I’m onboard MSC Poesia with a good friend who’s cruising for the first time. Throughout our weeklong adventure on the high seas, she’s said and done some amusing things and dragged me to events I wouldn’t normally attend otherwise.
1. She’s shocked that most cruise bathrooms are shower-only.
“I didn’t want to overpack, so I bought some laundry detergent in case we want to wash our clothes in the bathtub,” she excitedly told me on our way to port. I giggled before breaking the bad news. About halfway through our sailing, she took advantage of the ship’s laundry service, which set her back $12 for two items.
2. She asks if we can skip the muster drill.
After the announcement came (in five languages) that we’d be having the emergency drill (also in five languages), she calmly turned to me and said, “oh, let’s skip that.” Eyes wide, I walked to the closet, grabbed our life jackets and threw hers at her.
3. She leaves the balcony door wide open.
While I was busy blogging on my bed, she went out onto the balcony to enjoy some sun. I was too deep in thought to notice she hadn’t closed the door behind her — that is, until hurricane-force winds nearly toppled me over when I opened the main cabin door after our cabin steward knocked.
4. She puts her cruise card at the bottom of her bag in port.
Not realizing how often she’d need her card to get on and off the ship, she stowed it under everything else in her bag, meaning we stood at the ship’s entrance for 10 minutes until she located it in her bottomless pit of a purse. Flustered, she looked at me and said, “What? I didn’t want anyone to steal it!”
5. She drinks only water for two days.
Dinner in the dining room was consistently wonderful, but, afraid of getting slammed with extra charges for drinks, my friend ordered only water for the first two days of the sailing. I clued her in that iced tea is also free, which left her considerably more satisfied during our evening meals.
6. She wants a photo with the captain.
Sure, meeting the captain is fun. I find that it’s nice to put a face with a name, especially when that name controls everything onboard. But I generally draw the line at cheesy ship-sponsored photos, for which I’ll later be charged $20 a pop. However, on the second night, she begged me to go, so there I was — standing arm-in-arm with the captain, wearing a formal gown and a big smile.
7. She suffers with seasickness for hours.
As we departed Cozumel on the second day of the voyage, the going was a bit rough. She wasn’t sure if it was the choppy ocean or the Mexican food we had for lunch, but she spent a decent portion of the night hunched over our toilet. I finally suggested she try some ginger candy or check out the medical center or reception desk for some meds.
8. She thinks “tender” just means something is easy to chew.
The night before our call on Roatan, I mentioned that we’d have to tender the following morning, which left my cabinmate a bit confused. “What’s tender?” she asked. I smiled and explained.
9. She won’t miss a show.
Whether it was a Vegas review or a Broadway tribute, she was there. Granted, MSC has amazing shows, so very few were “standard” cruise entertainment, but even if they were, she would have made a point to go.
10. She spends $30 on postcards.
Wanting to brag about her trip to all the folks back home in snowy Syracuse, NY, she pulled a mile-long list of pre-addressed labels from her suitcase and announced she’d be scouring gift shops in port for enough postcards to send to a small army. She was thrilled — until the reception desk told her she’d be shelling out $2 per card to have them mailed.
11. She takes great interest in the location and speed of the ship.
Admittedly, they play some great music in the background on the in-cabin TV’s info channel. The reason I know this is because I was forced to watch it every waking second we were in our cabin for the past seven days straight. I heard some great tunes, circa 1990, peppered with comments like “Look! We’re going 21 knots!” and “Oh, hey! I can see Cuba from here!”
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