Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Give Me Liberty
After having a very Debbie Downer holiday season, I decided to take advantage of a very-discounted last-minute Atlantis cruise that came along and see if I couldn't jump-start the new year with a more festive tone.
This was my first week-long cruise (although I did take a short three day cruise last year) and there was certainly plenty to do and see along the way. What I didn't expect to see were any "educational" film actors...
However, I don't judge and I'm sure that even they need a break once in a while from their hectic shooting schedules.
Hmmmm....What was I talking about? OH, that's right... the cruise.
Our ship, the Royal Caribbean's "Liberty of the Sea" out of Miami, was certainly a well-designed ginormous craft that holds about 3,500 people (the ship above was another cruise leaving port right before we did).
The inside of the Liberty was very colorful and modern with shops, restaurants, grand staircases and lots of ornate fixtures everywhere you looked.
My friend, Roland, and I were fortunate enough to get a great deal on a balcony room and, I have to tell you...it doesn't suck. I had an interior room on the short cruise and, although it was perfectly fine, having a big window, patio and view of the ocean really makes the experience that much more enjoyable. Plus, after they split the bed into two smaller ones, we still had plenty of room to stretch out and relax.
Although, as much as I enjoy the creative towel creatures that they leave for you each day, I was a bit startled to come back to the room one night to find this Blair-witchy creature suspended over my bed...
So, I immediately whacked it with a flip-flop and then tossed it over the balcony so that I could continue to enjoy the rest of the trip un-hexed.
The outside decks of the ship offered plenty of space to jog (like I'm gonna jog), play putt-putt (see: jog), lounge in the sun (much more my speed) or just hangout by one of the many bars (insert sound of angels singing here) all around.
Besides several nice pools and jacuzzis for dipping, the ship also had a very colorful area that featured a variety of water sculptures to help keep everyone cool and moist.
There were also a variety of performers, lounge acts, shows and such to see each night, should you need a break from drinking and naps. Pam Ann (a real girl) did a very funny show about her life as a flight attendant, her distain for any class lower than first, and spoke to us as if we were all on a flight with her.
Thankfully, I was in a "business class" row of the theater, so I didn't get near as much crap as the people behind me in "coach".
Another hilarious performer throughout the cruise was "Miss Richfield: 1981" (not a real girl, but she plays one on TV). She's kind of a cross between Jo Anne Worley and the Chicken Lady with a Minnesota accent. She hosted events throughout the cruise, like bingo, the "Project Runway" event (where people had 15 minutes to create an outfit out of toilet paper and various deck supplies, then model it), and even an ice skating night...
She grabbed this one little guy (who could barely stand upright on his skates) and asked him if he had been seperated from his parents and, if so, she'd help him find them so they could be reunited.
She also participated in the "So You Think You Can Dance" competion, which she won.
She didn't really dance all that well, but she was so damn funny that everyone ended up voting for her.
If you ever see her performing in your area...go see her.
With all the events, excursions, performers, food, and drinks...you'd think that would be all you'd need to do during the cruise.
Not on this one.
Although a few people stopped there and simply crashed wherever they happened to fall from their food or drink comas (like these energetic fellows)...
Many of us still forced ourselves to go to the gym...one of the busiest areas of the ship, believe it or not.
We didn't necessarily go because we wanted to (we would rather have stuffed our pie-holes at the buffet and had another drink instead). It was more of a futile attempt to keep up with the wide variety of guys who had obviously forgotten to pack any body fat before leaving the mainland (they must have needed the space in their luggage for costumes, which I'll cover in a couple of days).
How are the rest of us normal humans (about 3/4 of the cruise) supposed to relax comfortably with a plate of nachos and an umbrella drink beside the pool when everywhere you look...you see porn stars and people like this waltzing by your deck chair?!
Thankfully there was a slot for my Pina Colada on the Stairmaster.
Life is all about balance, kids.
Tomorrow it's on to the private island of Labadee.
Labadee, labada, Labadee, labada...