We’re at sea for a football (and futbol) theme cruise that gives passengers who pay extra the opportunity to meet former NFL and soccer players in a much more intimate setting as part of a Super Bowl sailing on Royal Caribbean‘s Jewel of the Seas.
Here’s a look at Day 1, in pictures:
Day 1 of our ESPN at Sea cruise kicked off about 7 p.m. Saturday, with a surprisingly fun mixer. Athletes, including former NFL players Wendell Tyler (Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers), Gary Jeter (New York Giants and Rams), Mike Logan (Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers) and Jermaine Phillips (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and former U.S. women’s soccer stars Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly, interacted with passengers, telling a mix of entertaining stories about their playing days and cruising experiences. Did we mention the drinks, appetizers and dancing? Foudy, a constant bundle of energy on the dance floor, showed that her feet didn’t stop moving when her competitive soccer career ended.
Mike Logan has a ring from the Steelers’ Super Bowl win after the 2005 season and a built-in … er … distaste for AFC division rival Baltimore, but this time around, Logan is rooting for the Ravens. The reason? Pittsburgh is the only team in the NFL with six Super Bowl wins. If the San Francisco 49ers win today, they’ll win their sixth title to tie the Steelers. So for one day only, Logan says he’ll root for the Ravens.
Dinner on this theme cruise is definitely not boring. Between the entrée and dessert courses, Foudy modeled a little bling — she coaxed three Super Bowl rings (Logan’s from 2005; Phillips’ from 2002 and Tyler’s from 1984) off the fingers of her football-playing colleagues. Sadly, Foudy didn’t have her two Olympic gold medals to complement the jewelry.
Tyler and Jeter are cruise fans. This sailing is at least Tyler’s 10th, while Jeter estimates he has been on 35 cruises.
Football players, of course, generally are not small. But cruise ship showers are. Combine the two, and you have a recipe for disaster. At 6-foot-5, Jeter says he has a system for showering. It involves an in-and-out lathering method that accommodates his large frame, which is too big to comfortably move around within the compact shower capsule.
Foudy, a first-time cruiser, remarked how large Jewel of the Seas was. It’s certainly a matter of perspective. Phillips, who had sailed on Oasis of the Seas, spoke of how surprised he was with the small size of Jewel of the Seas.