Monday, December 15, 2008


My niece Rachel at Johnny Rockets restaurant on Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas last week. Rachel's bat mitzvah was celebrated sans blow-out reception-slash-dance par-tay, but instead as a Caribbean cruise which we joined her and twenty more for.

Hamish got his pirate on in Saint Thomas, San Juan and Saint Maartin.

Stella gained a fan base even while asleep. Ginny* from Bali was our assistant waiter at our six P.M. sit-down and to my delight, fell in love with my daughter. Ginny doesn't have kids of her own, but we met many Royal Caribbean staff who do and leave them for up to six months at a time to work at sea for  people like me. Sheryl from Martinique, Ali from Turkey, Anthony from India, the list goes on and on and on. The most embarrassing moment was when for an extra fee, we hired a babysitter for a night, Felice from Jamaica, who left her six-year old son with her mother for four months, barely out of childhood herself, and we got confused with the payment arrangement and almost stiffed her. In the end we paid her, and wrote her a heartfelt apology letter, but I can't imagine what she thought of us after being left to sit in the dark for two hours reading my Domino magazine by the light of a teeny l.e.d. reading spot while the kids snored (Stella) and ground their teeth (Hamish). We wanted to leave more lights on for her, but the rooms on these ships of course are miniscule. 

Hamish fell asleep at dinner too. Only on the floor. Anthony rushed right over to place a folded tablecloth under his head. When I think about it hard enough my jaw drops all over again, how dedicated and engaging and nice so many of the staff were to us, and especially to the kids. Children are the ultimate V.I.P. pass on a vacation like this. We got expedited through customs coming and going, and we didn't even have to pinch the children to cause a commotion for the special treatment. And when Hamish lost his plastic pirate knife and flew into a frenzy of despair, every staff member acted as if it was his or her personal mission in life to recover the thing. Their earnestness was something you don't see much of on land, say, at Barneys.

We never found the knife. Thankfully, Hamish has forgotten all about his lust for all things Blackbeard the moment we stepped foot on firm Philly soil. Now it's all about Power Rangers and Transformers.

Stella awake. See the doggy? We lost that too. Oy. My heart can't take much more. 

Bryan had a good time too, once we finally found our groove in San Juan. I wonder why he opted not to enter the belly flop competition. He would have kicked ass.

Dad. This was our second cruise together, and his sixteenth or some wacked out shit like that. I didn't know there was enough water in the world for that many cruises. Don't we look like we're having fun? We actually are. Mazel tov Rachel, and here's to a vacation that actually felt like a vacation.

This vacation post wouldn't be complete without a special shout out to Hamish's fave Uncle Tod, a.k.a. Night Trigger, for the killer photos. Who's your daddy?

1 comment:

Amelia Plum said...

looks like a wonderful time was had by all. my personal fave pics are the ones of the kids asleep, wouldn't you know it?! royal caribbean should make you there spokesperson, that's wonderful that all the staff were so helpful. maybe they go that extra mile for people who might empathize with their situation rather than view them as servants.xox