Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reason Why. We Don't Want You Fallin' Off De Ship.

Our second day at sea was both smoother and MUCH sunnier, so needless to say, we bombed out of bed and up to the pool deck to start the day. We had breakfast in the Windjammer (I will probably forget to mention breakfast a lot, but we DID have it every day...we just tended to be just waking up and fairly low-key, so I forget it happened and move right into the more disreputable behavior.) and then headed for the Solarium since it was still fairly early. The Solarium unfortunately smelled like a wet dog, presumably from having water slosh around everywhere on the rough seas, but it was all right, and we wound up hopping in the hot tub after Scarlett failed miserably at, you know, sitting still for more that 30 seconds. At some point on the first day at sea, the Weege had discovered the Compass, which is a rundown of all the events going on on the ship each day, and kind of got obsessed with it. She decided to try a yoga class, and began - seriously - about 30 minutes of dithering around all "I'm I'm not" before finally starting out in the direction of the yoga class, only to return about 15 minutes later because as with many activities on the ship, it was expensive and needed to be paid for for the whole week, so she decided against it.

We eventually migrated outside, where it was beautiful and sunny. Unfortunately, the cruise people had turned loose an insane Jamaican man to dispatch the pool rules, which were extensive. The brilliance of it was that this dude would tell you the rule and then say "reason why," then explain why the rule stood. For about FORTY SEVEN RULES. And the "reason why" was in exactly the same high-low cadence every single time, like some kind of demented internal skipping record.

"We ask that you don' reserve da seats for ya friens. Reason why. Some-a you friens dey want to sleep in and come up later, but you good people and de odder folks up here, they got up to be in de sunshine. You friens, they can find a seat when dey wake up, and mey-be de early birds take dey naps den."


"We also don' wan' to see you jumpin into de pool. Reason why. De pool is shallow, and you know de ship has been rockin' and rollin' so we don wan' you fallin' into the side of de pool."


"We don' wan' you ta bring your drink glasses in de pool. Ree-son why...."

It went on forEVER. I was ready to start heckling. He finally shut up and went on his way, never suspecting how close he had come to death.

The Weege had been roaming freely for a while and rejoined us just before the rain. We decided to do some shopping while the weather was gross, so Scarlett and I agreed to meet The Weege in the shops after she went and dropped her yoga clothes in our cabin. Scarlett and I had been in the shops for about 30 seconds when a child started crying, at which point we just looked at each other and went "no," and went up to check our email, which of course screwed up our gane plan with The Weege, but since she is an Internet addict we assumed she would eventually shake out up there. It was not to be, though, so after a while, Scarlett and I went to grab lunch at the Windjammer and return to the pool since the sun had re-emerged, under the assumption that The Weege would eventually arrive THERE, what with the getting of a tan being a secondary obsession. She didn't show up for a while, but eventually found us at the poolside bar, having managed to deepfry herself to a degree not normally seen outside of the application of a frying pan directly to someone's skin. She'd vanished for this relatively short time and came back the color of a lobster and talking about some annoying Germans. Still don't know what was up with the Germans and how they were annoying - I think it was just annoying talking - but the sunburn was QUITE spectacular. Meanwhile, Scarlett had been drinking QUITE heavily after we'd checked our email and was already feeling pretty good and passing the time by flirting with The DR at every available opportunity, so clearly despite it not being quite 5, it was already shaping up to be an evening of legend.

