, there are no pictures.)

Thanksgiving was celebrated at Brandon’s aunt & uncle’s house in Omaha. It was a nice treat to actually be with family for the holiday and to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Brandon’s mom always gets an Iowa-grown turkey from a family friend in Atlantic and it was delicious!! After watching the Nebraska-Iowa game on Friday, we headed over to Atlantic to see my family for the weekend. (Again, sorry there are no pictures…I’m obviously getting lazy and need to get my camera out more! Is it that seeing family is actually becoming routine again?)


And finally we made it to December! Brandon and I kicked off the holiday season with the Kansas City Symphony’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. I loved it! Brandon thought it was a little long.

Now we are finishing up our classes, so we can enjoy more time with family over Christmas. We will be making a big loop from Platte City, to Atlantic, to Des Moines, to South Dakota, to Omaha and back to Platte City. Looks like there will be lots of time to review my CPA exam materials in the car!

Thank you so much for reading my blog throughout the year, sporadic as it is! The New Year will surely bring us new and exciting experiences as we welcome Baby Cave in May and move again next June. (No, we don’t know where yet, but hopefully the Army will tell us in January or February.)

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013!!



Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Day 12 – Sea Day

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grand Pacific Restaurant




Sadly, the last full day of the cruise had finally come. We enjoyed breakfast at the Grand Pacific Restaurant and picked up the daily Sudoku from the library. We headed to the Spinnaker Lounge to complete it and wait for Bingo Time! This was the day they were going to draw for a 7-day Caribbean Cruise for two and we had purchased a few raffle tickets. Of course, since we were there, we decided to go ahead and play Bingo. They played four games and the cheapest package was $39 for three cards per game. This would have been an expensive activity if we had played every sea day! Unfortunately, we didn’t win anything at Bingo or the Caribbean Cruise, but we did win $5 after spending $40 on the instant win, pull-tabs. I guess winning two raffle prizes at the Art Auction was the extent of our luck!

Brandon at Bingo Time!


After Bingo, we grabbed some lunch at the Garden Café buffet before heading to the last art auction. Over the past day we had seriously discussed purchasing the Rembrandt we had seen the first day. It was still the piece of art we liked the best and we wondered if we would regret not taking advantage of this opportunity to collect it. When we talked to Miguel about it, we learned that we could possibly still purchase it for the “mystery” (aka special) price. That sealed the deal for us, so we are now the proud owners of a Millennium Impression Rembrandt etching! Of course, we won’t see it until we return to the States because it needed to be shipped to a physical address in the U.S. to avoid customs and duties. It was extremely interesting learning about this world of art collecting and I wouldn’t be surprised if we purchased more in the future.

So, the worst part of the cruise followed the art auction—packing. I hate packing. And we knew that we were overweight flying to Barcelona so we knew it wouldn’t get any better flying back home. Thankfully, we had extra room in the carpet bag, so we put our heaviest shoes and sweaters in there to carry-on. We also overloaded our backpacks to try to lighten the checked bags. These bags had to be outside our door by 22:00 to be picked up and taken off the ship the next day.

With the packing done, we could enjoy the rest of our last evening on board the Norwegian Jade. We ate dinner at Cagney’s Steakhouse, attended the Christmas Show, finalized our art purchase, attended the Crew Talent Show, and enjoyed a final drink at the Champagne Bar.

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Day 11 – Malta

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Norwegian Jade arrived in Valetta, Malta around 11am. We enjoyed watching the boat dock from Deck 12, as this was definitely the most beautiful port featuring limestone fortifications built by the Order of St. John beginning in the 16th century. Our shore excursion, Knights and Mdina, didn’t meet until 12:05, so we grabbed a quick lunch at the buffet before heading out. Again, we picked one of the most popular tours so there were several buses and ours was full. We have discovered that the quality of the shore excursions is significantly influenced by the tour guide and the other passengers on the bus. Unfortunately, these factors are out of your control and are unknown until you are actually on the excursion. Up until this point, our excursions were great, but this tour guide was not forceful enough and our fellow passengers were easily distracted, wandering off, getting lost, and delaying the whole group. One of the Production Singers was on the excursion with us, and he tried to help the soft-spoken tour guide get everyone’s attention at various times. Still, we were able to get a taste of Malta and would love to go back!

The excursion started in Valetta. After a short orientation drive, we left the bus for a walking tour of the city. We stopped at the gardens overlooking the harbor for a beautiful view and photo stop. Then we walked through the city to the Co-Cathedral where we saw Caravaggio’s Beheading of St. John. Finally, we toured some of the Staterooms at the Palace.

