Cruise Archive · 2001 Review

OH, WHAT A LOVELY CRUISE
by Pat Semrow

· ·

Quick: What has over a dozen bars, fantastic food, excellent bands, and 144 chanting Parrotheads in togas parading through a formal dinning room? No, it's not "Animal House Meets the Love Boat", but that's close. It's "Parrothead Cruise 2001 - A Phlocking Odyssey", the Atlanta Parrothead Club's annual cruise.

This year's cruise was aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' beautiful new, (maiden voyage 8/15/00), Carnival Victory. Wow, what a ship! She's 893 feet long, 116 feet wide, has 14 decks, 4 pools, a 214 foot waterslide, and so much more. There's a running track, weight room, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, a massage parlor, and a topless sun deck. She's got two unbelievable formal dining areas (I gained 8 pounds), a deli buffet, a Chinese buffet, music by Jimmy Buffett, a bistro style restaurant, a burger grill, a 24 hour Pizzeria, a fantastic casino, and sooo many bars. As for the cruise, "What a blast!!"

Sunday: Board the ship, find our room, open the door, and Wow! Not a cabin, but a big, beautiful stateroom. Free champagne, and fresh bath robes every day, and a private balcony for watching the world go by, or trying to spit on seagulls. Finally, we tear ourselves away from our room and go explore the ship; find the casino, most of the bars, and finally 142 other Parrotheads partying poolside on the Lido deck. Boat drinks, new phriends, boat drinks, prizes (none for us), more boat drinks, and finally back to the room to crash, although some partied all night.

Monday: Breakfast on our balcony, exploring more of the ship, relaxing in the sun, cribbage on the Lido deck. Great Day. This evening is the Captain's dinner. Cathi in a beautiful gown and me in a suit with a Buffett tie. Later is the "Pub Crawl". First bar - pretty bartenders, no music. Next bar - guitar player, eight Buffett songs. We sang them all (Fins twice). Next bar - disco, no Buffett. Next the Irish Pub. Next the Piano Bar, where we drank and sang for an hour before the piano player even showed up, and then who knows how much longer. I crashed around 4:00 AM.

Tuesday: Shopping and partying on Cozumel. How did that Canadian get Cathi's bra, and how did I win the Male Dancer contest, at Viva Mexico? We won't tell. Back to the ship for lunch. Then back to shore for partying at Carlos & Charlie's.

Wednesday: Relaxing day at sea. Toga night. Toga parade to the formal dining room. Toga parade with the waiters joining in. Toga parade to the Toga Party, were the band knew lots of Buffett and island music.

Thursday: Grand Cayman. Tour the island; 1.) World's only turtle farm (neat), 2.) A town named Hell (scary rock formations), 3.) Snorkeling with sting rays, and feeding them out of our hands (cool).

Friday: Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Touring the area, shopping for jewelry at great prices, climbing Dunns River Falls. Back to the ship for a phree Parrothead cocktail party, last full dress dinner, then "Parrothead party on deck 'til sunrise."

Saturday: Last great day at sea. At night we sadly pack up to leave, but we Parrotheads make the best of it. We wear our bath robes to the formal dinner.

Sunday: Breakfast and say "See ya next year", to new phriends. Finally, we sadly leave that wonderful ship, but we make the best of it by taking an airboat ride through the Everglades, before flying home to a snow storm. Yes, we were those clowns at the Madison airport wearing shorts and T-shirts, at midnight, in the middle of the winter.

I have no idea how many people asked, "How do I join a Parrothead Club?", but I do know that I'm already saving up for next year, and that you should too. For pictures from the cruise, check out http://www.ParrotheadCruise.com

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