Cruising was cool. I don’t know if it’s something I would ever want to do more than once every 2 years, but it was quite the experience. No one wants to hear the breakdown of our mundane days of tanning and drinking, so I’ll just touch on the highlights.
Oh, my God, they took pictures of EVERYTHING. Getting on the ship, getting off the ship, dinner, your 4th soft serve cone – if you didn’t want to be caught doing it, the ship’s photographers got it on camera. I realized on Day 3 that all of the pictures were printed out and nicely organized on Deck 9, so I slipped in, grabbed ours, and walked swiftly back to our room. “I’m sure we only have to pay if we want them on CD, or enlarged, or tattooed on our bodies” I told myself. Like, what are they going to do with the pictures of two little college girls from Virginia?
Well, apparently that is NOT allowed, and Ami was displeased with my thievery. “Who will ever know the difference?” I asked her as I flipped the picture over… right before I discovered the RFID tag on the back of each. Well, crap. Ami gave me a look that said both “I told you so” and “you’re a dumb bitch” as I headed out the door to explain the mishap to the woman at the picture counter.
Me: Hey, so I found these pictures, but my friend is really sick in our room with ebola and two broken legs, so I wanted to bring them down to her to see if she wanted to buy them. She was like “Nah I look terrible, you look hot though as always” so I was just going to bring them back, but then I noticed they had these tags on the back. So like, help please don’t charge me I’m poor.”
Stern British Lady: DON’T DO IT AGAIN.
Lesson learned, don’t steal.
“Help me I’ve eaten too much and I can’t get up” – tagline of our trip. THERE WAS SO MUCH FOOD, which is perfect when you’re out by the pool and on the beach every day and everyone is looking at you in your bathing suit!!! From continental breakfasts (fruit bar is bae, and I don’t use that term lightly) to every dessert under the sun at lunch (still unsure if a “Paris Breast” is actually a kind of pastry but it was a little bit like a cream puff, a lot like sweet heaven, and a lot a lot like diabetes). Add unlimited chicken nuggets and pizza and ice cream to the mix and you have a recipe for happy Jesse and Ami.
Our dining time was 8:15 PM which is like, inhumanly late, so we would have 2 dinners every day. Sometimes first dinner would be ice cream, sometimes it would be pizza, and once – the last night – we ordered the free room service. It was AMAZING. And totally worth my current diet consisting entirely of egg whites, vegetables, and protein shakes.
Based on my very extensive and scientific research, you can have one of two relationships with your dining partners on your cruise ship: you either love them, or you hate them. Profound, I know, please see me at the end of class with your questions.
Luckily, we loved our dining companions! To our left, we had The Southern Family: Ma, Dad, Lil’ Bro, Big Bro, Lyd (LB’s girlfriend) and Kris (BB’s wife). To our right, we had the 40th Birthday Crew, three lovely ladies from Southwest Virginia who were celebrating the fact that their husbands had to take care of the kids for a week. Presiding over us all, we had Joey, the most amazing waiter ever who knew to hand me a Corona Light first thing every night, and that one roll was simply not enough. Thank you, Joey.
Dad became a permanent fixture in our cruise: every day, he would appear at the most inopportune times (i.e. very drunken conversations about boys, very drunken performances in karaoke, etc). We loved him for it. I kind of wish was was my dad, even though he didn’t know what “Didja” (as in “Did You”) meant.
The great thing about cruises is that you’ve already paid for all of the food, so you can literally order whatever you want for no extra charge. So you want to try four different starters? Heck, why not get five while you’re at it! Same price! Want a side of mac n’ cheese? They’ll give you 6 little bowls of it, and you don’t even have to ask! Mac n’ cheese for everyone, same price!
And if there’s something you’re not sure if you’ll like? Might as well just order it, because if you don’t like it they’ll just grind it up and release it into the ocean!! Such was the thought process that led me to try (and enjoy!) alligator fritters one night. One thing that we knew we would like, though, was the warm chocolate melting cake. This came highly recommended by Cameron, who went on the same cruise several years back and ordered two of them for his dessert every night. Cameron, we are two girls who can eat, and neither of us ever managed to finish a whole chocolate melting cake. We salute you.
By the time we finished dessert every night, it was 10 PM and we were ready to collapse on our beds in a food coma and die. However, there was fun to be had!
Cruise directors know how to plan activities for everyone. Whether this was bingo (not for us), crafting (not for us), a men’s Hairy Chest contest (YES FOR US), there was always something to do. We often forewent these activities in favor of laying by the pool and doing nothing, but there were a couple that called out to us.
Karaoke: a couple of nights. Great reason to drink, and drink heavily. We also witnessed a proposal (she said yes!) on the karaoke stage, which was appropriately followed by a creative rendition of ‘Baby Got Back.’
Comedy Shows: performed by a man dressed as a cowboy who was occasionally funny, and more often ridiculously offensive, which was great that night we drank a bottle of champagne AND a bottle of rum!
Musical Men: This was the crowning achievement of my cruise. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the concept of Musical Chairs (and if not, WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD?!). Well, Musical Men is similar, but the men are the chairs. They crouch down on their hands and knees, and when the music stops, each of the women must straddle a man’s back. If you’re not straddling, you’re out. I volunteered because I saw a bottle of champagne on the stage and I blacked out. When I blacked back in, the music had stopped and I threw myself unapologetically on an older man’s back. First elimination. Game on.
So, I somehow won this game. I would like to attribute it to my natural born athleticism and catlike reflexes, although Ami seems convinced that the champagne possessed me. Regardless, I got a bottle of champagne and a medal that says “Fun For All” that I’ve worn every day since. I ran into Dad, who said “man, I wish it had been me on that stage.” I could never make eye contact with him again.
Overall, the cruise was great. We spent way too much money on alcohol but it’s okay because we’re young and fun. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go run 68 miles to burn off some of the calories!