Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Funny Cruise Moments

It is going to be hard to summarize all the great moments (and the just wonderful normal moments) on the cruise, but let me provide a few bullet points for your amusement!

Several days into the cruise, Sofie was standing on the big bed, naked, facing the mirrored wall. She had played in the sun, carefully coated with number 50 sunscreen, for a few days now. "Mom" she said excitedly. "Which one?" we asked. "Both of you". "Mom, I have a picture of my bathing suit on my body". Her tan was pretty impressive. And all four of her bathing suits were exactly the same style, different colors, so the imprint was clearly of that style!

Another day, as I was laying out my clothing, I picked up my underwear to put it on. "Mom, those are some pretty big panties" she said. Kids, you gotta love that honesty. She sometimes forgets that the whole world doesn't know all about her. When Sher, a new friend (friend of Ellen LaPointe's who I met on the cruise with her daughter Max), asked Sofie what she wanted her to bring from the buffet for her lunch, Sofie responded "what I like" as if everyone should simply know that. By my count, she ate hot dogs every day for the entire week from the Kids Cafe. And she ate huge piles of bacon and sausages for breakfast.

Personally, my favorite Sofie tale is when we were walking to the kids pool. We saw another mom, looking a bit harried, who was pushing one kid in a stroller and chasing after her five year old son. She kept calling his name and asking him to stop running. He acted like he had not heard her (sound familiar, parents?). She finally yelled at him and did the counting thing: One, two....he stopped. Sofie took it upon herself to go over to the mom and tell her "My mom yells and does that counting thing too, and I don't like it". Great Sofie, out me as a yelling mom to a stranger. The other mom and I exchanged knowing looks.

The cruise food was irregular. The buffet offered countless options, most of which did not really appeal to me. Too many cooked hot food for lunch with sauces.

Dinners, however, were another story, three of the evenings, we had dinner at Aqua, offering a five course menu (the last course was cheese, which we never had any real interest or room for).

We had a great wait staff team and on our last night there, we gave them a big tip for treating us so well. From our very first meal there, when Sofie consumed three portions of beef wellington to the last when she ate two sirloin steaks, the food and the service were wonderful. The other speciality restaurants were more disappointing: the Tepanyaki place (like Benihana) was hard to get a reservation for, we finally did and then our guy seemed to be a trainee, and didn't do the fancy knife throwing around stuff like his partner (who faced the other table). The food was OK, and not too expensive (extra cover charge of $20 pp), but not really all that.

The Italian place was not a cover charge, which was good, since the food was mediocre and the service erratic. The Sushi place was better, Sofie asked for sushi one night and I took her, there was a $15 dollar cover but they did not charge for her. She ate more than I did, as that night we had other plans for dinner.

The shows, as I mentioned before, were great. The last night we saw Andrea McArdle and other r families crew and staff sing Annie. Someone kind of narrated, and the choral version was a 45 minute great show. We were up in the balcony with Laurie and I ended up sitting next to Andrea's husband Ed with wiggly Sofie on my lap. He was great about it and Sofie seemed to like the singing. I thought I had seen the show when I was about 15, but then I did the math, the show opened in the late 70's and I was hardly a teenager. Memories of youth are fading.

Since I said these would be funny moments, I will close with just one great image, that of my daughter swimming in the general pool or hot tubs, in her snorkel mask and tube. I would read and look up every so often to scan the horizon. That snorkel gear helped me locate her every time! Sofie enjoyed the free ice cream cones that were available by the pool on a daily basis, as did we all.

I miss that cruise already. Today I had to get a salmon bagel with capers and onion, tomatoes and cream cheese, like the daily breakfast I had for the whole week.

Oh, and because it was a gay cruise, don't you know that on the costume nights, the boys especially went all out for themselves and their kids.....great and creative costumes from their regions (the winners were the Brooklyn bridge, I think). And we just had cute t shirts. Next time!!!

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