It was hard to believe there were only but a few more days left in the cruise. I had gotten over my initial frustrations and boredom with the ‘at sea’ days by this point and was starting to feel sad about leaving all of my new friends. Still life goes on and I was looking forward to exploring my next Caribbean island.
Under the Sea
While visiting Tortola, I decided to go on the snorkeling excursion. I was craving some physical exercise and I figured the chances of me being mistaken as a prostitute were likely low in this scenario. Unrelated to this fear though, I actually kept to myself throughout the snorkeling part of the trip. This was only the 2nd time I’ve gone snorkeling and I still had my fear of breathing underwater to manage so I didn’t want to be around other people. It sounds counterintuitive not wanting to be near other people, but I think it also had something to do with my claustrophobia. If I all of a sudden found myself in the middle of a group of people while trying to swim underwater, I’m sure I would have lost my shit.
The snorkeling experience itself was surprisingly underwhelming. I think perhaps I was spoiled with my first time snorkeling in the Gili Islands in Indonesia. There the water was much clearer and the variety of sea creatures was much more interesting. I’m actually quite peeved that Disney didn’t go out of their way to make the entertainment crew were decked out in scuba gear and costumes from ‘The Little Mermaid’ to greet and entertain us while we swam. I mean, seriously Disney, you could step up your game just a little bit. I did see a turtle though, so I guess that was something to be semi-excited about.
Second Chance Friends
I didn’t mention two of the people I met on the cruise at the Singles’ Lunch because I wanted to save that story for this day. Aside from the single moms at lunch, I met two guys were colleagues at Disney. At first I thought that these guys seemed to be my kind and would be my cruise buddies. It made sense. From the time I was a little girl until now I had always seemed to have an entourage of two guys (no dirty thoughts please). When I was a kid, it was Billy and Chris, in college, Joe and Shawn, and at my first job, Chad and Robert. So, it seemed fitting to me that my friends on the cruise ship would be Ben and Jerry.
However, this wasn’t going to be as easy I thought. I tried to make small talk after lunch but I’m pretty sure they ignored me. The first thought that ran through my overactive imagination was that they were friends of my ex-boyfriend, who left me to work for Disney, and perhaps they recognized me from the picture on his dartboard. I brushed it aside when I ran into them again on Gibraltar. They were with a larger group this time and someone mentioned taking a picture. I thought I would be friendly and offer to take a picture of all of them. “No, we’re good,” said Ben. As I walked away, I either quietly sobbed to myself and wondered why they didn’t like me, or bluntly mumbled, “Bitch.” I can’t really remember, but both sound genuine to my character.
My resentment of the guys and my fear that they were buddies with my ex-boyfriend were finally suppressed when we all met again on today’s snorkeling trip. We all magically started talking and finally got to know each other. It felt like a social achievement for me! I gravitated more towards Jerry though. We seemed to have similar ideas of what calls for a good time, one being playing “people judging” games. When I was living in Amsterdam I was introduced to this sport by my friend Darren. We would sit at the bar and scan the crowd to determine, “Is he/she getting any?” It sounds sophomoric but it’s actually a fascinating exercise in human anthropology because you really have to study one’s body language. Jerry’s version of this was a slightly more simplistic, but equally entertaining game called, “Who settled?” It was definitely nice to be in the company again of another delightfully demented mind.
What Friends Are For
I’m now also reminded about another funny incident that occurred earlier on in the cruise. Let’s talk about those God awful cruise ship horns that periodically sound off at the most inopportune times. I still have no idea why they go off but I learned today, after the 5th or 6th time this has occurred, that they apparently have a warning announcement to inform unsuspecting guests that a thunderous version of Disney’s, “When You Wish Upon a Star” is about to reverberate through your eardrums. The first time this happened was on the 3rd or 4th day and I was on the upper deck taking an afternoon nap. I like to multi-task so I figured I would sleep on my stomach and tan my back. I was just at that stage right where you’re completely relaxed but right before you lose total consciousness when, “BAM!!” Having completely forgotten that I unhooked my bikini top, I jumped up while screaming a few choice words. Quickly realizing my predicament, I fell back down and made a quick scan of the area. Either the two people sitting next to me were pretending to reject what just transpired or were completely out of it.
Luckily, the next time this happened I was at the pool bar with Jerry and all of my clothing was securely fastened. The warning announcement came on which I was probably not paying attention to and he kindly informed me that it would be a good idea for me to put my beer on the table. My eyes bugged out and I felt like I was in slow motion as I turned the bar to put my drink down before the horn sounded. I barely made it, but it was nice having a friend look out for me, and probably for himself, because that beer surely would have landed all over me and anyone in my vicinity if I was still holding it. Today was a good reminder of why it’s both fun and helpful to have travel companions.
The Disney Files