Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Expectation Managed


Here’s a mis-managed expectation for you.

Just because a cruise is on the ocean and includes sandy beaches? Doesn’t mean it’s quiet or peaceful.

Pretty much ever.

On embarkation day, after we’d gotten through the various lines to sign up for supper reservations in the specialty restaurant of our choice (Le Bistro…French), for the wine package (4 bottles over-priced and yet worth every penny to have wine to drink in our state room each night), and for the unlimited soda package (which I purchased thinking this would keep me from drinking liquor all day every day…it’s worked thus far), we found ourselves on the pool deck…with 2,000 of our new best friends and the ship band.

We kept thinking this was just part of embarkation day and the festive atmosphere as we were all eagerly awaiting our departure from shore.

Ahem.

Eventually, it would become clear that this was no exception to the rest of the cruise.

There is no escape from constant music. Our stateroom is directly under the Great Outdoors bar and while we don’t hear a lot of noise when we’re in the room itself – even when the balcony door is opened wide (which it usually is) – when sitting out on the balcony, we’re either serenaded by the song stylings of Bruce – who entertains us with selections from AM Gold – or we’re listening to top 40…from 1986. Which, you know, I’ve realized on this trip is now considered “Oldies” music.

For the love of christ, seriously?

Apparently so.

Anyway.

Yesterday, we went on a mission to find a quiet spot in which to settle where Betsy could read and I could write. We even found a spot labeled “Quiet Zone”. Ahem. Directly between the children’s splash pool and the main pool area…where Lady Gaga blared from the strategically placed speakers and where the ship band, Prism, plays every afternoon at sunset.

Luckily, there are very few children on this trip. As I sit pool side writing this (my headphones firmly planted in my ears with Nitzer Ebb telling me to join in the chant), I see no one of the little variety. Oh wait. There’s one. About 12 years old. And not screaming, running, or crying. So she can stay.

Please do not misunderstand. I am loving every minute of this cruise!

My boss sent us a bon voyage gift of fresh fruit and a lovely bottle of Chardonnay so our first night, after sunset cocktails on deck 12 aft and supper in the dining room, we retired to our room to drink wine, talk, sigh, and watch the moonshine on the wake.

Last night, there were more sunset cocktails and then pub food in the sports bar – it was quite pleasant and amazingly the most quiet sports bar I’ve ever been in – before again retiring to our room where we’d had the foresight to have 2 bottles of our wine package delivered. So we drank more wine, talked, sighed, SANG!, delighted in the beauty of our feet glowing in the moonshine, and ordered dessert from room service.

I think room service might be the best part of the ship.

24 hours a day, I can get a BLT and cheesecake and they will deliver it with pleasure. They’ll bring us coffee every morning with a smile. And it’s all included in the price of our tickets.

So, while I had only one expectation of peace and quiet – a clearly mismanaged expectation – I have no regrets.

I am utterly relaxed, still poolside in the shade, in my pajamas thankyouverymuch, the humidity doing incredible things for my skin, my hair a crazy mass of ginormous curls, Modulate blaring into my ears about how he is going to give me 3 seconds to wipe that grin off my face or he’ll gouge out my eyeballs and skullfuck me, and I’m happy.

An African-American woman in her mid-60’s(?) just walked past with the cutest pixie hair cut dyed lavender. Lavendar, y’all.

That is joy.

1 comment:

teresa said...

Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you. Isn't the cruise amazing?

As for a quiet zone.....find the library. It was on my deck when I went and it was always quiet.

Miss you. Send more pics. The moonshine is glorious, isn't it! I think it's a full moon in a day or two.