Thursday, April 19, 2007

Panama Cruise, Day 1: Departure and Day at Sea

Well it’s finally here, the big cruise. I am so ready too. The trip started out with a laugh even before I set foot on the ship. While waiting to board, the ship in Fort Lauderdale, I was standing with a group of passengers, whose luggage was lined up ready to be collected by the ships porters. I noticed a large group of Japanese passengers nearby, and a few were taking photos of me. A Japanese woman finally approached me, and speaking in very broken English said: “Are you the entertainment on the ship?” Amused, I told her I was not and enquired why they thought that. She replied that they were amazed at the amount of luggage I had, and how large the bags were, they assumed I was an entertainer and the steamer trunks contained my costumes. (Well they were right about the latter bit).

Immediately my twisted side emerged and I told the Japanese woman that while I was not the ship’s entertainment, I was in fact The Palm Springs Savant, adding: “very famous in America”. She quickly turned to her group, shouted something in Japanese in rapid fire and all of a sudden they all began taking photos of me and taking movies. I laughed inside wondering if I would end up being stalked on the ship for the next 18 days by a mob of middle-aged Japanese women. It was a little naughty, but oh-so worth it.

Once on board, the Sun Princess was surprisingly familiar, in fact identical to the Dawn Princess I sailed on to Alaska two years ago. After the usual “Muster Safety Exercise”, we went top side for the Bon Voyage Sailaway Deck Party. As the ship majestically pulled out of port and glided into the Atlantic Ocean, ships staff served all sorts of fruity and frozen cocktails as a steel drum band played nearby. Suddenly almost without warning, a Conga line formed and began traveling around the deck. It was actually fun to watch so many people joining in laughing and dancing as the line snaked along poolside in the hot sun.

After dinner we went to the Princess Theatre for the comedy of Tony Daro (HBO, Saturday Night Live). After a good laugh we walked a lap around the Promenade deck in the moonlight. The journey had begun.

-Rick Rockhill
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1 comment:

Michael said...

As a one-time cruise ship entertainer, I found this story particularly amusing. Enjoy your cruise and I look forward to reading your posts form sea!


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