Cruising

This story is pretty much true but the names have been changed to protect Tracey.
Cruising
A number of ladies decided to go on a cruise with their husbands. The ladies were part of a social group that informally met on a weekly basis. Different combinations of ladies in this
social group had gone on cruises before but never with their husbands. This 7 day cruise would leave from and return to Miami and visit Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Grand Cayman. The folks who went on the cruise were Adam and Alice Alpha, Bob and Betty Bravo, Chuck and Carol Charlie, and Dave and Debbie Delta.
Getting to Miami
The flights to Miami were pretty uneventful. At O’Hare airport we fed ourselves at a fast food place. While the ladies got a table, the guys went to get the food. Except for Chuck. Chuck knew better than to try and figure out what Carol was going to eat. While the ladies
were waiting for food, another woman approached them and said that it was rude to reserve tables like that and wanted the ladies to get out. This woman also made some gestures as though she was using sign language. The ladies thought about using their own signs and gestures but didn’t.
Miami
While in Miami, some of the couples prepared themselves for the upcoming shortage of cheap booze while on the cruise. Apparently, the cruise line frowns on their passengers bringing cheaper booze on the ship when they could be paying the ship’s outrageous
prices. The frowning goes so far as to check the passengers’ luggage for bottles. The way around this is to:
1. Buy bottles of booze
2. Buy plastic bladders
3. Pour the booze into the bladders and seal the bladder
4. Check the seal
5. No kidding, make sure that nothing’s coming out of that bladder
6. Put the bladder inside a Ziploc bag
7. Put the bag in between your clothes in your luggage (aren’t you glad you checked the seal)
For dinner, the 8 of us went to a nearby seafood restaurant. Alcohol had already been consumed and the trend continued. By the time that we’d finished dinner, folks were pretty sozzled. When spitballs started flying, it was decided that we should go back to the hotel.
Embarkation day
We got on board the ship just after noon. We’d snagged 8 deck chairs on the 10th deck and waited for our luggage to arrive in our rooms. There was a giant TV screen showing what looked like a football game. A lot of the group were quite excited by this. There was
also a trivia game on the subject of cartoon theme music. This was hosted by a young English woman named Giggles who giggled like Woody Woodpecker. We were in luck because Chuck and Betty had wasted a lot of their youth watching cartoons. Carol pointed out that Chuck didn’t just waste his youth. Chuck would have denied it but he’d just completed his collection of Bullwinkle and Flintstones episodes. We missed a couple of questions but scored a couple of bonus points, getting us 20 out of 20. For this we got medallions and a ship on a stick. The ship on a stick was a lump of plastic shaped vaguely like the Carnival Glory mounted on 2 plastic sticks upon a brown plastic base. The group agreed that this treasured article would be passed among the couple in perpetuity. Chuck and Carol have hogged it ever since.
First Sea Day
The first full day of the cruise was a sea day. We spent time exploring the ship and hanging out on the deck. We worked out, hung out on the deck, played some bingo and otherwise filled the day. One of the discoveries was that there was to be a martini-tasting at a bar named Alchemy. Hanging out at the martini bar before dinner would become a regular part of the schedule. Most of the ladies liked a chocolate martini concoction named the “Deal Closer” but Alice was more partial to something called the “Perfect Storm” or “Head Slammer” or something like that. Part of the preparation of this drink involved setting some twigs on fire over the drink and then dropping them in.
Chuck and Carol also managed to get in some dancing. There was a lounge act called Summer Breeze performing in the main open area. Summer Breeze were playing light pop tunes that easily worked with regular ballroom steps. Chuck and Carol spent about 30 minutes watching and dancing before dinner. They also found a nightclub after dinner
that played louder, faster music for dancing the Hustle and West Coast Swing. Over the next week, Chuck and Carol would spent time dancing in these venues. Because of this, strangers would walk up to Chuck and Carol and talk about how wonderful their dancing was – except for one guy. He said that Chuck and Carol danced well but Chuck looked a little stiff. While Chuck and Carol took this as constructive criticism, Chuck did start referring to this guy as “F***face”. Debbie suggested that Chuck let it go but he isn’t going to.
