We didn’t sleep very well the first night because of the rocking of the boat, so we awoke fairly early and went up to breakfast at the buffet. I was thrilled because it was definitely European-style: fruit, croissants, and cheese. Also, gruel. I still daydream about it sometimes.
We went down to one of the lounges to try out Super Quiz. We’re generally pretty good at trivia, but it was definitely geared towards old people; there are only so many Rat Pack questions younger people can answer. Team Awesome did alright, though.
After trivia, we decided to go lay out in the sun on deck chairs. I dozed off while reading. After an hour or so, Stephanie and Wendy were starting to turn colors. We went in to have lunch at the buffet, and were far too excited about the many, many dining options, including sugar-free dessert. We went back to our freezing cabin (we set it that way intentionally), stuffed, and Stephanie declared that she felt like a roofied cube steak. Our room instantly became the meat locker, and naptime was henceforth ‘meat locker time’. We made sure to have some every day, and this always involved turning on the TV to the boat channel that showed where we were in the Caribbean, and had Italian opera playing in the background.
I don’t really recall when this part happened, but we were apparently drunk in the afternoon that day. I have a photo of me giving Wendy the finger while she’s sitting with the minibar door open. Given the time we spent on the cruise, however, us being drunk was not a surprise. It was more shocking to be totally sober after noon.
We went to go play canasta in the card room, an activity that would also become a daily ritual. We’d sit in the same area, order drinks from the same waiters (who we got to know pretty well), watch our favorite bartenders, eat boatsnacks (the spicy peanuts were the best), put our feet up on the fancy chairs, and play cards. It was awesome. This particular time, there was a group of old people playing, too, and they were thrilled that we knew how to play canasta.
Later in the afternoon, we went to the casino and played video poker for a while. Stephanie won, and bought us another round of drinks. (My travel journal at this point says “quadriplegic”. I’m not sure what that’s about, and that’s probably for the best!) We went to go tour more of the ship, and found the library, where the computers were. I sat down and emailed Matt to let him know we were alive, and find out how the Gophers were doing in the NCAA tournament. Let’s just say I was glad I wasn’t home to see it.
We went back to the cabin to get Wendy’s special water (Patron in a plastic bottle). Wendy and Stephanie examined their sunburns. Around dinnertime, we went back to the buffet; the main restaurant is nice, but it’s so much food, and takes a couple hours for dinner. We only ate there twice during the cruise. We had various items, including pizza, and ate out on the back deck under the canopy. It had rained during the evening, so the deck was wet. Also, the darkness on the ocean is kind of amazing. You can’t see anything else around you, just the lights of your own ship.
After dinner, we returned to our new favorite bar. The bartenders were Rodrigo and Casanova (he had a real name, but it was Bar Casanova, and that suited him better). Wendy had a major crush, because they were awesome. We sat and watched the goofy show going on behind us, and then suddenly the bar was full of people exiting the show in the theatre. The cruise entertainment staff was dressed up in Elvis-era clothing. One of the dudes let me feel his rubber Elvis hair.
Deborah, our ‘English-speaking hostess’ from Australia, was all over the place. We loved her, her awesome accent, and the fact that she told us that the cruise ship can afford to lose 10% of its passengers in ports (if, for example, they’re late back to the boat). She did a round of shots with us, and taught us a new toast that would change our lives forever:
UP THE BUM, NO BABIES!!
She left us with, “see you at the disco!” and headed off to harangue the doctor, who was again at the end of the bar.
wendy and, uh… never mind.
We went back to the cabin, fully intending to go to the 50s dance party at the club. But when we got there, I found couch cushions stashed under the bed, so of course we had to do the obvious: play American Gladiators. This also became a daily tradition. Wendy laid down on her bed, so I beat on her with cushions. We never made it to the dance party.