38-And Now We Return You To Golden Girls

Okay, first off let me take a moment to say that I am not being paid for this blog entry. There are no perks or freebies or anything else that go with writing this — though if anyone from Disney is reading you know where to send the tickets.

Let me start by saying that this was easily one of the most fun things I have EVER done. I don’t know how other cruise lines do things, but Lena and I felt like royalty the whole time we were at sea. The staff on that ship can come over to my house for dinner ANY TIME. Especially Roland.

Okay, we are walking onto the ship for the first time. Our absolute virgin view. We walk into a ballroom at least four stories high, covered in art. Paintings, sculpture, ornamental woodwork, beautiful carpets and gold gilt. We are asked our names by a crew member in a crisp, white, officer’s uniform. We tell her and she announces us to the crowd of officers in the center of the room, all of whom go bananas celebrating our arrival, like we were long lost rich cousins. I am instantly enraptured.

There were three amazing dining rooms, each more fanciful and incredible than the last. Our wait staff travelled from dining room to dining room with us each night, learning what types of things we liked to eat, drink, when we liked our plates taken, drinks filled, and personal items of interest to make conversation with. The food itself was of course amazing, and there was lots to choose from. (Every meal sported fish, fowl, red meat, and vegetarian choices.)

We got bumped up from our original room several times. We had begun with a class 9 stateroom?a double bed with a small porthole to look out of. We ended up with a class 4 stateroom?sleeps six with a private veranda. I spent a lot of time on that veranda, looking giddily out at the crashing waves far below me. Our “Stateroom Host” was the aforementioned Roland, who was an amazing individual. He cleaned our room twice a day, (because who can really get by with having their toilet scrubbed only ONCE a day?) and every night we would come back to our room to find our towels turned into some delightful new animal?often hanging from the ceiling or wearing my sunglasses. Every time we needed Roland for anything, advice, the laundry room, an iron, sewing kit?we never had to look any farther than sticking our heads out the door?and there he was.

We went to Nassau, which was interesting, but it was kinda pale in comparison to Disney. We took a historical tour that was entertaining, looked at the forts and other old buildings, as well as the modern suburbs and city areas that provided some contrast. It looked like a wonderful place, but I wanted back on the ship.

There was a different live show every night, which was up to what you expect from any show in any of the parks and miles better than the casino lounge acts I was prepared for. There were also two huge movie theaters that ran continuously, one with grown-up fare and one with movies geared towards the kiddies. The ship also had areas specifically for different age groups?kids, teens, and full-fledged adults, with the end result being that although there were kids present, they were never annoying or unable to be gotten away from.

The last night on the ship there was an enormous deck party. Pirate garb was passed out at dinner, and a pair of pirates on stage lead dances for the crowd so that all could play along. The music was straight outta my high-school days, (I am somehow doubting this was accidental) and it was impossible not to get swept up in the moment. There were the pirates, the crowd, the music, the colored lights everywhere, multiple spotlights shining pirate skulls everywhere, All your favorite Disney characters dressed in pirate garb dancing with the passengers, and that’s when the fireworks, timed to the music, began exploding all around us. I was so happy, I cried.

I could go on for pages, but I think you get the idea. I loved it, and I’d do it again. Next Christmas is probably already too close to save up enough now, but there’s always next year!


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