I suppose no
ssqq summer dance cruise would be complete without an
afternoon of drunken madness down in good old Cozumel. This
has definitely become an annual cruise ritual.
I visited one year. I stayed long enough to realize
this is one adventure that is not for the weak of heart, the
pure of spirit, or the sober of mind. I haven't been
back since. Fortunately, assuming the pictures don't
lie, this event seems to be doing just fine without me.
Does that mean I disapprove? Not at all. From
what I gather, these people are having a ball. I just
don't bounce back from heavy drinking like I used to.
This is definitely a game for the young and restless.
And now for the pictures. By the way, that waitress is
Random Cruise Joke: The Diary Entries Of A Woman On A Cruise Ship
MONDAY: What a wonderful cruise this is going to be! I felt
singularly honored this evening as the Captain asked me to dine
at his table.
TUESDAY: I spent the entire afternoon on the bridge with the
Captain. He is so charming.
WEDNESDAY: The Captain made several proposals to me unbecoming
an officer and a gentleman.
THURSDAY: Tonight the Captain threatened to sink the ship if I
do not give in to his indecent proposals!
FRIDAY: This afternoon I saved 1,600 lives ... twice!
SOMETHING ABOUT KRISTI
is a character. I don't know her very well at all, but she
is, well, unusual. Maybe 'quirky' is the right word. Marla knows her better since Kristi
has been in several of her classes, so I asked Marla to
describe her. Marla stared at me for a moment, then
just shook her head in frustration at her lack of words.
Finally Marla blurted out, "Let's just say Kristi is
different." Not a very satisfying description, is it?
Kristi is an experienced cruiser. I hope Kristi forgives me
if I quote the wrong number, but I think she told me she has
been on 30 or 40 cruises. That would mean Kristi has
been on more cruises than anyone I know. Make that 'a
lot more'. That tidbit made me curious to learn more
Before the trip, Kristi was nice enough to share the names
of several of her favorite cruise hangouts. Curious about
her list of locations, I decided to check one out in Jamaica
At Kristi's suggestion, I invited Jim and Denise Duncan to
Marla and me for an entire day
at a posh hotel nearby our ship complete. The price
seemed fair, especially since it included unlimited
cocktails all day long. We soon discovered a wonderful secluded beach
complete with a view of the ship. To our surprise,
just a couple minutes after we settled in, there was Kristi!
I was about to have another big surprise as well. On
my way to procure a rum-laced yum yum Pina Colada, I explored the
surroundings. That is when I discovered our 'secluded beach'
was the hotel's private nude beach. Wow! My eyes began
to bulge at this discovery.
Breast-taking, er, I mean, breath-taking! Actually,
now that I think about it, I really did stop breathing for a
moment there. That was when a security guard
threatened to snap me in two. Just as I was about to take a
picture, a security guard showed up out of nowhere to inform
me he was there to enforce privacy and that I wasn't allowed
to take pictures. He said if he saw that camera again,
he would have to confiscate it for the day. Darn!
As an idle thought, I wondered where people receive training
to get jobs as nude beach supervisors. Once I got over my
disappointment at not being allowed to take pictures, we had a great time
on the beach (or at
least I did. Jim swore he didn't have any fun at all, but I
didn't believe him).
I admit I was distracted for a while, but eventually I got
used to the nudity. This allowed me to turn my attention to
an interesting conversation with Kristi. While we were
on the beach relaxing in our lounge chairs, Kristi told me some pretty
unusual stories which of course I shall not repeat. For
the record, I kept my eyes focused on the ocean the entire
time. As entertaining as Kristi's stories were, later
when I sobered up, I
realized we had talked all day and I still didn't
know a thing about her.
However I had learned enough to
sense Kristi is definitely one of a kind. Just for
starters, her curious preference for colorful fuzz-lined
objects was more than enough to raise an eyebrow. I wonder
what Freud would say.
I keep saying pictures are worth a thousand words. If
so, then I think I will let these interesting snapshots of Kristi speak
Pretty Denise Duncan with her clothes on,
Kristi with her clothes on too
Kristi's cute fur-lined pink laptop looked
straight out of "Legally Blond"
Cayman Islands" collage is a pictorial compliment
that Steve Gabino paid to Mona, a very beautiful woman.
As you can see from
all the photos I have posted so far, Steve Gabino is not just a photographer, he is
an artist. From Mona's Baywatch Centerfold to this
goofy "Muscle Beach" picture below, I think
you will agree that Steve shows a wonderful imagination.
My hat goes
off to Steve.
As they say in basketball, the kid can really play. Steve
made my recap job very easy. I am indeed grateful.