After a short amount of free time in Valetta, we got back on the bus and drove about 20 minutes to Mdina, the Silent City. Mdina is the oldest city on Malta and is a well-preserved walled, medieval town. It reminded me of Rothenberg o.d. Tauber a lot! We entered the Cathedral dedicated St. Peter and St. Paul and walked through some of the narrow streets. Mdina was built on the highest point of the island, so again there was a beautiful view from the city walls.

Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity for any free time in Mdina because we needed to drive back to the ship. We did have a few minutes to look at the shops along the port and we found a couple of bottles of local wine to bring home.

This evening was pretty busy! We ate dinner outside on Deck 12 again so we could watch as the ship sailed away from Malta. Then we headed to the Art Gallery to claim the free art I had won at the Art Auction raffle drawing the day before. We made sure to be outside the Stardust Theater at 19:00 when the doors opened to find a good seat for “Elements.” We had been hearing about this production since we had boarded the ship, so we were not going to miss this. Every seat in the theater was full for the 19:30 show and they even told some to come back for the 21:45 show! We had excellent seats right in the center and behind two kids so we could easily see over them. J The show was amazing! It consisted of dancing, magic, and acrobatics, including bungees from the ceiling. There was so much happening in the last scene that you didn’t even know where to look!

After the show, we went up to Spinnaker Lounge to listen to the Jade Orchestra play Big Band music. By this point, one of the waiters recognized Brandon and knew that his drink of choice was a Sam Adams; however, we surprised him this time by ordering our bottle of wine for the day. We enjoyed the wine and the music, but the evening was not over! The Chocoholics Buffet began at 22:30 at the Garden Café, a whole buffet of chocolate items with sculptures made out of chocolate and ice! It was heaven!

As usual, there are more pictures of Malta and the Chocoholics Buffet if you are interested.

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Day 10 – Sea Day

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

After our busy days in Egypt, we were ready for a relaxing day at sea! Here is how we spent it:

  • Slept in!
  • Ate breakfast at the Grand Pacific Dining Room.
  • Arranged for airport transportation in Barcelona and dinner reservations for tonight.
  • Completed the Sudoku Puzzle of the Day outside on Deck 12.
  • Took a nap and read my magazine.
  • Ate lunch at the Blue Lagoon Café.
  • Attended the Lightning Fast Art Auction and won a free work of art!
  • Relaxed in the room watching the sunset, checking email, labeling pictures, and blogging.
  • Ate dinner at Papa’s Italian. The food was really good, but it was super warm in the restaurant…Brandon almost melted!
  • Attended the Spotlight Showtime: Fourever in Concert. This group of four male vocalists was really good!! They were classically trained, but also sang pop songs. The best was “Time to Say Goodbye” as the finale.

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Day 9 – Egypt

Monday, 20 December 2010

Our second day in Egypt started about as early as the first! We received a wakeup call at 06:45 so we could get ready, eat breakfast, and be on the bus by 07:50. Our first stop was Saqqara where we were able to see the decorated tomb of Mereruka and entered the Pyramid of Titi. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed inside either. The tomb of Mereruka was richly decorated inside with colorful reliefs depicting daily life. Inside the Pyramid of Titi, we saw his sarcophagus and hieroglyphics on the walls.

In front of the Titi Pyramid

Then we stopped at the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser. Iman told us about the sight and then let us explore it on our own.

I should mention that everywhere you go in Egypt there are street vendors trying to get you to buy something. Everything seems to be $1! (In Egypt, they consider $1 and €1 to be the same. Of course, they are not the same, so we should have brought more dollars than euros!) Most of them will get pretty aggressive if you show any interest at all. By this time, we were pretty good at ignoring the vendors, but here, I was led to a “panoramic photo spot” by a security guard. He pointed up a steep set of stairs that led to the top of the Colonnade Entrance. The view was great; but shortly after we got up there, his “partner” came and told us to get down because it was “unsafe.” Then, he told us that he expected a monetary tip for this information. Brandon ignored him and I responded that I had no money in German. We continually ran into people that wanted tips. Iman told us on the bus that it is expected to tip those who provide a service, but security guards and those that do nothing should not be tipped. That is begging.

Step Pyramid of Djoser from the "Panoramic Photo Spot"

Next we visited the Mit Rahina Museum where the large statue of Ramses II lays. While the statue was quite impressive, my most memorable experience here was using the toilet. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant experience! I paid for toilet paper and ended up using a stall in the Men’s restroom since one of the two toilets in the Women’s room was clogged. I don’t mind paying to use the toilet, but that raises my expectations for cleanliness!

The "Sphinx of Memphis" in the Mit Rahina Museum

Giant Statue of Ramsis II in the Mit Rahina Museum

Finally, our next destination was the famous Giza Pyramids! We made three stops there. First, we stopped at the Panorama where there is a good view of all three large pyramids and we also had the opportunity to ride a camel. This was the highlight of my time in Egypt! For some reason, this is all I had wanted to do, and I was so glad we were able to make that a reality. Brandon did not have this same desire to ride a camel, but he humored me. His camel obviously sensed his disdain because the camel turned around and spit at him when he got on!

