Cruise days 1-3

I woke up Sunday and went down to the lobby to take advantage of the free wireless for a while. Then I went back up after Jill woke up, we checked out and took a cab to the port. We stood in a number of lines, but soon were aboard. We got some lunch (love roast beef sandwiches on pretzel rolls), then got schedules and started planning our strategy. We went to our lifeboat drill shortly before the ship left, then Jill dashed to the pool deck to grab a good spot while I went to the cabin to drop off the life vest and grab my camcorder. We had to wait an hour, but it was worth it as Barenaked Ladies put on a good show. A couple of older favorites (“Alternative Girlfriend” and “It’s All Been Done”) and a nice cover (“Rio”) made me happy.

no pictures, busy videoing!

After the show Jill grabbed a spot in one of the lounges while I dropped our stuff at the cabin, then we watched the Super Bowl. We got a helmet full of beers and they had a buffet of hot dogs, pizza, wings and nachos. There were a lot of Steelers fans, and some Cardinals fans – we were just hoping for a good game. Fortunately we got one, as we were disappointed we were watching the ESPN feed and didn’t get any of the commercials (we even had our 3D glasses). Happily we did get the Boss at halftime, which was pretty fun as most people were singing along and cheering. Jill ducked out during the fourth quarter to get a good seat in the theater and missed the Cardinals come back, only for the Steelers to pull it out at the end.

I didn’t even stay past the Steelers scoring, as there were only seconds left in the game, and Great Big Sea was scheduled to start right then. Luckily for me they were a little late, and I found Jill and got a drink. She had seen Sloan and thought they were good, so I’ll try and check them out. But Great Big Sea brought the rock in a big way, with a bunch of their crowd pleasers (“Captain Kidd”, “Paddy Murphy” and “When I’m Up”) and random selections of covers and teases, including a full cover of BNL’s “Lovers In A Dangerous Time”. That did it for us, off to a long night of sleep.

Great Big Sea

We were awakened Monday by the announcement that the Barenaked photo would be taken on deck on a few minutes. Did we participate? You’ll have to look at the picture and find out for yourself. We got some lunch after showering, then I went and lined up for the BNL Snacktime show (their most recent CD is for kids). Jill ended up joining me, and we headed in. The show was fun (we brought CDs from cruise artists to play in rental cars, and this was one we’d listened to several times). It wasn’t just kids songs, we also got “Grade 9”, “One Week” and “If I Had $1000000”, as well as an appearance with ex-Lady Andy Creegan (brother of Jim).

We headed over to the Blue Lagoon lounge to gorge on fatty foods (potato skins, spinach and artichoke dip and Buffalo wings) as after that we had a beer tasting at the beer and whiskey bar (they also have a martini bar and a wine and champagne bar). It was fun, we got to try hefty portions of 6 beers and then got a full one of our favorite (I liked the Coopers Brewery Original Pale Ale while Jill liked the Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale). There was also trivia and we each won a t-shirt. Next we needed to head up to the Spinnaker Lounge for the GBS fan club show.

We’re not in any fan club like some people were – apparently if you put the band down as one of the reasons you booked the cruise, you got tix (I guess I did – I can’t remember). But it was fun – they wanted to do something different, so everyone got solo turns (yes, Chris and Murray too). It was mostly songs we didn’t know, and covers we did. One shocker was it was the first public performance of “Dance” from their last CD. Pretty cool, and getting into the show means we get four days of GBS in a row (there’s probably at least one reader of this that would like to join us, maybe someday we’ll get her on a cruise).

We had time for dinner, so we headed into one of the main rooms (it’s freestyle dinner, so you go whenever you like). I had a watermelon salad and Jill had an asparagus and scallop starter and a glass of Prosecco, both good. Then I found out something cool – you can order the beers from the beer bar in the dining room, skipping their usual so-so selection. So I had a bottle of the Nut Brown Ale with my duck (great pairing) while Jill had a nice Chianti with her Beef Wellington (but no fava beans).

We left right after dinner, as the Weakerthans were playing upstairs. I’d brought two of their CDs with us, and we’d both liked them, so we wanted to check them out, and this was the only time we could catch the beginning of their set (this cruise has so many scheduling conflicts for me, it’s like Falcon Ridge on steroids, thank goodness for the the two days in port). They were very good, but loud, and Jill had lost an earplug, so we left a little before the end of their set. We looked around at the dessert options and didn’t see anything we liked, and went back to our room. Jill found a cheesecake we both liked from room service, so we got that (some of the restaurants cost money, but room service doesn’t). We watched some of the first night’s BNL show on the TV (they have to divide the cruise into three parts for the big theater on show – we’ll be attending the last one on Thursday), then got to bed as we’d be up early the next day.

Tuesday we woke up in Cozumel. We got dressed, got some quick breakfast and headed off the ship. To our surprise, there was no wait like we were used to, so once we got to the start of the pier, we had a while to wait. But eventually we were picked up by Sand Dollar Sports, and took taxis to their nearby shoreside location. We had a short class on Snuba, then were soon in the water. Jill wasn’t able to stay down the whole time because she had trouble clearing her mask, but I saw a lot of creatures, including an eel and a seahorse. We went back to the ship after that, had some lunch, then I went on deck to read while Jill went to nap, then I came down for a shower and joined her.

Jill and Kerry

After we got up, I went up on deck and snagged a prime railing spot for the GBS show, the windiest show I’ve ever been to. The boys were in fine form, breaking out every marine themed song, and letting us know (repeatedly) of Alan’s fetish of fish and chips. We also finally got to hear their cover of “Good Girls Don’t”, which they had been doing during their summer shows last year, but got cut from their Wolf Trap show (because they were co-headlining and had slightly shorter than their regular time). After that Jill went down to get ready for dinner. I was already dressed and wandered around, which is how I found that Mike Evin was performing with Jim Creegan, Andy Creegan and Tyler Stewart in Bar City. I let Jill know, and we delayed our dinner by 15 minutes to catch the rest of that entertaining show.

We had dinner at Chin Chin, an Asian restaurant and one of the ones that cost extra money to go to ($15). We made the most of it, splitting the pork barbeque buns, crab wontons and spring rolls as appetizers. I tried the egg drop soup, but that was the biggest disappointment of the vacation – they added corn to it, giving it a corn chowder taste and nothing like an egg, I barely got through two slurps. Thankfully the orange spiced beef Jill had and the spicy braised beef I had were very good (and mine had some really hot smoky chili peppers). We finished off the meal relaxing and listening to Gaelic Storm finish soundcheck and start playing in Bar City below us before we went over and watched some of it.

We headed upstairs and got some coffee (well, a double shot of espresso and ice cream for me), then headed out on deck to check out some of Sloan. They’d opened for GBS the first night, and Jill had seen some of it, but I missed and wanted to see a bit. It was even windier than earlier, and they’d cranked up the volume to compensate, so we didn’t stay too long. That was a good decision, as it meant we caught most of Kevin McDonald’s (Kids In The Hall) almost solo show (he was accompanied on guitar an vocals by Craig Northey). It was a funny mixture of songs and stories, about the Kids In The Hall and his alcoholic father. We wandered around, ended back at the cabin and watched a little of the BNL show on the TV, then went back up to see some of Butterfly Boucher. She was good, but I was getting tired and we left about halfway through to head to bed.