Saturday, April 15, 2006

Confessions of a Cruiser

Hey y'all! Beth Williamson here!

So I went on a cruise last week. A seven day cruise to the Carribbean on a ship that looked a bit like this one.

I had only been on a cruise once in 1998 and it was only three days and I was there for business. This was my first real "vacation" on a cruise. Oh, and yes, I did bring DH and my kids.

Hey, no screeching! My kids are 10 and 14 - old enough to have fun without having to take constant care of them. Feel sorry for the woman who thought it was a good idea to bring a newborn and her two year old on board. *shudder*

So after an inauspicious start at a hotel which we nicknamed "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" (warning! don't ever stay at the Best Western Airport in Charleston SC), we got on board the ship.

I could feel the relaxation seeping through my body even as DH tensed up, waiting for the motion sickness to hit. We stood up on deck and waited to depart, watching the dolphins frolic in the water. They were waiting patiently too. The horn blasted - nearly scaring the hair off my head - and we were off! Sloooooowly of course. It is like a 1M pound ship!

DH is like "yeah, I'm fine. no problem." Until we went below deck while the ship was moving. I rarely see him run so fast, but he was booking down that hallway. Sigh... poor guy. He stayed in the cabin on the bed while the boys and I went back up top to explore.

I wanted to give you my impressions of why people cruise.

1. Vacation - that would be our reason. Ya know, no cooking, cleaning, errands, etc.

2. To show off their tits - really. I swear to God there had to be two hundred pairs of artificially augmented tits on that ship. They wore bikinis constantly. DH and my 14 YO nearly gave themselves a broken neck watching those bobbers.

3. To drink themselves into a stupor - a popular reason. These are the people who have a $2,000 bar bill when they leave the ship because they had $6 to $10 drinks all day every day. Hell, they even go around and serve morning drinks like Bloody Marys and Mimosas by the pool!

4. To gamble - you wouldn't think this is a popular reason, but it is. They had a purty nice casino on board. I could totally get addicted to slot machines. I think I won about $500, then lost probably $340 of it. LOL! But they had not only slots, but blackjack, craps, roullette, and poker.

The cruise was smooth sailing (so to speak) with our shore excursions in Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Key West. I got two nicely shaped spots on the back of my shoulders in bright red when the 14 YO didn't put sunblock on them in Grand Cayman. But I also got to swim with wild stingrays. Cozumel brought a rash to my poor 10 YO after he spent hours in a pool at Playa Mia, but DH and the 14 YO went scuba diving and had a marvelous time. Key West? Wellllll, if you've ever been there, you know what it's like. I don't dig the whole chicken thing. There are wild chickens all over the island and you can be fined $250 if you kill them. Geez, spend $50 in the restaurant and have a chicken or two on the floor by your feet as you eat. Um... no.

The real excitement came on the last day at sea.... 7:45 am... what happened? Oh, the engines decided to stop working, then the generators did. That means no water, no electricity and worst of all NO TOILET FLUSHING. It runs on a vacuum system which is of course electric powered - OMG - you never smelled something so gross. So we are bobbing like a stinky cork in the Atlantic.

Oh yeah, it sure did happen! Three hours we struggled to avoid the bathrooms, find water, and some kind of food. To their credit, they broke out the $4 bottles of Evian to give us water, and any food they could find that didn't need to be cooked (fruit, cereal, muffins). The coffee they brewed must have been done in someone's hat... or sock. It tasted like mud.

Somehow they fixed the engines and we got air conditioning back (damn I was hot), water, and flushed all the toilets. Thank Gawd!

All in all, it was a good trip and I'm glad I went. So, all you cruisers out there... what's the most fun, strangest, or outrageous thing you've seen/done on a cruise ship? Anybody that posts gets entered in a drawing for a western book thong and a way cool bookmark (think sexy cowboy).

Ready, set, confess!!


Blogger Pam P. said...

Yuk on the no toilet flushing Beth.

I went on a cruise back in the seventies. You're right about the booze bills and gambling. Not long after we set sail sail the officers were out in the bar boozing it up and eyeing the hot chicks.

I met a great guy, we'd dance every night; he was a piano player and they'd let him play and sing for us when the band was done. One night we sailed through the Bermuda Triangle in a bad storm, thunder and lightning so bad, most of the ship, including many of the crew were seasick the next day. After the band finished that night, we snuck out on deck and found cover out there to watch the storm - it was exciting and interesting, but we were a bit crazy watching those lightning bolts that did seem awful close. After about 20 minutes, a crew member spied us, yelled at us and chased us inside. Don't know if I'd venture out in such a bad storm today.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

I've never been on a cruise but I want to take a Northern one up to Alaska.

I love mimosas and stingrays. I once had a mimosa with a stingray. Just kidding.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Beth Williamson said...

- Pam - way cool! I went outside and night and the blackness of the ocean kind of freaked me out. :)
- meljprincess - hmmmm... mimosas with stingrays? LOL!

10:10 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Good morning, Beth,

I'm glad you had a good time on your cruise. I've been on a carribean cruise and loved every minute of it.

Oh and I agree about Key West. The chicken thing is a little much. When we went to the keys two years ago, we stayed in Key Largo. I loved it. We visited all the keys while there and I have to admit Key West was my least fav.


10:26 AM  
Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

I've gillnetted, but never been on a cruise.

I love casinos. I don't drink. My boobs are my own. I'm on Jenny Craig, so the thought of 'midnight death-by-chocolate fantasy buffets' are but a nightmare...and bugs...there are bugs in the Caribbean. That's why I vacation in Iceland. No kidding. And no bugs.

I cannot imagine spending that much money on booze. Chocolate, yes. Booze, no. I'm wondering...should we book a cruise at the same time next year so that our 15 year old son and daughter can mingle while we talk shop? HA!

