Dateline: Somewhere off the Antilles on the way to Turks and Caicos Islands –
Today was a sea day on the Nieuw Amsterdam. For those that have not cruised before, it means a day of relative leisure. There are activities of various sorts happening throughout the days, but I spent most of the day eating and sleeping. My metabolism must be in de-stress mode as I’ve been ravenous all day and sat down and ate five meals by the time it was all over. I usually only eat two and feel well sated. The food on Holland America isn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it is edible and there’s plenty of it. I also had several lovely naps – in the cabin, on a deck chair, and in the Crow’s Nest library.
I did attend the tea dance this afternoon. A thousand or more queens on the fantail in the sunset bopping along to Whitney Houston and Diana Ross. The crowd on this cruise isn’t going to go for many divas much younger than Madonna. Taylor Swift who? There’s another dance party tonight with a sports theme. I don’t have a lot of sports paraphernalia in my wardrobe so, if I go, I’m going to need to wear my Comfort Care Hospice Night at the Ballpark T shirt and a baseball hat. On my way back to the cabin, I saw a number of guys in full shoulder pads, eye black and football pants so some of these guys go all out.
I’m spending my late evening with my feet up in the cabin watching Bohemian Rhapsody together with Lee Fowler on the streaming movie system. I’ve seen it, he hasn’t, and it seems like an appropriate film for a gay cruise sea day. Not much else to really report travelogue wise other than the Key Lime pie, one of my two desserts with dinner, was exceptionally good. Yes, I do have some pictures but I have had issues connecting the phone to the internet while at sea so you’ll have to wait a day or two for me to post them.
I’ve been wracking my brain for a good story to tell about cruising or gay cruises but I’ve told most of my better ones in previous entries. I don’t think I’ve told this one yet though, or I may have in some tangential way, but not this piece of it. The first vacation Tommy and I took together was an Atlantis gay cruise out of New York in the summer of 2003. The first stop was Miami where we went out to dinner with my old friend, Marc Fajer, who is a professor at the University of Miami Law School. We were relatively new in the dating process and just beginning to get serious so I was still having old friends vet him to make sure they agreed with me that he was a good match. Marc approved which was a good thing, so we headed off to stop number two, Key West. In Key West, we made the usual rounds such as the Hemingway House and the Southernmost Point of the US marker. That afternoon, we hit Duvall Street and the gay bars. My friend, Russ King, better known to most of the world as Miss Richfield 1981, was doing some afternoon appearances at one of them so Tommy and I settled in around the pool watching her antics and the go go boys. We lost track of the number of cocktails and we were both slightly sloshed by five o’clock when we headed back to the ship. In our mildly inebriated state, we wandered into the leather shop down by the pier and together, we purchased a chain mail shirt that we thought was an absolute necessity for our wardrobe. It was real steel links, weighed a ton and, the next morning, when we saw it hanging in our stateroom, we couldn’t remember what we were thinking.
I still have it. I actually brought it with me as a gay cruise is one of the few places one can wear a chainmail shirt without anybody thinking anything of it.