1. Lighting is imperative to ambiance. Upon entering and exiting the boat, people were generally friendly, but in a manner of business. “Passport, please.” “The life vest goes over your head (duh)” etc. Once logistics were settled, the door closed the and ship took off, Hollywood lights dazzled and the disco started pumping. Clearly this was crowd manipulation, and after a moment of cynicism, I was delighted to be on the receiving end. The next three days were like a trance.
This brings me to number 2.
2. Music is imperative to ambiance. There was music everywhere of all styles. I love live music. I even brought my infrequently used iPod in case I got homesick for my own tunes, but never even considered taking it out. One morning I sat listening to a guy and his guitar covering the likes of Sting, the Beatles, Jack Johnson. I am convinced I was the first passenger awake each morning and it was truly a vacation to sit there in my Carnival robe and pretend he wasn’t getting paid, he just wanted me to enjoy some acoustic melodies. Also, we saw a Vegas-style show covering styles from many decades… heard subwoofers booming from dance clubs… relived the sounds of high school and college around the pool… passed a jazz club bopping on the boat… there was something for everyone (and this girl was loving it all). Someone puts a lot of energy into the music on cruise ships, and I appreciated every note.
3. Nurses are among the most important and strongest decision-making members of our society. They don’t take crap, nor should they.
4. Money. I was wondering if the economy had hit this industry so hard to sell $199 three-day cruises. That’s including all meals, free room service, on and on. (Marle ordered a Reuben while getting ready for dinner.) Over the trip I learned that that figure is the tip of the iceberg for the undisciplined. The internet cost money. Pricey drinks also included gratuity (they declared what percent). The cheapest spa treatment was almost as much as the ticket to get on the boat. But instead of presenting your credit card, you present your room key. That must mean we’re not spending actual dollars, right?! What I learned is that the cruise makes more money once everyone is on than they did from selling the tickets.
5. Chocolate melting cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee is really, really good.
6. I can read 70 pages at one sitting when no one is interrupting me and there is nothing else I have to do.
7. Guys, if you’re ever invited to take part in a hairy-chest competition, don’t do it. It’s kind of funny, but you look ridiculous and are the butt of the joke.
8. No one reads the Gideon’s Bible on the “Booze Cruise”. Mine creacked open.
9. Dancing cures motion sickness, and is also beneficial to one’s health in general.
10. I can investment energy into the girlfriends around me, but I can’t always choose THE GIRLS. If you have great ones, there is no better return than knowing and being known. (And laughing your butt off.)