Bob and Betty discovered that they had noisy neighbors. They were kept awake until all hours because of the sexual activity next door. At one point, Betty banged on the wall. The noises stopped, there was another knock from the other side, then the sexual activity noises resumed. Bob reported that he’d sometimes see 2 guys going into the room, other times he’d see a girl with them. We never did figure out what was going on over there.
Cozumel
We’d booked a beach-hopping tour for Cozumel. The hopping involved 2 beaches. The first beach was pretty packed but we managed to find a table with some shade that would fit us all. There were a couple of inflatable water slides out in the water that a bunch of us
tried out. Back at the beach, Dave and Carol got temporary tattoos. Dave’s was of a snake or dragon or something. It looked pretty good. Carol’s was of turtles but the tattoo didn’t look much like the picture and was smudged and ugly before she left the beach.
The second beach was a lot more relaxing. We had lots of room and there were large coral formations sticking out of the sand and water. We explored the coral formations very carefully because it was like walking on glass shards.
On the bus rides, our host Sylvia would get us revved up by playing loud music and dancing up and down the aisle way. Sylvia soon grabbed female passengers, one at a time, to dance with her. Eventually Alice and Carol would join her. At one point, Alice even traipsed up and down the aisle way by walking on the armrests. While one of the other women was dancing in a very sultry style, we heard another woman call out ‘That’s my mom’.
Belize
It rained in Belize.
Belize doesn’t have a harbor big enough for cruise ships so the ships anchor out where it is safe and passengers use little boats called tenders to get to and from shore. Apparently, the Carnival hadn’t yet figured out how to organize this. We were told to pick up tickets with tender numbers on them and wait for the numbers to be called. When we went to the area that we were supposed to wait for the tenders, our way was blocked by an officious little shit whose nametag read “HappyFeet”. We’d last seen HappyFeet when we played bingo. HappyFeet told us to shut up and get out of the way until our number was called. We soon saw that HappyFeet was also sending away people whose numbers had already been called. We also heard that half-empty tenders were going to shore. We were discussing with HappyFeet the error of his ways when another, more reasonable, crew member came by, slapped HappyFeet around and let us go.
The rain was bucketing down at this point. We had reservations with a snorkeling tour for the day but folks were saying that the rain would stir up the mud and make the snorkeling awful. Carol found the folks who had our reservations and asked for a refund. Carol met some resistance from the vendor. Adam came by and help out by explaining the vendor’s “refund avoidance” strategies and getting the vendor to say that we’d get our money back.
Instead we went on a bus tour of Belize. We learned a bunch of stuff about Belize and its history. Belize City is mostly an armpit of a place. By the time we got back to the ship, the rain had stopped and we occasionally saw some sun. At the martini bar meeting, Debbie said that she had just met a couple who’d gone on the snorkeling tour. We were hoping that it was awful but they had a great time and the snorkeling was wonderful.
Roatan
We had some minor panicking in the morning when it was discovered that we needed to be ashore an hour earlier than we’d thought. Honduras doesn’t make daylight savings time adjustments when we do in the USA. Betty left a note for everybody about this the night before. In the morning, Betty realized that she’d been misinformed, again, so she and
Bob frantically tried to hunt down everyone else to let them know. The Alphas and the Bravos were found quickly enough but the Charlies’ room was way the hell down the other end of the ship and besides, they weren’t there. Bob started to hunt them down and eventually found them having a leisurely breakfast. Anyway, we all got to the bus on time.
Betty’s note also included directions for finding the bus (thru the plaza, past the gate, up the hill, down the hill, around the bend, etc). As we walked along, we noticed that there were dogs everywhere. We met the tour coordinator who introduced us to Carla (“Don’t make Carla angry!”) and were on our way.