Camel ride at the Giza Pyramids!!

Giza Pyramids

The second stop was about 30 minutes next to the two largest pyramids. We took lots of pictures at this stop and might have wandered a bit too far because we were the last ones to get back on the bus!

The Pyramid of Khufu - The Great Pyramid

The Pyramid of Khafre

The final stop at the pyramids was by the Sphinx. Unfortunately, the area was mostly blocked off due to unstable ground, but Iman knew where the best photo opportunity was and she had the bus drop us off there.

The Sphinx & The Khafre Pyramid

After the Pyramid stops, we had a buffet lunch at the Mena Hotel before getting back on the bus for the three-hour drive back to Alexandria. This time it was perfectly acceptable to sleep. We arrived at the port about 30 minutes before the boat sailed and after spending almost every available minute in Egypt to see these amazing sights!

We took lots of pictures in Egypt and you can see them all here.

Back on the boat, we went to the Spotlight Showtime: Sander & Alison Magic at 19:30. They have even performed their fantastic illusions and animal show for Steven Spielberg. It was a great show!! Then we met Doug and Francis for dinner at the Grand Pacific Dining Room. We had met Doug & Francis on the Egypt excursion. Their camera battery died so we shared our pictures with them. They helped us out by lending us some dollars since we were getting ripped off using euros. This was the only evening that we were social and ate with another couple, but we had an enjoyable time and were the last ones to leave the dining room when they closed!

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Day 8 – Egypt

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The boat docked in Alexandria, Egypt at 07:00 this morning, and we were already in the Stardust Theater waiting to get off to start our overnight excursion in Cairo. This was definitely an early morning (the alarm clock should never go off at 05:30 when you are on vacation!), but we needed every available minute for this excursion!

We were assigned to bus #7 and our guide was Iman. She was born in Alexandria, but lives in Cairo now. She studied Egyptian history at the University and has been leading tours for 24 years; in other words, she knew her stuff! Our bus was not full, and Iman set the tone at the beginning by referring to us as “Family 7” instead of “Bus 7.” She was correct that we would get to know each other pretty well over the next 2 days! Our tour began with a three hour drive to Cairo along the dessert road while Iman gave us an overview of Egyptian history and what we would be seeing. I tried really hard to stay awake, but that is almost impossible for me on long bus/car rides and I know I dozed off a little.

Man on a donkey along the Desert Road

Once in Cairo, our first stop was the Salah Al-Din Citadel and the Mohammed Ali (Alabaster) Mosque. This Ottoman-style mosque was quite impressive, but the entire experience was tainted by the fact I was pickpocketed. Luckily, it was just my entrance ticket that was taken from my back pocket. Still, I was careful to not put anything in my pockets for the rest of the day! I think Brandon was almost more upset by it all since his past experiences in a Muslim culture have not exactly been pleasant.

Salah Al-Din Citadel

Mohammed Ali (Alabaster) Mosque

Mohammed Ali (Alabaster) Mosque

Mohammed Ali (Alabaster) Mosque

View of Cairo from the Citadel

Next, we visited the Egyptian Museum. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any pictures, but as recent as five years ago, photos were still allowed in the museum. The museum was huge and we only had about two hours to see about 3000-years of history. Of course, one of the highlights was seeing the famous items from King Tut’s Tomb up close and personal! Most of the exhibits lack accurate descriptions, so having a guide explain the most significant things was extremely advantageous.

Although it was already about 16:00, we went to our hotel for “lunch” and to check-in. We stayed at the Marriott Cairo, a five-star hotel that is probably fancier than any other hotel we have ever stayed! Lunch was a simple, but delicious buffet with a selection of salads, hot dishes, and desserts. Our room was a suite on the 14th floor of the Zamalek Tower. It had a living room, kitchenette, bedroom, huge bathroom, and two balconies!! I was very sad that we would have very little time to actually enjoy the room! We were supposed to have some time after lunch, but traffic was terrible from the Citadel to the Egyptian Museum due to a Presidential speech at the People’s Assembly Building. Iman chose to not shorten our time at the Museum due to this delay, which we greatly appreciated!

Room at the Marriott Cairo

Room at the Marriott Cairo

Room at the Marriott Cairo

View of the Nile from our room at the Marriott Cairo

Next on our itinerary was the Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids. I had high expectations for this show, and was slightly disappointed. It was more educational than performance. It was still interesting though to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx lit up in different colored lights and learn a little more about them.

