day 5 st. marten or st. martaan (depending on your persuasion).
never left the ship. we’ve been to these ports a lot, so they hold no interest, whereas an empty cruise ship is my kind of town. it was essentially a lovely day, taking meals, strolls on the deck, a little stretching in the gym, reading, blogging, watching a movie and of course the ever popular napping (as a result of the overdose of vicodin that seems to be a part of my life now). not helping the sciatica a whole lot but my attitude is just spiffy.
i mentioned earlier that husband was singled out upon embarkation and asked if he’d like to model in a fashion show. he graciously acquiesced and waited anxiously for his debut performance. it turns out that one of the pied piper’s excursions was to orient beach for a bash, replete with food, drinks, and debauchery, (and apparently a fashion show thrown in for good measure). well, since husband and i weren’t going to participate in that trek to the beach, his debut was cancelled. (or rather he’d like to think, postponed until another time). alas, fleeting fame.
the pre-dinner show was a gal who was a female impressionist. she made it very clear to her audience that her particular job is very different from that of a female impersonator (of which there were several in our crowd). no, rather, she did song stylings (with wigs evoking certain characters), like cher, celine, beyonce, tina turner and others. she sang a few songs in her own voice and style and was actually excellent, and the impressions were fun. of course, doing all of those gay icons, our crowd really loved her.
dinner was good but not as remarkable as some nights so i’ll spare you the details.
the post-dinner festivities included our yearly theme party; this year it was called a decades event and we were encouraged to dress in the garb of the decade in which we were born. well, having been born in 1950, (don’t bother to do the math, i’ve confessed many times that i’m 61), i was still a wee one by the end of the decade, so if i were going to dress up, i would have opted for a 60s hippie kind of thing, but husband and i took a pass. he headed back to the cabin after dinner, to read, and i wandered the deck (in yet another tropical wind event) marveling at the sheer lack of creativity of most of the players. there were a lot of pretty good hippies, (glad i didn’t do it),
and a few other assorted types. extra points for the tape on the glasses. (these guys are actually friends with whom i’m traveling. )
for me, the most creative was a guy born in the 60s, who opted for 1969. that’s 69 if you take my meaning. see illustration:
yes, that’s leslie jordan to his left. more about him later.
so having been tossed and blown, (and just a tad bored), i walked on, and headed for the o.k. corral for a little vicodin-induced shut-eye. i was slightly depressed as i pondered that there were only two remaining days.
day 6 a sea day.
the days at sea are far and away my favorite days. the ocean, the sky, the sun, the clouds, the occasional stray shower, eating, lounging and relaxing with no place special to go. or lying by the pool listening to a calypso band, or watching the fashion show, or taking a crafts class or a napkin folding lesson (not kidding) or in this case, on this particular ship, the glass blowing exhibition. corning, (yes, that corning) has a show on the top deck lawn, several times each cruise. (i shouldn’t just toss that off.) there is a lawn on the top deck. guests play bocce ball, (you know, your italian grandfather’s version of golf but with no sticks?), or just lie on the grass as if you’re in the park, or perhaps a game of croquet. it’s really impressive).
so corning has this two hour show complete with ovens, kilns, molten glass, and all the tools of the trade and artisans (including, of course a handsome young man named ross. i mean, how not?) creating these magnificent pieces right before your very eyes. see below:
then they raffle off some of them at the end, and the lucky people get to take one home. it’s really gorgeous stuff and you see pieces that were created on board as you peruse the ship. see below:
i enjoyed the heck out of the entire experience.
this being the penultimate night, it was the second formal night for dining. the dining room held the traditional filet mignon and lobster as a main course. i don’t know about you, but for me, it’s worth the swollen knuckles and the touch of gout the next day. i have a thing for lobster. afterward, there was the special entertainment brought on board just for us, and you were not allowed to attend if you were not a pied piper guest. it was the wonderful comedian, leslie jordan.
for those who don’t know, he played (and won an emmy) on will and grace. he also has created the character of brother-boy, in del shores amazing play/movie, sordid lives. he’s a gifted, talented performer and he did 90 minutes of standup to a sold-out gay crowd. if you haven’t seen sordid lives, both the movie and the series, you ought to. just sayin’. after laughing that hard for that long, it was time for bed. lordy i love the way the ship rocks you to sleep. final day is tomorrow. see you then.
i’m still on vacation but i’m a little hateful today. it’s almost over. and then i have to go back to my regular life. you know, you may not realize this but living on this ship is a lot nicer than my real life. seriously, at home, when i leave my bedroom every morning, nobody goes in behind me and makes the bed, straightens up, wipes my sink, changes my towels, checks the toilet paper, leaves me a bucket of ice and the morning newspaper. ( i’d like that, but no. husband loves me, but, apparently not as much as my cabin boy.) that’s not my life. that’s oprah winfrey’s life. also, i like picking up a plate and walking through the stations of the buffet and piling food on, without having to prep it, cook it, and clean up after. i mean, how not?
the reality of it is we have to go tomorrow. but before that, one more sea day, and as previously mentioned, those are my favorites. this was a restful day, as the back thing was (literally) a pain-in-the-ass, so i kind of laid low. typical lazy day, the exception being that after dinner we had to pack. it was a little easier than getting ready to board, in that:
a) most of the clothes were dirty so we didn’t have to be so careful about packing them, and
b) the massive quantity of wine was gone, rendering the luggage about 50 pounds lighter.
so after dinner the bags go into the hallway where sometime during the night, as we sleep, the elves come and deliver them portside waiting to be picked up.
i finally remembered to take a couple of pictures in the dining room. the first is of the extensive wine “cellar” right in the middle of the room, behind the captain’s table. take a look:
the second is the amazing chandelier over us as we dined. truly a work of art:
for the record i think i should add a picture of husband and me having the amazing vacation you’ve now shared with me. (you’ll notice i’m in coco chanel black. it hides my fat rolls underneath).
ok, so we’re a little gay too. <g>
before i close, here’s a peek at what the ship looks like to give you a sense of our week. there’s a lot of amazing artwork abounding. the first is a “curtain” effect sculpture (made of stone, i swear), take a look:
the next piece is about 6 feet in diameter. carved wood.
after that is a sculpture that was simply divine:
and then a couple of paintings, wall pieces and mosaic glass. just astonishing:
all in all, it was a great trip and now we get to look forward to next year. i hope you had fun traveling with me and sharing my adventure. i promise i’ll try to lose the few pounds immediately, but after all, christmas and hanukkah are upon us, so let the eating season begin! i’ll probably lose it after new year.
god willin’ and the crick don’t rise we’ll sail again. until then, i wish you all calm seas and a prosperous voyage.