Ziplining was great. It was raining most of the time but that seemed to make the event more rainforest. We were taught how to not get ourselves maimed or killed. Adam and Alice both did the ‘upside down spread eagle I’m too cool to die thing’. Carol thought that she was doing OK but the staff kept saying ‘no way. You’re going with us holding your hand’. Maybe they liked holding her hand.
After zip lining, we went to a beach. Vendors were everywhere offering ‘anything’ and ‘massage baby?’ We wound up at a beach-bar where we were served drinks with a stupid amount of alcohol in them and with a tumbler of rum on the side in case that wasn’t enough. This had the desired effect because we were soon surrounded by vendors and now we
were buying stuff. Carol was getting an unwanted massage. Debbie got two bracelets instead of one because the poor boy didn’t have change.
The bus ride back took the better part of an hour. About halfway across the island, Adam, Bob and Betty got off the bus to powder their noses behind some bushes. When we next looked over, all that we could see of Betty were her knees sticking up out of the foliage. Bob was standing over her, arms akimbo, looking astonished. Betty had been ‘in position’ and had fallen forward, hitting her face on some rocks. There were no cuts but some very painful bruises. We didn’t see Betty for the rest of the day after we got back to the ship. Apparently, she was ‘seasick’.
Grand Cayman
This was another place where the harbor wasn’t big enough for cruise ships. At least, this time the tenders were managed properly so that we could easily get to shore.
The Charlies and the Deltas went snorkeling over a barrier reef. We stayed out a couple of hours. On the way out and back from the reef, we noticed that there were iguanas everywhere. When we got back to shore, we noticed that there were chickens wandering around everywhere too.
Once they were back on board the Glory, the Charlies decided to check out the hot tub up on deck 12. Unbeknownst to them, the Alphas and Bakers could see the Charlies from deck 11. The Alphas and Bakers tried calling to the Charlies to say ‘hi’. The Charlies couldn’t hear them because the hot tub was pretty loud and there was a clear plastic barrier baffling the sound. The Alphas and Bakers called louder still but the Charlies didn’t hear them. The Alphas and Bakers then really belted out the calling and this time they were heard. Unfortunately, they were heard by some guy a few lounge chairs along who’d been sleeping. He complained at the Alphas and Bakers who said that they were dreadfully sorry and then went back to shouting at the Charlies. Chuck and Carol eventually did see the Alphas and Bakers and waved back. This inspired the Alphas and Bakers to shout some more and disturbed Sleeping Beauty again. Betty later said that when Sleeping Beauty showed up on the following day, he had ear phones.
Second Sea Day
This was the day for martini making lessons for the ladies. They learned how to set fire to cinnamon and twigs to put in their drinks.
Getting Home
The ship staff had asked us to leave our luggage outside our rooms the night before and we’d pick it up on our way off ship after they’d called our number. The Alphas didn’t want to wait so they kept their luggage and left before the Charlies finished breakfast. The remaining folks sat around and enjoyed their phones’ internet access. Some of us had been going thru internet withdrawal.
When we got to the airport, we found that we had to wait 5 hours for our flight and they wouldn’t check our luggage for another 2 hours.
When we approached Cleveland, there were windstorms across the Midwest. It took our pilot 3 tries to get us landed.
When we finally got to Cleveland, we found that our connecting flight to Grand Rapids had been cancelled and that we were now booked on a flight on the following day at 5:00pm. Instead we rented a minivan and drove home. We were nervous about the drive since the
windstorm was still going. Luckily, the drive was uneventful.
When we all got home, only the Deltas had power. The rest of us got to freeze in the dark.
But the cruise was good.
Post Script
After getting home, a friend of ours, Art (his real name but this is what he gets for telling tales) started telling folks that we were on a swingers cruise. This is pretty funny for most people who know us. Funnier still was that his wife believed him.

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One Response to Cruising

  1. Pingback: Push Party | Stephen Squire

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