Forgive my play on words as I borrow from the broadway musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” to draw your interest into a story I want to share with you about spending 28 days at sea, on our way back from Rome, Italy.
The phrase popped up a few times, as I scanned through some of our photos snapped on board the two cruise ships that slowly took us through our journey, first from Barcelona to Miami and then from Miami to Los Angeles in November. This is probably the last story about the cruise – I promise.
For example, you may think the photo below is of my husband, enjoying a cocktail at the Boleros Bar on Symphony of the Seas, but what you need to know is that behind him, guests are learning the steps to a flash mob to take place for the benefit of other guests before we arrive in Miami.
The story behind the pictures below, of the balconies and walk below is that we had just witnessed a small wall of water swish over from the pool deck above and pour down below, drenching some pour unsuspecting guests! We were experiencing tumultuous seas, and the water in the pool is usually drained during these times, so this exact situation does not happen. However, the Symphony of the Seas was a new ship, with a lot of inexperienced crew on board, and perhaps no one thought of it.
Typically, balconies look over the ocean, however on some of the larger ships of Royal Caribbean, there are also interior-facing balconies. It is still open to the skies above. This was the first time we chose a balcony-suite, looking inside the ship, down on Central Park below. Rather than looking out at the sea, we were treated to sounds and sights of what was happening all around us, since we could watch the comings and goings on the 8th deck below, and hear the pool music and activity of the 12th deck above.
If you look carefully, you will see the last of the water dripping from above, which we captured in a split second before it was over.
But, it was our voyage on the Vision of the Seas that most enchanted us. Its a smaller ship, and the crew were pros at keeping guests entertained with the right activities. Sometimes, it doesnt need complicated equipment or skills. For example, guests were taught how to make origami helicopters…and then let them fall from deck 8 down to the centrum area 4 stories below.
I had a bit of an emotional moment watching a guest choir rehearsing for the end of cruise show, the sopranos and altos harmonizing so beautifully “I keep working my way back to you girl”. The choir leader, 20 years old with the voice of Whitney Houston…..so amazing. It reminded me of my good friend Denise, who loved to sing in choirs and would definitely have been part of this one.
You never expect to see your waiter dressed up as a firefighter and walking around while many of the guests are off the ship, but that is just another normal day in port, if you did not go ashore. Crew training happens on those days and we got to see a fire drill.
But the highlight of the trip was watching these guests learn the Thriller dance – a rigorous schedule of mandatory practices in the centrum each day, which we loved to watch and see them progress through the complicated dance steps for the culmination of a costumed performance on the last night. Truly a treat!
I admire these people who committed to learning the dance, and performing in front of other guests. Not all of these people were attention seekers, but, they set themselves an objective, and they left their cruise able to share a wonderful story.
Never a dull moment on board.