Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chapter 2: The boat

Clearly my last entry was scintillating, judging by the number of comments. Wait... Lol. Remember, this blog is as much for my own memory as for the entertainment of others (although you guys definitely come first. Really.).

So picking up where we left off, Ang and I got to sleep in a bit the next morning since our shuttle didn't leave until noon. I got up first, and walked into the bathroom, and found the toilet seat had been left up. Obviously I was a little disturbed. We're still not sure what happened, but this launched us into calling Angie "Mangie," since she has a low voice sometimes and apparently left the toilet seat up. Lol.

Anyway, we checked out and caught our shuttle. Let me tell you, driving through Miami is frightening! And the port was CRAZY! We got into the building and they herded us through like sheep. Of course there was bright music fit for a fiesta playing in the backgroung. Cha cha cha baaaaa! It was pretty cool in the building where we checked in though, because there was a whole wall of windows through which you could see the ship. Of course, being me, I took a couple pictures of the ship and of the people waiting in line. It was only after I'd snapped the pix that I saw the sign requesting that no pictures be taken in the area. Uhh...whoops? As we got closer to the ship, I realized that from the outside the ship kinda looked like a rundown hotel. You know, those types that you drive by but would never stay at unless you were seriously broke? Good thing it didn't look like that on the inside!

Before we could get on the ship, we had to have our picture taken. Photographers were ALL OVER during the entire cruise. I felt like a celebrity being followed by the paparazzi. It was crazy. The first was my favorite though. Every time a couple was in front of him, he goes, "Huggy huggy huggy!!" except in a really funny accent. Hilarious. He didn't say that to me and Ang though. Go figure. That was the one picture I bought. So we got on the ship, and it was like immediate sensory overload. Kinda like a casino, except the actual casino was nowhere near where we entered. People were everywhere, lights were was overwhelming! We weren't sure what to do, so we decided to try to find our room. We tried a couple doors and found where the staterooms were, then walked down the loooong hall to find ours. We thought it was a little strange that there were no other passengers, just housekeeping people in the hall. But whatever, right? We found our room, took pictures, and were sitting on the couch when the announcement came over the loudspeaker that passengers were now allowed to go to their rooms. Whoops!

We explored the ship a bit, ending up on the top deck to take pictures of the port. It was really windy, so we got some great pictures of us with hair in our faces. Then we settled in to wait for the ship to leave port. It was there, on the top deck at the back of the ship, that I first heard his voice. Gary, the cruise director, came over the loudspeaker. It was like an angel's voice, complete with English accent. Beautiful and smooth. I was instantly infatuated. He welcomed us to the ship, explained emergency procedures, and then told us to go to our muster stations to be briefed. I would go anywhere Gary said. We lined up at our muster station like good little soldiers and watched while the crew demonstrated the life jackets. I concentrated on Gary's voice. *sigh* After that, we were free to roam. Angie and I had a drink and then went to get ready for dinner.

We sat at a table in the back of the dining room with a bunch of other younger people. There were two girls, Leah and Tara, who were cool. We hung out with them quite a bit actually. There were two guys who just seemed to make things awkward. One of them gave a different name two nights in a row. Weird. There was also a couple who came, but they usually came late, ate quick, and left. No conversation except the guy talking to the guy with many names about football. We had the best servers though, Marie An and Von. They were so friendly and hilarious. We were very lucky. The first night at dinner there was also a pirate running around making everyone take pictures. Papa-paparazzi! Also at dinner I managed to spill water down my front and drop my fork. Neither of which was noticed by anyone. I made up for it later though. Just wait...

After dinner we explored the ship a bit more and then went to the opening show. Let me tell you, it was CHEESEtastic. The singers and dancers were super talented, but sheesh. There was a blow up ship bookending big letters that spelled out "F-U-N." Wow. But it was all worth it, because I got my first look at GARY. He is a small man. I could put him in my pocket. And I'm okay with that. He's hilarious and his voice...ahh! So great. Enough about that...for now...

Went to one of the bars after to listen to "Adam" play and have a drink. (The daily schedules always put the names of the performers or facilitators in quotes. Of course I used air quotes to talk about them all week.) It was pretty empty, and this is where I really drew attention. I was gesturing with my hands and I knocked my glass (of Sprite) over onto the bar. Of course, everyone looked anyway, but then the bartender was like, "That's it! I'm cutting you off!" Good thing I don't embarass easily. I just laughed. A lot. While everyone looked at me. And laughed.

All in all, a good first (partial) day on the ship. We were so very spoiled. Servers offering drinks constantly, room cleaned twice a day, room service day or night, and food food food. It was awesome, but I did feel a little bad sometimes, especially when people were rude. What those servers must think of Americans sometimes! Anyway, more on that later. For now, I must put myself to bed. There may be a snowstorm coming (or here) but I must return to work tomorrow regardless. Thanks for reliving my vacation with me, one day at a time. :)

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