We're safely back on land after a week of wild Sea Monkey* chaos on JoCoCruiseCrazy III**, but I'm not entirely sure my middle ear has told my legs yet.
It was a fantastic trip.
Like last year, we decided to roll into Cruise Town a day early so that unexpected airline delays wouldn't get us into trouble. This time, that meant a Saturday afternoon direct JetBlue flight to Orlando with half a dozen other DC-area Sea Monkeys. We sat together at the gate, comparing nerdy T-shirts and excursion plans, twitching excitedly in anticipation of hearing the first boarding call.
We were all sitting in different rows, so we couldn't keep the party going on the flight, but JetBlue has little TV screens in their seats, so I was treated to two hours of an Animal Planet Cute-a-Thon with the sound off. The good news is, Alaskan Malamute puppies are just as cute when you can't hear them. The bad news is, now I want to adopt a pack of Alaskan Malamute puppies. Nothing crazy: just as many as I'd need to pull a sled. I couldn't get Dave on board with that plan, though. He says there's not enough snow in Maryland for us to need a sled dog team. I say he's shortsighted.
In Orlando, after retrieving Dave's newly-dinged-up guitar case from the oversized luggage chute and reveling in our first celebrity spotting (Wil Wheaton, pulling a suitcase from a luggage carousel), we found our group at the airport shuttle stop. Pro tip: a group of people wearing Fezzes in an airport are either Shriners or JoCo Sea Monkeys, but Sea Monkeys are generally younger and much more likely to pair their Fezzes with coordinating ThinkGeek T-shirts.
The Radisson Resort at the Port, where the majority of early-arriving Sea Monkeys stayed, is set up like a cross between Barbie's condo complex and a university psych department's rat maze.
|The entire hotel was pink. Inside and out.|
Finding our room was a challenge deserving of a cheese reward. Really, if the front desk needs to hand you a map and draw arrows on it to tell you where you're going to sleep, your hotel is too complicated!
We had dinner at the restaurant next door to the hotel, where the gyros were delicious and everyone called us "sweetie" like good diner staff should. Back at the pool bar after dinner, I spotted the Toronto/Montreal hockey game on one of the TV screens, prompting me to buy a drink and plunk my butt down to watch. The system works. Play hockey, and you will attract Canadians. Within minutes, my bitching about how badly the Habs were playing drew other hockey fans to my side, and we chatted and drank and booed Toronto together.
Even though I tried to get to bed early, I was almost too giddy to sleep. In just a few hours, I had managed to meet several fun new people at the hotel. If I was enjoying myself this much before even getting on the boat, how wonderful was this cruise going to be?
As it turns out: very.
* Those of us who go on these cruises are called Sea Monkeys. Just because.
** For more information on these nerd cruises and why they are wonderful, check out the main JoCoCruiseCrazy website, and my recaps of last year's cruise (you can use the JCCC2 label on my blog to track them down).