Archive for December, 2009

Cruisin’ – Days 7 to 9

December 23, 2009

Day 7 and 8 – at sea

We spent these 2 days swanning around the bars and pools.

Day 7 was the cocktail challenge. I think we’ve had every cocktail on the menu. It’s a long menu. The bartender was very generous on the measures too, and being that I am not usually a spirit drinker the cocktail challenge may have been a bad idea. Especially given that it was another pool party that night and we were pickled enough to go to bed while that was still carrying on. The theme of the day was line dancing. If you’ve ever wondered what hundreds of drunk old people line dancing above your head sounds like, wonder no more. Not pretty! Like a thousand drunk hippos and elephants doing a private dance on your head. We popped up to the purser’s office and got an emergency spare cabin for the night. In hindsight the spare cabin’s location was a bad move – even if it was quiet, it was right at the bow of the ship, down low, and this was the choppiest night at sea so we were rocked about all night long. I am sure that’s why we both felt ill the next day, a touch of sea sickness and nothing to do with cocktail consumption the day before.

On day 8 we splurged on a couples massage, which took place in a room overlooking the view of the sea. Not too hard to take at all, even though we were still feeling slightly ill.

In the evening of day 7 I’d got chatting to a lady who was on a trip with her mum and siblings and her daughter. She was having such a terrible time she had decided to jump ship in Brisbane. I couldn’t believe it – I’d been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people and she just hadn’t met any. I gathered her up under my wing and introduced her to some of the fun crowd. I was so touched when she found me the next night to tell me I had saved her whole holiday for her. (Plus as a bonus had introduced her to a nice single guy we’d met who she talked to that night till 5am.) The Boyfriend had laughed at me a few days earlier and said I could (and did) talk to absolutely anyone even while underwater with my mouth full of marbles, but this just proved to me it never hurts to have a go talking to different people.

Day 9 – BrisVegas

Being nice obviously brings good karma. My rescued bird from a few days before found me to let me know she was actually from Brisbane, was still getting off but was in a much happier state, and would we like a ride anywhere. The ship had docked at a container yard a good 45 minutes out of town and the ship’s shuttle busses to town were a huge rip off, so we jumped at the chance. She drove us all the way to the carlton united brewery, where we were the sole people on a brewery tour so got a personalised tour. Followed, of course, by taste testing at the end! Great place to visit – a truly interesting and fun tour. Plus we’ll keep in touch with the lady we’d made friends with! We battled public transport back to the ship (no mean feat to work out, the brewery is half way to the gold coast) and headed to the pool for the rest of the afternoon where we have swam in the pool and chatted to various people we had met.

I just saw another lady get off at Brisbane who had decided to not do the last 2 days. She got off without her husband. He may not have noticed, as last time I saw him he was cracking on to some other chick right in front of his wife. I guess she’d had enough.

We’re about to cruise out of Brisbane and off for another day at sea before it’s home time when we get in to Sydney on Friday. I trust it’s been a rewarding week at work for you – we’ve had a blast.

Over and out

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Cruisin – Day 6

December 18, 2009

Day 6 – Port Douglas

Mosman Gorge is called ‘gorge’ because it is just gorgeous. I could have stayed there all day long – a fantastic fresh water gorge with pools to swim in and small rapids to slip down. We swam for an hour and a half there before heading off to the Daintree River for a river cruise. I was expecting huge snappy crocodiles but was slightly disappointed to only see a small 1 metre croc and a baby at about 50cm. This was after much hunting for them, too. The Boyfriend did not let me take up my suggestion which was to try to draw some out, using the noisy 1 and 4 year olds also on our river cruise. I had to satisfy myself with poking my tongue out at them whenever their parents weren’t looking.

A quick look around Port Douglas for the afternoon answered my puzzlement about where fat oldies buy their swimmers – I found a fantastic fitting swimming top at a boutique and paid about a squillion dollars for it. I will have to wear that swimming top to work every day for the next year to get my money’s worth, but those are the sacrifices you make. (No, I won’t be wearing it on its own, I do actually have some slightly non butt cracky boardies that will do as the bottoms!)

Tonight one of the previously missing dinner companions has asked us to dine at the Charles in Charge location with them, as it is her birthday. I suspect she wants me there to deflect attention from her so she can have a good night. It is her birthday, and I can’t think of a nicer pressie I could give her. What a shame I didn’t think to pack valium in my toiletry bag.

After we ship out we spend 2 days at sea before docking in BrisVegas on Wednesday. Try not to work too hard while we’re at sea and I’ll have a cocktail by the pool for each of you. It’s a hard life, being a sailor.

Cheers all

Cruisin – Days 5 & 6

December 14, 2009

Copy paste again from holiday emails – otherwise I’d only be whining about the fact that A) I am back at work – ERK!! and B) I got through a WHOLE CRUISE without getting burnt only to get sunburned yesterday putting up a little pool in the back yard. I remembered to put a big market umbrella up once it was all set up, for shade, but during the set up (which took hours and 3 adult helpers to get right) I might have forgotten that the sun could burn me then too.

Day 5 – Cairns

The first thing I noticed this morning on awaking is that banana boat rides on Daydream Island actually use muscles. Specifically the right butt and thigh muscles, and the left arm muscles. Luckily my right arm seems to be coping ok with the weight lifting exercises I have done this afternoon. I think it’s important to stay in shape on the cruise, and pints full of beer seem to be just the right weight to keep my right arm in shape.

I must ask myself today why on earth I decided a 7 1/2 km cable car ride over the rainforest between Cairns and Kuranda was a good idea, given my deathly fear of heights. I stopped shaking long enough to look around Kuranda (pretty little tourist trap type town) and then spent the afternoon checking out Cairns.

