Archive for September 17th, 2009

The Captain Is King Of The World, On A Boat Like Leo

It’s been 17 months since the last time I was on a boat.  That boat was considerably smaller than the boat where I am currently relaxing.

Today is Thursday, and I’ve been aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship for five days now.  In that time I feel as though I’ve done so much yet so little with my time.  Such is cruise life.

I’m having a surprisingly good time for my first time on a cruise despite the fact that his ship is filled front to aft with screaming kids and Disney nonsense.  But before I openly mock a large portion of what I have seen thus far, I would like to take this moment to thank my benefactors.

Megan’s parents, Paul & Trudy, are members of the Disney Vacation Club and used a couple of year’s worth of points to book this trip for the four of us.  Here’s a pic of our very generous sponsors enjoying a wine tasting on Tuesday.

Even though I don’t like 99% of what Disney produces1, a cruise is pretty much universally wonderful.  So thanks be to them.

We boarded our ship, the Disney Magic, in Port Canaveral last Saturday after a brief stay in Orlando.  We headed out early that evening, and spent the next two full days at sea.

Unlike most cruise lines, Disney allows guests to bring on their own alcohol on board.  That alone has easily saved me $100, especially considering that the first two days I had nowhere to go and no plans.  I’ve stuck mostly to Rum and Cokes, but we brought some powdered Hurricane and Margarita mixes for a little variety.

The ship itself isn’t nearly as tacky as I imagined.  And while the movement of the ship has caused me to lose my balance several times, it didn’t take that long for me to adjust.

Considering the horror stories I’ve heard about the state rooms on cruise ships, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with our room

A couch, a fridge, a swivel TV and a giant round window is pretty ideal.  About the only thing more I could ask for is a huge private deck.  Luckily, Paul & Trudy’s room has one, complete with a gorgeous aft view.

A private view and cheap drinks:  my own little paradise.

Actually, most of the cruise has been fancier than that to which I am normally accustomed.  For example, we have three separate staff assigned to us for the cruise – two waiters that serve us every night and a room steward that cleans our room twice daily.  Our Filipino room steward Sompomp (which he pronounced, no shit, as Sump Pump) is the man.  Every nite he treats us to a personal display of the little seen art of towel origami.

Most of the activities on the ship involve either lying around, eating lots of food, or watching adults in character costumes doing exaggerated dances.  Naturally, I’ve stuck with the first two2.

There are plenty of good places to lie around, including a kids-free pool and a couple of mid-ship decks like the one where I am currently typing.

And as for food, there has pretty much been a constant barrage of chow from the moment we stepped onboard.  Two buffets and three grills serve food at pretty much all hours of the day, and they even had a midnite desert buffet that seemed perfectly catered for Megan.

All this food has equated to me being constantly stuffed to the gills every day, mostly with seafood.

Besides eating and drinking, I spend most of my time on the ship relaxing and people watching.  Most of the people on the ship fit3 into two groups:  parents with their young children or adults without children that are a little too enthusiastic about Disney.  Pictures of kids with Mickey are cute; pictures of grown men who get dressed up to take a picture with Mickey are just mind-numbing.

Unfortunately, people in ridiculous costumes have been the norm.  For example, Tuesday nite’s dinner had a Pirates of the Caribbean theme so I decided to get into the spirit by wearing one of the cheesy cruise shirts I brought and a bandana.

Normally I would feel silly wearing this outfit in public, but this was actually quite tame by cruise standards.  About half of our dining room was decked out in full theatrical pirate costumes.  It looked like a cross between a pirate day-care and a pirate retirement home.  Check out this pirate father who managed to incorporate his baby backpack into his wardrobe.

Where Arrrrr the diapers, matie?

Even though most of the cruise has been a little foolish, I’ve still really enjoyed my time on the ship.  With that being said, I will say bon voyage for today.  Tomorrow’s blog will be about the actual purpose of this trip: the tropical islands!  Until then, I will leave you with yesterday’s sunset from the aft deck.  Cheers!

Ciao,

The Captain

1  I’m still a fan of The Jungle Book, as well as the last half of Fantasia.  And Pixar has done some great stuff recently.  Still, Mickey Mouse can eat a bag of dicks.

2.  I actually ran on a treadmill my first morning, but the motion and speed of the ship made it very disorienting so I haven’t been back.  Plus, there is a pizza bar by the pool…

3.  Fit may be the wrong word, since a good 50% of both groups barely fit into XXL t-shirts.  And to think I was worried about feeling heavy on this cruise.

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