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My Week at Sea
Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2009 :|: Nobody cared enough to Comment

So I went on a 7 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise with Rachel, her boyfriend Bruce and Christen. They had been on a cruise before, but this was my first time. I've never even left the country before this. We enjoyed our trip aboard the Carnival Splendor ship in awesome Spa suites on the highest level with our own private balcony. I know you are just dying to hear all about it, so here is my day by day take.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 - Drive and Embarkation
Our journey actually started Friday night. We left Memphis for Fort Lauderdale around 6 PM. Bruce drove like a bat out of hell most of the way down there. We had about an 18 hour drive and only 22 hours to get there. In hind sight, I'm not sure why we were in such a hurry because we got there with 5 hours to spare.

I had to show my passport four or five times just to get on the boat. I instantly started to explore the ship. It had a two story tall slide, three pools, 5 hot tubs and several bars and dining areas. Because we had a spa suite, they gave us a tour of the spa. The tour guide led us around to the different parts of the spa and somebody from each part would tell us about what they did. I had fun pushing buttons to turn water on and off in different places. They walked us into the acupuncture room and there was a guest on the table with needles in his back. I was standing at his feet and was tempted to tickle his feet, but I managed to resist. When we made it to the gym, I began entertaining myself on a bouncy ball until I caused the gym lady to laugh. The tour guide managed to keep her composure the whole time though. Bruce went to bed after the tour as he had been up about 24 hours.

At dinner time I felt like I was in a fancy restaurant. Instead of a host, they had a maitre d'. The table was decorated with fresh flowers and the napkin was folded into a design. When we sat down, the waiter unfolded my napkin and placed it in my lap. That was kind of creepy, yet mildly entertaining. The wait staff even sung a song to us. After the appetizer and main course, the waiter replaced my fork with a clean one. You don't get that at TGI Fridays, they tell you to take your fork off the empty plate before they pick it up. Rachel and Christen said that at desert time if I didn't move my spoon from above my plate to the left of it, the waiter would do it for me. I decided to have fun with the waiter by rearranging my fork and knife randomly throughout dinner. The expressions on his face were slightly entertaining as he put things back where they belong, but I was disappointed because he never moved the spoon.

I didn't do much after dinner. I had been up about 36 hours by then, so I went to bed.

Sunday, January 25, 2009 - Fun Day of Sea Sickness
I woke up with a slight headache and was dizzy throughout the day. This being my first time, it took me a little while to realize, "Oh! That's what sea sickness feels like." I thought sea sickness was hanging your head over the edge of the boat and puking like they do in the movies and cartoons, but apparently not everybody experiences nausea. Christen gave me some medicine, which I later mixed with alcohol. The headache went away and I wasn't dizzy anymore, but I got very tired.

I spent the day wandering the ship and checking out all the hot girls. One particular girl caught my eye at dinner. I guess it was more like she caught me checking her out. She looked at me and smiled. We exchanged glances and smiles throughout the week, but I was too shy to ever talk to her.

This was cruise elegant night, so we had to dress up for dinner. I showed up in kakis and a polo and was surprised that they let me in. Most of the guys were wearing suits and ties.

Bruce, Rachel and I went to the dance club while Christen slept. She goes to bed really early each night.

Monday, January 26, 2009 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
We arrived in Puerto Rico around 5 PM. I realized that all the cruise ships that left port with us on Saturday had met us there. I guess they all go to the same places. The girls wanted to go shopping while Bruce wanted to go to a strip club. Bruce and I set out to find a gentleman's club that was on a map somebody gave us as we got off the boat. We eventually found out that the map was of another city, but somebody pointed us to a local strip club. We played pool and drank until the strip club opened. We were the first customers in the bar. We couldn't exactly wait because the ship sailed at midnight. I was kind of new to the whole strip club thing, so I had fun with the strippers. They would tap the string on their bikini and I would look at it and tap it too. They would say, "No! You are supposed to put a dollar there." I don't understand why, because they just took the dollar out and put it in a pile on the dance floor. I kept acting like I didn't know that I was supposed to pay them for the lap dance. "You're doing this for money? I thought you were dancing in my lap because you liked me."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Bruce wasn't feeling good and stayed in bed all day. I went shopping with the girls and bought something called Sea Bands. They use acupressure on your wrist to prevent sea sickness. Christen was already using them and she said they work, so I tried them. Yep, they work magic. The girls got tired after a couple of hours of shopping, so we went back to the boat.

