Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cabin Fever

The past few days at sea have been relaxing – lazy afternoons and evenings spent drinking cocktails, dancing and making new friends, but at the end of the day I’m still a New Yorker and like to rush, rush, rush to do everything. Unfortunately, my latest bout of seasickness has left me hunkering down in my cabin sporting a pair of Sea Bands that a) do not stem my tsunami-like waves of nausea and b) resemble something Richard Simmons might wear in a “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” video. Oh happy days are here again. However, the silver lining in all of this was that I was finally able to make it to dinner tonight at the chichi Brittania, which is the formal dining room aboard the Queen Victoria. Matt and I had previously been relegated to eating dinner in our room or on the Lido Deck because Cunard had given away our table for two and then attempted to seat us at a table for eight (not happening), with no apologies and no guarantees of rectifying the situation. Yeesh – at a minimum I can say this was not a positive customer service experience and we owe our undying gratitude to our darling travel agents for making things right. In fairness, I must say that everything else (our cabin and experiences with the bartenders/waiters/cleaning personnel) have been excellent, but Matt and I have heard a lot of complaints from other passengers. Naturally, a maiden voyage on any ship will have some kinks – but when the hot water isn’t working, or guests are woken by banging from the kitchen, or their cabins smell like bacon all day – I’d imagine it has quite an impact on the enjoyment of their vacation.

Now on to the positive stuff: the service at the Brittania was wonderful. Our waiter and sommelier were at our table almost immediately and went above and beyond to make our meal as enjoyable as possible. The food was presented elegantly and was delicious – I had the halibut with mashed potatoes and veggies. An additional plus goes to Cunard for thinking to create a spa menu featuring healthier fare (a nice alternative to have when you're spending 3 months aboard the ship and have to fit into the clothes you brought). My main complaint resides in the fact that the hosts force guests to accept squirts of hand sanitizer from a giant econo-sized plastic bottle as they walk in, I'm not sure I've ever seen this even at an Arby's, and I 've got to be honest here - a little déclassé for a cruise company that brands itself as a luxury ship. Then again, I should probably be thankful that their Nazi-like attention to germs will prevent the spread of disease (since I imagine that sickness spreads fast and brutal on a cruise ship much like the barfing does in that quintessential scene from "Stand By Me").

It’s off to bed early for us tonight as we’re waking up at the A.C. tomorrow to jump ship and explore the Everglades in fan boats. We’re so excited to experience our first port and also need to recover from our past few late nights that have been spent doing shots, dancing to Bob Marley, befriending bartenders and entertainers at every watering hole onboard, and getting up on stage at the piano bar to lead the audience in the hand gestures for “Sweet Caroline."


Becky said...

Linds, you gotta gimme a description of the elderly passengers. That's what I need to know! Are they horrified? Have you "Robo-Lindsay'd" anyone yet?

Huth said...

Haha! I can picture it now and that is why we love you - when is Ed coming aboard for a duet???