Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cruisin For a Bruisin

“Take Dramamine! Take Bonine! Get the Patch! Wear the Magnets!” My friends shouted at me before I embarked on my first ever cruise, a 3 day shit-show to “nowhere.” What the pundits forgot to tell me was to “watch out for Sea Legs!” Thus, while I spent the 3 days in virtual comfort (1 Dramamine a day which I don’t’ even think I needed), I have spent the last 30 hours queasy and feeling like world was rocking back and forth. For some reason, none of my experienced cruising friends mentioned to me this lovely side effect, even though when I texted “My building feels like it’s swaying,” or “Is the airport moving?” or “Do you feel those subtle earthquakes?” They all replied, “Oh, you have sea legs” WTF are sea legs!? I’m totally unprepared.

In any event, I’m at work, trying to balance, read, act on fantasy football trades, write, and put words and paragraphs in the right order. I’ve had better days.

The cruise was organized as a 30th birthday party for Jaime, who has an uncanny ability to get me to jump, and do things I wouldn’t normally do. Four months ago, instead of saying “come” she’s emailing me “you’re coming” and thus, I’m the one person in the group of 17 who flew in for the weekend. It was worth it. Of course I have no idea why I trust her judgment over almost anyone else, including my own judgment, but she’s been a pretty good guide so far.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

Summarizing Quickly:

Day 1:
· Left work at 12, straight to yanks game, checked my bag at a bar, car service from there to the airport at 4:30.
· Early to the airport to make the earlier flight, but forgot to switch before I checked my bag, bag wouldn’t have made it, so I hit the bar for dinner
· Flight started with “Do you know the definition of coincidence?” to the girl sitting next to me. The same girl I’d given my bar stool to an hour earlier so she could sit.
· We talked, we shared a crossword, we had a drink (she had whiskey since that’s all her Louisiana family drank growing up), we discussed how embarrassing and uncomfortable the flight would have been had I hit on her at the bar and she rejected me. I did not get her number, but a very nice single serving friend.
· Jen picked me up at the airport and we played darts, split a few games, had a few drinks, and went to sleep.

Day 2:
· Woke up and shopped. Dramamine, Bracelets, Alcohol, and most importantly MINT M&M’s! What’s been sold out in NYC for months, I found in FL!
· We got to the boat around 1 after a 30 minute, intense, political discussion between Caroline and our Cheaufer, Jen’s Dad.
· At the port, we gave the porter $20 for each of our “special bags” and the bags beat us to our rooms, full of alcohol.
· I filled up my binoculars, Jen filled up some water bottles, and we met some of the group at lunch at 2.
· Post lunch was pool time, which included major drinking, and hot tubbing, and the first round of never have I ever.
· The boat was a shit show, many young adults, tons of drinking, and we did our best to contribute w/the pool puking incident.
· The drinking caused me to break out the Conductor talk again. I’m not sure under what auspices I thought I could keep that lie up for 3 days.
· The binoculars were awesome, got many complements, but they broke in 2 and will have to be replaced. RIP fake binoculars, you’ve saved me hundreds of dollars.
· A few from our group decided to tackle, bite, etc…and those people may not have made it to 8:30 dinner. I’m not 100% sure, obv I was drinking too.
· Tiaras were worn at dinner, and I was mocked for being a conductor, which I would have taken really personally, had I actually been one.
· I wore my $5 watch proudly all weekend b/c my cell phone was in my safe. Some would ask if I enjoyed the vacation from cellular life, I’d say I was anxious.
· After dinner, dessert (and hot chocolate of course), it was up to Jaime and Tom’s room for the first bout of kings, where Vanessa showed us all how to drink like Mark should have.