We headed down to get ready for formal night, which was a lot of fun. It was QUITE the process to get ready, and I also don't think I have adequately explained the conditions of the room. It's well known travel lore that women have a lot of crap. We had so much that as soon as we unzipped our bags to find our first change of clothes, the room looked like a bomb had gone off in a clothing store. It was s bad we could hardly walk through the room. This is only part of why Super Steward Alex lived in terror, by the way. We eventually asked him to pull down the OTHER bed in the room so we could throw our luggage up there, which helped considerably, but it turns out the three of us are all slobs, so by the time it came to packing it was quite the ordeal...all of our clothes intermingled and strewn around. After a certain point, I'm pretty sure Alex just gave up, despite his having several extremely awesome and sweet moments, one of which being the finding of Scarlett's aquamarine ring which we thought she'd lost. So eventually and in spite of our room, we got all decked out and headed out for a nice dinner with Neil Diamond and the Missourienne, neither of whom we now thought was a serial killer. At the end of the meal, we did our first round of shots in these glasses we were INCREDIBLY entertained by for no good reason at all. The allure was, mysteriously, that they said "Loving Cup" on them, although WHY they said this I have no's not like it was a cup you and your significant other could both drink out of or anything, it was just this funky little shot glass. Who knows. Anyway, we downed our Grand Marnier-based shots and headed out in search of the champagne bar.

....and some how wound up at the Captain's Ball. Ashley, already with a significant buzz on, with her drunk batteries quickly recharging thanks to having to DOWN her martini before we left dinner (despite it being portable? I don't know?), dithered around in about eight different directions before deciding we should stand in this completely mysterious line, which turned out to be the line for pictures with the captain. The woman in charge of moving people through the line was HORRIFYING and would demand your last name in order to introduce you to the captain, except she didn't tell you that was why she wanted to know, so for all you knew, there was just this crazy lady taking your purse and demanding to know your name in some kind of identity theft scheme. It was unnerving at best, but we met the Captain, had a quick picture snapped, which turned out AWESOMELY because it looks like The Weege is actively trying to escape. We then went on in to the theatre where there was free champagne (and free drinks as provided by the ship are HARD to come by, so in a way this was even better than going to the champagne bar. Which we never made it to, the entire trip.) and hors d'oeuvres provided by the captain, with ballroom dancing up on the stage. Scarlett and The Weege decided they wanted to go dance, which was entertaining because they were totally doing the Middle School Shuffle while there were these insane "We take lessons for fun and quite possibly run a dance school" type dancers all around them. Apparently as they were ascending the stairs, Scarlett asked The Weege if she was drunk, to which The Weege replied that she wasn't, but was Scarlett? Scarlett then said "well yeah, of course" and bombed up the stairs, and well...of course. After they came back, The Weege spilled a glass of champagne down my dress and then proceeded to FREAK OUT despite my telling her it literally cost me $6 on eBay and to please for the love of god forget about it, but she wouldn't shut up until I agreed to let her pay to dry clean it. Then the captain spoke VERY SLOWLY for about three days and introduced his crew and gave some trivia about the ship. He's a very dry, funny guy, but he speaks like you took the midwestern farming community and the deepest parts of the Deep South, linguistically, and mushed them together so that every word takes thirty seven minutes to get out. I imagine that his sense of humor keeps him from being slapped a LOT.

One thing I waited to mention is that we were welcomed by the wonderful, wonderful cruise director. This guy was SO great...very energetic and perky without being obnoxiously so, smart and well spoken, JACKED like crazy, and freaking adorable. Throughout the whole cruise, anytime you saw him, you just got this warm, fuzzy feeling of abject joy. He was awesome, and he took care of us when we walked in. We're working on forming a fan club.

Once we were able to escape from the stultifying introductions ("And this is our head chef. He manages all the cooking on board."), I headed for the cabin to change my dress both because of the Champagne Incident and also because it was a long Chinese silk dress which crinkled when I sat down, so it was getting kind of tired. Scarlett and The Weege headed to the Schooner Bar and began harassing the Peruvian. Scarlett, being shitfaced at this point, was in full-on Auto-Flirt Mode and thus rendered him into a sweating ball of nerves with a series of questions about whether he wanted to go dancing with us (no idea), to the point that he was bringing drinks and forgetting to have them sign for them, and then having to come back for more abuse. Poor child. When I got back, Scarlett has worn him down and he was like "I would love to go dancing with you," but using "you" inexplicably to refer to all of us I think? Because he shook all of our hands??? It was odd, but understandable, what with Scarlett having broken his brain. It was in the Schooner that Scarlett consumed the martini that put her over the edge into "wildly unmanageable," which was a result of The Peruvian thinking we meant lemon drop MARTINIS rather than lemon drop shots. Whoops.

