Tuesday, April 21, 2009


APRIL 21, 2009



Hey all. Needed a full day to recover before blogging our Carribean cruise. Off the charts good. I am suffering from Cruiselag. That is, the desire to eat 7 times a day, charge everything to a card, eat at midnight, shop relentlessly, lay in the sun, swim, not work. Jetlag without the exhaustion. Weening off life on a ship is no small feat! Trust me. The kids stomachs expanded and mine exponentially. Getting used to human portions, rain, commuting, being entertained, working etc is a whole decomprerssion experience for which someone should run a seminar!

The cruise was packed. The ship massive. Over 1400 kids alone. Our kids would have dinner with us and then would not be seen until close to the 1 am curfew. They too are suffering Cruiselag with the return to bedtimes more akin to that of a 13 and 11 year old.


I did not get seasick. And got progressively better as cruise went on. Last night at sea was rough. Biobands on wrist plus the patch. Kids were great as was Dawn.


5. The "Bread Man." At every dining room dinner, the bread man comes with rolls. Sour dough. Corn muffins. Rye. Banana. Poppy seeds (bite sized). Croissants. We had on average about 35 pieces of bread at every dinner! I was partial to the Wednesday banana bread -- the only night they had it. Poppy came in second. Negative? "The Bread Man" -- At every dining room dinner the nice assistant waiter would come by repeatedly with tons of rolls and we would happily oblige. This is not good for the waistline, the carb thing, etc etc.

4. Free Desserts. Every night without fail, after having stuffed our face with salad, bread, appetizers, entrees and the dessert of the night (as an aside cool dining room "stat" -- they served over 100,000 plated meals on the cruise to the more than 5000 people) we would be inspired to go to the coffee shop for a plate of additional treats. Lemon Poppee loaf, chocolate brownie, some chocolate thing I cant pronounce, etc. This was awesome. Negative? Every night after dinner we would after stuffing our face inevitably add a plate of desserts . . . . You get the picture.

3. Doubles -- two lobsters, two appetizers, two entress. The all you want mentality is cruising. Postive equals a negative!

2. Photomania -- Positive -- pictures by the multiple dozens. On the boat, off the boat, formal, casual, playful, with hats, in front of signs, with locals, without locals, in bars, in restaurants, in front of the ship, not in front of the ship. Mkaes incredible memories. The negative? Hundreds of photos, relentless, costs a zillion dollars, kids get whiney when forced to pose etc etc. This is far more of a positive than a negative when you choose the pcis each day to purchase for the scrapbook master of our domain, Dawn!!

1. Kids on their own -- Kids freedom meant adult time every night. Casino. Shows. Shopping. Walking. Art. Coffee. Etc. Negative? Really first time we "stayed up" waiting to see if our kids :made curfew" (1 am). Plus them being out later than us confirms the aging process. Positive equals a negative too!


Glcihes -- There were some gliches of course. For example, we set up a flo rider private lesson. The first day we tried, they said all booked. Next night we set it up for 745. Strategically planned. At 550 right befor eour dinner they cancel due to only the 2 boys. Being Father of the Year I agree to pay for 4 so the kids arent disappointed. Dylan was very sad when they cancelled. The ship handled that very poorly. They never said minimum of 4. And to do that but then say pay for 4 and we will do it, was poor client service. That said turned into huge positive. Kids had whole thing to themselves to boogy board and get surf lesson, and drew a massive crown opf onlookers who were supremely jealous. Plus the lesson giver was fun with them so it worked out well.

There was apparently an incident at the basketball court involving a rambunxious adult and some kids., Brett was a witness. The lack of ship personnel near the court at night was not great. Also, found it weird pool would be open 24 hours but never any staff there to supervise -- in essence, all at your own risk.

Labadee Haiti. Great beach but crazy crazy scorching hot. And the shopping was insane. The merchants who want to sell you boxes, masks, moraccas, engraved stuff, beads, whatever are not just relentless. It is charming to be huslted for about 2 minutes then it is just downright nuts. Artisans, flea market -- couldnt walk 5 steps without being attacked. After being mauled non-stop we surrendered. The best moment for me on this excursion? A one hour nap in the hammock on the beach after a cold beer. My personal least favorite stop. In fairness though the lunch and the show on the beach were fun. But the shopping ruined it for me.

Ocha Rios. This trip was jammed. Buses, tractors. Saw the Jamaican plantation, learned about sugar canes, pineapples, the histroy of Jamaica's independence, and the country's obsession with phrase "YeMon and "No Problem,." Lunch on that trip at a beautiful beach was also great, but the timing was compressed. The higjhlight was climbing the Dunns River Falls. Was actually scary. A little crazy. Got soaking wet. Almost lost my wallet (forgot to take it out of course). Took a near header at the end. Dawn hurt her Knee but we survied it. Was worth it. I was way out of comfort zone. Loved the plantation surprisingly and all in although very "busy" fun.

Caymans -- boat to middle of gorgeous water. Kids and Dawn snorkel and swim w stingrays in stingray city. I wimp out. Fear of the snorkel equipment, ear of drowning, pit in my stomach, not being comfortable breathing with the equipment, etc etc. I opt for the boat and some sun. Kids love it, we get in some good shopping after lunch at one of 10 greatest beaches.

Cozamel -- boat to ocean for 105 ft beneath the sea submarine dive. Very cool. Then drinking eating and funning in Cazamel. Great shopping. Three Amigos and Senor Frogs.

Amazing excursions.

Tomorrow -- bingo, art auction, sports court, sunburns, the pool, the Cruise Director, the shows, the ice cream, the food, the shopping, the room, the showers, the loss of the laptop, the itenerary daily, RCTV, Iron Man, Indian Jones, 21, different languages, our head waiter, service issues in and around us, the steak house, the illusoryness (new word) of the "seapass"


Wonders if he always has bad random luck (picking the wrong security line, picking the wrong lane at the toll, etc)?

Wonders if people who pay things with a card think they dont owe the money?

Wonders if the smell of Ben and Jerry's is the best smell in the world?

Wonders if he can ever have a piece of technology work at its most basic level

Wonders if Sean Hannity and Keith Olberman should get into the WWE in a Last Man Standing Steel Cage Match

Wonders if he should buy Senor Frogs and live on the beach?

Wonders if there is a recession based on the recent cruising experience and the fact that the Treasury hasnt spent all of the bail out money yet?

Wonders if the video was broken on that play in Yankee stadium?

Wonders how it is possible to lose only 3 pouns in 2 months working out eating healthy and getting sick but gaining 9 pounds in 14 days eating like the end was near?

More cruising musings tomorrow.

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