Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Up until now, the only thing I knew about Curacao was that it had the same name as a drink mixer and they always have a real good team in the Little League World Series. There is, in much more. Read that last sentence like you're the host of Access Hollywood for full effect.


Town square in Willemstad. Am I spelling that right? I. Don't. Care.

Entrance to the old colonial fort that protects the Colombian Emeralds store from 18th century pirates. Shit gets real down here.

Ah! My favorite thing about Curacao. Engineering geeks take note. This is the Floating Bridge. It is the bridge on the river that divides Willemstad, and it gets it's name from the fact that it is floating in the river on pontoons. When a boat needs to pass, the bridge disengaged on one side and swung in total through the water to the adjacent side. It's basically a horizontal drawbridge. Pontoons and a hinge. Voila. Floating Bridge.

Here it is up close, swingin open to let a Coast Guard cutter through.

The interior of Mikve Israel Temple, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere. The ENTIRE Western Hemisphere! How cool is that! Curacao had a large Jewish community made up of Spanish Jews that were thrown out of Spain during those lovely Inquisitions they had, right around the time Columbus was saying "Wait, guys, is this India?" while looking at the coast of Jamaica. The Spanish Jews set up shop on Curacao under the protection of the Dutch, and built this temple. The Jewish population of the island has decreased since, but the synagogue and adjoining museum are still active.

Again, oldest on this side of the planet. Mazel tov.

PINK TRAIN TO UNICORN TOWN! At least that's what Carisa kept yelling.

One of the many flea markets selling fruits and other products from Venezuela, which is five feet from Curacao.

A quick walk through the wall garden, and then back to the ship.

Should a butterfly be that big? Oh God.

Let's go.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Next port was Aruba! A port made famous by it's white sand beaches, it's crystal clear waters and for being mentioned in the Beach Boys song "Kokomo", which also included John Stamos playing bongos in it's video. That's...a lot to live up to.

Here's what greets you when you step off the ship the city of Oranjestad. Weirdo design? Check. Pastel color scheme? Check. Combination Dunkin Donuts/Little Caesar's? Check and MATE. Big fans of Oranjestad here.

Take a look at this big summabitch. Iguanas are everywhere in Aruba. They're the squirrels of this place.

Here's the ship you cruise on when you can't afford Norwegian. Don't laugh. The buffet is fantastic.

We decided to take a cab tour of the island, after haggling with a cab driver who was, in my medical opinion, WAY high. Try explaining to a stoned cabbie in Aruba that you only want to to take an hour-long tour of the island that ends on a beach and not resort to physical violence to get your point across. It's fun until your eyeball starts to twitch.

The cast at the Casibari Rock Formation, a forced stop on our tour. Apparently our driver needed some Cool Ranch Doritos, and this happened to be next to the store he went into. It was nice anyway. You climbed at your own risk, though.

Now they tell us.

The cast, trapped in the Negative Zone.

One of the poolside bars near the beach we finally arrived at. This was a beach attached to a hotel, but by law in Aruba, all beaches are public, so you can go to any of them even if you don't stay at the hotel. Score.

The cast, free of the sentence imposed by Jor-El, having a drink at Piet's Bar. After this, Method Man picked us up and drove us back to the ship.

Now, remember how I said there were iguana's everywhere? Here's why.

Damn, iguanas. Y'all got no shame.

More Honduras

Here we are crossing the rope bridge. Shortround and Willie are just behind John. Speaking of John, I bet you thought I was exaggerating when I said that monkey put it's arm in his mouth.


...doubt me.

Monkey Dentist Hair Stylist Lives!

Speakin' of monkeys, check out this bag a' jerks.

More soon.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Honduras = Monkeys

Let's not screw around. Day Three we went to Roataun, Honduras and we met monkeys.

Well, first we met parrots. That's not a monkey. Obviously.

I met a red one. This is a real bird, in a real park in Honduras. Don't worry, it didn't just land on me. You walked up to a man holding them, and he put them there. If it had just landed on me, I think my reaction would have been much different. Lot more flailing and screaming.

THIS is a monkey. A spider monkey. It's a combination of a teddy bear, old man and baby. Teddy Bear for fur, Old Man for face and unibrow, Baby for size and the fact that it would look at you for five seconds and then stop caring about you immediately.

Unless you were Carisa. Then it wanted to do your hair. This same monkey took a bobby pin out of Kate's hair and stuck it's arm in John's mouth. They tell you when you take the tour to let the monkey do what it wants because it's just curious, which sounds like the monkeys told the tour guides to say that so they could grab our wallets and split the take, but this monkey just wanted to style hair and examine people's teeth. There was another larger monkey there named Nino, but Nino was chained to his monkey-house because he was being punished for being "too friendly". I'm gonna say the park made the right call there. An overly-friendly monkey ruins everyone's good time.
This park also included a rope bridge that was straight out of Temple of Doom, lizards galore, and a beach trip, but let's not kid ourselves. Monkeys are the story here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

You Better Belize It

The second stop on our repo was Belize, the island our friends Matt and Mary always go to. When they go they stay in a hut or some such nonsense. When we go, we stay on a giant cruise ship. Advantage: Us Guys Right Here on the Ship.

