The Love Boat…come aboard, we’re expecting you…

One of the first things I remember the Comedian saying to me when we embarked on our rocky romance was that he sometimes worked on cruise ships and would take me on a cruise with him one day. It took some time for that one day to arrive but, like all good things, arrive it did. Even after he had booked me in and I had received my boarding pass from the cruise company I still didn’t believe it would happen… given our history there was a more than fair chance the ship would be full, my booking would be lost or we would simply break up as we had done on so many previous occasions.

But the day arrived, children were despatched and lo and behold I was allowed onto the ship without hiccup. Apart from it being a virtually free holiday it was significant for me because it had not been an easy road to this point. An eighteen month rollercoaster ride with totally unpredictable loops and drops. I was very happy and relieved to finally be at this point.

A cruise is a cruise is a cruise and having been on a cruise last year with the kidlets I knew what to expect. There was the full cast of characters: the drunk bogans, the drunk bogan couples, the drunk bogan singles, the drunk bogan hens groups. We entertained ourselves by creating sub-groups including “couples we never want to see having sex “and “how did those people afford a cruise”.

What I really enjoyed about this cruise was getting to know some of the crew and how things work behind the scenes. One of the things people often say to the Comedian when they learn he works on cruise ships is how lucky he is to get “free holidays”. It’s not all fun and games when you’re working on cruise ships. While he is usually on for only a short time the majority of staff are on contract for months at a time and may not see their family and friends at home for six months or more. Some form empty on board relationships to stave off the loneliness, others drink and embrace the loneliness. It’s repetitive work, in a restricted environment and you are constantly surrounded by ugly, badly behaved, entitled, drunk bogans in holiday mode. It’s not pretty folks.

During a chat with the other on board comedian he described the “before and after” effect of being an entertainer on the ship. How after you perform everybody wants to know you. What a strange little “celebrity” phenomenon that is. It was enjoyable in a creepy, weird way to experience this. This is as close as I’ll ever get to feeling like Angelina Jolie so I’m going with it.

The first couple of days we went about our business unnoticed. Hanging out, eating, drinking (a few too many cocktails), listening to music. Nobody noticed us. Then the Comedian performed and as soon as he was off stage it began. From the first drunken stupid dickhead staggering towards him and wanting a free CD because it was “his birthday” to the constant parade of people telling him they enjoyed his show (which¬†was lovely). Because I’m mentioned in the show as the “carer” there were many remarks of “oh, you must be the carer” as we passed. And people simply stopping, starring, whispering. It is a very strange situation.

Overall I loved our time on the ship. A very rare chance to be alone together in our own little bubble. Cruising is not my favourite way to spend a holiday but a short cruise was a wonderful way for us to spend some relaxed time together. Hopefully another love boat experience is on the horizon.

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