Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Greece Part 2: The Ship

Photo by Jim Chamberlain
  Again, I’m just being honest here, but my immediate negative reactions to most of the places I saw on the trip were quickly reversed after a little getting used to. So when we entered the cruise ship, The Louis Olympia, I was a tiny bit grossed out. The deck looked icky and gross, and the pools were empty. I quickly realized that this all had everything to do with the fact that we were the first people on the ship and therefore it looked deserted to begin with. Also, the pools were empty because (fun cruise fact!) they filled those with water from the ocean! Gasp!
       I began my cruise experience by first going for a run in the fitness and spa area on one of the two treadmills they had available. Of course no real humans ever workout on vacation so I never had a problem getting one of the treadmills. I also felt that the fitness room was the nicest place on the ship at the time. After my run, I walked up to the top deck only to find a bustling vacation heaven complete with waiters walking around taking drink orders and the rows of people lying out to work on their sun burn. After sprinting downstairs to throw my suit on, I came back up to enjoy some very delicious sushi and then lay out.
       I wasn’t’ really one to participate in any ridiculous cruise games for most of our time there, however on the first day, the three families we were vacationing with and a large group of people on the ship gathered around to watch a cocktail making demonstration. Naturally, my dad and our family friend, Jim, volunteered to be apart of it. Keep in mind they had each downed at least five drinks each by then and were definitely feeling good. When asked what their names were, they replied “Chuck and Bob from Bristol”. (Eye roll).
         Regardless of how provocatively they shook the shaker, or how embarrassingly they danced up against the host of the game (who also worked as the fabulous cruise director), she took it like a champ, laughing and screaming “You’ve gotten cocktail all over me!” in her charming English inflection. It was pretty funny, I’ll admit.
       Immediately after the demonstration, the Cocktail demo switched to a boozy and goofy “Guess the Song” game where the speakers would play a song and in order to guess and be placed on the opposing teams (girls vs. boys), players had to run to a chair and sit on (and pop) a balloon and then guess the name of the tune correctly. Eventually there were four players on each side (including our friend Cindy and myself on the girls team, and Dad and Jim, of course, on the men’s side). There were several challenges that earned an equal amount of points for both teams, which included me practically leaping towards the chair when I heard “You’re the One that I Want “ from Grease come through the speakers. The girls won, naturally. And it was well deserved too! For God’s sake I had to unleash my inner queen in order to sing “I Want To Break Free” (ironically by Queen), in front of the whole top deck. It earned the girls team 100 points. Totally worth it. 
Photo by Eliza Eaton
 Adorable Alley
Photo by Diann Eaton

            The rest of the days on the ship I spent working out, watching the gorgeous view, and on one day, talking for hours with a charming Australian who wooed with his quick wit and of course that damn accent. Our nights were spent at whatever bars would A) Serve us and B) Had soccer playing on the televisions. Luke watched and socialized and I just socialized.  At one point, while surrounded by some of the Miami law student friends we made, I was asked why I stood facing people and not watching the apparently very exciting game that was on the big screen. I replied, “To see all the beautiful faces!!” in an annoying, high-pitched squeal. That, obviously, was after a few.
        Among a few other incredibly interesting characters we met: a total frat star (deemed as such by Luke), an adorably droll law student who introduced herself as Carrie, “like the horror movie”, and the man that stole all our hearts, Tim. Tim, an engineer from Australia, was quite honest about his six-week -long drunk that he’d maintained on his holiday. On one morning, Luke and I walked around the island of Crete like zombies, definitely feeling the affects of the nights before. Then suddenly walking towards us was a chipper and smiling Tim who walked with a skip in his step. My God, something about him just reminded me of John Cleese from Monty Python. Luke and I both knew full well that Tim had not slept more that a couple hours in the last few days and had hardly stopped drinking. What a man, I thought… what a man.
      While the whole experience on the ship was exciting and new and completely wonderful, the best times were held on the dance floor of the Oklahoma Lounge. After a slew of fancy dinners such as Greek Night and Elegant Night (and even joining the entertainers in Greek dancing), we would all go to the “disco”. At first the disco would seem a little lame but filled with cheesy fun, but after a few dances the music changed to good ol’ fashion dance mixes of the best pop and hip-hop tracks. And of course my girl Shakira was featured several times on the playlist.
      Three nights in a row we stayed out late dancing as crazy as we could with tons of people and literally rocking the boat… ok so maybe that was the windy nights BUT it made the dancing experience all the more enjoyable. It also increased drunkenness by 10… whatever that means. 

Photo by Alexa Linker
Photo by Alexa Linker
Photos from Alexa's camera
         Leaving the ship was bittersweet…. Nope…no… it was just bitter. I could have stayed for at least another week sailing all over the Mediterranean. And this was only the fun that happened on the ship! The islands are a different story completely! But that, my children… is a story for another time. Like tomorrow. Stay tuned, dummies! It’ll be here soon!


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