Category Archives: 2007 Lodge Ladies Cruise

Thursday 12-06-2007: Another perfect day

When we got back to the ship, I realized I’d forgotten to take the elevator picture. In the elevator, they have these panels in the carpet to let you know what day it is. I think it’s easy to lose track while you are at sea, and that the floor of the elevator is the best place to let people know.

Here’s a shot I took at dinner. I noticed that we were passing by a “desert island” and only had the camera phone, so you have to squint hard to see it. Other people began passing me their cameras, and some of them got better shots than this. There’s a dock and a little tiki hut type place there too.

After dinner, we went to see a show. I was feeling sort of sick. The boat was REALLY moving. I remember sitting outside of Vintages with a group of the Lodge Ladies and watching the menorah on display in the promenade sway…. At some point we went to the Dungeon, but I could not take noise AND feeling sick, so I told them I’d be outside on the deck. I was almost asleep when Deb came to fetch me for the comedy show. I definitely fell asleep during the show; sleep is the only way to escape feeling sea sick. This was the ONLY time I felt sick on the Navigator. I’m grateful for that! Anyhow, after the comedy show was over, I went to sit on the deck again for a while, and then I went to bed. I felt better in the morning.

Thursday 12-06-2007: The Wild Ride

Tour operators decided to give us a wild ride through the mangrove islands, taking hair-raising turns and bumping along. We theme park fans instinctively raised our arms to the sky in order to enjoy maximum air time.

The clouds were still gathering and darkening the closer we got to Belize city.

Safely on shore, we take the “goodbye” photo with our tour operators. What a fun day we had! The rain turned out to be further inland than it looked.

Thursday 12-06-2007: uh oh….

As we sped away from Caye Caulker, this is what we were speeding into. I wasn’t liking the prospect of being in a little speed boat, or even in the larger tender, during THAT. Was hoping it would either blow away, or else we’d be back on the ship before it started.

Thursday 12-06-2007: Getting ready to leave

The rendezvous spot was near the Caye Caulker Police Station. There was a second-floor open air seating restaurant nearby where we saw Carol, who called down to tell us what shop Deb and Barbara had disappeared into.

Deb put on this pirate cap and for the first time since I’ve known her, I saw a very strong resemblance between Austin and his mom! I think maybe every time I see Austin, he’s wearing a cap.

Barbara poses with a complete stranger who had a weirdly named boat tied up on the dock near ours. I’m sure Deb or Carol will remember the name of the boat. Me, I was under the influence of two Kahlua coladas at the time, and we’re lucky these photographs are in focus. πŸ™‚

Thursday 12-06-2007: A little more touring

While Linda and I stayed behind to finish our drinks, Deb and Barbara went ahead toward the rendezvous with the rest of the tour group, to see if there were any more souvenir shops down that way. Linda and I ambled back along the main drag and found this club for sale. I commented that if this club were in the US, we wouldn’t go anywhere near it – it looks like a complete dive! Then Linda spotted the “For Sale” sign and began to hatch a plot whereby we all chip in to buy the club and live on Caye Caulker happily ever after… there were other establishments along this street too. Belikin beer seems to be THE beer brand in these parts.

Thursday 12-06-2007: It was good!

Mister Moose poses here with my lunch. I think most if not all of us ordered the mid-sized grilled lobster tail. I had red beans and rice with mine, and also cole slaw. The dipping sauce was butter, BBQ sauce, and Worchestershire sauce. It was YUMMY! I ended up pouring the sauce over my red beans and rice. We also had some exotic drinks. Debbie wanted to know what the heck a “panty ripper” was, but I don’t think she actually ordered it. Linda and I had Kahlua coladas. I actually had two!

Thursday 12-06-2007: Scenes from Lunch

Here’s the view from our table
That boat actually looks use-able
More view from the table

Deb, Barbara, and Linda. Note that Linda has gotten her hair braided; while they were wandering the town, they met up with a woman who does such things. Barbara and Deb each had a few beads put in, too. Note also that Mister Moose is sitting on the table. His adventures on this cruise are chronicled on his very own blog .

