When Stephanie and I took this same cruise, more or less, in like 2004, we thought our room steward folded our towel into an animal shape each morning because she’d decided we were extra special. We were so naïve. Today Pedro and Stephen noticed that from the front, our towel seal looks like a vagina. AK named it VagiSeal.
When we boarded she looked around and said, “This looks like the Titanic, but much, much tackier.”
“And with more lifeboats,” I added hopefully.
I made everyone sit through the Welcome Aboard! show because did I mention this is research? (Ginger and Amalia work on a cruise ship when the circus goes belly-up.) There were some amazing break dancers, but mostly there was the screechy cruise director who cackled at his own jokes, and a group of vaguely theatrical dudes in red jackets, known as the Fun Patrol.
At dinner we ate with a crew of recent high school graduates, all blond, beautiful and polite. Did your high school have a handful of popular kids who made being Mormon seem awesome? This was them. Also at our table: a mother-daughter pair who waxed nostalgic for the days of the onboard VIP steakhouse, and Kurt and Hector, an outgoing middle-aged couple from San Diego.
When we went to the “LGBT Meet Friends of Dorothy” “event” in the America Bar, Kurt and Hector were the only ones there, leaning against the red, white and blue walls (with bas-relief murals of the Grand Canyon and other landmarks). We hung out with them until we were outnumbered by straight people, including a lady pirate whose schtick was to put a plastic sword against people’s throats during dinner, take a picture and charge them for it. I mean, I guess I don’t know for sure that she was straight.