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Friday, July 17, 2009

On Board the Carnival Victory: That's Entertainment!

Part of what makes cruising fun is the entertainment that is already "built into" the price that you pay. At least, this is the case for our cruise on Carnival Victory. I have some vague memory of paying for a topless revue on Superstar Virgo many moons ago, and falling asleep. Yes, yes, surprising tidbit, but true. Topless revues make me sleepy. Ask the wife who bought me birthday tickets for the (now defunct) Crazy Horse show at Clarke Quay, and she'd tell you the same.

With a multitude of activities going on on various parts of the ship at all times, it's really hard to be present for all the entertainment and activities and yet have time for food, excursions, and quiet time.

Here are a few of the activities we enjoyed over the 7N cruise:

1) Early morning movie screening on the pool deck.
Other than the day of the Michael Jackson memorial, there was a movie screening on the giant screen at the pool deck every morning. One in particular was a thrill for me - the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie!

I had actually caught this movie when it first hit the screens with my colleagues from IATA. But the thrill of watching lightsabre fights never ceases. Oh, and an added bonus was that I managed to identify the special scene where R2-KT was featured! Coolness and kudos to the Star Wars team for adding this special droid in the movie.

2) Mini-Golf
The wife, of course, is not as big a Star Wars fan as I am. So while I was watching the movie while having breakfast on the pool deck, she was first stoning, then looking downright bored. That's when I tore myself from the movie, to challenge her in a game of mini-golf.

To be honest, we are NOT fans of golf. Sacrilege to many people, I know, but it's not for lack of trying. We did take lessons, but got totally bored with the technicality of the game. I guess we just prefer "active excitement", like diving, wakeboarding and rock-climbing.

Mini-golf is pretty different from golf though. Just hit the ball, and wish for a bit of luck! The nine holes on the ship were pretty crowded, but we had fun all the same, manuvering our golf balls through logs and tunnels, and using the walls to rebound the balls into the cup.

I won the first game, but the wife won the second. Because I let her.

3) Karaoke
During a couple of the evenings, we sauntered into the karaoke lounge after our full-service dinner just to check it out. Now, as far as karaoke is concerned, we pretty much suck. My singing is passable only when I'm singing along to the iPod in the car, and the wife only comes alive at songs that she can totally sound cute in (yes, songs like Barbie Girl and Lemon Tree... she and her siblings are famous for singing and dancing to these songs).

Suffice to say, we karaoke only in secure rooms with close friends who constantly assure us that we are not embarassing ourselves. The karaoke lounge on the ship was totally different from what we are used to! Firstly, you sing in public. On a stage. Secondly, there is no music video, cheesy or otherwise, to distract yourself with. Only the lyrics appear on the screen. Thirdly, the songs list is really Americanised. In addition to the standard pop songs, you have gangster rap, country and a whole lot of songs from Broadway.

After much egging, and a quick double-check to ensure that there are no other Singaporeans who would be embarrassed at associating themselves with us, we decided to perform "I'll Cover You", from the musical Rent. I think we did pretty well, considering we DID screw up our parts. Well, some people clapped anyway. As the compere absent-mindedly said after our performance,"We need more people to choose your songs and come up to sing. As you can see, this is really just for fun. There's no need for you to be good."

Ouch. :p

4) Nightly entertainment in the theatre
There are 2 live shows every night in the main theatre, except for the first and last nights of the cruise. On the first night, the cruise director himself took the stage, and did a pretty decent stand-up routine. The point of all that, of course, was to introduce himself and his team to us, and to assure us that "What's done on the ship... stays on the internet".

On the other nights, there were other stand-up routines, jazzy song and dance acts, and even magic shows. We skipped all of those due to fatigue from our shore excursions and double daily gym visits.

On the last night, though, we had some guests who had outstanding performances in the karaoke perform for us. This show, called the Carnival Legends, we just had to watch! And to tell the truth, these guys were was pretty good! James Brown even did his funky jerky legs dance while singing "I Feel Good"!

5) Latin music bar
I'm a little ashamed to mention this, but then again, I'm one of those who like to speak his mind whenever possible. For about 3 months last year, the wife and I took salsa classes, up to intermediate level. But since then, we have scarcely practiced our moves, and all the tricks and patterns have now been forgotten.

We went to the Latin music bar, hoping that the beat of the music will help us remember some, but to no avail. As the live band scrolled through salsa, cha cha and bachata tunes, we were left doing the basic one-two-three, four-five-six steps with a couple of spins and cross body turns thrown in. Sad.

Ah well, we're headed to Latin America almost immediately after the cruise anyway. Where better to pick it up again? In the land where salsa originated, it should be as easy as one-two-three, four-five-six.

We hope! :)


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