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Never Thought I’d be on a Boat December 3, 2009

Posted by markgeil in Family, Music, Travel.
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I promise, this is going to be a post about our recent cruise, but first please permit me to comment on my favorite awards show, the Grammys. It will all fit. Trust me.

What, you ask, was the biggest news from the recent announcement of Grammy nominations?

Not the number of times Taylor Swift and Beyonce will compete head-to-head in the same category (think VMA and Kanye).

Not the appearance in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance, alongside the likes of Jeff Beck and Steve Vai, of country star Brad Paisley for Playing with Fire.

Not the similar outlier on Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. You hear Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, and Neil Young and you don’t expect to add Prince to the list.

Not even the brash deletion of an entire category of nominations: Polka is gone! Oh, the humanity!

No, the biggest surprise is a certain song nominated in Category 33: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The aforementioned Beyonce is there, along with Kanye, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, T.I., even Justin Timberlake. But one of the five nominated songs is the biggest surprise of the Grammys: I’m on a Boat, by the Lonely Island f/T-Pain. This is the trio of writers from Saturday Night Live responsible for classics like Lazy Sunday (“We love the Chronic-WHAT?-cles of Nar-ni-a!”) and several other off-color digital shorts. I laughed really hard when I saw I’m on a Boat on SNL, and on the occasion of our cruise, I just had to show it to Amy, despite the incredibly coarse language that is apparent through the beeps. I knew at some point on the cruise I would be singing the autotuned “Never thought I’d be on a bo-at!” and no explanation would do the line justice. Now, against all odds, the song is officially Grammy-nominated.

So yes, we cruised over the Thanksgiving break, and since it was in fact my first cruise ever, I did on several occasions croon, “Never thought I’d be on boat!” along with lines about my flippie-floppies and the following gem:

“I’m the king of the world, on a boat like Leo / If you’re on the shore, then you’re sure not me-oh!”

We stayed a night in Orlando and toured Downtown Disney long enough to buy cool Legos before driving over the Port Canaveral, where we got our first glimpse of our massive Royal Caribbean boat, the Monarch of the Seas. Seriously, there are lots of cruise ships and all, but ours was THE Monarch. All other ships bow in her presence. So there.

After unloading our 47 suitcases, we checked in at the terminal and the gastronomical abundance got a kick-start: free cookies and lemonade! In the terminal! We weren’t even on the Monarch yet! I already knew I was in for a good ride.

We boarded the Monarch, the first of something like 100 times scanning our little cruise ID cards, and went straight to the top deck where we were told they were serving lunch. Since we arrived even before the first scheduled boarding time and a full 5 hours before the Monarch took to her seas (which she rules), I pretty much expected a big deli tray. Wowzers, was I wrong! There was a full buffet, with dozens of regional cuisines represented, and more lemonade and cookies! I got a plate full of paella and we all found a table, but then I had to go try to change our dinner seating time. When I finally returned, my tastes had changed, so I switched to pizza. How cool is that? From paella to pizza in one meal, just ‘cause I wanted to.

I ate like a king (I was on the Monarch, after all) the whole cruise: lamb, duck, prime rib, a fabulous Thanksgiving feast, delectable desserts like opera cake and passion fruit mousse… I’m getting hungry just typing this. I also tried my first escargot, which was marvelous. Hannah’s take on the snails: “Delicious, yet disturbing.”

I did more than just eat, although that would have been enough to satisfy me quite nicely. We played in Coco Cay for a day, enjoying the Caribbean’s largest inflatable water slide.

It’s hard to think that just one week ago I was walking sandy beaches under sunny skies and swimming with sting rays. In Nassau we went on a snorkeling trip to a nearby reef, and once again I marveled at the little miracles of creation that God has tucked all over the earth, little treats left for us to discover.

 

As a family we won a bronze medal at the Pictionary competition; I proudly wore my medal the rest of the evening. Here’s one of my favorite pics from the cruise. I was so swept up by the food and our medals and all the frivolity that I decided to tap my glass and offer a toast. That’s milk in my glass. Amy thinks that Mark + Medal + Milk = Dork.

 

I haven’t even mentioned the rock wall and the girls’ speed climbing prowess, or the build-a-boat competition, or the towel animals, or the Straw Market in Nassau, or the wonderful food. Oh wait, I did mention that last one. Suffice it to say I could get used to life aboard the Monarch. So, I’ve decided that if the Lonely Island win a Grammy, we absolutely must cruise again. And you must join us.

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Comments»

1. Galaktik Travel - December 14, 2009

Hey, great post, very well written. You should blog more about this. I’ll definitely be subscribing.


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