Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day 2 – Tuesday - on the High Seas

This is good time as any to mention our cabin. About the only thing to say about it is that was small. We had a wall to wall bed with only 6 inches on side. When we first stepped in it we saw no way we would be able to place our luggage and our play things like books, cameras, etc. But, Anna, being the efficient one, found a place for every thing. There was not a single unused space, but it was home.

Our cabin was on the 3rd deck with a porthole. The porthole was mostly covered with salt spray – I think – or it could be fish snot or something.

The bathroom (pardon me, I mean “head”) was a small bathroom, that with no counter space. But, that is about it.

Our cabin we had reminds me of a scene in The Marx Brothers’ “A Night At The Opera”. Grocho gets a cabin on a luxury liner and his brothers are stowaways in his cabin, which his cabin was small too. Then he ordered room service and the waiter brings food and comes in and is setting up the food tray and two women and a man drop by for a social chat, then the ship’s engineer comes in to check the pipes on the bulkhead, then, another friend comes by, then a lady comes in to mop, and by now they are all packed in like sardines and a few more people come in for one reason or another, and one thing so funny is that they are all (except Harpo) carrying on small talk and not mentioning how crowded it is.

Then someone else shows up, it shows he or she on the outside of the cabin opening the door and suddenly a sea of live wiggling people come piling out of the room on top of him…. Much classier than The 3 Stooges.

Anyway, this morning, the ship had stopped for the day at their own island. Well, actually it is owned by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Company the name of the island is CoacoaCay. I suppose it falls under the Bahamas law. If you should kill someone there, the nicely sharp uniform officers with the pith helmets of HMBS will be the ones that throw you in the clink.

We got aboard a boat to go over to the island about 9:30. When you are transported from the ship to land via a personnel transport boat you are being “tendered”. Make a note, someday you might be able to use that word in the right way and impress somebody.

As you hop off the tender boat (?) a score of photographers are there to meet you. And throughout your island visit photographers pop up and snap your picture. The prints will be available to you soon – for a price, of course.

CoaCoaCay is about the size of three or four regular size blocks in a typical subdivision. One area is beach fun. Out in the water a ways is where people snorkel. Out further in the water are people parasailing. Females are all over the island in their tiny bikinis. The population of this island is made up of jocks and cheerleaders, which changes daily.

There is another little section of venders in little huts, selling Caribbean looking things made in China..

And there is a big barbecue going, or at least every time a Royal Caribbean ship’s guests has tendered over. All eats are free, we paid for it in our grand price.

I had ribs, a burnt hamburger, and potato salad.

Everybody had to be back on the ship by 4:30 because the ship was to leave at 4:45. Being the early-a-holics we are, we were back on board by 3:00.

We went back up to the top deck and walked around. The topmost structure is bar which overlooks the swimming pool. We went inside and sat and watched the two or three people in the pool and sunbathing. We were the only ones there. It was kind of nice.

It was formal night. We had to dress up to eat in the dining room. You can choose not to dress up and eat at the buffet – but we decided to go with the flow. We dressed up – or as I usually put it, “putting on the dog”.

When we walked to the dining room the many photographers were there taking pictures. While you were dressed up you could have your picture taken any way you wanted, even glamour photos with you teasingly holding your chin in your hands with a coy look in your eye… there were rolled back drops of the sea, palm trees, rugged sea, peaceful sea, you name it, every place with a photographer trying to coach you into being his next subject.

This Asia trio seemed to be every place we went. The formal night they played Classical. In one of the lounges you should have heard them do their version of Charlie Daniel's Musical Duel with the Devil.

We went to the theater to hear the captain welcome us aboard. As soon as walked into the outside lobby of the Follies Theater there was the captain in his formal uniform with a photographer and a person to ask your name. then the man who asked your name formerly announces you and your spouse to the captain. Then the photographer steps in to take a picture that you think you will cherish a life time… you can show the picture and tell people you and the captain are old sea buddies and you were just giving him a few suggestions. It might bring back old memories of sitting on Santa Clause’s lap and having your picture taken.

We told the guy that got our name we didn’t want to be photographed. When he introduced us he bent over and quietly told the captain “no picture” – with a frozen smile the captain shook our hands and said, “That is fine.”… and we moved off the assembly line to make room for another guest.

They need a full-size cardboard cutout of the Captain with his hand out to shake… and have him at different places throughout the ship. At that very moment the lounge at the top most room on the ship that Anna and I visited earlier was “cigar night” – you could go there and, for a price, I’m sure, puff on the best cigars the world has to offer – probably Cuban cigars too. And a cardboard cutout of the Captain would go nicely – a picture of you puffing on a cigar with your arms around the captain’s cardboard neck, telling him how to run the ship. Or maybe have a cardboard cutout of the captain with a humble studious look as you hold your stogie with clinched teeth and poke him in his chest with your forefinger as you suggest how things could improve. It would do everybody some good, you would get to vent, or get it off your chest, and of course, the ship would have another picture to sell.

Speaking of the cigar night in the high up bar, I wonder if one could smoke MJ there? After all you are in International waters – maybe that is where William Buckley, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush smoke their pot – but even there of course they didn’t inhale.

Seriously, they could have an opium den on the high seas. It would be another money getter opportunity.

When everybody was seated the captain was introduced and he talked. He was a good speaker and has a good wit about him.

Afterwards the ships dancers, about 8 young people in their early 20s put on a great high energy show of dancing and singing.

After that we went to the Schooner Lounge where a Chinese man with a thick Chinese accent was playing “Name That Tune” with a small group. We enjoyed listening to his control of the game.

Then to another lounge, which we discovered on the first day when we met there to be shown what to do in case of an emergency… it is a nice dark quiet lounge. Only one couple danced out on the floor. They were fantastic ballroom dancers, and when a light would hit them just right in the low lit room I saw they was old enough to be my grandparents… well, maybe not that old, but they were not young chickens either, as their very good dancing indicated. Good for them.

At midnight there was a chocolate buffet in one of the dining rooms. Four lines were backed up almost the lenght of the ship. Overall, it was not worth it. It was one of those let-downs one comes across in life - the expectation is much better than the real thing.


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Blogger kenju said...

Nice pics, Eddie. I think I detect a bit of cynicism about the ship's photographer! LOL

7:41 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I think the cynicism lies in shelling out money every time you turn around.

7:59 AM  

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