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Thursday, September 10, 2009

anchored in the middle of nowhere

the third day was scheduled to be a "fun day at sea" - in other words, we had no other stops and an entire day to kill. when we got up and looked out the window, we noticed that we weren't moving. in fact, we were just sitting in the middle of the pacific ocean somewhere between mexico and long beach, bobbing lightly in the waves.

back in the day, when i took my very first family cruise, these weekend trips included an extra stop. you'd take off friday, wake up saturday on catalina island, spend all day ashore, and then the next morning be docked in ensenada. i thought that was a pretty sweet itinerary, but then they decided to spread that trip out into four days, monday through friday. this left a whole day of the weekend cruise completely empty, and they must've realized it was a great way to make a shitload of cash on us suckers. after all, that left us stuck on the ship with every activity from bingo to spa treatments to the casino requiring a swipe of that oh-so-convenient "ship & sail" card. bastards.

as we got ready for the day, i was flabbergasted at the number of different brands that the teen uses every
day to mascarafy her fluttery lashes. i'm not kidding. in order:

good god a'mighty.

having ordered room service for breakfast and lingering over it, we were rather startled when my mom called and said "hey, remember the filipino breakfast we ordered on friday night? we're eating at 9. see you there!"

it was 8:38. and we were all still in pajamas. shit. so i got my ass in gear and took the bean into the shower with me.

as quickly as we got ready, we still managed to be a good 15 minutes late. oops. when i complained about the short notice, my mom told me that it had been the topic of conversation the night before. but then i remembered that we hadn't been there for the discussion, as we'd skipped the captain's cocktail party and didn't meet up with the rest of the family for dinner. d-oh.

the "filipino breakfast" was quite delicious - tapsilog, garlicky fried rice served with a sunny side-up egg and thin slices of savory, marinated beef. i dug in and mmmm'd and shared it with the bean before realizing that i'd forgotten to snap a photo. and everyone else was already devouring their plates as well. you'll just have to take my word for it.

afterwards, we checked out the photo gallery again and found this lovely little gem from dinner, which i snuck into the adjoining arcade to capture. heh.

the bean was quite enthralled by all of the lights and sounds of the various games in there. the teen, bored as hell, decided she wanted to play one, so i swiped my "ship & sail" card in the machine and got a handful of tokens for her.

it was time for the debarkation talk, which sounds boring as fuck but is quite necessary. i wanted to be sure that we knew how things were supposed to go in order to get us off the ship as quickly as possible. it wasn't too painful, and i was glad we went. i'm not so sure that the girls shared my sentiment, but i knew it would pay off the next morning.

not really wanting to go back down into the cabin, we decided to explore the ship again. i'm sure you know that there are planned activities for kids of almost all ages, but of course the bean was just a shade too young for the littlest group of cruisers. with three weeks-ish till her second birthday, she'd missed it by that much. i'd read in the daily newsletter that there was a chunk of time set aside for family play time for kids under 2 in the "camp carnival" area, so we headed up there to check it out.

alas, it was not to be. as per my usual luck, we were completely assed out as there were only ten minutes left in the session. oy. so we settled for checking out the mini golf course up on the top deck.

the bean was inexplicably captivated by this thing.

after all that 'sploring, i looked at the time and guess what? it was lunch time!

the bean enjoyed some chicken nuggets, but loved her sister's spaghetti more.

i started with a california roll and ordered the open-faced shrimp and crab salad sandwich for my entrée.

our server, who was quite taken with the bean, brought her a scoop of chocolate "créme."

i went with the créme caramel (aka flan). the teen's chocolate cake was the same as the one delivered with our room service, so i didn't take a picture of it.

we'd considered going to the pool to hang out, but when you take an entire cruise ship full of passengers who don't have anywhere else to go, add endless sources of alcohol, and freewheeling, easy swiping of their "ship & sail" cards, you end up with an entire deck of obnoxious, belligerent, extremely inebriated fools who don't give a shit about anything but their next drink and hitting on anything with a vagina. pass.

so we walked around the ship aimlessly for a little while before we gave up and headed down to our cabin to stretch out and chill. and then about an hour later, guess what?

it was tea time!

these little cream cheese-filled lemon cakes were DELISH. seriously, i could've eaten the whole damn basket. of course, i limited myself to two. come on now, i'm a glutton, but i can restrain myself. sometimes.

after all that munching, it was definitely nap time. heh. it was super late - like 4:00 - but we didn't care. the three of us hung the "privacy please" sign on the doorknob, closed the drapes, and snuggled under the covers to enjoy a nice, long snoozefest.

by the time we got up, it was dinner time. muahahahaha - do you love it? we made ourselves somewhat presentable and went down to grab a table. it was a little crowded and we were given a pager and a 10-minute wait. the rest of the family had already eaten and had ordered dessert, so we sat down to chat with them a bit before they took off to see that evening's song-and-dance farewell extravaganza.

the teen splurged for our last night and ordered herself a smoothie - it was sort of a non-alcoholic lava flow, with a piña colada base and a swirl of puréed strawberries.

her appetizer that night was an uncharacteristic caprese salad. i say that because the teen is not a huge fan of tomatoes, but i had to give her credit for attempting to branch out a bit during the cruise. and surprisingly, she found that she really enjoyed it. hey, it's big chunks of fresh mozzarella - what's not to like?

i was in full glutton mode that evening. finding myself torn between three different starters, i just ordered them all. crab cake, shrimp cocktail, and wild mushroom soup. the bean helped me with the soup, and i couldn't blame her. it was creamy, savory, and just yummy.

a random server appeared out of nowhere at the bean's side and presented her with this.

kinda sad that my entrée was so forgettable that i don't even remember what it was. huh. but i do remember dessert - i chose that wonderful warm melting chocolate cake again, and the teen tried a classic cruise treat - baked alaska.

our fellow diners were still fully in booze-cruise mode, as they shouted and cheered each other on every, oh, about five minutes. "shot! shot! shotshotshot!" they chanted. super obnoxious, totally annoying, and drove us right outta there as soon as we'd plowed through the last bite of our desserts.

getting back to pack our bag and save ourselves some time in the morning was priority number one, which we accomplished quickly. the teen decided that naptime had been quite comfy, so she opted to skip the bunk bed and instead slept in the giant bed with us.

having been deprived of cell/text/internet service all weekend long, the teen and i were ridiculously excited to return home the next morning. ha!

that's kind of pathetic, but hey. we're okay with that.


  1. i can not get over the 10 mascaras!!!! lol that is too funny.

  2. Wait. I don't understand. She puts all of those mascaras on? At the same time? Or is she alternating?

    I've never had Baked Alaska.

  3. I'm requesting a close- up photo of The Teen's lashes. I don't wear mascara, but I am fascinated by her mascara collection.

    I love this post and all the eating done in one day, haha. I'd say that was a successful cruise experience.

  4. I just recently had Baked Alaska and for this ice cream whore, it's THE BEST THING EVER!! I hope you stole a bite of hers. ;)

  5. i would've ordered all three first courses as well! yum, yum & yum.

  6. btw, my parents & their friends always request filipino food when they're on cruises. haha!

  7. So to summarize, you ate, ate, slept, ate, and ate some more? :) I don't know how to apply mascara properly because it always smears all over my face :-P

  8. 10 mascaras?!?! WHOA! I can't even stand the feel of one kind on.

    And I had to laugh at the thought of YOU getting upset at the loud diners. ;)

  9. maybe THAT's why my lashes aren't va-voom. i need at least 9 more mascaras.


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