Carisa, Andy, Kate and John went to visit the Mayan ruins on the island, while I stayed behind. This was in case they were claimed by an ancient Mayan god in fulfillment of some awful blood prophecy. There had to be SOMEBODY left to do the 8:45 show in the Spinnaker Lounge. I give of myself for the good of the group.

I'm already an expert on the Mayans and their infamous calendar anyway. Did you know they were all Freemasons who were actually aliens, who were secretly werewolves from the future? It's all in the DaVinci Code. My research is sound. And by research, I mean I fell asleep while watching 2012 and woke up during Twilight: New Moon, then Carisa told me about The DaVinci Code. Research. Please Belize it.

Carisa and Kate, aboard the bus to the ruins. Sunglasses Club!

John and Andy. No Sunglasses Club!

Sunglasses Club is not amused. Belize the Hype.

The Belizian $5 bill, featuring a picture of a young Estelle Getty. The Golden Girls are HUGE down here. Belize me when I say this.

Andy and John arrive, and Andy has joined Sunglasses Club. John's smile hides the pain of betrayal.

The thousand year-old Mayan ruins of Belize. Incredible acheivement of ancient science and engineering built buy one of the most powerful empires ever to exist. Pretty impressive, even in pictures.

More ruins, more wonder.

Carisa atop the ruins.

John at the top....with Sunglasses! The circle is complete, as predicted by the Mayan calendar. Watch your ass, John Cusack.

Andy makes the steep climb, agua in hand.

From the bottom.

Local plant life; A tree that survives by wrapping itself around another tree. Nature scares me. Do you Belize in life after love?

This terrifying and fascinating.

This is Kate, decidedly not terrifying.

And here's Andy, being sacrificed by a local. Oh boy.

A final, outstanding view of the ruins.
That's Day 2. Belize it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Cozumel, Mexico: Where Your Backyard is Made of Sea Water. What you're looking at is the ocean porch of No-Name Bar, a Mexican bar founded by cruise ship staff for cruise ship staff.
It is attached to Hotel Barracuda. It will appear again.

We are currently in the middle of a repositioning cruise or a Repo as it is referred to in the shorthand. Kind of makes it sound like we're going to each port and collecting on outstanding debts, a sort of floating version of the Sopranos, which I am completely fine with. We're sailing from Miami to New York, which will be our home port for the remainder of our contract. The next few entries will cover our stops along the way.

Our first stop was Cozumel.

When you think luxury, think Barracuda. Nothing says comfort like the name of an animal that will bite you if you're wearing something shiny.

Carisa is HILARIOUS.

Let's walk around.

Come to Mexico and buy things from a crazy-ass egg man.

City Square.


Kate Cohen in Pancho's Backyard, a restaurant/souvenir bonanza explosion. It's near the far end of the main strip of Cozumel, past the Diamonds International, Senor Frog's and combination Pizza Hut/KFC. Every store in Cozumel is trying to sell you food or jewelry. Barracuda's would go Bonkers McNutso here. They wouldn't know what to bite first.

Pottery Tidal Wave....Activate!

The entrance to the restaurant area of Pancho's Backyard, where your maitre'd is St. Francis of Assisi. This counts as going to church, right?

We're like Lady and the Tramp, except if the dogs were drunks.

Pre-Food Kate was all like, "This is ok, whatevs."

But Chips and Guac Kate was all "OHMAHGAHD THIS IS THE BEST THING EVA!!!". John maintains his steely reserve. The food at Pancho's Backyard was stupid-good.

Here's what Carisa had. SHRIMP. Fantastic. I didn't get a picture of my nachos because I vacuumed them into my face like a starving walrus. There were no survivors. Chewing is for the weak.

Good-bye Rust Donkey. We're going back to No-Name.
We went back onto the street, unarmed... imagine our surprise when everyone else had assault rifles. I don't know what excursion these guys were signed up for, but it must have been hardcore. You rarely bring an M-16 para-sailing. Best we move along.

I don't know what this is, but it's awesome.

Biggest Mexican flag ever? Biggest Mexican flag ever.

Here's where Carisa and I had Christmas dinner two years ago when I was on the Pearl. That's a picture of the owner, Mr. Chile. I like to celebrate the birth of the Christian messiah with a two-foot tall tequila-soaked jalapeno. Tradition.

I turn my back for two seconds and she's inside a shark.

This is Richard, one of the acrobats on the Jewel. He is eating fire. He took fire and he ate it. At a bar. On his day off. When he's working, it's his job to do backflips and bungee jump from the ceiling. WE LIVE IN THE CIRCUS.

We stopped at Mega on the way back to the ship for supplies.

Mega is Spanish for Mexican Wal-Mart. All in all, pretty ridic day. We leave you with giant iron birds flying in a circle.

Adios, amigos.