Thursday 12-06-2007: Lunch!

Soon, it was time to amble down the beach and meet the rest of the landlubbers for lunch. The place recommended by the tour operator was the Rainbow Grill, on the beach directly across the street from the Rainbow Hotel. The restaurant had a bar inside, and all seating was outside on this floating dock dining room thing. It was covered so there was abundant shade and sea breezes blowing through. I stood outside under a palm tree to wait for them in the shade.

Thursday 12-06-2007: You can be a COMPLETE and UTTER Slackass here!

Many of the places on the beach have these little alcoves out front, little bits of shaded paradise with hammocks and benches and such. You can just dream the day away, not doing or thinking about much in particular. Talk about paradise!

Thursday 12-06-2007: Great minds think alike!

When I got back to the beach side of the island, I started to think that maybe I’d like to come back here sometime, and stay for a couple of days. So I started snapping pics of little places, as a way of remembering what accommodations are located on the beach. Unbeknownst to me, Debbie was busy doing the exact same thing! After she got back from the cruise, she identified a B&B that we’d seen from the boat that has four rooms. Stay tuned; a future vacation plot may be hatching!

Thursday 12-06-2007: No beach

There wasn’t really a beach on the other shore; above, you can see mangroves in the distance. Below, a commercial dock. I turned around and trod back after seeing what there was to see here (this is about the extent of it).

Thursday 12-06-2007: Walking tour, continued

Above, some sort of bar called PIRATES. They do tend to mention pirates a lot in this country! Below, new construction. Looks like “hurricane spec” with all the cement blocks. A new hotel or condos, perhaps?

Thursday 12-06-2007: Walking across the island

I should mention that when we arrived at Caye Caulker, we all split up. I wanted to look for shells on the beach; Carol and the two other people from the ship went with the crew to go diving on the reef; and Deb, Barbara and Linda went walking through the narrow, sandy streets in search of shopping opportunities. After about an hour or so of scouring the shore for shells, I decided to set out across the island to see what was on the opposite shore. I don’t think it took quite 10 minutes to do that on foot. Above, we see some folks getting around by bicycle; I also saw some golf carts.
The building above is some sort of bed and breakfast. Below is the local beauty salon.

Thursday 12-06-2007: Look, I found shells!

I had packed my blue mesh bag (above) but had forgotten to toss the shell-net-on-a-stick into my suitcase prior to departing home. While in Fort Lauderdale, I bought a child’s version (the stick is shorter, and it’s plastic). So I was all set to do some shelling.
They do not have formal “swales” here in Caye Caulker; they have what look like naturally-carved ditches that run down to the sea to drain off the rain water. Looky what gets trapped in them!

You can see some sea snail shells here, as well as bits of branch coral.

Thursday 12-06-2007: We’re on Caye Caulker!

Pay attention to that ditch in the lower left of the picture above; it’s going to become important in a minute or two…

This is really a sleepy little place. Nothing fancy at all, but that’s how I like it!

Thursday 12-06-2007: some sort of camp

It’s about a 40 minute speed boat ride from Belize City to Caye Caulker. Along the way, you pass all these little islands and mangrove swamps. Sorry this is blurry; we were going FAST. There was this boat that made camp on one of the little islands. There was a guy out there fishing but I don’t think I caught him in this shot.

Thursday 12-06-2007: Leaving Belize City

Wouldn’t it be nice to come back and stay a week at that Radisson?
Here’s the lighthouse; I like that Picasa has a “straighten” feature, because we were bouncing around in this teeny tiny speedboat, and this pic did not start out in life with the lighthouse looking so tall and STRAIGHT πŸ™‚

The view as we depart from Belize City. That tall building on the right is the other side of that Radisson shown above.

All ashore in Belize

I made Deb pose with this pirate as we made our way off the tender. The flag of Belize was flapping in the breeze. Belize used to be known as British Honduras, and is the only Central American country where English is the official language.