We headed out for the show, which was in the theatre just across the way, and Scarlett stopped in the hallway to pick a fight with her actual boyfriend - as opposed to her cruise ship boyfriend, which, demented - about some drunken MySpace shenanigans, so The Weege and I headed in and struck up a convo with an ADORABLE Mexican guy who was on bar staff. We chatted with him for a while since there was still a fair amount of time before the show, until Drunken Unmanageable Scarlett came in. At that point, The Mexican asked if she "was okay" which is bar staff guy speak for "would you like a drink," but Scarlett, being already hammered, interpreted this as him asking if she was hammered and took offense to this and responded with "I hate you," complete with a Look of Death. The Mexican's face immediately just crumpled into the most crystal clear expression of "oh my god I am NOT trained well enough to deal with this person," and promptly tried to escape, at which point Scarlett grabbed his arm and said "No wait! I like you. You're cute. Where's [The DR]?" Obviously the poor guy had no idea, so she eventually released him as The Weege and I laughed and tried to send sympathy rays in his direction. We then sat up in the back row so that Scarlett could hold hands (just like grade school, eeeeeee!) with The DR throughout the show (a medley of music through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s - pretty good, nothing spectacular). At the end of the show, The Weege and I made a bathroom run, then returned with some urgency to where Scarlett was hanging out, to make sure she hadn't attacked The DR and thus gotten him fired, only to find that she had migrated downstairs and was harassing the cruise director, so we went down, chatted with him for a little bit, then proceeded to the Viking, where he swore SEVERAL TIMES he would go, but never materialized. It was so odd. Probably 3 or 4 times throughout the cruise he ran into us and was all "so...see you ladies in the Viking tonight?" and then we would NEVER EVER SEE HIM.

In the Viking, we had a great time dancing and drinking and hanging out with Neil Diamond and the Missourienne. For some reason when I was ordering a drink, I asked for a "Diet and Coke" - and this is particularly embarassing because I wasn't that drunk...crazy drunk talk is one thing, crazy sober talk is a problem - and just COULD NOT make my brain stop thinking "Diet and Coke" to the great amusement of everyone there. Finally we sorted it out and I got my RUM and Diet, but it was hairy there for a minute. The Weege and Scarlett did a TON of dancing, while I stayed and chatted with our dinner friends, but eventually we even got Neil out there to dance! It was a great time, and Scarlett was again in Auto Flirt Mode, having cheersex with the DJ all night. We latched on to really wanting to hear "Ghetto Superstar" for some reason, so we requested it, only for it to come on after The Weege and Scarlett had come over for a breather. Scarlett and I FREAKED SHIT when we heard it, and dragged The Weege out on the floor while I yelled at her that "it's a rap song about POLITICS and that is awesome let's GO." The Weege and Scarlett left before me for some reason, and when the Viking closed, I left with Neil Diamond and the Missourienne to wander downstairs, and en route I found one of The Weege's blasted earrings, which had been driving her and everyone else insane all night with falling out and getting tangled in her hair. Most of the way to our rooms, Neil and the Missourienne told me how we had to make sure we were on the first tender boat in the morning to get to Grand Cayman, which I promised to do, knowing in my heart that it was a boldfaced lie. Sorry, Neil and The Missourienne. It was nothing personal.

These would be the infamous "Loving Cup" shots - this is seriously one of maybe two photos where The Weege looks sane and sober. I would also like to note that during the cruise she really didn't get to the level of drunk you would expect to produce most of the pictures we took. No idea what's up with that. Nor do I have any idea where my neck is.

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