Saturday (2:30), February 1, 1992
Here I am on the “Celebration.” The ship has not sailed yet and the only things I have done here is walk around, unpack, eat and take a couple of pictures. It’s so beautiful here! The water is green with a touch of blue and the streets and trees further down (as well as the cars, houses and buildings) are all like from a gorgeous painting.
You know, all those paintings you’ve seen of the cars, houses, buildings and trees outside of a dock for ginormous cruise ships. Just picture those and let your imagination take you away.
I am in my cabin because not much is really open. The “festivities” will probably begin a while after we sail off. Our cabin is very nice. It is not that large or small. For two people it offers plenty of room. The covers on the beds are a brick red color and there is a t.v. in the corner. We have a closet with a safe in it and a telephone for many things such as room service. We got a complimentary bottle of champagne that tasted really good.
Do you feel like you are right there in that cabin with my 14-year-old self or what? If I close my eyes I can just picture those brick red bedspreads like it was yesterday. I do remember the gift basket with champagne Mom and I received from our travel agent, which was a surprise and perfectly indulgent way to kick off our vacation. Not since Tavern on the Green had I experienced lavishness. From the moment I set foot on that ship and saw the garishly brightly colored atrium replete with gilded staircases and an elevator, I knew this was a vacation I wouldn’t forget. So I’m glad I jotted down some integral details in my diary, like the fact that the cabin’s safe was in the closet.
One of the nice things here is how nice the people attending to you are. We (Mom & I) had a very nice late lunch. There was a buffet of sandwitches, barbeque chicken, hot dogs and cookies/brownies.
In fact, Mom and I found the friendliness of the staff and other passengers so disconcerting it took us a few days to get used to it. Having spent the last decade in New York City and being the victims of numerous robberies/muggings, we were highly suspicious of all that congeniality. Oh, and the food? There’s so much of it on the ship you wonder if you aren’t being prepped for some old lady’s oven after a while. There were sit-down meals and ’round-the-clock buffets, including midnight buffets which you had to attend at least once to take pictures of the elaborate displays of edibles and ice sculptures. It wasn’t until I got home that I learned snapshots of bread shaped like swans and ice sculptures of dolphins make for pretty dull vacation photos.
I got my own credit card (well it’s from the ship and buys only things like drinks). A plus to this cruise is that the food is all included in the price so you only have to tip. Funky!
Yes, so very very “funky.” Get the kids started down an early road to debt. Those virgin pina coladas really add up, let me tell you.
Well I think I’ll go outside and maybe read a bit. I’ll be sure to keep you posted about anything and everything that happens. See ya!
This was the only journal entry from the entire cruise. Which might not be such a bad thing considering we’re all spared endless pages describing meals, shows, island excursions, bingo games, and daily cruise minutiae in excruciating detail. On the other hand, I do wish I had written about scuba diving for the first time in my life in St. Thomas, and how Mom and I accidentally ended up on a nude beach in St. Maarten. Oh well. At least I can look back and recall that the television in our cabin was placed in the corner of the room.
I have really great news! My mother and I are taking a seven day cruise of the Carribean during the first week of February! This is the first “Real” vacation that we have had in over 5 years. My dad is not going to be able to go because he recently started a new job (Hurray!). Although it’s kind of a shame dad can’t come, it will be great with just mom and me because we really get along great. I know this is going to sound corny, but our relationship is more “friend-to-friend” and not “mother-to-daughter.” She treats me like an equal without losing sight of her motherly obligations. That’s why I consider my mother to be such a great one.
Anyway, back to the cruise business. We are going to take a plane from New York to Miami! That’s the first step. Then from somewhere in Miami we are going to board the ship. Ours is called the “Celebration”! We are going to visit 3 different places, San Juan, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. I have always dreamed of going on a cruise and I have no idea how I’m going to survive the ten days untill we leave.
If it was possible to drop dead from too much anticipation, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I still remember how excruciating those ten days felt leading up to the cruise. I was coming to the end of a miserable semester at school and couldn’t wait to get out of the city and go somewhere beautiful and relaxing.
The last “real” vacation I referred to was to Florida. I was nine years old and have two particularly vivid memories of that trip:
1. Meeting Minnie Mouse. To this day, the most awe-inspiring celebrity encounter I have ever had. Mom still has a photo of me and Minnie and Fluffy, a tiny stuffed bear I took everywhere with me in Florida. In that photo, I’m wearing one of my Dad’s sweaters which reaches to my knees and smiling as if I just reached the summit of Mt. Everest.
2. Trying sushi for the first time. Even though I grew up eating strange Russian food like pickled herring and shredded chicken and hardboiled eggs suspended in aspic, raw fish was still a foreign delicacy yet to be explored. Chinese was as exotic as my parents and I had eaten up to that point. Nobody knew what to order, so Mom and Dad pointed to the picture of the wooden boat on the menu. The miso soup was okay, but then things got scary. A carved ship the size of my torso was brought to the table laden with raw fish. It was about as appetizing to me as the live maggots Keifer Sutherland makes Jason Patric think he’s eating in The Lost Boys. (It would take years before I tried Japanese food again and nowadays I eat sushi at least once a week.)
Nonetheless, Florida was a blast and I had high hopes for this upcoming trip with Mom. The few reruns I saw of The Love Boat made cruising seem like non-stop fun. The only thing better than staying at a hotel was staying at a giant, floating hotel that takes you to different tropical places. I was psyched.