Thursday, November 20, 2014

It was one of those days on the Caribbean Sea where you would have to lean like you were in the ski jump at the Winter Olympics in order to stand at the front of the ship.  The winds were wailing pretty darn strong. 

So strong in fact that even though the Caribbean winds are warm, when they hit a certain velocity, you don't feel that warm anymore.

So we headed back toward poolside.  After all, you don't want to exert yourself too much on a cruise ship, chances are you've overeaten for days now and are in no shape to be doing a lot of exertion anyway!

But a funny thing happened on the way back.  We couldn't get there!  The glass door that separated the cushy non-wind cruise life from the adventurous too-much-wind bow of the ship wasn't opening.  Try as we might, it wouldn't open.

"Voyager of the Sea"...two upgrades from their "Chicken of the Sea" vessel
No problem, I'm smarter than the average tourist, there's another door on the other side of the ship.  So we make our way around without being picked up like some kind of human kite and try the other door.  No luck there either.  It won't open.

It could have happened...
By that time, we're wondering just what to do.  It's not exactly sunshine and fruity rum drinks standing in the wind there and for whatever reason, they must have been giving away free rum drinks because there wasn't a single person around to knock on the glass door and have them let us in from the inside.

Get up people and go see if somebody (me) might be stranded on the bow of the ship!
That didn't stop us from knocking on the glass door though.  Because, you know, people appear out of thin air if you make an effort to knock loudly...

After a few minutes of futility, I'm feeling the magnitude of the situation and how ridiculous it is that we're out here but still on the cruise ship and yet we can't get in!  Eventually the wifey-poo will wonder if we fell overboard and personally have the captain looking for us but that is a long time before that eventually will get set in motion.

5 minutes go by...
10 minutes go by...

What time feels like waiting where you don't want to be
Finally, somebody comes walking along the corridor inside and hears us knocking.  They try opening the door and they can't open it either.  They're either locked or both defective.  We shout through the tiny slit of the door for them to go get a ship employee as if we are talking through some sort of cave that has been walled in by an avalanche or something.  They disappear.

5 minutes go by...
10 minutes go by...

Eventually another tourist comes along and he also tries to help get us out.  Finally, with the help of a second tourist, the four of us; two inside, two outside are able to force the sliding glass door open enough for use to squeeze in.

Turns out, the weather was windy enough that the bridge had locked down the bow of the ship.  Good idea!  Except, Royal Caribbean, CHECK FIRST TO SEE IF ANYONE IS STILL OUT THERE!!!!!

So needless to say I wasn't quite the smiley, chipper, cruise tourist as we wandered back to their customer service desk with hair that looked like I just auditioned for Medusa in some cruise improv play!

Me at the Royal Caribbean customer service desk...
I have to admit though, they played the part of "stupid" very, very well.  I finally just gave up.  They wore me down with their blank stares of indifference.  I went along my disgruntled ways and went back to overeating and lounging around doing nothing or killing myself on some "toy" they'd built on the ship to keep us from gaining too much weight and not being able to get through the corridors.

That aside, this was a cruise out of New Orleans that visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands and Cozumel.  Though I sort of detest cruises, it's one way to get a good sampling of the various Caribbean islands without spending a fortune flying from place to place.

And then when you besiege these locales, you can sign up for any manner of excursion you can that will still safely get you back to the ship in your allotted time.  We did some zip lining and river floating in Jamaica during that time.

Here my son demonstrates how to make gravity do all the work for you
What is it about Jamaica that they HAVE to play Bob Marley on the tourists buses?  Really?  Are there no other Reggae artists in Jamaica?  I mean, if you go to Liverpool, England, will you only hear Beatles music?  I was in San Francisco last month and they weren't just playing the Grateful Dead!  But I digress...

Apparently this is the ONLY musician they play in Jamaica
Somehow I convince the militant security people at the zip lining prep area that I was competent enough to zip line in sandals without losing my foot to a rogue jungle vine that might suddenly lunge itself out in front of the zip line course or break my toe upon exit from the line.  It took a bit of persuasion though.  The zip line was fun.  It was only until two months ago that I realized I had now zip lined in 6 different countries but never in the USA and so we found one locally near Portland and fixed that oversight.

Do you see ANYONE running on the track?  Of course not, they are all in line at the free ice cream machine.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I didn't have fun on the cruise despite being stranded in the bow.  I'm just saying that if you're going to have a free soft serve ice cream machine, that's a recipe for disaster for me.  I'm like Forest Gump with the Dr. Peppers.  17 ice cream cones later and all I can do is lay by the pool in the sun going "why oh why did I just do that."  Some of you might have more control.  For that I commend you...


  1. I agree with you about the cruises - I like them because they're fairly inexpensive I visited the Bahamas, St Thomas, and Puerto Rico for A LOT less than I would've spent otherwise - the downside is you don't get too much time in each place. Another good thing is that cruises are usually suitable for all ages (I went with my entire family once, including young kids, parents, grandparents, etc.) everyone found something to do. I also agree the customer service is poor, they do act clueless whenever something is wrong - I guess you get what you pay for, and from my understanding a lot of the staff is not paid enough to care.

  2. Agness - I think everyone should do at least one just to experience it. My first was on the premier ship Royal Caribbean had at the time and the customer service was impeccable. The second was on an older ship and the customer service was not there.

    Stacy - That's so true. It's great for a family. Especially kids if they aren't too small because they can wander on their own without you worrying a lot about them. And while it is true you don't get a lot of time on each stop, you at least get a sampling. For example, I know I wouldn't go back and spend an entire vacation on St. Thomas having been there now but was glad to at least get a sampling there. Whereas I've spent an entire week on Aruba (very expensive) but there was plenty to do there and was a good launching location to get to Angel Falls in Venezuela too. Now THAT should be on everyone's bucket list...