And darling...I'd love a bookmarker! Can I have one, too? Pretty please?



10:30 AM  
Blogger Beth Williamson said...

- Michelle - I noticed you didn't confess anything... hmmm... makes me wonder what you're hiding. ;)
- Darragha - I avoided the midnight chocolate buffet. My 14 Yo went and came back with a plate full. Geez... yeah I'm not a bug fan either. :0
I'll be at RT with my hot sexy cowboy bookmarks...

11:59 AM  
Blogger Estella said...

I have never been on a cruise and don't think I'd ever be able to get DH on one. Would like to go on an Alaskan Cruise.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Bobby Jo said...

I've never been on a cruse but I keep hopeing lol. I would like to do all of them if I could.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Beth Williamson said...

- Bobby Jo and Estella - oh an Alaskan cruise, yep, that sounds wonderful (but cold). Perhaps you might get on a ship yet... I loved having everything done for me, even making my bed and cleaning up the bathroom! Not to mention the food...

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Debbie E said...

Hi Beth

I must confess that years ago we took a cruise that went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman and we did everything. We met 2 travel agents and a couple from western US and had a ball. I remember being in one of those games where the girls versus the guys in diving in the pool for cutlery, forks, spoons, etc. What a dummy I was - I certainly couldn't swim well - what was I thinking? Anyway it was fun if a little embarassing.

We have been on several cruises since then and on different ships but the 4 day cruise we took on Carnival - well I couldn't believe all the 17, 18, 19 year olds. OMG! I think there was a lesson to be learned on that cruise. Don't let your daughters on a Carnival cruise ship! Tell them it's full of elderly people and hope they don't check it out online.

We had a blast - but the Carnival Cruise was the only one that everybody seemed to be sick on the last night. I think they were boogeying really fast so they could just sit there ready to dock.

In all I would recommend it. Make sure you have lots of money though because it can be very easy to gamble and drink - even sodas are pricey. The first cruise we went on was all inclusive - even drinks and tips. That was great!

By the way Beth, I posted on the Muse group about purchasing your new book! It sounds great!

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Annie Owl in GA said...

Cool trip, Beth! thanks for sharing it with us!
Annie Owl in GA
{finally found a link to get here, from Robin Danner site}

3:56 PM  
Blogger Christy Robin said...

Like your DH, I'm prone to seasickness so no cruise tales for me. But glad you had fun. And oh look at that (pointed to above comment), I was a tour guide for you. LOL!


4:07 PM  
Blogger Caffey said...

First Beth, did your hubby only stay sick the beginning of the cruise? Hope he wasn't sick all through it! Too, nasty on the water mess on the last day! Luckily it wasn't sooner. Make sure you get a refund for the last day!!!
Now I have never been on a cruise, and I would so love to go on one!
I think maybe when we retire, we may do something like that, just can't at this time. But I have been on my cousin's boat many times when I was in college and came home for the summer's and went on their boat for weekend trips helping them with the children. I loved being on the water, swimming (with a life jacket of course, but of course, for the first time I then tried water skiing. I would just not give up! Everytime I tried to get up and would fall forward! But I finally did it and was so thrilled they were all clapping and I got all excited and lost my concentration and fell. Boy was I sore and black and blue, especially my legs from the skis hitting them everytime I fell! But it was worth it.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Beth Williamson said...

~ Debbie - wow you have cruised more than me. Yeah, the young hotties on the ship.. dang, glad I didn't have a teenage girl! Thanks for your comment on BTM. *smooch*
~ Annie Owl - glad you found it. You would have thought I'd include a link in post eh? *slaps forehead*
~ Robin/Christy - I can see you having a ball on a cruise! You would be drooling at the beefcake passengers and crew (a lot of them are from foreign countries).
~ Cathie - he was sick on and off, but he did have times where he was okay. I had every motion sickness remedy in the world with me. Your water skiing adventure sounds like an incredible memory!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

I have never been on a cruise, but I really want to!

6:39 PM  
Blogger Beth Williamson said...

~ Jennifer - it was my DH's first and now he's all for taking another one. :)

7:35 PM  
Blogger Amie Stuart said...

Oooooo I wanna go!!!!!! I should too now that they have cruises out of Galveston. Unfortunately my 10 YO would be like your husband and 14 YO, ogling the boob-fest!

7:36 PM  
Blogger Jane Marshall said...

I've cruised a lot, having worked for a cruise line for a while. I also live only a scant few miles from Port Canaveral, so it is a pretty convenient way to vacation.

I've had a lot of fabulous cruises with greaet friends and lovers, but the worst actually sticks out in my mind. It was with my mother...

My mother is single, and so often, I'll invite her to go somewhere for a weekend. I'd never done a week before... and I'll never do a week again. At least not in such close quarters.

It was a beautiful cruise out of Jamaica, with ports of call in Columbia and Costa Rica, and a jaunt into the Panama Canal. Alas, my mother (bless her) could snore the paint off of a wall. She never did figure out why I elected to stay in the cabin and sleep most of the day away (of course, this was directly due to the fact that I couldn't sleep at all at night).

Note to self: earplugs for vacations with mom. :)

8:26 PM  
Blogger Pamk said...

my eight year old loved the cruise we went on and I didn't see my 15 year old but once aday. They had a great teen club and he was thoroughly enjoying being on his own lol. We really enjoyed the cruise and this became all of our favorite way to travel. Need to plan another one soon. Espcially before oldest ds is out of the house.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to experience a cruise, but have heard so much about the wonderful food available. Probably would have to diet both before and after such an experience. First to look good in my swimsuit, and after to look good in my swimsuit.

Little Lamb Lost

12:30 AM  

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