I went on my first-ever cruise for a friend’s wedding. I actually enjoyed it a lot, the all-you-can-eat food, endless activities and entertainment, no hassles with luggage. I sat in the front row of a comedy show, knowing full well that entailed. The comedian did an impression of me as a Chinese spy. And the audience had to guess which Asian country J is from (it took a while).
Even though the food was not amazing, I appreciated the upscale ambiance and excellent service by the waitstaff. We did all the onboard activities: the giant waterslide, mini golf, ropes course, mineral spa.
I had my worst karaoke performance of my life. Everyone clapped, because they were glad it was over. “You were slightly better than the girl before you,” J consoled. She was tone deaf.
On Grand Cayman, there are shuttles, more like small vans, that make circuits around the shore. You can hop on and off for a couple bucks. I hopped onto a shuttle and went to Hell, a small tourist trap area. There are interesting limestone formations caused by algae eating away calcium, leaving other minerals intact. I bet the place got its name from those stalagmites.
We couldn’t actually walk on or touch any of the limestone formations, we had to observe from a platform.
There was nothing else in Hell except a gift shop that doubled as a post office. The cashier, in a lukewarm and exhausted tone, told puns to each customer, like, “Have a hell of a time.” The building was covered in Bible verses, so as not to glamorize hell, but keep people on the straight and narrow.
Hell was pretty boring. The most exciting thing was the chicken and iguana roaming the parking lot. They ran fast when chased.
We also stopped by Jamaica, Mexico, and some other ports, though frankly all the beaches were similarly pleasant. We won some Amazing Cozumel race. There was a team of elderly folk that was far better at solving puzzles, but we outran them in the end. Balloons fell from the ceiling. This was the first race I ever placed first in.