When we got to the end of the dock, a friendly face awaited us. Carol was going on the expedition with us. Whereas the four of us were just getting dropped on the island of Caye Caulker for a day of bumming around, Carol would be going on a dive out on the reef. She’d already made contact with the tour guide, who was anxious to leave ASAP, even though we were all an hour early. He hadn’t been aware that the ship intended to leave so early – 3:30 PM instead of a typical later time. Carol said there were only two other people from our ship to complete our expedition and then we could go.

Thursday 12-06-2007: Bye, ship

Met Deb and her family in the dining room for breakfast. We left Barbara and Linda to finish their breakfast while we went to the pool deck to secure tickets to the tenders. Well, as luck would have it, they were looking to fill up a boat and came down the line saying, “Anyone ready to leave RIGHT NOW?” We raised our hands, got the tickets, and then RACED back to the dining room to collect the rest of our party. Then we RACED out to disembark onto a tender, and sped away toward Belize City. Here’s how the ship looked behind us as we departed.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Deck party and buffet before bed

There was a deck party and buffet this night. I went to meet everyone in the Dungeon, and there was NO ONE in there but our crowd. They sort of got booted out of there by the DJ, who probably just didn’t want to have to work too hard that night, and kept encouraging them to go up on the pool deck for the party. This was the night one of our bartenders – let’s call him Not Viktor – performed his amazing feats of juggling for the crowd. I’m sure someone else has more photos. My camera phone does poorly in the dark, as we have seen, and my Canon was upstairs charging. So all I got was shots of three ice sculptures. I had a horrible headache this night, and Mitzi gave me the best head, neck and shoulder rub! Glo and I had some pina coladas inside of actual pineapples. The pina coladas were premixed and scooped directly out of a cooler into the waiting pineapples. After eating, I felt a little better, but decided to head back and get some sleep shortly after midnight.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Cutting through the Casino

I’m not one much for gambling. On my first (and only other) cruise, back in the mid 80s, I won $500 playing the slots after about 5 minutes of pumping quarters… and walked out with it, much to the chagrin of my then-husband. That is the extent of my previous exposure to a casino. Below, we have shots of some of the characters that inhabit the Casino Royale on the Navigator of the Seas.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: And now the moment we have all been waiting for….

After dinner, I went to Susan and Sharon’s room for a very special purpose. While I was there, I saw their towel animal du jour, above in the snazzy shades. But this was not my purpose….

I was there to collect MR. MOOSE! Yes, it is finally my turn to take custody of the famous travelling Mr. Moose. I’m so excited! I’m going to take him to Belize with me tomorrow. I’m going to take him to Sanibel Island next weekend when I am back home. But most importantly, I’m taking Mr. Moose to New York over the holidays, and he’s coming with me and my nieces to see The Little Mermaid on Broadway in NYC – yipppeeeee!

After I took custody of Mr. Moose, I went back to the cabin to put him away, and found a stingray, again with chocolate eyes.

Every time I came out of the cabin, I came face to face with this poster from the Rogers & Hammerstein classic, Carousel. I finally had to take a photo of it. Julie Jordan in Carousel was my first non-belting role on stage. I was 21 when I got the part, and turned 22 sometime during the production. I was very proud, for I had worked very hard on my “legit” sound, and it was exciting to play the ingenue for a change. Ah, the memories! Someday I will scan photos of all the shows and operas I’ve performed and post them. Someday.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Casual attire dinner

Above, we have Carol and Mary. Carol is very funny and talks a mile a minute.

Next we have Ellen and her sister Dee. I love these two BUNCHES!

Above, Kimball and Glo

Kelly and moi. I took a second pic without such a serious look on my face, but I think I must have goofed and deleted it instead of this one.

So, that was Table 457. We were on a platform, right by the window, so we had a nice ocean view for sunset each evening.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Making my way back through the market to the ship

There were a couple of these cool “living statues” standing around, each with a large coffee can for money to be tossed in.

