Imagine being a complete zombie after a 6 hour red-eye flight, and a 3 hour layover before being en route to the cruise port. When you go outside to catch a cab, there is man who looks like an angry mechanic that chose to drive cabs. That is where I begin with this story. I originally had apprehension about my wife ordering an uber driver, because the stories I recently heard about Kristine Leahy had me apprehensive. What if we got some sort of machete wielding axe-murderer that has a penchant for hacking tourists to death. With the weary and skeptical mind state I already had at that point, it completely made sense.
Anyhow, we get into the cab and he speaks with a thick Haitian Creole accent. He asks us “Where to?”, we tell him the company and location and he drives us there. His cab was junky; Bible with church service pamphlets, rogue papers, and random junk. He drove like a bat out of hell and rolled the windows up, without asking me or my wife if we were cool with it. Inhaling aromas of what seemed to be Ben Gay ointment and dehydrated incense, I happened to take a picture or two of the buildings
That was cool. Arriving at the port, I continued to go in to get processed and board the ship, which took another hour. We got in the buffet line and and ate food to kill the time. I barely ate anything, due to my fatigue. We couldn’t get access to our room until 1330 and it felt like I had a four hour deficit of sleep, coming from the west coast. When I got in the bed, I was laid out until the luggage arrived. The rest was okay, until I realized they wanted everyone on the boat to do this Emergency Drill, as required by maritime law.
After the drill was over, I went back to the room for some more rest. But, lo and behold, I was musty and grimey. I needed a shower to feel clean again. As I turn on the shower, water sprayed all in my face from a leaky hose shower. I couldn’t believe it, what kind of cruise is this. And I thought I suffered on the last cruise. This place was disappointing me in more ways than I could describe. The room was; way too small for all of the luggage we had, plumbing was faulty, and design of room was antiquated with outdated “Miami Vice” furniture. For a second, I thought Crockett and Tubbs were going to bust into my room. Ridiculous.
Then to top things off after that, this place only has one power outlet per room. Me and my wife are playing tug-of-war, asking each other “whose phone has less power?”. Starting me off in a bad direction for the day. I have no channels to watch sports, only local access ship channels that give perpetual safety debriefing. There is nothing to do on this boat, compared to some of the more prestige ship boats out there. I don’t gamble, drink, or eat stale buffet food all day, so I feel awkward just being on the boat. I had to order the best wifi plan to have some sanity. I hope things get better tomorrow. So far, the whole thing feels like a let down. I can’t tell my wife that, because she felt like she put a lot of effort into making this “getaway” happen. Will keep you guys posted.
All the fat-shaming and looks of disgust will be left at departure. On the boat you will see almost everything that you usually wouldn’t see. People will drink, let loose, relax, and romance like you’ve never seen before. There is a night club on the boat where people go after hours to party hard and let it hang out. I happened to go on a boat cruise that was packed with college kids during spring break. I seen a guy who looked like Tom Arnold attempting to do the “Wobble” with his barely 18 year old girlfriend. If you don’t know what the wobble is, here you go. If you don’t dance to this, you just don’t have a pulse.
Pitbull and Flo-Rida was jamming all through the night, with sprinkles of old-school hip-hop to please the crowd. You are liable to see anything, at any moment. I am thankful that I had someone babysitting my toddler daughter back home. Not for the reason of the Nicki Minaj shaped woman with a thong bikini walking around, but for the next observation. I digress, however, this is why I dislike going to Las Vegas, NV during the weekend. The younger and immature crowd are there -walking along the streets with their eyes glazed like a morning donut- looking for some late night nookie. That’s another blog. So lets move on to the next observation.
Observation #2) Sex
I can only speak for myself when I say this, but man, it felt like we just met all over again. We were jackrabbits. I won’t get too “50 shades of grey” on you guys, but I will say it felt good. When you have the constant pressures of a demanding job/career and raising children, sex becomes an accessory. If you can get to the bedroom and get some while you are both are awake and the kids are sleep, congrats. In cases like me and my wife, we have to get it when its apropos. Having the freedom of no responsibility for 3-5 days felt incredible. I missed my child, but I damn sure miss the “first apartment together” sex we used to have. As I alluded to in the previous observation, ANYTHING GOES!!
