First Sea Day

Having been on what many would call too many cruises is a blessing and curse of sorts. On the plus side, I know exactly what to expect and am rarely caught off guard with significant changes, which may explain why the iMessage caper was troublesome. I know the drill and don’t have much problem getting into cruise mode pretty quickly once boarding day chaos subsides. But a bad thing about cruising so much can also be those expectations. Cruising in 2019, while at the core is still cruising, has changed quite a bit since my first time in 1994. I suppose it simply mirrors american culture though in that the goal is to squeeze every last penny from guests while at the same time cutting corners every step of the way.

By the time we had been here 24hrs. the cruise director’s voice had become an irritant of the same significance as an infomercial host you hear as you pass in the middle of the night or the car salesman you desperately wish would stay in the office and just let you look at cars. Every single thing said in his too loud and too frequent messages is geared toward you swiping your card to get some level of entertainment that would have been free 20 or even 10 years ago. It’s really quite shameful, but until the masses revolt and keep their cards safely tucked away, it’ll likely only get worse.

So yeah, the curse of sorts is that I’m perhaps overly critical of what are often insignificant changes. Could just be that I’m becoming the stereotypical grumpy old man, but I’m not sure I’m old enough to embrace that title yet.

I’ll try not to share the growing list of complaints, because I doubt you’re tagging along to hear me whine about being on vacation. But just one more small observation from yesterday. You know what the ships library consists of on this ship? A single shelf of awful paperbacks in the coffee shop (the pay coffee shop.) Yep, thats the image at top. Steph and I were married in the small but beautiful library on the Carnival Fantasy in 1996. I’m willing to bet today it too has become a source of income, like a fancy coffee shop, bakery or candy store. Sad.

Despite the tone of this story so far, the day yesterday was great. It was after 8 when the others got up so I had a good three hours out and about solo to drink coffee (complimentary brand of course) read and write. While it turned into a beautiful day, in the morning it wasn’t exactly pool weather, so we had Sea Day Brunch at the dining room. The menu had changed since last year apparently and it was really good. A couple hours later Colton and I had Guy’s burgers which are always perfect. All in all it was an awesome day of food and goofing around.

I rarely take naps in real life, but cruise naps are wonderful. The best part being getting up at 3 or 4 for coffee and cookies.

It was formal night, or elegant night as Carnival has dubbed it. This means we skipped dinner and of course Colton and I did our best to represent the extreme informal segment of the passengers. He in a Four Year Strong and A Day to Remember ensemble and me in my most evil looking black metal band shirt. It was delightful as always.

A highlight of the day was closing it out with Bohemian Rhapsody out by the main pool on the big screen. Colton and I both adore Queen and the movie was every bit as emotional as it was the first time through. I regret that I wasn’t around for Queen’s beginnings, but am very thankful I was on board by the end. Freddie Mercury was already a legend by the time I began paying attention to music. I was all in though by the time the last album came out during my college years. And the scope of Freddie’s farewell, The Show Must Go On, still gets to me today. In fact thats my only issue with the movie, that you’re half way through the credits before that song plays. I suppose they wanted it to be the last thing you hear. Which I believe was probably how the song was intended anyway.

Well, sorry guys, after the last several actually interesting days, I’m sure this chapter was a rather dull. I do appreciate you hanging around though. If there is anything you want to know more about, hit me up anytime. spridlewv@gmail.com 🙂

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