This cruise sucks. I hate people. The food is awful. I hate every minute of this.
Those were the thoughts I thought would be going through my brain the entire time on this ship. This was especially so as we waited in the customs line with an older couple in front of us. The man kept asking us questions that were geared less toward finding answers and making conversation than they were towards the man introducing new topics about himself he wanted to tell us about. “If you don’t mind me asking, how much did you spend on this cruise? We only paid $500.00. That’s a great price, I am telling you. Is this your first cruise? It’s our 12th. Have you been out of the US before? I was in the Navy and stationed in Germany. I also served in Vietnam. Do you like foreigners? I am old and probably a racist.”
To be fair, my only exposure to cruising, aside from Kathy Lee Gifford’s commercials, was the Love Boat. I was certain that Andrew and I would break up, be brought back together by some sort of farcical plays of Gopher, Julie and the Captain and would end up married at the end of it all (which sounds as bad as breaking up). I was looking forward to being entertained by Charo though – cootchie cootchie!
But it turns out that while there are a lot of people on ship and some moderate mingling, it’s not that bad and on now on our third day on board Andrew and I are already discussing what our next cruise might be. The first day was mostly Andrew and me walking up and down flights of stairs and really figuring out the layout of the boat. We are on the 5th deck in the fore and most of the stuff that we want to do is on the 7th or 12th or 13th decks – but never in order. There are elevators available, but we refuse to use them. By the time this trip is over we will have climbed the equivalent of the Empire State Building – daily.
Most of the stair climbing is us attempting to get to the various restaurants. The Norwegian provides “freestyle cruising” which could just as well be called grazing. There is always food available for the having. As Crossfitters and runners we like to use high levels of exercise as excuses for constant foraging. I am pretty sure that on our first day we hit a restaurant once an hour (subsequent days have not really lowered that number). In the evening we had many events to choose from. We saw the variety show in the theater, played trivia and hung out at the piano bar. The trivia was actually TriBond (where you are given three things and have to find a common bond between them, e.g. piano, Florida, lock = the bond would be keys). there were so few players that we all had to play on separate teams. One of us won that night and the other one of us will probably not mention this event in his blog (www.andrewberkowitz.com/blog).
Yesterday was our first full day on board. It was only spoiled by my (hindsight 20/20) stupidity in not entering and likely winning the ladies biceps contest poolside (I would have totally won had I entered, there was a pushup competition and not a single one of those women could do a real pushup). Yes, that’s right we were on a boat by the pool in 80+ degree weather. We ate a lot. We read our books. I knit. We worked out in the gym. We ate. We watched a musical in the theater – if the dream of the ’90’s is in Portland, the dream of the ’80’s is alive and kickin’ on Norwegian. The musical was basically just a review of late ’70’s early ’80’s disco, pop and rock songs. At one point the performers told us to get up and gave us some dance moves to do with them. After the show was over the couple next to us asked if we were performers with the cruise line because we seemed to know all the dance moves. I may want to have my next career be as an entertainer on a cruise.
We hustled out to more food and before the Not-so Newlywed gameshow we played two rounds of shuffleboard. One of us won both rounds and the other of us also didn’t win at trivia. We changed to fancy clothes for fancy clothes night on the ship and went to watch the Not-so Newlywed gameshow that was super funny and highlighted by the couple that had been married for 51 years (she was 16 when they wed) who seemed to know the absolute least about each other from anyone on the stage.
Today was the first day we got off ship. We docked at Cozumel at 8AM. Andrew and I went on a salsa & salsa excursion. Here we drank margaritas, made salsa and learned to dance salsa. And when I say we drank I mean Andrew had more alcohol today than I have known him to have, cumulatively, since I met him – at least two full glasses, possibly two and a half. After his third sip of his first drink he leaned over and in a timbre that can only be described as stage whisper shouting, declared himself drunk. The humor was heightened by the fact that Andrew had been accidentally elected as our table captain and in charge of cutting people off if they were too stupid drunk. Andrew and I managed to find his tipsy-equilibrium, made all sorts of salsas then managed to win salsa dancing by claiming the prize of sauciest couple.
Back on board we trekked to a trivia contest. This time we got to play together and won (so one of us is less sulky). Andrew is now sleeping off the alcohol before we run around the ship track. Tonight is karaoke – I am going to try to win that too!