While I was gone, another ship pulled in alongside the Navigator; it was a Celebrity ship, but I forget the name. I was following behind this very drunk woman who kept hollering, “Ah need a WHEELCHAIR!” as she stumbled along. I met up with Lesia as I made my way between the ships and we went through security together. The wheelchair woman said there was no liquor in her bag to delcare, but plenty inside her – we were cracking up! Lesia and I parted in the elevator, both heading back to our cabins to get cleaned up for dinner.

This would have been absolutely PERFECT if it was a longer excursion. As the tour guides were leading a water balloon toss game on the beach, I kept having visions of Mooses crawling all over that island for some future Moose Meet….

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Time to leave

Too soon, the people from the Navigator of the Seas are being called back to return to the launch. We all troop onto the launch, and we sit there for about 15 minutes while the photographer woman walks around showing everyone their photos. I’m pissed off, cause that’s 15 minutes of my time on the island that they took up. And yes, I did note it on the comment card.

Above, there are some unfriendly looking clouds forming.

The road from the island launch back to the ship SUCKED! I noted this on the comment card, too. I also said that Allejandro rocks, and that he should be given a big, fat raise.

the shells from Passion Island, Cozumel

OK, so not a proper picture – I just took it just now, and didn’t even take them out of the bag, which explains the glare. There’s branch coral in there, too. I’ve not really unpacked all the way. It’s one of my most hated chores – that and emptying the dishwasher and folding/putting away the stuff from the dryer.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: More amenities

Above, we have a little playground for the kiddies. That’s a trampoline in the background.

More little tiki places

You can jump up and down on that yellow floaty thing above, and then slide down the little slide.

OK, enough with the amenities, we’re going shelling again. Allejandro told me that sometime bigger shells come to Passion Island, but it was the wrong time of year, and also the locals will go out and get there first before the tourists do. I still had a wonderful, relaxing time wandering up and down the beach in the shallow, calm water.

Wednesday 12/04/2007: Amenities, or ways they part the tourists with their dollars

I think I should mention that Allejandro spent a bit of time with me at lunch. He saw that I was by myself and decided to plop down and have a chat. I’m pretty much fine by myself, as long-time readers know, but that was awfully nice of him, and I found him to be very personable and kind.

Above we have someone selecting a temporary tattoo from a thick binder of them. I do hope she wasn’t contemplating the decorating of her belly…

Above, the massage-on-the-beach tent

Above: Really cool beds just hanging out on the beach!

Above, hammocks swinging in the quasi-shade

Wednesday 12/04/2007: More tiki stuff and lunch

First, I went shelling. I forgot to mention earlier that while in Fort Lauderdale, there were a bazillion surf shops on the strip, and I stopped into one to get a shell-net-on-a-stick. It was a plastic children’s model, so the handle wasn’t as long as my nets at home, but it did the job. I still can’t believe I forgot it; I have like three of them in the garage, and should have grabbed one and stuck it in the big suitcase, but I forgot. I did, however, remember the mesh bag, so all was not lost. Most of what I found on the beach at Passion Island was exceedingly small, but I found enough of it to fill a small jar – small, as in, about the size of a Yankee Candle sampler.

So, above we have the view from my table at the big tiki hut; after patrolling the shore a bit, I decided I was hungry, and gave the food a try.

You don’t have to hang in the big hut – there are smaller tiki umbrellas dotted around that you can go and have a seat at.

Here’s my lunch. Chicken quessadias (did I spell that right?), and all the fixin’s, plus veggies and fruits. Also, rum punch! My idea of a good meal on a beach day!

Since I was doing this excursion alone (despite the hovering presence of Clarke), I imposed a two drink minimum upon myself. If I’d had some of my sistas with me, I might have indulged more, but I felt the need to keep my wits about me in a strange country, sitting next to a strange if goofy man on the bus…

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Passion Island, Cozumel

My attempt at an artsy fartsy shot, totally no composition to speak of. There was this Mayan archway and they made you stop and get your picture taken whether you wanted to or not. It slowed up the line to get onto the beach! I was behind a couple and asked them if they were going to buy the picture and they said no. So we got our pic taken together, thus speeding up the line a bit.

This is the dining facility. The meal and unlimited rum punch or beer was included in the excursion. There’s Clarke waving at me like I was taking HIS picture. He was such a clown!

