Cruise Archive · 2005 Review

Parrothead Cruise 2005
Adventures of Parrothead Cruise Neophytes
By Rich and Cindy Rebouche’
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Where does the adventure begin? There were so many beginnings. Starting with our good friends, Pete and Linda Shaw, telling us about this wonderful cruise opportunity offered by the Atlanta Parrot Head Club. Though certainly not a secret, the cruise is not and evidently does not have to be well publicized. In fact, when Pete and Linda told us about the opportunity to cruise with 400 other Parrot Heads, we signed on to a waiting list. Suffice it to say, we were accepted and everything was on automatic. The cruise from the parrot head perspective was a marvel of organization from the pre-cruise party overlooking the bay at the Long Beach hotel, to transportation to and from the hotel, to all the events in between. It was obvious from the start we were in the company of experienced Atlanta cruise planners.

Our hotel room balcony looked out over the bay and presented us with a fantastic sunset. The pre-cruise party was elaborately hosted by the hotel staff, with live musical entertainment all evening. Thanks again to Pete and Linda, as well as Fred and Sara Guerrero, we started meeting and making new parrot head friends immediately. We discovered early that we were indeed neophytes relative to the parrot head cruisers’ capacity to drink and party until the wee hours. We retired early in anticipation of getting an early bus to the ship the following morning. Even with early to bed, before midnight, we were on one of the last buses to the ship’s terminal.

Check-in was generally uneventful except Rich learned the hard way that pocket knives are no more acceptable when boarding cruise ships than when boarding commercial airplane flights. The knife was confiscated and not returned. That aside, we found our balcony room to be more than adequate, complete with one complementary bottle of champagne (from our hosts, Brent and Stella Jones). This was our first cruise with a balcony room and we are spoiled forever. It was great for private sunning, reading, watching for whales and dolphins, as well as to leave our balcony door open at night so we could fall asleep to the sound of the sea.

In addition to all the regular ship-board activities planned by Carnival, the parrot heads had their own schedule:

Day 1: Bon Voyage Party
Day 2: Welcome Aboard Rendezvous, Pub Crawl
Day 3: Horse Auction. Bio Scavenger Hunt, Silent Auction and Hugo Duarte Entertains
Day 4: Parrot Head Pool Invasion, Matt Hall Entertains, Tee Shirt Swap, Champagne Si-Aqua No! Party
Day 5: KD Moore and Fingers Taylor Entertain
Day 6: Mazatlan Excursion, Group Photo, Toga Party, Junkanoo Parade and Entertainment by Jeff Pike
Day 7: CaboWaboville, Vitamin T, Parrot Head Mariachis, Sunrise Party and Musical Jam
Day 8: Leaders Lunch, Parrot Head Derby Horseracing, Wonder-Why-You-Ever-Go-Home Pajama Party.
Day 9: Its Been a Lovely Cruise

The response of the other passengers and crew to our activities and antics was, to our observation, excellent. We suspect that they accepted our group (especially Toga night) as another aspect of the ship’s entertainment. From the questions that were asked us about our group and its mission, we would be surprised if, by next year, there are not a flock of new parrot heads in cities around the US and Canada Partying and Cruising With a Purpose. The cruise raised over $30,000 for Breast Cancer Research.

Did we do everything and meet everyone? No. Did we try to do most things? Yes. Did we really have to keep up with our partying Parrot Head friends? No; but we felt welcome wherever we went and felt we participated in a nice balance of cruise ship and Parrot Head activities. Will we cruise with the Parrot Heads again and would we encourage you to come along? Most definitely!

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