Thursday, July 1, 2004

(Busy Week Continued . . .)

O.K., it is still Thursday (to those who have come here from the June 29 entry), which means that I am actually typing an entry on the day that titles it. This also marks the start of my third month here, which means that I am 1/3 of the way through this contract. I don't really have anything specific to tell me the passage of weeks. I often don't know what day it is, but can easily figure it out by looking out the window. The passage of each successive week tends to be marked by the start of the next voyage on each Sunday, so I always know that a week has gone by. I never really realize WHICH week it was, though, so it is with a little surprise that I find myself in July already. On the flip side, Erik (my former boss at Globe Wireless) had asked me about deals on July vacations, and at the time I was thinking that July was coming to an end (rather than June) and he was checking out vacations for next year.

However, when I left you in the last entry we were still on Tuesday, and (surprisingly enough) is where we are going to stay for most of this entry. I'd be willing to bet that you thought after such a day (and such a long entry) that I'd be finished, both literally and figuratively, but you'd be SO wrong.

Something else which I had failed to mention about last week is that (like the trivia party), I e-mailed the departments that I was working with on activities to see if any planning was being done for the up-and-coming crew party on Tuesday night. It was supposed to be huge, and I didn't want to wait for the absolute last second to start. I was told that since the gift shop really hadn't been able to participate in much of the rest of the activities, they had decided to take pretty much complete responsibility for the crew party (which came as somewhat of a relief to me). I was invited to come to their presentation, which for time's sake was going to be put to the hotel director at the initial planning committee meeting for next month's new committee (the meeting was on Saturday, the party was to be Tuesday night). So, I went to see what was going to be involved. It also meant that I got roped into making posters for it, as I had made posters for many of the other events throughout the month and the gift shop liked them. They wanted four countdown posters (one, obviously, for each day) and a 1/4 page card to put under the doors everywhere. The problem with posters and the posting boards is that there are SO many of them (we average a crew activity about every other night) that no one ends up seeing any of them. The success of the wine and cheese party that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago was largely due to the door cards. We really wanted a LOT of participation for this party.

Most of the crew parties have (as I have mentioned) had a half-hearted theme with no incentive to participate in it. They just end up being a dance with food (as opposed to the crew disco at the beginning of each month which is a dance without food). In this party (largely because of the participation of the gift shop who generously donated items) we were going to have a lot of prizes and quite a bit of promotional alcohol. I feel a bit sorry for the next group, as Carnival had decided this month to disallow the free beer and wine that they normally have at the parties. Since the shop sells alcohol and is technically separate from Carnival, they provided alcohol for this party. We had the departments who would participate submit punch for a punch contest, the first 200 people in the door got free leis and free Mai Tai's, we had a raffle (the tickets were taped to the bottom of the chairs), and a contest for the best costume. Because we had switched hotel directors in the middle of the month and because we whined a lot, we got them to agree to open the pool and the hot tubs for the party (normally they are closed, but right in the center of the party each month). We gave away a 20" color TV, a DVD player, and a personal CD player, as well as a lot of smaller stuff.

My department was lumped with a few other really small departments (AV, IATV, Golf and the Internet Café) for the punch contest, none of who had the time (or inclination) to participate. Pretty much the same goes for my own department, so it really ended up being the Scott punch. So, on Monday after the somewhat unsuccessful pool party, I went shopping. The gift shop was going to give us one bottle of alcohol and I was sure that I could get what I wanted from the kitchen, but I didn't think that I could come up with sherbet and Sprite on the ship. The bowl that they gave us for the punch (which you will see the others use in the picture) was VERY small. It is just difficult to make punch with a bowl that small, and I needed mine to stay really cold. So I borrowed a large bowl and an even larger bowl from the chef, and filled one with ice and put the other bowl in it. I put limes and oranges around the edge in the ice, although as the ice melted they sank a bit. After all the pages, I finally got the punch done at 11 (the party was to start at 11:30). Here is a picture of all the punches, mine should be obvious. One group (who didn't want to put much time in) set out a bottle of Tequila, salt, and three envelopes of cash to bribe the judges. It got a zero, but the judges kept the cash and drank shots of it anyway. I got paged just at the end of the punch competition, when I got back I found that I hadn't won but had come close (helped, I'm sure by the fact that it was last and the judges had drank about 8 glasses of punch and one of tequila so far). The dancers' punch had won.  The judge on the left is the hotel director, the one with his back to us is the cruise director, and the one on the right is the very popular crew bar bartender.

A couple of weeks before I had bought a Hawaiian shirt in Dominica for the party, and I had a pair of jean shorts on which the hem was coming apart so I went ahead and ripped it off to make cutoffs. I looked more or less Hawaiian, although I didn't get any pictures of me. :(

Out of the people watching the competition, the large man in the center (in the grass skirt) is the chief purser. The two women to HIS right are two of the pursers. The tall woman on his left is one of the trainers, and the man with the big smile to HER left is the captain of the ship. He will only be captain of this ship for another month, our normal captain is on vacation right now. The out-of-focus people in the foreground are the dancers from the earlier picture. Because I got paged again, I missed the bulk of the party. All of the competitions and the raffle were over, but there was lots of dancing, and just as I got there (after the last competition) there was a dance line. Not as many people as I had hoped use the pool, and for some reason they closed the hot tubs at midnight. Part of the lack of participation is that they forgot to put out the towels around the pool like they were supposed to, and some people didn't want to sit around all wet. A few people from time to time did, though (these two are from child care). This picture is somewhat random, but this English girl's job is basically to put on karaoke every night. She does do other things to help the cruise staff, though, so it isn't quite as cushy as it sounds.

And THAT finally ended my Tuesday. I was on duty again on Wednesday and we were at sea today, tomorrow I am going to play golf in Aruba.