Muscle Beach Gang includes Iqbal Nagji, Toni Maciel in back,
Scott Greason, Veronica Saucedo, Gordon Grant, Peggy McElroy,
Kevin Macleod, & John Hall.
ABOUT STEVE GABINO
Steve did a wonderful job on this trip. In addition to
taking photos for us, Steve did the DJ work for our dance
classes and at our late night dancing at Alfred's.
His music made our dancers happy all week long. Like everything else on this trip, everything came off
Let me add a word
about Steve's stunningly pretty girlfriend Vivian. You
know, being part of Steve's working holiday had its ups and
downs. While Steve is out there photographing the
special moments for other people, you can assume Vivian
could just as easily be sitting by herself on the couch.
As I said previously, my friend Gary Richardson has
filled this same DJ-Photographer role for the past six
years. I have always been pleased with Gary's work.
However, to tell the truth, I was pretty sure Steve would
take over Gary's
responsibilities with the greatest of ease. After all, Steve has
done a marvelous job with our Halloween pictures for two
years in a row. He has so much talent for photography.
In addition Steve's Swing music at our dance parties always
collects great praise.
Sure enough, when I got his collection of cruise pictures, I
couldn't help but smile. Not only did Steve magically
seem to take a picture of practically everyone on the trip,
his pictures scanned the spectrum from beautiful to funny to
clever. It was a real treat to set my computer on
"slide show" and let Steve's pictures appear one by one.
Of course, as I put together my cruise recap, I am in great debt to Steve. How many times
have I said that a picture is worth a thousand words?
Without Steve, I would be hard-pressed to tell many of these
stories. Instead, I have a wonderful picture for
practically every occasion.
Steve will be selling a CD for the cruise soon.
Most likely he will retail the CD when we have our
post-cruise party sometime in October. Do me
a favor and buy one. This young man is trying to
develop a side business as a
photographer. Steve did such a great job on
this trip, I would like to see him rewarded. Please let him
know how much you appreciate his work by purchasing a copy.
You get a wonderful memento from the trip and he gets
rewarded for putting in a lot of time editing the CD.
It's a win-win for everyone.
In addition, if you ever have a need for a
photographer at an event, be sure to contact Steve at
Yes, Vivian has a wide circle of friends as well, so I don't
suppose she was ever alone much of the time. That
said, her role changed on this trip. Previously, she and
Steve were civilians. Now she was sort of along for
the ride. For the record, I never heard her say a
negative word all week long. I think we are all in
debt to Vivian for so graciously sharing her handsome
boyfriend with the rest of us all week long. Vivian
showed a touch of class that we all appreciated.
Cozumel has the
most amazing harbor. I am no engineer, but I know
enough to understand just how deep the water must be for an
enormous ship like the Conquest to dock safely. By
comparison, Grand Cayman sits at the top of a steep volcano,
but visiting ships are still forced to drop anchor well out
in the water and tender its passengers ashore.
What makes Cozumel so special is that these massive
ships can dock just a couple hundred yards offshore.
The result is a marvelous intimacy with the island of
Cozumel. If you feel sandy and yucky after a day at
the beach, you can go to the ship, shower off, put on fresh
clothes and return to visit the nearby shops and bars for a
second flurry of activity.
Since 95% of its passengers are eating, shopping, or
getting blitzed just a few hundred yards away, all the ship
has to do is blow its foghorn to let everyone know when it
is time to go. The drunks usually have enough snap
left in them to know what that blaring sound means.
Even if they don't, the bar tenders have learned to give
them a shove in the right direction. There is a sadness as
we walk back to the ship. After Cozumel, we are headed
It's Quittin' Time.
SUNSET AT SEA
They say there
is nothing prettier than a sunset at sea.
Thanks to our friend Iqbal, SSQQ has a lovely tradition of
getting the group together on the final night of the trip to
watch the sun go down.
Here is a
pictorial review of this year's ritual event.
Mark Sellers, Roberta
Burns, Edward Sanchez, Susan Bloome
Mary Webb, Mike
Wilhelm, Frances Webb
Jo Ann McCracken
Linda Fleischer and
Kevin Macleod and
Peggy McElroy. What a great picture.
Maybe it is my imagination, but it always looks like Peggy is up
Lisa Mallet and
Gene Garner Another great picture.
Denise and Jim
Duncan. Now that I think about it, these are all great
Iqbal Nagji and
Winnie Guo and Ben
Teresa Hackbarth and Matthew Webb
and Stephen Veregge
Nothing like a Sunset
Joyce Isiminger, Jeff Plaster, Virginia and Gerald McEathron
Don't worry, inside Jeff is really smiling
Wells, Peggy, Kevin, Denise. Is it a bird or a plane?
I assume they are smiling at the sunset above, but with these
guys you never know