Inside the big Tiki Hut. I counted the chairs, it could seat about a hundred people at a time.

The food line.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Journey to the island launch, continued

Here’s that Carnival ship, I think, getting closer to the port.

Our tour guy’s name was Allejandro, but he said we could call him Alex. He was freakin’ amazing! When we were lining up in the port two by two, he came by, shook each hand, and asked our names. Then while on the bus ride to the launch, he played games with us and remembered EVERY SINGLE damned name of every one of the 40 people on this excursion! I don’t know how he did it. He must have a photographic memory or something.

When we got off the bus, there were two other buses there, so I took a pic of the bus number. I’d rather not come back and get on the wrong bus; I’ll end up on the wrong ship!

Wednesday 12/04/2007: On the way to the island launch

There were a few other cruise ships in the harbor this day. I’m on the bus sitting next to another “single” named Clarke. He was actually there with his family – seems like at least two brothers and one sister, all married. So since he and I had no one to sit with, we lined up together. He was quite amusing, in a goofy sort of way.

A common sight – little tiki huts dotting the beach that ran along the road. Shout out to the Hut Hos!

Well, looky here – the Disney Magic is in port! It was right after this shot that the battery in the Canon started flashing the little red flasher at me, so I put it away and made do with the camera phone for the rest of the excursion.

Wednesday 12/05/2007: Leaving the ship

I had booked an excursion to Passion Island this day. Cozumel is problematic for shell collectors. Most of the island is a marine park, where it is forbidden to remove ANYTHING from the beaches. There must be a boatload of shells just sitting on the beaches, and I knew I would be crying not able to take any home with me, so I booked an excursion to a private island where there are no such rules.

I turned around, and was stunned by the Navigator’s size and good looks, so I had to take a shot.

There’s some sort of construction going on in the port. I heard there was quite a lot of hurricane damage to Cozumel last year, and that the country was well prepared; they had building materials on standby on the mainland, and immediately began rebuilding, so as to minimize loss of tourism dollars.

Here’s the back of the bus that took the excursion to the place where we would catch a boat to the island. SeΓ±or Frog is cute, is he not? I thought I remembered that the shopping Ladies were planning to meet here later. I had my doubts as to being back in time for that…

Wednesday 12/05/2007: We woke up in Cozumel!

Woke up, stumbled to the balcony, and there we were, already in the port in Cozumel! Ran for the camera… above photo is dedicated to my Sanibuddies at the Tiki Hut!

Tender boats dotted the seascape, but we didn’t need one – we were actually docked.

Above is one of my fave photos of this trip – it just captures the dawn so beautifully!

Another ship approaching the harbor – I think this one is a Carnival ship, but I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong about that.

Tuesday 12/04/2007: Goodnight, Ladies

Sat out on the deck with a drink for a while – I think this was the night that Deb and I sat out and vowed to go to bed after this drink. We said, “oh we’ll just take a stroll around the deck and then go to our cabins.” Yeah. As if. Like THAT was going to happen!

We ended up in the Dungeon, where everyone else had taken up residence in our “cabana” again. Above, someone is attempting to pinch Viktor, our waiter/cabana boy. I know who it was, and I ain’t tellin’! “What happens on the Lodge Ladies Cruise, STAYS on the Lodge Ladies Cruise!”

On my eventual way back to the cabin, this was when I first noticed that there are these cool panels on the floors of the elevators that tell you what day it is. Look at the date on this post (the one in the subject header); now look at the elevator floor. This will give you a clue as to about when I left the Dungeon… yeah, we’re going to bed early. Whatever! LOL

Tuesday 12/04/2007: A dash back to the room

I had to dash back to the room for some reason – probably to extract myself from THE DRESS (ugh! do you have the impression I HATE to wear a DRESS?). When I got there, I found this towel animal. Those eyes are actually the goodnight chocolates that are normally on the pillow. I think it’s supposed to be a gator or a croc.

Here’s some more stairwell art. I thought these were pretty good, and I liked the puppet in the lower right corner of the one above.

