Friday, November 17, 2006

The great Cruise caper

Where in the hell do I begin??
As usual there was the usual trickery, scamming and tom foolery. There are so many stories, I'm not sure whether to do mini vignettes or bang it out in one big , long post- which just seems wrong.

I'll give some highlights at first and then maybe I'll expand....

Grandma and I
Grandma and I got on famously. I was a bit anxious about the dentures. But after the initial shock all was good.
Everywhere we went, her name became "Grandma". She was quite the character. I could see some gems of smart-assisms, quite clearly a link in the long line of chain of smart ass that has descended into my gene pool.
Grandma did get a little ticked off when I made her pull out the "rock on" signal in most photos. The first one, she thought it was funny, the last one she was a little bit fucked off.

Grandma in the boat safety drill

Grandma rockin it up at Virgin Mega Store, Hollywood Blvd (only rockstars wear sunglasses inside)

The Carnival Pride
This is a boat full of middle American Bogans going on holidays. They are fat, they are loud, they are constantly at the buffet.
My first day on the boat was a little bit of a shock. There is no cash. Everything is in swipecard format. I thought I would be in trouble, but prices were so astronomical that I didn't even try buy alcohol. My strategy was getting people to buy for me (it failed, badly). An hour massage was $150US, a drink was $8US. I'd been hanging out for months for that damn massage. Still haven't had one. Still struggling.

I still had a good time. Sat by the pool every day. Gym for 2 hours every day. Ports were awesome.
I went ziplining and abseiling in Puerto Vallarta. The photos they took were so expensive, I had to take a photo of the photo on the laptop (good trick for everyone for next time).
Parasailing in Cabo San Lucas
Just looking around Mazatlan.

The weather was great and the Mexicans were pretty cool.

I wanted to have a cultured, realistic experience in these towns, and the boat was so artificial and manufactured that I had to do anything I could to get away from them all.

I reckon I would go on a cruise again- but maybe one that wasn't so cheesy and with a lot of friends... I'd also bring my own shipment of alcohol. Even if you buy it duty free in port, the boat security confiscates it and doesn't give it back till you are back in the States so that you spend more on the boat. Bastards.

Other highlights
  • A gay asian waiter who spoke with a hispanic accent. Think of that dude from the Birdcage, but asian. Strange.

  • These americans were so fat, one woman was worried that in port she wouldn't be able to come back to the boat for lunch, then afternoon tea, then dinner.

  • When she sang in the show, I was shocked. I had to close my mouth and think "take a photo for the blog, do it". Didn't come as instinct like it usually does. I thought she was wearing a fat suit. She was the human walrus.

  • I made friends with the staff. I was inbetween all the demographics on the boat, so at times it was a little tough to find friends. I dressed up on Halloween, in a toga (ie bedsheet off my bed) and raced up to the party on Lido deck. It was like a bull bucking. I lasted 40 seconds before being kicked out.
    The security people, who are like Kapos (staff v security), recognised me because they were continually carding me. Apparently I don't look 21. The only thing I was thinking when being escorted out of there "...meh, at least I'll have a good story for the blog."

  • Gorging myself on a chocolate bar and seeing a massive fat lady whislt doing it....

  • The guy who made smoked salmon bagels, and great tuna sandwiches- his name was "Imade". I must have said the joke "Your surname is 'Sandwiches'?" about one hundred times.

  • Really, really, really fat kids.

  • You know you're in a heavily populated tourist area when there is one of the dickwads making those spraypaint planet paintings. There is one in every bloody city...

  • On first glance, looking at this picture, I thought "Good on those Mexicans. They got their apostrophe right". On second glance, I realise they tried to shorten "Here it is". Sillyheads. At least the have good accents.

  • Some moron in LA asking me where I'm from and saying Australia. His response was that he loves my accent and how sad it is that he doesn't have one. I tried to explain to him that, yes, everyone does indeed have an accent. He didn't quite get it.

  • In general just walking around like I own the place. It's amazing how most people have a tendancy to follow rules. I just don't do that. I was imagining that I would be really good as a staff member on the cruise and then I realised, I just wouldn't be able to follow ANY of the rules. I'd probably last 5 minutes.
    But I used to go to whichever dinner I was assigned to, I'd tell staff that whoever "...said it was OK." The only thing that didn't work was that damn staff party.

  • Seeing this painting, for real!

  • Seeing toilet paper in Mexico that was like my Mondrian/Rubik's Cube shoes

  • Seeing this cool Mexican guy who was so trapped in the 70s. You can just hear "Staying Alive" playing in the background.... Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man...

  • The boat having this environmental policy "please only put towels on the floor if you would like new towels. But remember, it uses a lot of resource to wash towels, so only request new ones if you really need them." But then, every night you go back to your room and on your bedm they've made these dumb animals out of towels. Each animal uses about 3 towels! Then you can go to the boat store and buy the towel making book for $29.99!

  • Buying a puffa jacket from the JLo line. Because, if you're going to buy a puffa jacket, she will be the one person who gets it right!

  • No matter who I tried to be cheeky with... everyone felt they deserved to cop a feel! There was this lovely old Jewish man in LA who would not let up. When he said to my Grandmother that he was stealing me as his grand daughter, and when he said I can't leave without giving him a hug and a kiss we knew it was time to go. He fully grabbed me right before we left. It was a little scary.
    This guy got a grope for letting me drive his boat...

  • Tour of the Warner Bros studios. Kicks ASS on Universal. Was a lot of fun.

  • Hanging out with Handbag in LA. Seeing one of the funniest comedians I have ever seen in my life- he acts like a redneck, talks like a redneck, but explains the comedic devices he is using like he is the Grammar Police. Gold!

That was pretty much it (in a nutshell). Thanks Grandma for the trip!
As I remeber more stories, I'll try post.
Otherwise pics will be on Flickr.


Eb said...

Hi Handbag! Oh how we've missed you!

And, you forgot to mention about your new ringtone... LIDO... O-o-o-oh..

Dot Co Dot Il said...

Sounds great. But no tales of biff?

Hoops said...

I want to see more photos of Grandma with the rock pose...