The Bahamas Suck- part 1

One aspect I enjoy so much about my relationship with my gal pal Kelli is that when either of us tells the other a story that we find especially poignant or funny we will say, “You HAVE to blog that!”  This story comes from such a discussion this evening…

The only experience to date that I’ve ever had with a “cruise ship” (and I am using quotation marks very intendedly here) was in the spring of 2000.  I was so excited to take a luxury cruise ship to the Bahamas for what was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime- my honeymoon.  Now when I got married (first time) we didn’t really research the destination.  We wanted some place warm and lovely and tropical.  I imagined hearing steel drums playing off in the distance and feeling the trade winds blowing a mixture of ocean water and sand ever so slightly onto our skin as we walked along the beach.  THIS was the Bahamas I had imagined.

The morning we arrived in Cape Canaveral I was amazed when I saw our ship from a distance.  It was massive.  I’d never seen anything like it.  One doesn’t have much of an opportunity to see such a sight in East Tennessee cruising down the Cherokee River.  We got out of the rental car and began walking closer and closer to the ship.  Then something rather curious started to happen.  The closer we got to the ship the more I began to notice that this ship didn’t look so,….. uh, well……. “new”.  I could see wear and tear on the exterior of the ship and I’m thinking, “This isn’t really what cruise ships look like on the commercials I’ve seen.”  We walk ahead hopeful that conditions will improve.  As we entered the ship and showed our proper i.d.  the realization began to set in.  Have any of you seen the movie “Titanic” which starred Leonardo DiCaprio?  You know the scene when the old lady begins to tell her story of her experience on Titanic and you see the cameras underwater panning over the sunken wreckage of the ship on the ocean floor, but as the cameras continue to press forward the hallways and the walls miraculously return to their splendor and majesty from their glory days?  Well, this is exactly what was happening to us only in reverse.  Each step taking us to a place looking more worn and ragged than the one before.  Disheartening to say the least.  But we were troopers and tried to look on the bright side- we are on a HUGE boat and we are heading to a lovely place.  We decided to put smiles on our faces and make the most of our voyage to paradise.

The husband and I quickly found lounge chairs by a pool deck.  There were about 15 million college kids on Spring Break aboard with us and the festivities got loud fairly quickly.  It’s not that we were too old to have a good time, but our idea of a good time was lounging in peace by a lovely pool and not having to participate in a keg party with Otter and the other frat boys.  We kept smiling and tried to focus on getting some sun.  Surely we’ll be there soon.

After an hour or so on the ship each of us decided we were getting hungry.  I’ve always heard that cruise ships have the best food and LARGE AMOUNTS of it.  Literally, I have yet to meet a person who has gotten back from a cruise who has NOT told me how fabulous the food was.  I was excited.  I was hungry and hoping that this might take my mind off of the slight rocking of the boat for a while.  We found one of about 8 dining halls and promptly went to the buffet.  We loaded up our plates with piles of wonderful looking food and made our way to the table.  I still feel the boat rocking, but I am so hungry by this point that I am able to ignore it long enough to get the first bite into my mouth.  What’s this?  Blah…. so bland.  I try something else.  Same deal.  The food looked wonderful, but it all tasted like cardboard… gross!  So here we are on a huge, rotting, floating fraternity party and the food tastes like the hind end of a dead possum LARGE AMOUNTS of it…. yay.  Okay, so much for cruise food.  Just get me to the Bahamas.

We only had another hour and a half until we reached our destination and I was fussy and hungry.  Still trying to look on the positive side of things we decided to go to one of the onboard shows to kill time.  I don’t have much of a memory of the entertainment that day.  I think it had something to do with a big-haired woman in a shiny dress belting out “I Will Survive” and a medley of women’s empowerment tunes, but this was quickly overshadowed by what I saw in the corner of the room.  To our immediate right and probably 20 feet away is a woman, sitting alone, and vomiting onto the floor beneath her seat.  I guess she was feeling the rocking of the ship too.  I immediately looked at my new husband and said, “We’ve got to help her.”  I looked around for a ship employee and found a non-English speaking employee.  NO ONE employed by this cruise ship spoke English.  It was a virtual melting pot on the high seas.  I go up to Hosea or Rico or whoever it was and began to point to the woman and make “vomit” hand gestures from my mouth and tell him I need help.  Rico turns and quickly walks away.  I go to the poor woman and tell her help is on the way.  I’m patting her back, but turning my head to keep from seeing too closely what was on the floor.  The smell…. now that was another matter.  A few minutes later Rico returns and hands me something.  He has brought me a plastic cup and one napkin.  HUH?!!!!  Are you kidding me????  What exactly am I supposed to do with this?  What Macgyver kinda move did this guy think I was gonna make with this?  I am now literally just accepting that I am on the 9th level of hell.  This must be punishment for me over some choice I made in college, right?!  I take the napkin and wipe the poor woman’s face and with the cup I begin to scoop… well, you get the picture.  I did as much as I could.  Once Rico (a.k.a. Einstein) figures out what I’m doing he returns with a mop and takes care of the rest of the mess.  It’s a good thing too since I had used up all of my resources and was already mentally plotting what I could do with some shoe laces and a wad of chewing gum.  This was the last straw.  I simply wanted off that devil’s cruise ship.  Just get me to the Bahamas…. (rest to come)

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