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We be cruisin'

March 25, 2008   Sorry for the delay in a new entry, but I have been in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for the past week! A group of seven Hamilton kids and myself decided to go on a cruise for our senior year spring break. From September through now, the cruise has been mentioned at every meal in Commons — much to the annoyance of anyone not participating. However, the happy day finally came, and I must admit, it was awesome.

Some highlights are as follows:

1. The night before the cruise, we all went to stay at my friend Quinn's house in Westchester. His mom cooked us a delicious Thanksgiving-style meal and we all spread out on couches and the floor to sleep. Cruises make their money getting people to buy drinks, so we devised creative ways to sneak our own drinks onto the boat. The most popular idea: mouthwash bottles and green food coloring. The next day our Hamilton friend Amy offered to pile us all in her massive Suburban to take us to the port.

2. The first day of the cruise was delightful. We got on the ship with no problems despite our stash of green-colored beverages. Climbing on the ship, we were greeted with unlimited champagne. Well, I don't think it was actually unlimited, but we kept going back to ask for more. Also, having had few opportunities to see NYC before, it was really cool for me to see the city from the top deck of the ship. To the left of us: the Empire State Building, Wall Street and Broadway. To the right of us: the Statue of Liberty and New Jersey in all its glory.

3. Karaoke. When most people think of cruises, they probably think of entertainment. However, we were happy to be the entertainers. Our group went to Karaoke almost every day. The boys sang girly songs (my favorite being Madonna's "Like a Virgin" during which Murph slid across the floor on his back). I sang "Summer Nights" from Grease with Quinn, and we also did some Britney Spears.

4. Hot Tub Time. Basically, any day we were at sea, including the first and last days of the cruise, our group took over one of the four hot tubs. I suppose the "actual adults" were probably a bit annoyed at our tub-domination. However, it was a fun time, and we met a bunch of people from other colleges.

4. Disney World. On St. Patrick's Day we stopped at Port Canaveral, Florida. My brother works at Disney World, and he was able to get three of us into MGM for free. He then showed us around the park and gave us helpful hints about how to see as much as possible in six hours. We rode the Rockin' Rollercoaster and saw a stunt show. My personal favorite was the Little Mermaid show.

5. Snorkeling. While in port, we went on a sailing and snorkeling expedition, which was awesome. While snorkeling, I found an enormous starfish. It was red and about a foot in diameter. After finding it, I swam off in search of my friends. When I found them, they were surrounding an old man. I didn't think anything of it and yelled out "hey guys, look at my starfish!" They all turned and looked at me furiously and said, "We're saving him!" I then realized that the old man had been overtired while swimming in the choppy waves. My friends were gallantly helping him back to the ship while I had swum up like a four-year-old with my starfish. Needless to say, I felt a bit silly and tossed my starfish back into the sea. Back on the sailboat, we sailed back to port in the sun, and they served unlimited rum punch (perhaps a bit too much for some as Quinn dropped his sunglasses in the sea and Murph lost his straw hat as well).

6. The Market. In Nassau, we went to a great straw market right by the port. While there, four of us bought different straw hats. We wore these straw hats around with great pride for about twenty minutes before Jack's flew off of his head and into the port's water. The hat was floating listlessly without moving, and we convinced Jack he could grab it if he climbed onto an enormous buoy. He climbed down, and was reaching futilely for the hat when the port control authorities ran up and started yelling at him to get back onto land. The men were all screaming unintelligibly until they spotted the hat. They were quiet for a few moments thinking and then suddenly said in unison "we can get this!" We all cheered as Jack moved to the other side of the buoy, still too far away from the hat. Suddenly, a man ran up with a six-foot-long metal pipe — perhaps pulled straight from a wall. He handed the metal pipe to Jack, and Jack was able to lift the hat out of the sea. By this time, a large crowd had gathered, and we all cheered in appreciation for the straw hat, the metal pole and the helpful authorities. Unfortunately, Jack lost the hat in the very same place the next day, and had had too many rum punches to retrieve it again.

And those are just a few examples of the fun you can have when Hamilton kids leave the Hill!