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Dallas, Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Being Platinum Has It's Privileges

Ahoy, mateys! Yes, CruiserMel has finally grabbed an opportunity to continue the rep of CruiserDiety. I was beginning to wonder why I was calling myself CruiserMel at all, frankly, since it had been a year (or was it more?) since I had hit the high seas. But as you know, my year's been wacky what with my madre's passing and all that goes with that, as well as some other shit that you needn't worry your warped little mind about, you four folks who actually read this lame blog.

It all started out with a lone, but oh so fun drive to Houston on Saturday. I plugged in my iPod to the AUX plug of the CruiserCar and shuffled my way through 4 hours of my favorite tunes, slogged through Houston's God-awful traffic (on a Saturday?), found my hotel and asked the front desk idiot where I could get some fresh seafood for dinner. (I'd been Jonesin' all day...) She pointed me to THE most touristy and overcrowded area of Houston (Kemah, actually) wherein I got mired in yet another hour of traffic before I could give up, turn around and hit a hamburger drive-through. I supposed I could've chosen the fish sandwich, but since it was probably processed in June somewhere in Arizona, I elected to go traditional and get a burger and headed to my hotel. *sigh* I think I talked on the phone a couple of hours and watched some Olympic action til I passed out.

Sunday morning was bright and shiny and I was on my way to the pier in Galveston, a mere 20 minutes away! There she was - the Conquest. My dear old friend who I've sailed upon 3 or 4 times prior, and she was looking perdy good with her red, white, and blue funnel towering over the city. I parked the car and waited in the heat for the shuttle bus to take me the 8 blocks to the ship, but punted that waiting idea to the curb when it looked like I would sooner melt into the pavement than get on a bus in the next hour. So I schlepped it. Yes, I ain't no pansy-assed little girl - I am woman - and I am pissy - so get me on that air-conditioned ship, dammit!

It didn't take me long to get those cruise muscles working again - first, dump my stuff in my cabin, then grab some of their great pizza on deck, boat drill (ugh), and then sailawaytime with a drink in my hand!!!! Goodbye Galveston! Goodbye reality!

I won't bore you with the minute details of each day, but suffice to say that here was my usual M.O.:

Awaken around noon.
Watch telly until 1:00 while hydrating from previous night's activities.
Shower and dress.
Emerge from room, pasty and pale around 3:00.
Go to Lido deck for nourishment and maybe a little sunshine. (Vitamin D, ya know.)
Hit casino from 5 - 7.
Dress for dinner.
Hit casino from 7:20 until 8:15 dinner.
Trudge through dinner with weird people who were assigned to my table. More later.
Hit casino from 10:00 until 3 or 4 a.m.
Cavort, if the opportunity presents itself. heh
Pass out.

Once, I went on a cruise where I swear, we spent every living moment in the casino, with a plan to get ourselves completely sunburned on the final day of the cruise so we'd look like we'd been on vacation. Naturally, that last day - rain. Lots and lots of rain. So - when I went back to work, my boss joked "Spend the whole cruise in the casino, Mel?" SOOOO - that's why I made sure to spend at least a few minutes in the sun each day on this one. No burn, but I wouldn't say I look like the vampire I truly am.

About my dinner partners.... I love assigned seating for dinner, particularly when I'm travelling alone, which I did on this particular cruise. When you're assigned to a table, you get to know the 7 or 8 others dining with you over the course of the week and I've made some very good friends this way. I still exchange Christmas cards with a couple I met back in 1992 to this day!

The first night, only 2 of us showed up for dinner. Myself and a man 2-plus decades my senior. He was nice enough I guess. I remembered his name because of a famous guitar player - B.B. He was from Arizona or California or something out that way. (Because he was clearly not going to be of romantic interest to me, I kinda zoned out while he talked a bit.) He seemed to be fairly hip for someone his age - using terms like "been there, done that" and "dude," albeit it wouldn't fly on BET or MTV nowadays, but he was trying. We had a nice dinner and then, natch, I headed to the casino to get my ass handed to me on a platter (nicely decorated with the Carnival logo). But enough of that.

The next night, my gentleman dining partner showed up, in a nice suit and a ... wait for it ... toupee to end all toupees! His real hair was grey on the sides but obviously his toupee-maker didn't get that message and the lid on his head was black as night! Ummm, kay. Mentally, I gave him a pass, thinking that the lighting in the cabins isn't so great, so it was possible that I had too much makeup on - and I didn't want to call the kettle...well, you know. I had one question about B.B., but didn't have the cahoonas to ask, so I'll just post it here and hopefully I'll feel better. B.B., if you don't call yourself a complainer, why do you always complain about everything and send every entree back (after eating 1/2) to order another one? Just askin.