Lots of girls don’t seem to wear much in Cairns. We popped in to a hotel for a quick cider and were served by a young bargirl wearing the teeniest denim shorts and a skimpy black singlet top. “So what?”, you might think. Well, she was also about 15 months pregnant. I also tried to buy a new pair of board shorts in several surf shops. Finally, at the 4th shop I asked for help from the shop assistant. “What board shorts do you have for fat oldies? I don’t think anyone really needs to see my butt crack” (even though it (my butt) seems to have been a recurring theme here). He showed me to a rack all of about 5cm long with a selection of hardly anything before umming and ahhing and telling me they really don’t cater for ‘that type’ of market.

Cairns also appears to be at least half full of absolute yobbos. No, this did not make me feel at home, it made me feel rather un-yobbish. It may have been the lady (?) unbuttoning her pants in the main street. Then she cackled and said to her companions “ha, tricked yez all, I got me swimmers on under these”. Oh, that made it perfectly understandable. For sure. Then she spat in the street, and I was even more charmed. I found out later that despite its looks, the pretty beer garden we had stopped in at that point was THE worst bar in town. Phew, I’d hate to think there would be worse!

Tonight we depart Cairns and head off to Port Douglas. The evening challenge I have set for tonight is to get half the ship calling my pleasant dining mate, Charles, “Charles in Charge” after that dreadful 80’s sitcom. It really does suit him, after all.

Day 6 – Port Douglas

Nobody called Charles “in charge” but someone did ask me if I got stuck eating with “that arsehole” again so I decided my intervention was not required – he was making a big enough effort on his own.
The day has just begun – we’ll send this off now and see where the day takes us… I’m voting for Mosmon Gorge and a cruise up the Daintree River. The Boyfriend is tempted by hiring a mini moke but I did promise my mum I’d come home in one piece and NOT in a paper bag, so I’m not keen on the idea. More on Day 6 next message!

Cruisin’ – Days 2 to 4

December 13, 2009

Today’s post is a copy/paste from my holiday emails during the last week’s holidays. After all, you surely do not want to hear about the mounds of washing I am doing post holidays.

Days 2 & 3 – At Sea (3-4 Dec)

Days at sea? I think I like them better than the port days. I have no idea where the time gets to but it’s a whirl of activity. I have played shuffleboard, gone in bellyflop contests, swam and sat in the spa for hours. The cruise director is called Julie, and is the captain’s daughter. Ok, she is not really but it’s been fun pretending she is. (Anyone who does not get that reference go watch some bad old tv right now.) I have eaten, drunk and been merry. Very merry indeed. I have also met some fantastic people, some of whom I had apparently already met (see day 1!).

Day 4 – Airlie Beach (5 Dec)

We were at Airlie not so long ago for a week, so we took a day trip to Daydream Island which is gorgeous. A banana boat ride and a swim up bar along with a few nice bushwalking trails – the best of all worlds!

Tonight I declared if I have to eat dinner with an absolute tosser called Charles that is assigned to my dinner table I will top myself. I suspect we will be dining in the alternative restaurant after today’s 2 hour lecture about just how I should change my life, what my passion is, and why I am wrong about everything in the world. Upon running into several others later in the evening who had been at my table earlier in the week, I have discovered their tolerance ran out a night or two ago, which explains the empty rest of the table. I was surprisingly well behaved and mostly smiled and nodded while desperately hoping he choked on his forkful.

An early night has been a waste of time as the party by the pool is going on just above my cabin. There seems to be a conga line going past as I type and I am searching the cabin for weapons to use to shut the people up who clearly have more stamina than I. Note to self: do not get a cabin directly under the pool again.

Tomorrow we hit Cairns and the half way point. Looking forward to it, never having been there before. Well good news, the party seems to have stopped so I need to catch up on my zzzzz’s!

Cruisin’

December 12, 2009

Just home from an 11 night cruise and exhausted – too much fun was had! The next few posts will be taken from the updates I emailed home while on the high seas.

Day 1- Tuesday (and leading up to it)

Remind me never to have a party on a Saturday before going away on holidays the following Tuesday. We were up till 2am Monday night finishing the clean up job and packing. I suppose a bad sign had been when the first person arrived for “recovery” before I was out of bed on Sunday morning. On Tuesday morning our first item was to call The Boyfriend’s dad to request an extra hour before he picked us up, since we planned to arrive early we’d left ourselves with time to do that.

I’d prepped for the holiday by having a manicure, pedicure and facial on Monday. The nail parts went well. I only ran into trouble when I went in for the facial. “Take off your top”, said the young chineseĀ  attendant, who spoke almost no other english than those few words. “I’m here for a facial’ love, my face is up here!” I protested. Eventually I took off my top since she was not going to budge on this. Despite my misgivings it started feeling relaxing. Then just as I was drifting off she leaned in close to whisper to me “Am I doing it right for you?” I clenched my butt cheeks together and crossed my legs, feeling a bit concerned and trying not to crack any funnies about happy finishes. Then suddenly she turned off the lights. I tried to call her bluff by pretending this was all fine by me. But I could hear her creeping around the room and got ready for her attack. I wasn’t expecting it when it came though, and soon enough she was squeezing my poor pores within an inch of their lives. I got her back by making her scrub my feet.

Finally Tuesday rolled around and we headed in to town to board the Rhapsody of the Seas. We had contemplated sneaking booze on board but when they searched The Boyfriend’s bag for illicit alcohol we realised we’d made the right decision not to, even though I still think my genius idea of wrapping a bottle of bundy up and sticking a birthday card on it was a good one.

I did fulfil my self challenge that first day on board, and visited every bar on the ship, no easy feat. I must have done well, for the next day I had heaps of people saying hi like they were old friends, most of whom I had only the foggiest recollection of!