Pyramid Sound and Light Show

Pyramid Sound and Light Show

After the Sound and Light Show, it was time for some souvenir shopping. We stopped at a papyrus shop where they showed us how papyrus was made. They had some beautiful things, but nothing jumped out at us. Above the papyrus store was a jewelry store. Earlier in the day, Iman had given us the opportunity to order personalized cartouches from this store. A cartouche is an oval with a horizontal line at one end and indicates that the text enclosed is a royal name. We ordered one made out of 18kt Egyptian gold with my name on one side and Brandon’s on the other in Egyptian hieroglyphics. They also wanted to sell me a chain for it, but I am using a gold chain that Brandon bought me when he was still at West Point!

Papyrus demonstration

Our Cartouche – Erika

Our Cartouche - Brandon

Our final stop of the day (which already felt like two days!) was a dinner cruise on the Nile River called The Pharaohs. We had another buffet dinner and then were entertained by a Whirling Dervish and a Belly Dancer. I was extremely tired by this point and just wanted to eat and go back to the hotel. Still, the Whirling Dervish was really good and the Belly Dancer was interesting, to say the least!

Before The Pharaohs Dinner Cruise

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Day 7 – Sea Day

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Today was another sea day, but once again we managed to stay quite busy! We got up around 8am in order to get ready and eat breakfast at the buffet. We also picked up our passports with our Egyptian visas. (We’re very excited to have another stamp in our passports!) All this had to be done in the morning because we took the “Behind the Scenes” tour of the ship at 10am. This 3-hour tour took us to the Provisions area, Environmental area, the main Galley, the Laundry, the Bridge, and backstage the Stardust Theatre. It was all very interesting to see how the Norwegian Jade is operated and learn more about crew life. Here are some of the interesting facts we learned:

  • M/S Norwegian Jade was completed on 19 APR 2006 by the Meyer Werft Shipyard from Papenberg, Germany. It took 2 years to build at an estimated cost of $510 million.
  • Gross Tonnage: 93, 558 GT (equals volume of ship)
  • Length: 964.98 feet
  • Width (max): 120.8 feet
  • Height: 195.2 feet
  • Maximum Speed: 25 knots/28.75 MPH
  • 1 knot = 1 nautical mile/hr – 1.15 statue mile/hr
  • Personnel = Approximately 1,100 men and women from approximately 60 countries


  • “Shopping List” includes:
    • 30,000 lbs. of Fresh Fruits
    • 12,000 lbs. of Poultry
    • 1,200 gallons of Ice Cream
    • 34,000 lbs. of Vegetables
    • 8,500 lbs. of Potatoes
    • 2,500 lbs. of Butter
    • 1,000 lbs. of Lobster
    • 12,000 lbs. of Beef
    • 250 different types of wine!

Fish Preparation Room

Poultry Preparation Room

Christmas decorations in progress

Rolls ready to be baked.



  • 2 Scanship garbage incinerators, which burn the dry garbage that is not disembarked for recycling.
  • Fresh water is produced on board from sea water through the process of evaporation and reverse osmosis. Total production = 739,762 gallons/day. Fresh water consumption = Approx. 250,963 gallons.

Crushed cans for recycling


  • The Culinary Heart of the M/S Norwegian Jade.
  • The Executive Chef is in charge of the entire food operation in all the outlets throughout the ship (and he’s from Bavaria!).
  • Main hot galley, crew galley, and each specialty restaurant its own galley.

Our Bavarian Executive Chef in the Galley


  • 6 Large Washers (256 lbs. max loads)
  • 8 Dryers (134 lbs. max loads)
  • 24 hours/day.

Laundry Room

Sheet folding machine!


  • Propulsion Power with two Azipod fixed propellers. Each pod is able to produce a total of 53,040 HP. Steering is done by turning the 2 Azipod propellers, which can be turned 360°. No rudders are on board.

The Bridge

Controls used to dock the ship



View of the Theater from the stage

After our tour, we grabbed some lunch at the Great Outdoors on Deck 12 aft. This was the first time we ate outside and it was a gorgeous sunny day! Then we attended the second art auction at 2pm. It was pretty similar to the first one, but they did show some different paintings. Nothing even tempted us this time though. We left before the very end to go back to our stateroom and took a much-needed nap before dinner.

Dinner tonight was Asian at Jasmine Garden. We both enjoyed the Crab Wontons. Dessert was also delicious. I had Chocolate Cake with Green Tea Ice Cream and Brandon had three Asian Crème Brulees. Our reservations were at 6pm, so we had time to go back to our stateroom to pack for our Egypt overnight before going back to the Stardust Theater for the Maestranza Spanish Ballet at 9:30pm. This show was similar to one we had seen in the Canary Islands, but it was still fun to see the dancers with their colorful costumes and castanets. Normally, we call it a night after the performance, but tonight we made our way up to the Spinnaker Lounge for another comedy show by Paul Adams. Again, he was pretty funny, even if he was still wearing the same clothes!