There were 4 ladies who joined us that night! Yay - I don't have to sit here making convo with grandpa all alone anymore! They were a woman (about 70?), her daughter, and her daughter's daughters (17 and 19). They were lovely women from near Dallas, so we had some things in common.

Until.......they all ordered Caesar salads. Every night. Did I mention these were lovely women? Don't lady-like manners usually go with the term "lovely women?" Let me tell you - these ladies would sit there prim and polite, hands in repose in their laps until the exact moment they must've had some silent starter gun go off in their heads and they grabbed their forks like a joy stick, poked into the poor lettuce and hacked away with ferocity until there was little left but minced greenery. The din of the silverware clacking against the dish was deafening. I swear, I heard the Eagles singing in my head "They stabbed it with their steely knives, but they could not kill the beast." Swear! Every night without fail they would mince their salads into a puree before ever taking a bite. That song was the only thing that would throw a bit of humor into my thoughts which kept me from buying a copy of an etiquette book and forcing them to read it before each dinner. It was gross and funny all at the same time. Can you tell this sorta soured my original thoughts about these ladies. Uh - yeah.
I spent quite alot of time just gazing at the sea between naps, eating and blackjack. I would've gazed at the people, but if you'd seen them, you'd swear off all eating for life. You've heard of Doctors Without Borders? This was People Without Mirrors! Do they really make bathing suits in size 46? Some men had bigger back boobs than my front boobs. And let's talk about back hair, shall we? Somebody give me a barf-bag. One guy (or maybe he was a bear) got in the pool and he started to friggin' shed and scared a little girl. Uncool, dood. And there should be a law against wearing bikinis unless you look like a supermodel. I mean it. If you've got a jiggle - and that means just about anyone over 30 - I've got one word for you: cover that shit the fuck up! Okay that was six words. Tough.
I didn't get off the ship but once - Cozumel - but only to go to my favorite dive for some fabulous guac and a bottle of Mexican beer. Here's a question that floated into my brain as I was wandering through some stores: How come they speak perfect English in Mexico to us tourists, yet in Texas, they claim "No hablo"????? Huh???
Get a load of the color of this water! Does that color actually exist in Nature?

Here are some pics I took of the cute little towel animals my steward (Arjawa) left on my bed each night. They were a nice substitute for my precious CruiserDog - well, for a week. Towel animals are one of the little niceties about cruising. I know, it's corny. I don't care. Thwpt.

I'm a card-carrying platinum Carnival-holic, which means I've been on more cruises with Carnival than the Captain, which gets me some special privileges, some of which are pretty cool. After schlepping my luggage eight blocks and presenting my sweaty self to the pier - I got to bypass 2500 others waiting in line to get to the A/C. This was good. I also got special treatment by the giftshop clerks, barkeeps, and waiters when my sail & sign card (yes, it was platinum) was presented. This was good. There was a special cocktail party for previous cruisers and a special wink to the platinum cruisers, of which there were only 12 on board. Two nights I was surprised by beautiful plates of canapes and petit fours. I felt like I needed to invite company over for cocktails when these beauts showed up at my door. Check this out - pretty, huh?

Though I did alot of praying in the casino, there were times I prayed to be 19 years old and cute again. Here is just one example of the hundreds of specimens between 18 and 22 available on board. Girls - if you want one of these, go cruising the week before school starts. These guys outnumbered the girls 3 to 1. Oh. My. God. I'm feeling perverted just typing this.

All too soon, the week was over and I had a bartab that exceeded most of my past cruise tabs now that Todd has taught me to enjoy Martinis at $10 a pop. Yikes. But I was properly vacationed and now I am back to reality, working my way towards my next cruise. Ain't life grand?


Random Musings Of My Life said...


I mean I am glad you had a good time...lol

We are moving to Florida and we are looking forward to our first cruise.. so excited

D-HOR said...

OMG how many HOURS does it take how many PEOPLE to make all of those napkin thingies!?!?
Can you imagine explaining THAT job to a new aquaintance? My job? Uhhh. . . napkin animal maker... :P

Oh my GAWD cruiser and WHY oh WHYYYY are you not embracing your inner cougar and jumping the bones of some young man-meat? Do tell.

CruiserMel said...

Random - you're moving - AGAIN? I hope you guys love Florida. What I've seen has always been great.

Hor - I'm fully in touch with my inner-cougar, thanks. I just lean towards the ship's staff from eastern Europe for some reason. Vacaymode, I guess. Or those strong facial features. ;)

D-HOR said...

Rock out!! I want to hear about it!!

Thatgirl7278 said...

Uhm.. Is it just me or does that last towel looks more like a vagina? Or do I just have vaginas on the brain?

CruiserMel said...

thatgirl - Bwwwahhhhaaaaaaa!