The day started with a special meeting for those of us lucky enough to be staying on for the next voyage. There will be more bureaucracy involved than we usually endure on back to back cruises, thanks to the friendly folks at US immigrations. We thought we would just stay onboard and enjoy the ship, but au contraire. Everyone has to get off the ship and go through customs, in case we found some wonderful treasures in our stop in Haiti. Then we will have to wait until the emptiness of the ship has been verified, before we can get back on. The cruise director spoke about all this rather nervously, as if this bureaucracy had caused some major delays in the past. Note to self: bring lots to read into the terminal.
Then we went to an outdoor party for the hundreds of passengers here who have sailed with Royal Caribbean many times. The liquor flowed and a special prize was given to the man who had taken the most cruises on RC - 386. He wasn’t even all that old. And people say we cruise a lot... The captain said that they had put this man on their planning board as they prepared to design this ship. It would be safe to say that he knows more about cruising than many of the employees here. We also heard that we was staying in a suite gratis. Guess he earned it.
Ship personnel has been making every effort to include all the shows and events in this four day cruise that are normally done in a week. And we have made every effort to take advantage of it all. It has been a hectic schedule indeed. I haven’t read a single page of a book, a behavior totally out of character for me. It will be nice to have a whole week to do it all again at a more leisurely pace. And perhaps the tempo for photography will lessen as well. We always try to view and organize our photos as we take them, rather than waiting until we get home and no longer remember what they were. But at the pace that we’ve been clicking it has taken a few hours every day to stay on top of things.
Tonight we saw a slightly abridged version of the Broadway show Chicago and it was easily the best musical performance we have ever seen on a cruise ship. The talented actors danced in that distinctive Bob Fosse style and belted out the songs at the same time. Truly an athletic feat. The show has many tunes that have become famous on their own over the years and the plot did no favors to our beloved city’s already sterling reputation.
We continue to be impressed by the lack of lines and a crowded feeling on this monster ship. There are so many places to be and things to do, the passengers have been dispersed throughout the voyage. There could be some lines at customs tomorrow, but they will not be caused by Royal Caribbean. Their organizational skills have been awesome.