Tuesday 12/04/2007: Our Personal Paparazza

Paparazza is the feminine singular of paparazzi, those photographers that capture the beautiful people. The Lodge Ladies had their very own paparazza, in the form of the fabulous Wendy! After dinner, we all trooped over to a very wide staircase to line up for some photos. Wendy set up the camera and lighting and recruited a perfect stranger to take the shot; she then ran to take her place amongst us. Above, Wendy directs the shoot. Below, the Lodge Ladies start lining up.

Tuesday 12/04/2007: Dinner Finery

It’s formal night! Yes, the Lodge Ladies turned out in full stylin’ regalia, even me. I actually wore makeup, and *gasp* A DRESS!

Above we find Mary and Debbie

Another charming self portrait (Debbie tells me her teenaged daughter does this all the time… so whaddaya tryin’ ta say, Deb? LOL )

Seated: Ellen, Mary
Standing: Glo, Dee, and moi

Tuesday 12/04/2007: More wanderings

Above is the Two Poets pub, which is directly across from the Vintages Wine Bar.

Why is Deb getting all Vanna White with a bottle of Amarula Cream?

I bet MUSH can figure out why!

After we sailed out of the rain, we were gifted with a rainbow.

Tuesday 12/04/2007: Soggy Solarium

It started to POUR. We made our way into the Solarium, where we found Deb’s mom (Barbara) and aunt (Linda) in one of the hot tubs. We sat on the edge and chatted with them a bit, but it started raining sideways so we left. Below, see what a soggy Solarium looks like, complete with abandoned soaked towels.

Tuesday 12/04/2007: Hangin’ wit da Debster

Found Deb on the pool deck, and we decided to get some drinks and carouse around together for a while. During our travels, we found this strange bunny wandering around. Not sure what this was all about, as we never saw him again the whole trip.

Just doing a Cuba check – yep, still there.

We visited the “bridge” where the Captain Picard chairs are kept, and looked down into it for a while, waving at the guys working in there. Those chairs are cool. They have joysticks! Then we climbed up to the top sundeck to watch the BellyFlop Contest.

Tuesday 12/04/2007: Cuba Gets Closer

When I emerged from the spa (which was fabulous, by the way), Cuba was a LOT closer! I had the thought that maybe I would see one of those boats full of escapees that lands on the shores of Sanibel periodically, but didn’t see anything smaller than a couple of other cruise ships now and then.

Tuesday 12/04/2007: For my friends at CG

Woke up on Tuesday morning and discovered that Cuba was tiny and vague on the horizon. Since this was a day at sea, I figured to make a massage appointment for around 3:00 PM, then come back to the cabin and wash the oil out of my hair and change for dinner. Well, the spa was pretty much booked up, so I returned my ass to the sofa and the coffee pot (btw, in the category of “Things I Love About Cruising”, I love that you can have room service delivered and it doesn’t cost any more than leaving the room would, except for the tip!). A few minutes later, the phone rang and they said there was a 9:30 am cancellation, and did I want the time? It was around 9:00 am. So I leapt up and dressed and off I went to the spa, only to discover that it is called “Shipshape”. This one’s for you, my hater-pirate comrades!

Parting shots

Ellen and Viktor (Edited: I had misidentified the lady as Cathy!)

Glo and Ellen: “He’s MY bartender!” “No, he’s MY bartender!”

I turned in earlier than everyone else, so I don’t know what happened after this. I think I got in at around 1:30 am, which is unheard of for me. I haven’t partied like this since I was in my twenties. When I got to the cabin, I immediately took two Advil and guzzled half a bottle of water, hoping to avert disaster in the morning.

Thus endeth the first day of the Lodge Ladies Cruise. Stay tuned for more!

Good times!

Cathy and Deb – I think maybe they are singing. There was a lot of 80s-90s dance music happening that first night in The Dungeon.

Ellen cracks me up! She’s a born entertainer.

