Cruise, Part the First

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 8:55 PM

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In December, David was presented with the President's Award from his wonderful employer, and along with flowers and some kind of crystal prism thing, we were given a 7-day Caribbean cruise on a line of our choice.

Um, wow. Okay!

In addition to the wonderful shock of such a monumental gift, we weren't sure where to start, because - at the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat of historic proportions - when I hear the word "cruise", I picture the Axiom spaceship from Wall-E. A huge, bloated vessel full of huge, bloated people mainlining all-you-can-eat cupcakes directly into their bloodstream, with everything you could ever want on the boat just in case you get too fat and/or lazy to waddle your way off.

(That's a slight exaggeration. Slight. But really, everyone I've heard talk about how much they loved their cruise has cited first the quantity of food, secondly the quantity of booze, thirdly the size of the boat. I was skeptical).

So, a cruise was a vacation modality that had never occurred to my conscious mind, but I am a girl who is always up for a new adventure and so I was happy to go into this trip with an open mind and ready to have some fun!

Well, they definitely weren't lying about the Big Boat. Holy mackerel.



One of the first things we noticed once we got onto the boat was this helpful little touch, in the elevators:



In case you get so enthralled in your cupcake IV that you actually do forget what day it is, the good people at Royal Caribbean have used their Gold Anchor service powers to guide you aright. Bonus: the day is inscribed upon the floor, where one could presumably read it even if the ocean of booze has rendered one temporarily horizontal.

Our first day on the boat was spent "cruising", aka "going", to CocoCay, which is a private island in the Bahamas owned by Royal Caribbean. (Let the record show that I find this idea to be creepy in the extreme.) We spent this day discovering the boat, figuring out what was "included" and what we would have to pay for, and doing Week 8 Day 2 of our couch-to-5K running program.

That is dedication, people.

CocoCay was kind of a tiny, scrubby little island. I somehow expected an island owned by a cruise line to be, I don't know, more sanitized and shiny:



My first Bahamian activity was yoga on Barefoot Beach. Joe the Yoga Instructor's beautiful British accent had no effect on David, so he went for a swim in the clear turquoise water while I got my om on. I'm in the orange top:



I love yoga everywhere, all the time, but I have to say that yoga, among other things people like to do on the beach now and then, is just more enjoyable on some level minus the sand, rocks, pointy bits of coral, saltwater, and blazing sun.

I would have given a lot of money to trade places with the lady in the shade there for the very extended final resting pose:



Our next activity was parasailing. On the boat, waiting for our turn:



Ready...



steady...



go!



So glad we were 400 feet in the air, because my untanned backside was basically hung in a sling for everyone's viewing pleasure. Things to know for next time.

We gave our camera to our boat-mates so they could photograph us while we were sailing, and I guess they got bored of taking pictures of us. So they took some pictures of themselves. Apparently some people never grow out of making That Drunk College Face in pictures:



And here we are being reeled in, with our Giant Boat in the background. It's actually bigger than CocoCay:



I thought parasailing would be more of a daredevil, high-energy activity, but it's actually very low-key and peaceful. Not scary at all.

That night's dinner was one of the two "formal nights" on the ship, which means you dress up fancy, preferably choosing a complementary color to the epic sunburn that you received earlier in the day, and you have even more opportunities than usual to be photographed in dismal lighting against a backdrop from the Year of our Lord 1992. We opted for the no-charge our-camera dismal-lighting dining room photo:



That was, I believe, taken at the end of the third course (did you know every meal on a cruise is a three-course meal? Good thing they have lots of treadmills.)

To be continued...

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