Sunday, July 17, 2005

Many years ago I recall my high-school friend, Michele, making a comment about roller coasters. She reflected upon the absurdity of humans needing to construct complex and dangerous machines to launch them up, down, and in loops, all in the name of entertainment. She wondered if we're really all so jaded that we need to be hurled through the air just to avoid a few moments of boredom.

There wasn't a single day on my cruise vacation when I didn't think about Michele's comment.

Anyway, the deal was that my mother's 70th birthday is coming up this summer and she decided to celebrate it by taking her family (kids, kids' spouses, grandkids, and husband) on a Caribbean cruise. The selfish wench was undeterred by the fact that she was frittering away my inheritence, so off we went.

Frankly, I was unconvinced that a cruise vacation was my thing, since I'm a pretty hip and edgy guy (hush, this is my blog), but I made the supreme sacrifice for my parents and agreed to come along.

As it turns out, the ship was pretty damn nice. And absurd. Unimaginably absurd. It would appear that at some point, after years of careful study, a vacationologist came to the conclusion that people need the following things VERY nearby in order to be happy on vacation:

A swimming pool
A casino
A climbing wall
A gym
Another swimming pool
An ice skating rink
Several, let's say three, theaters
A basketball court,
A shopping mall
A running track
A spa
A handful of jacuzzis
Heck, one more swimming pool
About 5 restaraunts
The biggest dining room I've ever seen that seated about 1000 people

And then he concluded that that kind of sucked, so he decided to...uh...make! AND THEN HE PUT GODDAMN PARADES ON THE FREAKIN' THING!

Finally the guy realized that he was only missing one thing: obscene amounts of expensive booze, so he put about a dozen bars with various themes on the ship. There was the Pool Bar, and the Schooner Bar, and the English Pub, and the Frankly I Can't Even Tell If I'm Puking From The Booze Or The Seasickness Saloon.

It was crazy nutso huge. I'm forced to conclude that whoever designed this ship must have had a microscopically tiny penis.

It was really nice though. The ship itself was new and gorgeous, gleaming with so much marble and hardwood, I can't believe it floated. Additionally, the staff on the ship was ridiculously friendly and competent. There was about 1 crew member for every 2 guests (around 3600 guests and a staff of 1500) so they had enough time to be extremely attentive. When the waiters weren't busy cutting up my daughter's meals for her, they were performing magic tricks to keep the kids entertained. I've never been in a restaurant before where a head waiter came to our table before a meal and asked if anyone had allergies or dietary restrictions he should know of. Since our daughter has several serious allergies, this was music to our ears.

Meanwhile, while all this is going on, our stateroom attendant was turning down our beds, and folding towels into cute animals. Unreal.

It's unimaginable to me how much this whole thing must have cost my parents. I hope they saved some money for her 80th birthday.

Finally, here's the damn picture of me during the lifeboat drill that I failed to successfully send from my cell phone.


Tasty said...

Ah, cruising. I love the hideous excess and the total lack of decisions that have to be made by me. "Should I eat in the dining room or the Windjammer?" hardly counts as a decision! Oh, and the fact that I come back looking like a hot, blonde, Puerto Rican.

Mike said...

It's true. You just move from location to location, only having to remember to chew and swallow at the correct times, and everything else just kind of works out. I must report, however, that I still don't look like a hot blonde. Kind of Puerto Rican though.

David said...

“The selfish wench was undeterred by the fact that she was frittering away my inheritance…” Lol. I was thinking about the same thing when my parents and sister went on their Bahamas cruise. And just weeks before they were claiming they were dirt ass poor. Eh, I’ve lumped my inheritance in the same category with Social Security—I’m not getting any so I might as well not worry about it.

David said...

oh... and it's nice to finally associate a face with these posts. You looked nothing like the graying yet balding, beak nosed, pasty white guy that I was imagining. :P

Mike said...

David, oh I'm definitely graying and beak-nosed, but low-res pictures taken from a straight-on angle tend to minimize those things. Hell, you can't even see my hairy toes in this pic.

dolface said...

that pic made my day.

Mike said...

I aims to please.