By this time, judging from the surroundings, I think we had moved upstairs in The Dungeon, to our “cabana” by the side of the bar. This was a little alcove with a couple of tables and some seating. This is the night we first met “our” bartender, Viktor. He can DANCE! There was another bartender whose name escapes me, who could juggle bottles and shakers pretty well. He took part in a little entertainment later in the week up on the pool deck, doing his bartender juggling act; he was introduced as being from the Philippines. We had some really cool bartenders on this trip!

My next camera phone will have a flash, I promise!

Until then, you’re just going to have to deal. Here’s Glo, Michelle, and Cathy livin’ la vida loca!

Glo, Michelle, and Cathy’s right boob.

Michelle (I seem to have a lot of pics of the back of Michelle’s head), Cathy cracking up and Wendy boogyin’ down.

More Michelle, Cathy and Wendy.

Dancing in the Dungeon

We actually started out on the lower level of The Dungeon, directly on the dance floor. Here, Mitzi shows us how it’s done!

Glo, Michelle, and Cathy, and I think maybe that’s Wendy in the lower right corner.

There was some sports thing on the big screen.

At one point, Glo was really bustin’ a move out there!

The Dungeon

After the parade, I went off somewhere to try to get the internet thing going, but it was a bust. Deb had said they were all going dancing at the Dragon’s Lair, but that turned out to be a nightclub in the same spot on a different Royal Caribbean ship! Instead, I found The Dungeon, which became the scene of much hilarity and many good times, dancing and drinking the night away.

Set Sail Parade at the Promenade

The first evening there was a set sail parade on the promenade. This ball in the ceiling would drop down and undulate on occassion, retracting back up to the ceiling.

Lodge Ladies enjoying the parade.

Those people with the staterooms overlooking the promenade have no need to come down and join the sea of humanity. There’s Glo in the foreground.

I think these were fishies – very reminiscent of the Disney Parade of Nations!

Weird art work

Everywhere you go on the ship, there is art work displayed on the walls – paintings, sculptures, pottery, etc. This is one of the weirder ones, found on a stair landing. There was a companion portrait of another girl with horns coming out of her head, but I apparently didn’t take a photo of that one.

Ship’s Library and Internet Access

At some point, Glo and I went to find out about internet access. You could connect to the ship’s wireless from your own computer, or else use the ship’s computers in the internet access area. Either way, it was unconscionably slow and expensive!

The Library is down on Deck 7 and the internet access is on Deck 8. Connecting the two levels is this sculpture in the middle. I thought it was pretty creative.


Dinner service was pretty slow the first night. Between courses, Ellen and I headed out to the deck to sneak a smoke. Well, we found out as we were trying to find a place to put out our cigarettes that we’d headed out the the door on the wrong side of the ship for that sort of thing. OOOOPS!

More Royal Promenade

There are shops along the Promenade, and of course, there are bars too! BELOW: Vintages is Cathy and Michelle’s “office at sea”; if you are looking for Cathy or Michelle on a cruise ship and they aren’t in their room, check out the wine bar. They just might be there!

Diane passing behind Kimball and Michelle

Cathy and Kelly

The Royal Promenade

Standing on an above deck, looking down on the beginning of the Royal Promenade. That’s one of the glass elevators to the left.

I never did figure out what this dude is holding…

There was some activity or another on the Royal Promenade nearly every night.

Catch a wave and you’re sittin’ on top of the world!

ABOVE: Surfers!

They probably wait out there every day for a cruise ship to come by and give them waves.

Goodbye, Fort Lauderdale – goodbye!

More movin’ out

ABOVE: Pinkish sunset clouds on the horizon

BELOW: People on the rock jetty started waving at the ship; I waved back!

ABOVE: Our ship starts generating waves toward the shore….

Waterfront properties

ABOVE: Hotels and/or condos facing the port

BELOW: Waterfront homes; the one on the extreme right is under construction.

ABOVE: Stay tuned, something interesting is about to happen on that little beach…

Abandon ship!

No, not really. This was the safety drill. Unfortunately, our meeting place was on the side of the ship with the broiling hot setting sun. It seemed like we were trapped there in our sticky life jackets for freakin’ EVAH! I like how you can see my arm reflected in the sunglasses (I took this pic myself).

