Instead of me blogging about the events of the ship in chronological order, I'll just blog about the events that still stand out to me and then cap it off with a big, steaming pile of a cruise review for those who actually read those sort of things. Besides, I mentioned on my Carnival comment card that I would be posting a review on my blog, in the event they actually check it, I don't want to come off a liar.
So anyway...now I shall speak of the Monkey Incident.
We had spent the day in Grand Cayman. This was my third trip to Grand Cayman, and unless you are dive certified, your options are limited.
1. You can go out to Stingray City and swim with the stingrays without the risk of ending up like Steve Irwin.
2. Or, you can take the "island tour" which has you going to Hell...which is a town the size of a postage stamp. This is ironic because the only thing in Hell is a post office that you can mail crap from so you can mail postcards from Hell to all your friends, which arrive weeks after you get home from vacation. This island tour also takes you to the Tortuga rum factory, which really isn't interesting because you don't get to see how they make the rum, it's basically just a big souvenir shop with a shitload of rum products. The next stop on the island tour is a walk across the street from the "rum factory" to the "turtle farm" and you can see sea turtles in various stages of growth. The final stop is to be dumped off shopping district of the island, where you can shop, shop, shop along with thousands of other tourists because five ships are in port that day.
The rest of the excursions are just variations of what I have listed above, or you can just go to the beach and vegetate on a towel for a couple of hours.
At any rate, we had booked the Stingray tour because Mom and Co. and never done it. However, the weather made the seas rough, so all water tours were cancelled. We opted to just go shop, then go back to the ship.
It was there that I bought rum. More rum. Some expensive perfume. And some rum cake.
We go back to the ship, do lunch, and eventually, we leave. Indy is in the shower enjoying the hand-held shower nozzle. I'm standing on the balcony, watching the ship plug away from the island, when suddenly, a four-foot inflated monkey wearing a t-shirt wafts by my balcony. I watch as it slowly floats down to the water, and is carried away by the wake of our ship. The departure of the monkey was witnessed by everyone who happened to be standing on the starboard side balconies at that time.
I go back inside the cabin and minutes later, the ship lists sharply to the side. I think we're going to do a barrel roll and haul ass back out on my balcony. If the ship is going under, I sure as hell do not want to be stuck inside my cabin when it does. On the balcony, I hear the alarmed voices of other passengers while our ship makes the mother of all U-turns. From there, the ship starts doing figure-8's in the ocean. Indy pops out of the bathroom to ask if the ship just turned onto it's side, or did he just imagine it?
Shortly after, the cruise director re-Todd, comes over the speakers and announces to those who may have noticed something different, that the ship was engaged in whatever ships do when there is a passenger overboard, and that there is a whole succession of things a ship has to do when this sort of thing happens.
Annoyed, I call the pursers' desk and inform them that it was not a person going overboard, but an inflated monkey. The purser tells me that at least a dozen people have also notified them, and thanks.
Eventually, it is confirmed that the man at sea was really a monkey at sea, but because of maritime law, they still have to account for everyone on the ship, so would we please go down to the lobby and swipe our boarding cards so we can resume our cruise?
I don't know if I mentioned this, but there were just over 3000 passengers on that ship. Two card reader machines. One lobby that can hold about 300 passengers, cramped. Almost everyone makes a mad rush to the lobby.
The Assholes didn't show. Assholes who paid good money for their vacation, abandoned all manners, class, and reason at home, and BY GOD, they were going to do what they want, when they wanted because BY GOD, they were on vacation. Yes, you find MANY people like this on cruise ships. They are easy to pick out because they are always cutting in line at the buffet. These same assholes collectively decided that they would check in on their own time, and screw everyone else.
Anyway, three hours later, our ship is STILL at a complete stop, twenty miles away from Grand Cayman. So are three of the other ships that were in port that day because due to maritime law, all ships must come to a complete stop and stay there until the issue is resolved, one way or another. Meanwhile, the captain of the ship is getting pissed. You can tell this by the sound of his voice when he keeps making announcements about those who hadn't checked in. When the number got less than 50, he started listing names. Less than 20, he started listing cabin numbers.
So, we've got a ship full of annoyed passengers because we are sitting like ducks in water. The casino is shut down. The gift shops are in complete disarray due to the hard right turn we made earlier. To top it all off, our captain, who is Italian, sounds like he's going to go all Sopranos on some asshat.
Finally, the short-bus patrol check in (probably at the urging of everyone else, I'm sure there were threats involved), and the ships in the area can resume their courses. However, we've lost 3 hours of sailing time, so the captain has to haul ass to make up for it so we can reach Jamaica in time. For the rest of the night, the ship is pitching and yawing because some botards on vacation couldn't tear themselves away from the buffet long enough to check in.
Salad-tossing Douchebags. I hope they caught Norwalk virus.
I'm not sure what became of the woman who actually owned the monkey. Rumors were rampant that she would face charges, get fined, and/or possibly be banned from cruising Carnival again. It's not like she tossed the monkey on purpose, it blew off her balcony. But, those rumors proved to be false, and the monkey incident became the long-running joke for the remainder of the cruise.
But I am glad that I forgot to pack the inflatable sheep.