Bruce got up after we left port and we checked out the Piano Bar while Rachel played poker and Christen slept. This was the cool place to be. A guy named Greg played songs by request. The cool part is that he would improvise if he didn't know the words to a song. While I was in there, I saw the girl from the dinner table. I looked to her left and saw an older man, I guess her father, giving me an evil glare. I was worried that he was going to throw me off the boat or something so I stopped looking at her.

The piano bar shut down and everybody went to the next room where a game show was about to start. Bruce and I went up to the bar to get drinks as the host instructed everybody to organize into teams of 4 to 6 people. Two girls, Jane and Melissa, standing next to us at the bar turned to us and one of them counted to four, pointing to each of them, Bruce and me. The object of the game show was that the host would call out something in the room that each team had to bring up to the stage. At first he called out innocent things like a piece of fruit and a ship ID card. By the end of the show, he had men running up to the front with lipstick on, wearing a woman's bra and holding a purse. Yeah, there are pictures of me doing that. Bruce and I sat and talked to Jane and Melissa for a while after the game show.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - La Romana, Dominican Republic
I didn't get off the boat in The Dominican Republic except to buy a souvenir for my nephew. There didn't seem to be too much to do, and I wasn't too enthused. I wandered the ship all day. Later Bruce and I went to the disco bar on the boat while Rachel hit up the casino and Christen slept again. We met Jane and Melissa in the disco and learned that they are both in relationships, but their boyfriends weren't on the ship. Rachel let the girls know that Bruce was in a relationship too by kissing him on the lips in front of both of them. They seemed to lose interest in us after that.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 - Fun Day of Caged Animal Syndrome
Apparently five days is the limit to how long I can spend on a cruise before experiencing cabin fever because I started getting restless and irritable. From the time I woke up until around 2 AM or 3 AM I was pacing around like a caged animal. The boat that was so huge on Saturday suddenly felt too small. As I was walking the decks, I found the girl from dinner again. She was laying out in the sun. She looked at me, smiled and waved. I was afraid to talk to her after receiving the evil look from her father the other day. I walked by her and then walked away. I decided to go back to my room and change into my swimsuit then give it a second shot. She was gone by the time I got back. This made things worse. Not only was I starting to go crazy from wanting off the boat, but I was now upset about screwing up an opportunity to talk to a pretty girl. I now wanted off the boat even more. I walked every floor of the boat at least once.

Friday, January 30, 2009 - Nassau, Bahamas
Can you guess the first thing I did after I woke up? I ran down stairs and got in line to get off the boat. I waked around on the pier for about thirty minutes then I got hungry. Food is free on the boat so I got back on and went to the café to eat. After all that pacing the day before, I only spent thirty minutes on land before getting back on. Then we signed up for an excursion that included a 30 minute boat trip to a private island. We got off the boat just to get on another boat. We took the Yellow Bird tour to a private island. If you ever go to the Bahamas, be sure to take the Yellow Bird tour. It was awesome. The boat had a live band and the singer told a story about the history of the Bahamas as he played. They also offered free rum punch. On the way back we had a conga line and we played the limbo. Another boat was traveling beside us and I could see the passengers staring at us and wishing they were on our boat.

Yeah, It's my birthday. I celebrated my 30th birthday in the Bahamas. And what would a birthday be like without being embarrassed by your friends. They had the wait staff sing Happy Birthday to me at dinner. I started playing with the flowers on the table. I put each flower behind my ear for a while before changing to another flower. The reactions from the wait staff and other guest were satisfying.

Later that night Bruce and I went to the Piano Bar again while Rachel made a paycheck in the casino and Christen went to sleep. Once again I started getting restless and irritable. I kept seeing the girl from dinner, but she no longer looked at me and smiled. I think she was mad about me ignoring her the day before. Oh well.

Saturday, January 31, 2009 - Debarkation and Return Home
When we got back to Fort Lauderdale, I had mixed feelings about getting off the boat. I was sad to leave all the fun and new friends that I had made, yet happy to be heading home to my own bed. Even thought I got restless and wanted off the boat about 5 days in, I didn't want it to end. I wish I could have spent more time in each port and on the boat. Everything went by so fast that I couldn't take it all in. Overall I had a blast.

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