Day 3
· Up at 8:30 = 5 hours of sleep. Plenty. I had breakfast in the dining room, alone. Shared a table w/3 couples who didn’t even talk to each other, let alone me.
· I was on Cococay at 10, on the beach till 12 before it got clowdy and was volleyball time. “Team Dominate,” who won 6 games in a row, consisted of Tom, Myself, and 3 kids under 12 years old. We dominated.
· At 3 it was back to the boat and at 3:15, it was never have I ever round 2, pool addition (bec the hot tub was occupied).
· Hot tub schemes were hatched to slowly take over, but our attempts were thwarted again and again (Plan D, which I called Inappropriate PDA Plan was never enacted by Vanessa and Mark).
· The binoculars still worked, though they no longer looked like real binoculars, they still carried enough alcohol for me.
· My expected 1.5 hour nap was shorted to a 0.5 hour nap because the Captain’s Speech before dinner meant free Champaign, which meant a drinking contest between Jen and I. I lost, she missed dinner.
· In my rented tux for the evening (forgot formal wear but wasn’t too expensive) I had 2 entrées and created a new drink, hot chocolate w/Malibu. Too bad I couldn’t incorporate the Mint M&M’s.
· We played 15 person kings after dinner, at the club. In the 6 games I played (which means likely 36 picks), I never actually got a king. I made up for it by losing the ability to raise my right hand quickly (who invented the number 5 anyway). No pointing, no saying the word drink/drunk/drank.

Day 4
· Jen got the hook up at Atlantis on Paradise Island, which meant that her friend picked us up at 9am, took us around the island, showing us $20M house after house, before getting us free wrist bands for the awesome water park. Jen was like a 10 year old, and I was like an old man (I even got too scared to do one of the slides). Which is explained here.
· After 4 hours on land, the ground felt like it was moving. I should have known at that point I’d have problems getting off the boat.
· Back on the boat after Atlantis (there’s nothing to do in Nassau, nothing), I lost about $180 playing blackjack and craps (I don’t ever win in casinos anymore).
· Walked to the front of the boat at the top to feel the 50 mph winds and view w/Mark. Discussed romantic things like ballast, depth, knots, and wakes.
· The final dinner was the first that everyone made it to, and the final night of partying was quite a blast.
· We didn’t play any drinking games, but we did participate in a scavenger hunt, crazy race, silly game. The game included things like “Show me a guy and a girl sharing a pair of pants, a guy w/o his pants on, a girl in a thong, etc.
· The game culminated w/a pageant of male cross dressers in their boxers strutting around the room. I won’t tell you who won the pageant, but I will say that I have fantastic hips and a gold medal.
· At least I got a keychain and a few free drinks out of it. Spent the next 3 hours dancing, meeting a few strangers, and watching some of the girls jump into the pool at 4am w/random boys.
· Wore the wrist band on the last night b/c the water was choppier. Of course you can feel the boat moving and bobbing and swaying, just as you can see the pool water pull and push people around like a strong ocean current, but I didn’t get close to sick. (until I got off the boat!)

Day 5
· I traveled home. Left my room at 8:15am, got home around 5:15pm.

What I know (New Feature):

I know my fear of flying seems to be increasing with my age. It may have to do with the end of the fearlessness of my youth, or maybe it’s that I know the airlines are cutting costs and corners and I know it will lead to a mistake. . . . However, considering that it’s been 30,000 commercial flights a day for almost 7 years w/o a crash, I may just be becoming a scaredy-cat.

I know that the trip cost me about $1,300 ($300 flight, $500 cruise, $100 room expenses, $80 pre cruises expenses like alcohol, wrist bands, and Dramamine, $180 gambling, $60 in tips and $80 in cabs). Considering I know I spend around $300 a weekend in NY, and I know last Labor Day Weekend I spent about $1,800, and therefore, I know fiscally it was well worth it.

I just took my temperature, 98. I know I’m not sick.

I know that I’m really nice to people when I meet them, I’m not so nice to them when we’re friends, b/c hey, we’re friends, and of course at that point I’d also do anything for um. I know Vanessa and I were friends right away b/c I automatically busted her balls after explaining this to her.

