Catch up

The day at sea coming back was relatively uneventful--with the same hanging out vibe in a new place--a cool, pickled pine/tiled place called the Spa Cafe. The fare was totally our stuff--fruit, simple stuff, yogurt, simple salads etc...not the blow out happening in other parts of the boat. The Spa Cafe ajoins the Spa (no duh) and the exercise rooms which have full length windows looking out on the water--with the water being the centerpiece to the decorating versus the swirly rugs right out of Los Vegas.They had a barber and a beauty salon with this same look and feel...much cooler, and "more Calvin Klein"--which attracted a group of people that didn't go for the broad offerings of the boat. I wish somehow, they had some sort of callout in their discussions of the boat to acknowledge this there is an equally huge cash stream for them (spa services start well above $300 a treatment). They might even consider some programming on shore for this same cut...something a little less "free liquor" and smarter...Oh well, I am not in charge of this...and no one asked me what I think.

We steered clear of the main centerpiece of the action...the pools with an offtune "reggae" band, tables upon tables of grub and men in "fun" shirts selling buckets of beer to anyone that will give them their card to charge it to. Lots of naked bodies on deck chairs, lots of boys shooting hoops in the blazing sun, and babes (or babes at heart) were draped around the pool for ornamentation. Lots more drinking for a lot of people. There were chats on how to detox your body (combined with the sale of Evian water for $4.00 a bottle with the slogan about detoxing), an insightful talk on accupuncture. There was bingo playing, and a truly nasty "art" auction of work that were "serigraphs on canvas" etc. with the big names including Chagall, Peter Max and my favorite, Thomas Kinkade (not!).This whole thing really felt like these less than saavy people were totally being taken to the cleaners with stuff that was high priced and promised to be a good investment. Again...more like the diamonds and stuff the cruise line can make money on...and bigtime...albeit the casino probably is the cash cow along with alcohol by the bottle and glass onboard. There were tables set up on the pool deck with things on "sale"--the kind of stuff one buys at the dollar store shows in Los Vegas that cost $3.00 and look like $25.

The final big dinner ended with a rousing "attaboy" presentation with every Tom, Dick and Jose from the dining rooms and kitchen cited and presented with a fanfare in a plea (pretty unveiled) to tip well and finished with a "parade of the cakes" which entailed each waiter bringing a baked alaska to his tables and serving it to K and A's total delight. We were directed to get our baggage outside our rooms by eleven p.m. as it will be ready to pick up prior to going through customs. The key to Celebrity's disembarkation process is linked to the color and number of the preassigned baggage tags. One is given a time to go to a location from which you are taken out the front of the boat and into a huge holding area that you pick up your bags and go through customs. Pretty chop chop and admirable. When it comes to organization, these guys know what they are doing. They are great at the basics... its the style points they falter on...but to be fair--there are original Lichtenstein and Warhol prints all over the boat in common areas like the dining rooms and elevator banks...which was a big surprise and kind of lifted things a little out of the norm. And they do have something for everyone except for the excursions...but I know they are meeting the bulk of their customer's expections.

I am going to post this and come back as Monday was fun and I don't want to forget about it.