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So…

Last week I experienced my first ever cruise. Hooray for cheap travel deals.

First, so as I don’t come off as a total and complete asshole, let’s start with the positives.

I mean, don’t get me wrong… I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity of a travel-filled, work-free, 4 days.

But you know me, right? or if you don’t… well, there’s always something, because, if there wasn’t, then that wouldn’t be me in my finest form.

So, take it or leave it… whatever floats your boat <— wow, how’s that for cliche, huh?

Nice.  Anyhoo, right… positives:

a) Got to spend time with the mama.

b) Caught up on my reading.  It’s been a while, and it was nice to escape into fictional dysfunction.

c) Loved visiting the islands we stopped at: St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan.

d) Had the honour of borrowing a SLR Nikon digital camera with two superb lenses… which is something I’ve wanted for a very, very, long time.  It was  extremely difficult to return it to its rightful owner. The camera became a part of me on that trip… and… well, yes, I miss it.

e) Love the ocean. Loved being on the ocean.

f) As if I needed to state the obvious… no work, equals happy.

I suppose since I’m not much experienced with the term, ‘Fun Ship’, the Disney meets Vegas on water extravaganza was at first, ultimately overwhelming and surprising.  When they say “carnival” they really mean it.  Really.

It was literally as if the population of a small town, floated along, unaware of the rest of the world.

Over 3000+ passengers, excluding the crew.

Feeding time was definitely the most interesting and entertaining. Name your cuisine – it’s there.

In monstrous amounts. Literally.

Piles of it. Piles of it being shoveled onto the plates of pushy, obnoxious vultures passengers.

I mean, think about people.  It’s called ‘all-inclusive’ for a reason.  The food’s not going anywhere.  There’s enough to feed the entire boat, 3 times over.

No need to push.

No need to cut in line.

No need to shove someone aside to get to the eggs first.

There’s more.  Really. Piles, I tell you.

Piles.

Another amazing thing about feeding time, is the inclination that people have with the buffet.  I have never, in my entire lifetime, seen so many people wolf down so much food.  Yes, the option is there… but, is it necessary to try and eat as much as humanly possible?  Some people literally filled plates with enough to feed a small army… and continued to return for more.  Wowzers.

Blows my mind.

Rules are a must on a ship like this.  I mean, obviously.  How else could you control such a large amount of people? Surprisingly, the bulk of the passengers followed them quite effectively.

I, on the other hand, not always so much.  I’m not too fond of rules, you see.  Rules are made to be broken.

What if I don’t want to eat at 6pm sharp?

What if I don’t want to sit at table 583 with two women that apparently don’t understand the concept of ‘friendly chit-chat’?

Orientation? What orientation?

Tell me to be back at 3.30pm or the ship will leave? I’ll be back at 4pm. Wait for me.

What if I don’t want to pack at 9pm the night before and leave the luggage outside of my room for you to pick up only for you to neglect to leave the tags and therefore also our disembarking zone number so that I have to stand in a line of 50 people waiting to talk to a service agent that can’t help me and all I want to know is when I can get off the damn boat?

Every few hours we were greeted with the overly caffeinated voice of ‘Squishy’, announcing one rule or another, or promoting whichever event was planned.  I wish I had a soundbite of his voice. He was definitely cruisin’ for a bruisin’…

<ding, ding, ding>

6.30am

“Goooooood morning cruisers!!!! It’s your fave pal SQUISHY! Good, ya?! Hope you’re having a lovely day and just a reminder that…. (rule a, rule b, rule c, rule d, rule e, rule f, rule g, rule h)….. oh and…. <static> …… Ooops! Silly me… seems I’m not sure how to use this intercom-thing-a-mi-giggy. …. <Static>…. OOPS! okay… there we go… right.  So, RISE and SHINE cruisers… here’s what’s on for today…..”

I almost half expected Squishy to announce something to the effect of,

“Now remember, cruisers, one foot in front of the other.  Left… right… left… right….”

Mama and I had quite a laugh, while trying to avoid mass herds of people… everywhere.

And yes, I realize… cruise… boat… enclosed… people… what did I expect, right?

I know, I know.  But I believe the outcome would have been different if there were more like, 300 passengers, and less… spectacle.  We didn’t partake in much of the events or shows, although I did enjoy the piano bar… and the piano man… until he repeated the same set for the third time in the same night, and then, well, it got a little old.

I don’t know, I guess for me, I don’t need much to be entertained.  A little bit of dinner, a little bit of good company, a little bit of chit-chat, a little bit of live music, a little bit of wine, and a lot of nice scenery… meh… that’s enough for me.

The amount of options of things to do on this ship blew my mind.  Comedy night, magic show, trivia, casino, dance contests, spas, games, etc etc…  And ya, great for families.  I mean, brilliant idea… there’s no way the kids could be bored in that environment… well, unless the kid is like me, and I’m an oddity, so, well… right.  So really, thumbs up for that.

But you know, it’s interesting.  Here’s a however many day (we hopped on in the middle, thank god) Caribbean cruise.  You would think, maybe just a little, that maybe, just maybe…. some of the passengers might be interested in, oh, I don’t know, Caribbean culture?

I mean, on the rare occasion that I actually heard some Caribbean music on the boat (just once to be exact), I overheard about 3 people wishing they would, ‘turn that crap off’ and I assume, turn up the latest Rod Stewart’s Greatest Hits Album.  And also, although there was an endless amount of food, there was not a drop of Caribbean cuisine.

So, basically, you choose to travel to see new places and experience new things, so long as you are still traveling in America, the boat version.  Then only to get off the boat and shop at the exact same duty free shops you saw at the airport, and every other docking port.

I don’t know.  To each his own, I guess.  But my favourite part of the trip was wandering far, far, away from the port, getting lost in search for the bus station, talking to strangers, exploring historical sites, taking tons of pictures, and drinking beer illegally in a paper coffee cup on good Friday… but you know, that’s just me.

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