let me take a mental shot of this moment

Before I make a big statement, a little qualification: I’m not married, and I don’t have children. So when I say that from start to finish, day 2 of the cruise was quite possibly one of the most perfect days of my life, please believe me.

Before crashing the previous night, I’d managed to get the girls to tell me what they wanted for breakfast and put the request thing on the door, so we woke up to a little room service: fruit, coffee, and toast. It wasn’t much, but we were happy to have it and we didn’t have to make it (and better still, it was free)! We put on our swimsuits and coverups and made our way to Deck 0 to get on a tender (a smaller boat that would carry us to the private island of Half Moon Cay, because the Destiny would stay anchored a bit of a distance from the shore instead of docking at an actual port). From the tender, you can see how unbelievable the color of the water is: it looks like it does in the movies! It’s light turquoise, and surreal. I didn’t do anything to enhance the color of this photo, if this helps:

I didn’t think I was going to be excited about Half Moon Cay, but I was wrong. It was so awesome to have a little island all to ourselves, and it was so beautiful!


My sentiments, exactly!

We bypassed the chance to waste much money on souvenirs, but all three of us stopped to buy underwater cameras (surprisingly reasonably priced, too, they were $16 and the waterproof case can be reused with disposable cameras in the future), just in case. At least for me personally, this was the best meal we had on the cruise. It felt very “4th of July,” they served barbecued cheeseburgers, couscous, Russian potato salad (which I’ve never had before but is made with whole grain mustard and is delicious), coleslaw, loads of fresh fruit, and brownies!

We were even joined by lots of little birdies (okay, they were pillaging the discarded remains of those who’d already eaten, but…look how cute!)

Now I know they teach you not to swim until you’ve waited half an hour, but…I’m not sure we did, and hell – we’re big girls. We laid our towels out among the many on the beach, put on sunscreen, and pretty much headed straight for the water. We lost Donna along the way somewhere (but having learned the night before that while she’s prone to running off on her own, she always comes back eventually) but found Amanda, Alyse and Allie in the water. We stayed there for hours, enjoying the sun and our private NKOTB concert, and I’ve heard since that some were complaining that it wasn’t a “real” concert, but it was hot. I’m okay with what we were given, and I’m sorry I don’t (yet) have any pictures of it for you. Suffice it to say, though, that I’m just happy when we get to see them, and when they bring water guns and spray the fans in the sun? I love it. What I’m really hoping I got a decent pic of was Joe in his short shorts again, but this time a red pair! It seems Mr. Mac has been working his legs out and is quite proud of them. After the concert were some beach games (a limbo contest) and races from the water to…well, Danny’s pecs, to be perfectly specific about it. Winners won front row tix and backstage passes to a show of their choice, and the rest of us just had fun watching.

Eventually the guys took their boat back to the Destiny,

but by then (though we hadn’t yet found Donna again), Michelle & I had spied a server with a tray of coconuts and decided we had to have a drink out of a coconut before we left the island. After walking all the way back to where we’d gotten off the tender, we found a bar that still had a few and were delighted to discover that we could keep the coconuts (which, upon closer inspection, had little monkey faces and “have fun” carved into them) and that even with a drink, they were only $16. Seriously: best pina colada I’ve ever had. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. We found Donna, got her a coconut too (she wanted a Bahama Mama, which quickly became her cocktail of choice for the rest of our voyage), and reapplied sunscreen to lay out, though we never really did. I got showered in sand that wouldn’t wash off (I guess that suncreen really does stay put), and before long decided to go back to the boat.

The girls wanted a little more time in the sun; I wanted to shower off the sand and sticky sunscreen. We tried to decide if we should wear our pajamas to dinner for the party so we could try to get good spots on the Lido Deck to watch the Blue Bloods season finale, but spent so much time debating it that we ending up postponing dinner for so-so “seats” anyway (Michelle found a spot sitting on the deck, Donna & I leaned on a giant basket of towels). The episode was so good, though, and we were all having so much fun watching it live with Donnie’s commentary, that we couldn’t have cared less where we ended up. After Blue Bloods, we had a quick bite in the buffet since we were already comfortably dressed for the Pajama Party (which, technically, was also a Toga Party, depending on one’s preference). While we were there, I commented on how awful and random the music they played in the buffet was…just in time to overhear one of the servers walk by singing it.

While we ate, we were enjoying checking out the PJ/toga outfits of other cruisers, especially this one Denise had made from an old New Kids sheet:

It wasn’t until later that I realized we’d forgotten to get a picture of ourselves in our jammies, but I made the girls promise they’d put them back on later so we could make up for it…and we didn’t. 🙁 For the record though, I too had used very vintage material for my homemade PJs – I saw several pairs of PJ bottoms from the New Kids sheets like mine, but the only pair of pink ones I saw were my own: from the curtains! 🙂 I got more than a few compliments on them, and who doesn’t love to stand out just a little?

While putting finishing touches on our outfits for the PJ party, we were also piecing together our door decorations, even though we were fairly sure we’d missed our chance to win any prizes. (As lack of sleep was already starting to set in, Michelle reminded Donna & I to “dot your T’s and cross your I’s,” which caused us to veer off course for several minutes because we had to laugh until we cried!) Every evening at turndown, Amung and the other stewards would arrange towels into animal shapes on one of the beds and leave mints for us. I think this one was a dog:

Back up on the Lido Deck, this girl caught my eye because she had the Barbie-style New Kids dolls dressed up in togas like hers, and I thought it was silly and adorable:

And then…we beheld the New Kids’ togas…and God saw that it was good!

And Joe in a mini-skirt toga, thank you sweet baby Jesus! (Those legs really are something to be proud of – good for him! He looks great!)

(This isn’t the best pic of these three that I took that night, but it is the only one where you can actually see Jon’s face!)

While I would have loved seeing Earl in a toga, too, I was pretty excited that he’d participate by wearing his jammies!

Then it was time for some strange and hilarious performances…Joe and Jordan took to “rapping,” which I use the quotes for because a lot of it was not only non-sensical, but downright incomprehensible. See for yourself:

And then “Here We Go Again” had more of it, and lots of great backlighting if you watch carefully:

Then, Donnie told us to sing this chorus to everyone who’s ever judged us for liking the New Kids. We had no problems complying:

As we were dancing the night away,

it was well past midnight and Danny was officially 42 (which Jon admitted made him quite happy)!

Once again, I was the first to call it a night somewhere after 3:30, and the girls came in about an hour later. So to wrap up as I began: a day that starts with room service, continues with a private concert by the New Kids on a private island full of fans, good food, drinks, and surreal scenery, then Blue Bloods with Donnie Wahlberg and an all-night pajama party with the New Kids in togas? Yup. Best. Day. EVER!

Day 3 is next!

Posted: May 23rd, 2011 under On the Block.
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