There are a lot of unique things that happen when you and 4000 other people are sharing a floating hotel for 7 days. You’re on a cruise, so you have relatively limited mobility. There are only a certain number of things to do and places to go. Picture endless amounts of food, too many children, and piña coladas to drown out the children. Anyway, here’s some crazy shit that happened on the cruise.
My eating habits
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all started to blur together and immediately spiraled out of control. Food is part of the cruise package, so aside from the expensive shit reserved for the glorified Ruby Tuesday’s on board, everything was ‘all you can eat.’ And nothing tastes better than food that appears to be free. There was a big buffet that served various cuisine at almost all times of the day, a sandwich bar, a 24-hour pizza place, an Indian food shop, and room service you could order at any time if you couldn’t get your lazy ass to one of the feeding troughs. Out of all the glorious and horrifyingly high caloric options, the absolute best thing that they served on the cruise, was the lava cake with vanilla ice cream on the side. Crack in a cup! Unfortunately, I’m not used to eating giant meals every hour, so this all had consequences for me. By the third day, I was throwing up what was initially a delicious, greasy grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. But I would do it all over again. It was worth it.
This 8-year-old boy and the ice cream machine
Along with all the buffets and restaurants, there were ice cream machines every 10-feet that pumped out swirls of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, or cocaine-for-children as they say. The ice cream itself tasted like ice that was trying to whisper its flavor to you, but it’s free and in front of you. On the second day of the cruise, I watched an 8-year-old boy stick his meaty hands under one of the machines, holding out a cone ready to be filled. By the time he realized he overshot how much vanilla swirl he could fit into his cone, it was too late. In a last-ditch effort, he stuck out both of his chunky little arms like he was catching a football. He caught the ice cream in his hands, and proceeded to smear it onto the tray underneath the machine and walked on to try his luck at another.
My drinking habits
There was one drink package available, but as with everything on a cruise, they’re outrageously overpriced. My frugal boyfriend decided we could sneak some alcohol on in tiny plastic flasks. He hid them in his checked suitcase in various compartments and underneath articles of clothing, but then he did something strange without my knowledge. He attached a zip-tie on his suitcase to ensure it stayed closed. To this day, he argues that this is a perfectly normal thing to do, but if I were a cruise security person, this would clearly raise some red flags if not all of the red flags. Just as Icarus flew too close to the sun, Lenny fucked up our master plan. All of our alcohol except for two bottles of red wine had been confiscated when the bag got to our room. We agonized over the idea of being sober on a cruise for a week. After going through all of our limited options, he ended up getting the drink package for us, which amounted to 15 drinks per day PER PERSON. Lenny took this as a challenge and generally started drinking early in the day, and encouraged me to do the same. I don’t want to think about the amount of alcohol I ended up consuming, so this paragraph is going to have to stop here.
All the money I lost
There was a casino on the boat. And I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.
The hairy chest contest
On cruises, they have all sorts of competitions and shows for maximum entertainment. I got really into the hairy chest contest in particular because it involved regular, random, hairy guys that were either hand selected by the host or brave volunteers that were ready to strut their fluff. There were three female judges seated on the main deck, and about 7 bare-chested men. The host had the men perform an array of tasks one by one for the judges. First, they had to take their shirts off in a sexy way, then they had to twerk for the judges and finally do their best tiger crawl and roar on all fours. Lenny and I watched from the second deck, cheering and waving our arms frantically for our favorite performers. After each little show, the host took them aside individually and analyzed their chest hair, noting any major bald spots, discolorations, or extreme wooly mammoth situations. Then, he would name them accordingly. One man was named Mr. Fluffy for obvious reasons. Another, he called Tree of Life because his chest hair took on the shape of a hair tree. It was the only time in my life that I was both horrified and wished I had hair on my chest.