I know how to easily impress people and there are 4 very simple ways to impress someone. I know that you should know 2 cities in most countries, so that if you meet someone from that country, you can talk about it, and maybe even pretend you’ve been. I know that reading popular books, or nonfiction history books, can impress people. I know that learning 10-20 words in major languages can easily impress someone who also speaks. Lastly, I know you can easily impress someone with abilities you learned when you were 7 years old, namely, to memorize 10 digits instead of writing them down (the hard part depends on how drunk you are).
I know my roommate loves that last approach, however, I one upped him Sunday by going for 2 numbers, 2 full names, and 2 emails after 3 glasses of wine, 4 beers, and 1 hot chocolate w/Malibu.

I know my Spanish is much better now than it ever was when I took the language for 5 years 13 years ago, even though my vocabulary is 10% of what it once was.

I know I waited in 11 lines yesterday on my way back home. I know I waited to get breakfast, I know I waited to get off the boat, I know I waited in customs, I know I waited for the bus to the airport, I know I waited to check in, I know I waited to drop off my bag, I know I waited to go through security, I know I waited to hand the steward my boarding pass, I know I waited to get to my seat, I know I waited to get off the plane, and finally, I know I waited for 15 minutes to get into a cab.

I know everyone talks about there being too much food on cruise ships and everyone is worried about over eating. I also now know that some people only take the stairs on the ship so they can overeat. Well, I know I didn’t over eat (though I had 2 entrées one night), and I know I was actually hungry at times.

I know Mint M&M’s are like crack, w/o the side effects.

I know the cruise would have been very different without Jen to tell me what to do, where to go, what to pack, and what drugs to take.

What I don’t know (New Feature):

I don’t know why don’t you get electrocuted when you touch both sides of a battery?

I don’t know when this dizzy feeling will go away.

I don’t know why a few people asked me if I got lucky either on the boat or on the last specifically on the boat. How hard is it to understand that it has nothing to do with luck. (and no, I didn’t)

I don’t know what’s been going on in project runway for the last 4 weeks. It is the only thing on my DVR but I’m just never home and never have time to watch. I don’t even know what movies we have on Netflix around the apartment right now. I know they’ve been there for over a month.

I don’t know why everyone doesn’t call out the new McCain VP candidate on her “pro life” rhetoric. She may have chosen against the decision to have an abortion, but that does not make her pro life. She says she “made a decision, made a choice.” That statement does not mean she is pro life, that means she is pro choice, and chose not to have an abortion. Does she think pro choice is pro abortion? Does she think all pro choice people would have chosen abortion? Someone who is pro life, would have said “there was no option, there was no choice involved, I never thought about it.” But she DID think about it, and she made a decision, and thus, someone needs to explain to her that she’s actually pro choice and anti abortion (I don’t know anyone who’s pro abortion). I don’t know why someone doesn’t throw her words back at her.

Speaking of Palin, I don’t know why she didn’t run for President? Conservatives seem to love her more than J. Mc.


Anonymous said...

Quickly read through your're so funny!

You did a great job describing the events of the weekend...but is that why your readers read? Would be interested to hear your "take" on various events.... :-)

Meistro said...

I'm not sure what insight I've learned...except that I won't cruise w/just my gf/wife, boy that would be boring, family or freinds is the way to go! :)

Anonymous said...

This is true...Tom and I were talking about that too.

Meistro said...

This just scared the crap out of me...esp the bottom entry!!

Anonymous said...

Palin is actually on the record as being pro-life, even if her daughter were raped. Here is a great site to help educate you on where the candidates stand on the issues:


Meistro said...

It was more a conversation on the terminology used when talking about prolife vs prochoice. The prolife people try to portray prochoice to mean pro-abortion and pro-death. The prochoice people should push back against people who "chose" to keep their kids b/c they are pro life. If they were pro life, technically, they didn't have that choice to make at all.