Observation#3.) Free Room Service
“I’m gettin’ tired of this sorry mutha$#*ka callin’ me, this about the 20th time in one hour!”
You damn rite, I want the grilled cheese sandwich with the tomato soup, and some chocolate chip cookies on the side. Oh, and before you get off the phone, can you grab some fresh cookies, last time they were stale.
Yes, that was me. It was another opportunity in my life where I had that much more reason to be an obese slob, and mail it in. The food was a 6 out of 10. Nothing that would make you stay in the room and order all day, the dinner service is where the cuisine food is at. Most of these observations depend on what boat you choose to cruise on. They have luxury boats that are sumptuous in taste and design. I just happened to take Carnival; the company that is the McDonald’s of boat cruises. There are some fancy luxury cruises out there that are built like The Venetian on water. So experiences may differ.
Observation #4.)Awkward ass dining situations
Carnival, believes in inclusion when guests come on their boat, and it is no escaping it. I am totally into being a hermit, so this was a challenge. First of all, I had no shoes to wear to the formal dinner. So, my wife went to the local souvenir shop where they only had boat shoes. I looked a hot mess, I felt like a Black version of Skipper on Gilligan’s Island. The only piece missing from my costume was his hat. I felt like a complete clown.
So, there my wife is looking fancy, while I walk into the restaurant looking like the guy above this sentence. Secondly, when I arrive there, I am disgruntled and stoic. I want no parts of a friendly conversation, and they put me next to Mr. Loquacious himself. Boasting gleefully to his wife about all of his accomplishments, as if they just met, he would pause the conversation (while staring directly at us) and wait for me or my wife to interject. I just continued eating my frog legs, while acting deaf, dumb, and blind. This actually worked for me, and the couple eventually left, while me and my wife laughed boisterous and wicked. My wife knew I was being an asshole, and played along with me. lol. Lastly, the breakfast was twice as awkward, but I knew how to break the ice. With me being the only token Black, the table was completely awkward. I could read the biases that were on their faces when they arrived at the table. A white couple from a rural town near Buffalo, NY. sat tense from across the table. I introduced myself and chatted about the NFL with the husband, while having laughs about trivial inquiries. Another foreigner couple who barely spoke at all arrived at the table. Then another couple from Florida arrived. They were friendly and nice. I felt like saying, see it wasn’t that bad. Knowing damn well that I was just as nervous as them. We all exited the table being friendly when passing each other later on.
Observation#5.) Short duration of time spent at destination(s)
You buy an excursion package in Ocho Rios, Jamaica for snorkeling and whatever but only have so many hours to enjoy it. By time you get finished with the rock climbing and your “Eat, Pray, Love” antics, you have an hour and a half to get back to the boat. The boat will be jam-packed before departing, and you need to buy some souvenirs and take selfies to make everyone on Facebook know you’ve been there. The scenery is beautiful and the sting ray farm is amazing, but now it is time to go. The ship is taking off as you look at the people who are basking in the elegance of a magical resort at the beach. They get to stay for the whole vacation. You privately begin to stew in envy as the boat takes off. They get the REAL vacation on the beach. The inverse of that argument is that you may not be a Resort kind of person. Resorts are ran differently. Ships are inclusive, resorts are exclusive. The culture of cruise ships are to mix and mingle with everyone:Make new friends. Good times, Celebrations, Salutations!!. While resorts are more suitable for people wanting privacy and savoring the beauty of the culture. They both are awesome, it just depends on your personality.
Observation#6.) Talent Show
If you had a failed attempt at that 90’s rock band as lead singer, or you are a professional shower singer. This is your chance to get your Alanis Morrisette on. It is the most entertaining thing on the boat.
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