Can you take some more reception?

ABOVE: When you walk off the Viking Crown deck to find a place to smoke, you find yourself overlooking the basketball court and the miniature golf course.

BELOW: The front of the Viking Crown lounge overlooks the pool

Dee and Ellen, with Cathy

Yet more reception

ABOVE: That’s about one quarter of Glo, followed by Kimball and Carol

BELOW: Michelle, Sandi, Cathy’s back, and a little bit of Susan’s face

ABOVE: Carol, Kelly, Wendy and Mary

More reception

The Mango Lava Flow was exceedingly sweet – too sweet even for me. But it sure did look pretty in the glass!

Someone is always trying to make out with Deb on these Moose trips….

Glo stands ready to digitally capture any misbehavior for posterity.

All-Aboard Reception at the Viking Crown Lounge

Cathy and Michelle of Starfish Travel arranged a “Meet Your Fellow Cruisers” cocktail reception for us. Many of us had already met at least once at the 2007 Lodgeboards Moose Meet in October, but an equal amount had never met. What a fun bunch of ladies!

Here’s Tricia + the mystery passenger, and KellyB

ABOVE: Wendy (aka, The Wendyrazzi), Mary, Lesia, and Cindy with her daughter.
BELOW: Cathy, Susan, and Sharon standing, with Linda sitting (Deb’s aunt).

Final stateroom shots

The tile on the shower floor (I don’t think I’ve ever been in a round shower before). Also, you can see me sitting on the sofa, taking a pic of the vanity/desk area.

The Stateroom

The beds were pretty comfortable. If there had been a third person in the room, the sofa would have been opened flat each night by the stateroom attendant, and closed up the next morning when the room was made up. The main bed separates into two twins, which we had done while we were at dinner. There was a veranda for smoking and just sitting out with coffee each morning (had that delivered to the stateroom). Bath and shower cozy but not really a problem for me until it came to shaving my legs – there’s no room to do it in the shower bending over (oof, not good for the back, anyway), and there’s nothing to prop your foot upon. All in all, pretty comfy.

Just trawlin’ the decks

Just traversing the ship, checkin’ out the sights. I didn’t really anticipate doing Johnny Rockets here, as I have a Johnny Rockets right in Fort Myers that I can go to any time I wish. I think it was at this point that they called out for us to report to our cabins.

Monday 12-03-2007: More of the Solarium

Here we see more photos of the Solarium. There were some interesting statues up above the doorway back to the interior of the ship. I also love the Venus statue.

Monday 12-03-2007: Solarium

OK here’s where we pick up from when Blogger started rejecting the photos last Monday.

Behind the main pool area is the Solarium, which has a couple of hot tubs, a bar, and a “quiet pool”. This area is pretty much adults only, and the deck chairs are cloth-covered in this section. Loved the statue; will find pics from the other camera and post them, too.

*snif* The Lodge Ladies Cruise has come to an end!

Horrible internet access on the ship. Each page would take several minutes to load. Other multiple problems + the cost of paying by the minute for slow load was the reason that this blog didn’t get done at all, never mind in real time, during the cruise.

We all had the best time!

Here’s my game plan. I will first go through and comment on the pics that already got loaded (it worked until about 1PM on set sail day, Dec 3rd). Then, I will start captioning the rest of the photos I took, and I’ll start sending them to the blog from Picasa. Be patient, I have 5 days worth of photos to get through.

There was a pparently an outtage of some sort

Started getting error messages while taking pics of the ship. Something about exceeding the number of posts without doing a captcha. A WHAT? Called Bro. No. 2 and gave him my credentials to log in and poke around. He found some discussion on a newsgroup indicating that there was a problem with picture posts today. Anyhow, the WI-FI on the ship is slow and expensive, so I’m going to have to develop a strategy for doing most of the work offline – maybe put them into Picasa on my laptop, with captions, and then hitting the blog button? I dunno. Just wanted to let y’all know I’m not slacking!