What follows are random observations from our cruise to Bermuda. Such as my brain works in strange ways, you may wonder if these are the types of things I always meditate on… For the most part I would say yes. Yes they are. Also, to avoid extra details at every turn, always assume there was a frozen drink in our hands and that we were poolside if our whereabouts weren’t otherwise accounted for…
I made a conscious effort to pay no mind to the standard delays and red tape that constitute the beginning of any vacation. They are a necessary and unavoidable evil. All in all they were as expected and we boarded in a decent amount of time. The first thing I would question is the Health Survey that was mandatory “to protect the welfare of all of our guests on board.” It was a 3-question survey that basically asked if I’d had a cold recently. Wow. Thanks for the diligent oversight of my well-being.
My duh moment for the day involved the US map in the terminal. There was a state whose name was missing. I was momentarily confused as to what state was missing, despite South Carolina being just beneath the untitled state.
Anyway, jump ahead now to the mandatory drill at the muster station where we need to report should we strike an iceberg or some such disaster. There she was. The stereotypical cruise passenger. The senior woman who thought things out enough to determine that she and her husband should stand in the middle of the muster crowd so the wind wouldn’t hit her. She also had an unhealthy obsession with discussing hummus. Hummus with spinach mixed in. She also seemed to have lost her husband’s attention long ago. Later, when the test alarm sounded at least six people in earshot of me mentioned their hearing aids.
Chilling in the cabin for a bit we found some interesting multi-culturalism. The Cartoon Network was showing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in English. All of the commercials were in Spanish. Que?
At our dinner table we were the first to be seated. For a while no one joined us. Would we be alone each night for dinner, unburdened by others? Nope. In came what I initially estimated to be a deaf mute Chad Ochocinco lookalike with a toddler and two women whose roles I could not identify. One wife, one sister? Two girlfriends? Don’t know to this day. They ended up being a nice group but his stoic demeanor, Gucci shades, pleather jacket and t-shirt featuring Animal from The Muppets and the words “Going Loco” certainly justified our initial concern. And we noticed as we dined that there were two kids in the entire 8:30 dinner seating. Of course we got one at our table!
Before the day was over Kelly had spilled my Monster Energy drink, chocolate ice cream and water on herself. She also made mention of a dance class on board that she wanted us to take, calling it Roomba. This prompted me to explain to her that Roomba is a robotic vacuum, Rhumba is a style of dance and a rhombus is a quadrilateral.
Beginning overnight, the rough seas kicked in. 13-20 foot swells had both of us less than enthused to walk anywhere. I hoped to get full credit for willingness to Rhumba because we simply could not make the class. At this point, the formal dinner was in question as motion sickness basically caused me to flop sweat. As of 2:00pm I had consumed a banana and two glasses of lemonade. So much for over-indulging. The formal dinner was officially skipped and so we tried to order room service. After two attempts at calling room service, we said to Hell with it and went to the buffet. Walking there reminded me why we skipped the formal dinner and I ended up eating another banana. We had a couple drinks waiting to watch the Steelers play the Patriots, but the drinks were too effective and we ended up asleep long before the game was over.
Bermuda. At the prompting of Kelly we took the adventurous route and rented a scooter. This allowed us to set our own agenda for the day and was a really fun way to see some things that none of the organized excursions would have visited. With only a couple dangerous moments across the entire day, the scooter was a huge success. Not enough for me to convince Kelly that we should get a motorcycle, but it was progress. We traveled along Middle Road from King’s Wharf to the bustling city of Hamilton. Along the way stopping at several photo opportunities. In Hamilton, we lunched at Flanagan’s Irish Pub and had a couple ciders for courage. The only issues with the scooter adventure were the lack of horsepower on uphill climbs, Kelly burning her leg on the exhaust pipe, and the locals growing tired of my pace and passing me. For the record, I had the damned thing floored.
After lunch we headed to Shelly Bay Beach for a nice, calm sunset. Around this time, Kelly realized that sunset meant we’d be driving home in the dark so we headed for home on South Road with a couple quick stops at a scenic overlook and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. Our late lunch out in town meant we skipped dinner on the boat, so we decided to hit the deck party buffet at 11:00pm. We went up there very hungry. We ended up having desserts only since it was about 90% sweets. Around this time the cruise directors started trying to fire everyone up with line dances. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched 50-100 alcohol-fueled, rhythm-impaired people try to do anything in unison, much less to the beat of shitty techno music.
We returned the scooter in the morning after refilling the gas tank as part of the agreement. $5.83 later and we were all square. I need a scooter! After some souvenir shopping and a final drink at Bone Fish Bar & Grill, we bid Bermuda farewell and boarded the ship to head for home.
The quote of the day was then overheard between two decidedly South Baltimore women:
Hon 1 – “I always questioned his sobriety. I think that’s why he put me out of the house in the middle of a snow storm.”
Hon 2 – (in a husky, smoke-riddled voice) “Yeah, well I’ll see yous for dinner at 7:00.”
What? What the fuck was that?
We changed our dinner seating to avoid the toddler. No offense, but that was kind of our point in not bringing our kids on the cruise. For me, this was lobster night with garlic shrimp and a baked potato. Heaven. It took every bit of restraint I had to say no to a second lobster tail when our waiter Alexsandar offered, but I did. Luckily that meant I was able to squeeze in a serving of the dessert sampler which contained trial sizes of cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake and a fruit sponge cake. Who says you can’t have three kinds of cake and eat it too? Worn out from our Bermuda adventures we retired to the cabin and watched the movie Salt starring Angelina Jolie. On the whole an enjoyable movie, though Hollywood can’t seem to help itself sometimes. More on that later.
More rough seas, though not as bad as Sunday. Still, they were rough enough to foil the plan of a dance class. It was to be the Tango I believe. Kelly was a good sport about it and had just as little interest in falling over ourselves while dancing as I did. Instead we took in The Bounty Hunter starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. Let me say this about Hollywood, they definitely only try just hard enough in most instances. Terrible dialogue, plot holes the size of the Bermuda Triangle, two-dimensional characters… Everything I’ve come to loathe about most films. That said, the purpose was served. The movie gave a roomful of people something to do in the seated position so they weren’t bobbing, weaving and bumping into each other all day like babies learning to walk. We also played high stakes Bingo, coming just two numbers away from winning $450, and played some trivia games. After packing the majority of our things to prepare for docking in the morning we took advantage of our new dinner seating for a quiet dinner to celebrate our anniversary. After we stuffed ourselves to near bursting including dessert, the waiters brought us yet another dessert and sang to us. Hey, we couldn’t not eat it, right?
Based on numbers on the luggage tags, we were guided to one of several waiting areas as the ship cleared customs, etc. Lucky us, our area included Desmond, the overzealous, animated, effeminate cruise director from Trinidad who loved to hear himself talk. He entertained the room by teaching older woman how to slut dance. Happily, I was now back in AT&T 3G coverage and had a week of Internet to catch up on! When we were called there was a delay in the line which left us waiting near the center stairwell. Somewhere near that stairwell must be where the sewage vents and/or pumps are located, as the smell of poo replaced any hint of tropical air that may have been lingering in our nostrils. Welcome home!