Atlantis Cruise: San Juan & St. Maartin
You can’t board the ship until , so a little after 1 I got a cab to the Pan American Pier. I arrive and enter this big waiting hall where there are all of these chairs lined up. It’s like 130, and I’m like the 1000th person there. The next hour or so is moving from one line to the other. The funny thing is that I’m sitting next two these two tall guys and this little old lady. Apparently the mother is going on the cruise with them. I listen to their conversation for a bit as I am intrigued. “It’s a shame we couldn’t get that suite so all three of us could stay together.” OMG!! Can you imagine rooming with your mom and your boyfriend? That’s just a parallel universe I’m not prepared to enter. The line actually goes pretty smooth and soon enough I have my ship card and am taking the escalators to get onto the ship. The ship is HUGE! My frame of reference of course is USS Reeves (http://navysite.de/cg/cg24.htm), and this is a little bit bigger than that.
I’m on the second deck. Basically the lowest deck, with the smallest rooms. But I have it to myself and I have a window. So there! While the room is small, it is pretty nice. There’s a little ship newspaper that lists the various things going on as well as some info on the excursions. So the first plan of attack is to figure out what excursions to do. I do that, and then I’m sort of stuck. I want to go hit the pool, but my suitcase has not arrived. (Improper planning #2: Always carry a change of clothing with you when you board so you can immediately go up to the pool deck and begin the lounge chair Olympics.) So I wander up to the pool deck and do my first initial survey of the men onboard.
There’s the mandatory boat drill at . It’s a haze and the life vests are not flattering.
There is a little bit of pre-departure drama. The original info from Atlantis said the ship departed at 11PM. When we get on board and it's really 6PM. Ooops. And apparently some guys dropped their luggage off around 1PM and then headed into San Juan so they could skip the initial madness of trying to get on board. So there's this question about whether they will get on board on time. I'm not sure if they made it or not, I hope they did.
Cocktails on the pool deck, then dinner (the food is okay, there is lots of it, but it’s just okay). I wander the ship for a bit after dinner. They have all sorts of different events going on all the time: POZ meetings, Friends of Bill W. (which is an AA thing), “Straights Along for the Ride”, and even a Bears and Cub gathering. I go to the bears and cub thing, but its dead. Then it’s time for the first dance, the welcome party with DJ Warren Gluck. We like him. He plays music with words. I don’t make it a late night as I am on an excursion the next day. However, before I go to bed, I discover the pizza buffet. Bad, Trey, bad.
When I wake up, the ship is docked at
Back on the boat, I have time for a quick disco nap, and then it’s time for the singles cocktail party. Malcom, is the Atlantis cruise director, and he hosts a show every day on the ship’s TV talking about the different things going on that day. About the singles cocktail party and dinner. “It’s for the needy, not the greedy. You don’t count as being single if your boyfriend is up on the pool deck.” He’s just hilarious. The cocktail thing was pretty good. Chatted with some guys. Then we went into the dinner where between courses you got up and moved around so you could meet other single guys. It wasn’t so good. When I got a chance to move, I joined a table too quickly and when everyone else sat down the median age was 50. The second time people got to move (they alternated who could move), the median age went up to 60. When I finally got a chance to escape before the dessert course, I found a decent table and chatted with some interesting guys. But I had to leave dinner early to catch the comedy show. They had three comedians on board the ship and the first show included them all. And it was just hilarious. After the comedy show, it was time to wear my lightweight harness and go to the “Lure of Leather” get together at the bar at the end of the ship. It was fun and I did meet someone who was interested in “checking out my cabin.” So naturally I felt I had to show it to him. ; ) Afterwards, I went up to the Mardi Gras party with DJ Tony Moran. Another lesson learned: you need to pack for the theme parties. Some of these people had insane costumes. So cool. Of course, going shirtless was an option also. I did learn that wearing a harness and wearing mardi gras beads don’t match. How’s that for a bit of fashion advice.
The Mardi Gras Party was great.
The Mardi Gras Party was great.The music was hot, the boys were hotter, and we danced under the stars with red and green lasers shooting into the sky. It was just amazing. I danced to one of my favorite songs: How Would You Feel by David Morales:
Is it real or hardly what it seems
Can your heart decide the game
Do you stay or burn me in your flame
Do you wanna remember
Did it last forever
Was it what you imagine
Or did it feel like magic
How would you feel
How would you know
If it was truly love