Saturday, September 29, 2012

Alaska Cruise-#5 That's Entertainment!

Here are some entertainment events of note:  a singing act called Fire & Ice.   Not a well-chosen name for a Cruise Ship act.   It was immediately obvious who the "fire" was; a Whitney Houston look- and sound-alike with a dramatic flair, a bad case of hyperhydrosis (haha go look it up!)  and a voice that was almost worthy of Whitney.  She did an amazing tribute concert to Whitney to a packed house and was truly "on fire".  

The second memorable entertainment was "Dancing with the Jewell Stars".  This was a hilarious, rowdy and adult-only production where audience participants were matched with ship's pro dancers.  The panel of judges included the Paula-like ship hypnotist  ("We're looking for a connection; use your bodies to have fun!"), the Simon-like ship magician ("You'll never see these people again so let it rip!") and the Dawg-like staff singer ("Yo Contestant #3; we know you're wearing white underwear").  The participants were uninhibited, hilarious and bawdy.  It was very well produced with projection screens for post vote-off interviews with the eliminated couple.  We laughed so hard it hurt! 

The "main" event was Duo Eligia, an acrobatic adagio duo, who were choreographed into a dark, cirque-esque act about a sinister circus.  I have no idea what the plot was about, but the act was notable in that these two performers--a married couple--oozed sensuality yet were hardbody strong and performed unusual tricks of strength and beauty.

The lounges were packed nightly with a singer who could mimic anyone from Michael Jackson to Elvis to James Taylor and provided a very mellow environment for sipping nighty-night cocktails.  He was Philipino (as was most of the crew) and all he had to do was change his hat and his accent vanished.

An under-appreciated entertainment element greeted us every time we entered a Dining Room.  Here is a too-cute pic of The Washy-Washy, Happy-Happy Girl.  She greets you coming into and dining room and plants herself in your path.   You are then expected to hold out a hand which she will squirt with her squirt bottle while sing-songing "Washy-Washy!" 

And what is "Deal or No Deal" all about?  This game consumed the stage for an evening and was heavily pre-promoted and required a significant $$$ buy-in to play.  Along with the Bingo fiasco, there appears to be a trend that cruises are setting up expensive gambling venues for customers.

I am happy to report that the Nickelodeon characters did not invade adult spaces after Weds.  I would like to think this was due to "passenger feedback" but probably more likely due to lack of profits at the bar.  Or perhaps SpongePants was tossed overboard?

The White Hot Party was hosted by the bartenders and the singer/dancers and everyone dresses all in white to look hot under the blacklights.  Here is a group that sat nearby us.

The bartenders had special equipment for serving tequila.

We ordered shots--a couple rounds, I think...

After that, I do recall us dancing out on the floor  under hot lights with many young people.   They did many of the "new" (new to me) dances that were taught in the tutorials workshops during the week. 

When Mare and I returned to our cabin, we were soaked and had to take midnight showers.

All in all, I was surprised and pleased about the quality of the ship entertainment; it was definately "above average" compared to other ships I have been on.

Our sole shipboard "foodie extra" was the Jazz Brunch, featuring a live Jazz band.  It was a tasteful and cozy dining room and featured choices like chateaubriand and asparagus soup.  Ummmm

I think we found where all the best ingredients were being diverted to;  the food was quite flavorful and more like what we expected.

Note to self:  consider the dining room upgrade package on the next cruise.

It was a very enjoyable treat for all the senses and we left very happy and satisfied!

We scheduled our own shore excursion at our final port, Victoria BC--High Tea at the Empress Hotel.  

The weather was superb for browsing the many Sweet Shoppes lining the street tempting passersby with the smells of fudge and other tempting confections.

We strolled over to our appointment at the Empress Hotel for our High Tea and were pleasantly accosted by an over-animated Tea Hostess, who, though happy and accommodating, should cut down the caffeine.

The setting was lovely and we began our Tea with celebratory champagne, toasting to the end of our wonderful cruise together and good friends to share it with!

We had our tea served in fine china and real whipped cream on our perfect berries. 

Our frenetic hostess did get some nice photos of our group enjoying our champagne...

...and our tea sandwiches and baked goods.

After tea, we decided to take a horse buggy ride to tour the city and that is when we met "Bob".

We were told that "Bob" was a new horse to the team having been rescued from the glue factory due to his age.  He was a seasoned show horse but just getting long in the tooth.
Here is Mare, one of 5 well-fed adults attempting to squeeze herself in a carriage built for 4 adults...ouch!

Though the tour was to have "historical narrative", our driver was quite preoccupied with Bob's orientation.  He stopped in the road and had to be encouraged several times to keep walking. 

He also does not like the noise and bustle of the pickup/leaveoff place so we were encouraged to jump off the carriage quickly!  We wish the best for Bob in his retirement career.

As we began to gather our wits and things together to return to the ship, Mare realized she could not find her all-day bus pass.  It wasn't cheap, so she plopped on the Empress Hotel lawn to empty her bag and search.

Not finding it, we devised a plan to get her on the bus without a ticket.  We would bunch together as a group and all wave our tickets while one person asked the bus driver a question as we boarded.  It worked.

It was our final night on the cruise, so after dinner we retired to our private bar for some cocktails and a last Texas Hold 'Em card game. 

We were shocked to learn that, because we were still in port, the ship had shut down the smaller bars and we could not be served until the boat took off around 8pm!  Our barserver, Arturo, went to another open bar for our drinks and walked half the ship for to deliver our round!  The bartender then called the BOSS up and asked if an exception could be made for us and he said YES!  All is well.

We presented our favorite barserver, Arturo, with his own pound bag of Taffy.  This was to be his last cruise; he said he couldn't tolerate the live aboard lifestyle any longer.

The Alaska cruise was SUPER FUN for everyone and Thanks and Props to Theresa who came up with the original idea and acted as our coordinator!  I wonder what our next adventure will be?

1 comment:

  1. Although you seem to be having some trouble with yahoo? sending these blogs...they have all been perfect at this probs!
    Just like being there...without the drinks!