The breakfast buffet is good, but sometimes has a darker side. This morning I saw them refilling the scrambled egg pitchers at the omelet station from a cardboard box that said "Family Style Frozen Egg Food Product". Yummy. It also features sausage, ham, and bacon under a sign that says "Various Meat Pieces". Isn't that just mouth watering?
Every ship I've ever been on has a display of statues, trophies, plaques, etc., presented to the ship on it's first call in any port. For lack of anything better to do I read some of them today. My favorite, from a Mexican beach town, said "We welcome the S.S. Humungous, and wich you far winds and smoth sees" (sic).
One benefit of cruising with Mrs. Grumpy is that she speaks Tagalog, which is the language of the Philippines. You may not see any benefit to this, but it gives us an odd, at times lurid, look into the crew's lives. The majority of the housekeeping, meal serving, and cooking staff are from Indonesia or the Philippines, and use Tagalog to talk to each other. They assume most passengers don’t understand it. So often the bar staff will chatter while they prepare our Diet Cokes, and afterwards Mrs. Grumpy will tell me that they were discussing who passed out drunk at last night's crew party, or which of our waitstaff wears a thong, or what an ass they think I am (she says the last is the most common topic). At one point 2 waitresses and a cook were in an elevator with us, and after we stepped off at our floor she told me they were discussing their sexual threesome of the night before. Of course, for all I know Mrs. Grumpy is just making this crap up, but it's still entertaining.
The lunch buffet usually has a few bowls of cookies, and some really awesome desserts like "Extra Huge Slab of Chocolate" or "Whip Cream Crumb Streudel Cake". These are closely guarded by the ship's Dessert Nazis, highly trained, no-nonsense servers armed with BIG SHARP KNIVES, whose job is to carefully serve one piece of dessert at a time. If they think you may try to take so much as a crumb without asking them to do it for you, you will lose fingers (though you can get them back later from the sushi bar, if you don’t mind soy sauce and ginger on them).
What's funny is that a few feet away is an unguarded tray of "Mango Diet Cake" which nobody touches. In fact, it looks about the same each day, and I think at night they just dye (or paint) it a different color. So one day it's orange "Pumpkin Diet Cake", and the next day it's green "Asparagus Diet Cake". It's possible they've been using the same tray since the ship was launched. For all I know they're really wood blocks.
Craig lost a tooth today. It fell out while he was getting his face painted to look like a pirate, and the missing tooth only enhanced things. Amazing how fast he learned to suck ice cream through the gap. So now the tooth fairy has to visit the S.S. Humungous, a service not provided by Cruiseship Lines.
Due to my remarkable talent at trivia (we all have our skills, mine are just pointless) I won Mrs. Grumpy and I dinner in the ship's super-deluxe restaurant, which they charge extra for. For the life of me I can't figure out why some suckers pay extra to eat there, considering it has the same food as the rest of the ship, maybe just somewhat better service, and you've already paid for food with your fare. But since I won it for free, we went.
The brochure said it featured "spectacular ocean views", which it did. However, a walkway surrounded the restaurant, so your view was occasionally interrupted by someone going by. This was no biggie until a monstrously obese guy wearing a thong spandex mens bikini decided to stop outside our window and press his nose against the glass to see what people inside were eating. He blotted out the sun to the extent that other diners thought it was an eclipse and lit candles. He was shortly joined by his equally svelte wife, also in spandex gear.
I was trying to decide if I should rap on the glass to make him leave when they wandered off on their own. With the darkness lifted our waiter came over to refill our waters, and softly said he hoped we'd enjoyed the unscheduled whale sightings.
Our dinner also included entertainment provided by an older couple across from us, who ordered crab legs. To our astonishment Mrs. Elderly ACTUALLY ATE THEM WHOLE, biting off big chunks of crab meat AND shell, crunching it up, and swallowing. Her husband was using the shell-crackers, but not Grandma. The waiters and other diners were also watching, and after she finished I thought we should give her a round of applause, or dentures, or something.
There was a comedy show tonight. At one point the comedian asked "Anyone here from Tennessee?" and the family in front of us all cheered. So he asked them what part, and the mother yelled "Georgia!".
The comedian was so lucky. You can't script that kind of stupidity.