Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cruising with Dr. Grumpy, #1

Hello Grumpy fans. It’s Spring Break! We are taking advantage of recession rates to take our brood on a Mexican cruise. So you guys can now enjoy a week of relatively medical-free posts, with me blogging from the ship.


Okay, we are somewhere off the coast of Mexico on the S.S. Buffet. At sea day. Was woken-up by my iPod alarm, which I’d forgotten to turn off. In a dubious sign, the shuffle feature randomly picked the theme from “Titanic” to wake me with.

The ship has a "fine art" theme. Copies of famous paintings and statues everywhere. Obviously, this includes some 16th-17th century nudes. So everywhere we went for the first few hours on board the kids would giggle and say "look! boobies!".

Dining room has a copy of Michelangelo's sculpture "David", so all 3 kids had to point out that you could see his winkie.

Our cabin has a "partial view". This means we have an excellent view of the side of an orange and white lifeboat. If you look downwards, though, you can see the ocean going by, but that's all you can see, no matter where you are. Even in port.

At one point Marie used the toilet, then wandered over to the window and told her brother Craig she could see her pee going away in the ocean. I swear.

Last night Camp Cruiseship had their welcome party in the single’s disco, which was closed to adults until 9. So me and the kids danced the Hoki-Poki and other popular numbers. Highlight was the occasional 20-something males and females who came by in their best "I came on this cruise to get LAID!" outfits, who hadn't read the door sign about the kids party. They seemed pretty damn horrified to see a bunch of parents and small children doing the Hoki-Poki in what they thought was the hot pick-up spot.

The singles' lounge, oddly, is decorated in a theme of famous torso's, like the statue of Venus de Milo. So every 10 feet on the wall are headless, armless, legless, male and female torsos, in bright pastel colors. And every table is held up on the neck of a headless torso, too. At one point we saw our oldest, Frank, fondling our table. Anyway, it looks odd. Like a room designed by an ax murderer.

(click to enlarge)

Is there some kind of law that requires cruise lines to always book 1 semi-demented toothless old guy who's been out in the sun way too long and has a remarkably bad collection of baseball caps? You know, ones that say "I got married for better or worse. I couldn't do better, and she couldn't do worse", or that have plastic dog poop on the brim. This is my 5th cruise, and he's on this one, too.

During dinner tonight the wait staff broke into a singing number, in which they twirled napkins over their head. So Marie did the same, knocking over a glass of water and hitting the girl next to her with a greasy napkin. I suspect that family will ask for better tablemates tomorrow.

Tonight I was lying in bed leafing through the nightstand book about Cruiseline, Inc., it lists brief profiles of all their top executives and captains. A number of the entries end with phrases like "he is married to Anna, a dancer he met while serving on the S.S. Overeat." After a while, I wondered if this is a corporate perk. "You did a great job, Lars. Here's your dancer".

Another odd feature of the book was the paid ads in it for places like Newport News Shipbuilding "where we perform maintenance and repair on all large vessels. Call us to schedule your’s" or some company that advertises "we're the world leaders in anti-fouling paint for ocean liners". If I owned my own cruise ship WTF would I be doing on this one, you bozos?

That's all for now.

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