Try as I may, I haven't had the time nor inclination to write long posts about our experiences on the cruise. So, I'm going to do a "highlights of" post for now. Realize this coming from someone who never thought she'd like cruises AND who detests hot weather almost as much as she detests the current administration.
I cannot say enough good things about the quality of people on the ship. From the crew to the guests everyone I encountered was pleasant, friendly and seemingly having the time of their lives. It was heart warming to see all the gay dads on board.
In an odd twist, Debra and I apparently switched part of our personalities somewhere between Manhattan and the boat. I don't know what happened. I was outgoing and meeting people left and right. I went up to people I didn't know and started conversations. (On a side note, if any of you saw the 20/20 special on transgender kids that aired a month or so ago, the family w/ the 11 yo twins was on board. I talked to the mom and thanked her for sharing their story. Of course, I had tears in my eyes as I spoke with her.) Debra hung out in a very low key way with our friend Laurie and new friend Sher(a friend of one of Debra's friends from SF) and her lovely pre-teen daughter, Max(whom Sofie adored!) Bizarro.
I met some really interesting people. Some with interesting lives, but most were normal everyday families, just raising their children (or trying to have/adopt children), worrying about the state of things in the country/world and living their lives like everyone else. A big shout out to my new Ohio friends who greeted me on the very first day saying they had read my blog and just wanted to see how we were doing. (If you guys are reading this, click on the email link on the front page and send me a note letting me know how you guys are doing. Sorry I didn't get your email before we left the boat!!)
For many people on the cruise this was a repeat performance, so to speak. In the days following the cruise many folks complained about the entertainment, just hoping that they'd mix it up a bit next time. For me, it was all new, so I thought it was incredible.
The comedians were hilarious...as they should be. There was Judy Gold, Alec Mapa(doesn't have a website?!?!) and Jessica Kirson. I'd seen, at least on TV, Judy and Alec, but what a surprise and treat Jessica was! As many have already stated about her, I laughed until I almost peed myself!! And of course there was Rosie. Seth, Micheal Lee and many others from the RFamily staff are comedians in their own right!
Broadway music was abound on board. One of my favorite parts of the cruise was the ending of the opening show, Rosie's Broadway Belters. Capathia Jenkins, from Martin Shorts:Fame Becomes Me sang her song, "Stop the Show" in which she proclaims "Yes, I have just one question/ Which I'll ask, if I may/ Why the hell did they name it/ the Great White Way?/ Cause if you want a hit/ learn what Sondheim doesn't know/ and let a big black lady stop the show!" What a fun song! You can actually see her perform it on a somewhat shaky You Tube here. We also got to see a kids version of Broadway Belter's doing songs from more kid friendly shows. Sofie, Debra and I all enjoyed it.
Other entertainment included Erasure, Euan Morton and Sandra Bernhard. I didn't make it to either of those shows so I can't personally comment, however all the buzz on the boat was excellent.
Yes, workshops! Family Pride, a wonderful national organization fighting for our families rights, coordinated most of the on board workshops. They were insightful, informative and fun. Debra and I attended one on "Making Schools Safe" and boasted about our lesbian heavy PTA. We took turns attending other workshops, some informative and others just plain fun. One of my favorites was "Doing Voice overs presented by the voice of porky pig" Bob Bergen is name and he's a really nice guy. At one point in the cruise we chatted and although he doesn't do any of the voices for Scooby Doo, he delivered a nice attempt at Shaggy and Scooby for Sofie. She giggled and really enjoyed chatting with him. I think Debra enjoyed the workshop by Mitchell Gold on decorating. For this life long learner, it was great to have the opportunity to gather more information about things I may have not encountered in life.
I have to say, the only "bad" part of the cruise for me was the food. So if you're looking for 7 days of fine dining, don't cruise. However, I think most people are in it for more than that!
The food wasn't bad, per se. It was mediocre. We did have some good meals and great service when we went to Aqua, one of their sit down restaurants. Everything else was average. Sometimes the service was poor to nonexistent. We actually left Blue Lagoon after waiting for quite awhile and never saw a waitstaff...and this was at NOON during lunchtime!! Garden Cafe was our staple due to the kids buffet. I got tired of having the same thing for breakfast everyday, but for Debra that was heaven since she got to have lox and bagels everyday. Sofie enjoyed the limitless amounts of sausage and bacon...and often out ate any adult in the room! I was happy to have fresh Muesli everyday.
As stated above, I'm not a hot weather girl, so I was miserable with the heat, sun and lack of outside shelter. That didn't keep me from having a great time. It did cause me to stay inside more than I'd have liked. Glad next years cruise is heading north!
All in all, we had a great trip. People were worried that we might have issues staying in the same small cabin for a week. I can honestly say that's the furthest thing from the truth. Of course we had some issues, but what family doesn't?!? What was basic was the good time we intended/needed to have and how we accomplished that. I'm no longer a naysayer about cruising...however, I think I limit my cruising to RFamily vacations, where I know life is accepted and cherished for what it is. If you or your family are interested, please join us on next summers adventure to Canada, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island!!
If you want to see pictures, just click on the links to the right, starting with "Cruisin' with Rfamily," all the way through "Towel Animals from the Cruise."