I have returned from our Bahama momma cruise and I am still on cloud nine. It was a
good fabulous weekend! I laughed so much my cheeks hurt. I had no idea what to expect from a cruise. I was just praying that this vacation did not suck. Believe me, I have been on plenty of vacations that have sucked. And by “sucked” I don’t mean that the accommodations suck. I mean that the actual vacation sucked every ounce of energy out of my body. C’mon, you know how it is. Kids are not in their home environment. Nobody sleeps. You pack everyone and although you try to imagine every possible thing you might need, you still manage to forget something. Meals cost a fortune and kids whine like it’s their job. Let’s face it, 99% of vacations are not cracked up to what you dream they will be. This one was no different. In some ways, I inaccurately built it up. There were lots of wonderful memories from last weekend but almost all of them had one thing in common. The people. The people were definitely the one thing that made this cruise so special. Specifically, there were three groups of people. The staff, the guests and our group. Each of them brought something new to the table.
The trip started and I immediately wondered what the hell have I gotten myself into? I convinced a lot of my friends to invest in this vacation. They are gonna kill me! We entered the ship like a herd of sheep.
Blaring over the loud-speaker we heard the voice that became a routine sound throughout the cruise. He had a chipper voice with an accent. I couldn’t place it. Similar to Robin Leech but not exactly. Was it English or Australian? Then I decided it was Carnival. “G’day cruzahs!!! THIS is your Cruise Die-rec-tah, Cap-a tain Willay. I would like to take add-VANtage of this Opp-ortunitay and welcome each and ever-ay-one of you aboard the Car-nah-val Imagine-ation?” Everything he said sounded like it ended with a question. All of the cruisers seem to get giddy with this announcement as they pushed through the baggage and security lines. I, on the other hand, wanted to slit my wrists. This type of crap is my idea of hell. I hate being “herded” by a cruise director. Leave me alone. I wanted to lay in the sun and drink fruity beverages. It felt like I should have been wearing black socks with sandals. I guess it’s a little late to be picky. I have been waiting for this trip for months and I was determined to make the best of it. What is wrong with me? The idea of a cruise director made my skin crawl yet every time I heard the megaphone turn on, I laughed. It was a delirious..“OMG…is this for real?” laugh. I’m not sure if it was the cheesy messages “Listen up all you cruisahs! It’s time for bingo!” or the accent but it made me laugh. Thanks Will-lay!
Then there was the dude who introduced the entertainment. He was so well rehearsed that by the end of the trip our group could predict what he was about to say. Poor guy. He missed his calling. He should have been a flight attendant or perhaps a game show host? Obviously, he took a class on how to entertain a cruise crowd because it was all so very scripted. You can’t hear me but I am saying this next phrase the same way a ring leader at a circus introduces the amaaaaaazing acrobats. “Laaaadies and gentlemen…welcome to tonight’s ADULTS ONLY show. (dramatic pause) That’s right folks. Tonight we are here for the adults out there who need to get away from the little people in their lives. Now, I don’t particularly care where those kids are tonight, but I know one thing for sure….they caaaaaan’t stay here. Say it with me folks..(he ques the audience to join him and we do so in a less than enthusiastic way in hopes that he will shut up! ) “They caaaaaan’t stay here”. He smiles a used car salesman smile and then continues with his script. “Ok folks get yourself a drink and sit back and relax for a veeeeerrrrry entertaining show this evening. If you love to laugh and you like things a little (in a husky drag queen voice now) SPICY, then this is the show for YOU! Put your hands together for our next entertainer. The always funny comedian…. Annnnnnnthonnny!” Then he bopped off the stage like he deserved a prize for getting the crowd into the show. It was comical to say the least. I give the guy credit. I can’t seem to get him out of my head. It’s not like I’ll ever forget him. At least he wasn’t boring. Cheesy as hell but not boring. Throw in a few oriental waiters that couldn’t speak English but busted out in a T-pain song and dance during a formal dinner and I have to give the staff 5 stars for entertainment.
I have never been on a cruise so I imagined it to be like the movies. It was a very romantic vision. The ship was elaborate and the guests were distinguished.
Yeah? Not so much? The ship was 18 years old and guests were far from distinguished. Let’s talk about those guests, shall we? One of the ladies in the group described it the best. It was like Wal-Mart on the water. Amen to that. We saw everything. I mean EVERYTHING. To be honest with you, I found it educational. Did you know that some people actually wear Spanx as an outfit? Apparently, mono-kini’s and mullets are both making a come back? Who knew? We saw men in speedos, togas, PJ’s and crazy long dread locks. One of my fav’s was a guest that looked like the real Lady Gaga. You can imagine my disappointment when I got close enough to notice that she was an 85-year-old drunk. I give her credit though. She could have rocked any of Lady Gaga’s clothes and she had her stage make-up down to a science. It was the wrinkles and the shuffled gait that gave her away. She turned a lot of heads and the staff knew her well. A Carnival celebrity, if you will. Perhaps her status on the ship made her feel more comfortable about shaking the gates to the liquor store before they opened and after they closed. Let Gaga in damn it! She needs another bottle stat! Some of the best people watching I have ever experienced. There are only so many times I can say “Bless her heart” in 3 days. And for the record, I never judged. No..it wasn’t judging…it was truly an education. Like a zoo. Watch…observe…learn. The guests were something else. Imagine the store manager in Wal-Mart locking the doors and everyone in the store spending the night together for 3 days, that is Carnival Imagination in a nutshell.
There were 14 women who all made a huge effort to get together. I knew a handful of the girls but the others were basically strangers. So how did so many woman from various parts of the country with different backgrounds all come together to have one of the best vacations ever? The answer is simple. We all wanted the same thing, a real vacation. A break from our everyday, monotonous lives. I think we can all agree that the mission was accomplished! There was nothing predictable about this trip. I guess in some ways you had to be there to get the full effect of the humor. We saw humor in everyday stuff. Life is not perfect and neither are vacations. Ya know what? I really love people. Life isn’t about the crap you own, your bank account or your education. It’s about Da People Mon. Step outside your everyday life and take the time to meet new people. You will be glad you did. It makes your life SPICY!