Now that I’m back in the land of the computers I can tell you all about my cruise last month with my Nanny (my grandmother). CSP & I had planned on going down to Florida to visit her for a few days. Then CSP couldn’t get off work. Nanny’s been getting a little cabin fever so she suggested we go on a cruise. I didn’t think we could find anything cheap enough but I found a 4 night Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruise for just $207 each including all taxes and port charges. What made this trip even better was that I was treated. So I didn’t have to pay for a thing! Well, one cocktail and one round of bingo. 🙂 Our ship was the Monarch of the Seas. It’s an older ship, but a pretty ship.
Nanny lives just a couple hours from Port Canaveral so I drove down to her house on Sunday. I called her a couple of times from the road. Each time she made a point to remind me not to pick up any hitch hikers. Never in my life have I picked up a hitch hiker. I certainly wasn’t going to give it a go while I was driving all alone for 10 hours!
Monday we drove over to the port. We boarded the ship rather quickly. It helps to travel with the elderly. One look at Nanny and we’d be ushered to the front of the lines. We went and dropped off our things in our cabin before heading up to the Welcome Aboard lunch buffet. Our cabin was TINY! But it was just 2 of us and for such little money it was just fine. We went up to the buffet and tried to find a seat. That was tough with everyone else trying to do the same thing. I spied an older man eating alone at a big table that could have easily sat 6. So I asked if we could join him. He got so excited when he saw Nanny. His name was Cliff and he was traveling alone so he was thrilled to have company for lunch. I was thinking maybe Nanny could make a little love connection until I noticed Cliff’s squirrel chasing eye and constantly runny nose. He didn’t notice his runny nose though, which was unfortunate as it just ran right into his mouth. Not very appetizing. Eventually Cliff left us, and a pool of sweat in his seat. He was a sweating machine! Poor guy. Once Cliff was gone Nanny made it her mission to get other strangers to sit with us. People would walk by with their food and that “looking for a seat” gleam in their eye. Nanny would shout out “You can sit here!” but no one took her up on her offer. Until she snagged a woman who was scouting out seats for her and her husband. Nanny grabbed her by the shirt and basically brow beat her into sitting down at our table. The poor lady managed to tell us that she was waiting for her husband Carl, who was still trolling the buffet. “What’s Carl look like?” Nanny wanted to know. Then Nanny started calling out “CARL!” repeatedly until finally Carl appeared. Meanwhile I was finishing my lunch as fast as I could so I could escape. I dragged Nanny away, muttering my apologies.
It was time for the muster drill. The mandatory drill where you have to put on your life jacket and meet up at your assigned life boat. I informed Nanny of this and she said “Oh, I don’t do those.” What? Cause let me tell you, they are not fun. It’s hot and you just want to get going and not be squeezed up against strangers while the emergency horn blares in your ear. But I have never successfully skipped a drill. A few years ago Lisa & I tried to skip a muster drill and the ship sent people to our cabin, banging on the door. Nanny was adamant though. She was NOT going. She said she’s never been to a muster drill and she wasn’t starting now. That she had over 50 cruises under her belt and if the ship went down she was 86 and there were worse ways to die. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to leave my asthmatic, elderly grandmother alone and attend the drill by myself, but I didn’t want to get thrown into oceanic prison either. So we cut off the tv and the lights and laid very still on our beds as the horns blasted. 15 minutes later they announced the drill was over. We did it! I felt like quite the rebel.
We took a little nap then it was time to freshen up for dinner. Our 5:45pm dinner. We walked into the dining room and it was canes, walkers, and wheel chairs as far as the eye could see! Besides myself, a couple of honeymooning couples, and a few young families, I’d say over 80 % of the passengers were over 60 years of age. Our table mates were a couple in their 70’s from Boston who now live in Florida. They were super nice and it was fun listening to their Boston accent. No Rs. Dinner service was fantastic every night and the food was delicious. There were always tons of yummy choices. I’m annoyed because I totally forgot to take any pictures of our food! I had some really cool desserts that I’ve never had before like a strawberry Pavlova and a Grand Marnier souffle. YUM.
Our waiter and assistant waiter were both from Asia. They were excellent, but they had heavy accents. Fine with me, not so great for the 3 elderly people at my table. Every single meal went just like this:
Waiter- Tonight I recommend the (insert entree, appetizer, and soup and descriptions of those items). He would then walk away.
At this point my table mates would turn to me “What did he say? Why does he talk so fast? I can’t understand a word he says. Frank, are your hearing aids turned up?” and I would repeat everything our waiter said.
After dinner Nanny & I tried to get into the show but they only had one show that night and old people LOVE a free show. It was standing room only. Since we couldn’t get a seat we explored the ship then went back to our cabin to play some cards. We were asleep by 10:30.
Tuesday we were at Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island. It was a GORGEOUS day! I love the private islands owned by cruise lines because you don’t have to fight for a beach chair or take a taxi anywhere. You just get off the tender, walk a few feet and chill out on the beach! The water was pretty choppy so Nanny didn’t come into the water with me. After spending the afternoon on the beach we took a nap then had dinner. The show that night was a song and dance revue. Nanny hated it. “That was just a bunch of yelling and jerking around!” She was a bit confused though. The name of the big theatre on the ship is the Sound of Music Theatre. Nanny kept thinking we would be watching The Sound of Music the movie. I explained a few times that it was just the name of the theatre but I think she was still surprised when Julie Andrews didn’t appear!
Ok, that’s enough for one post! Tune in next time when I tell you about Nassau, our day at sea, and no pants room service!