Explorer of the Seas Voyage # 638
Bayonne – Eastern Caribbean 10 night cruise
What a way to begin a cruise… 3 sea days! Ahhhh! I had embarkation off, but the freezing cold and the allure of my warm, cosy bed (which isn’t as NICE as Yiline’s bed, but is still pretty amazing) kept me inside the ship. Lazy? Maybe… Whatever! The result was that I spent 4 days stuck on the ship. Cabin fever?
But this post is all about Christmas trees, so let me not get off topic! There are several Christmas trees on the Explorer… One on the (crew) back deck with a measly 5 ornaments dangling off its fake branches (which are at least covered in lights) one slightly better looking one in the (guest) Magellan Dining Room that is decorated with loads of assorted colour baubles and then of course there’s the one I’m shooting, the 5m tall tree covered with larger than life red and gold decorations, on the Royal Promenade (the shopping area on deck 5). I am thrilled to announce that I have added my very own to the list! My wonderful brothers sent me my very own, golden Christmas tree, which is at this very moment sitting proudly on the teeny table in my tiny cabin. The trees on the ship are ALL better looking than the two I saw in Phillipsburg, St Maarten!
I love Christmas and, in my VERY important opinion, Christmas trees are one of the highlights of the season! When I was little (okay, I’m still little, but when I was younger and even shorter) we used to dedicate a whole day to setting up the Christmas tree… You see, we lived out of town on a small holding with access to plenty large pine trees that were just begging for the axe, or in this case, the saw. My childhood home had a sunken lounge with a very high ceiling that could fit a 4m tree perfectly! You may be thinking “Wow, a 4m tree?” but actually, sometimes we would misjudge the height of our chosen tree and end up having to chop some of the top off! You would think that these Christmas trees would surely fulfil every child’s Christmas fantasies. Well not for “Christmas-tree-crazy” Helen! Sometimes I would even have my own (much smaller) Christmas tree in my bedroom!
One problem with having such large trees is that super loads of Christmas tree decorations are needed. To supplement our beautiful (and many not so beautiful) old and newer decorations, we began hanging random things on our tree. We started by hanging chocolates (normally boxes of Astros or shiny Crunchie bars) which isn’t too weird as I have leant that this is actually a Ukrainian tradition. Next we started hanging ANYTHING with a hook, be it Christmassy or not! As an example, we had a big, yellow, bouncy, springy wasp that made its way into the Christmas decoration box. Lastly, my mother started to add the ribbons from her presents to the tree. Obviously this only happens on Christmas Day itself, but you would be surprised at how many of these damn ribbons make it back into the decoration box to be rehung the next year! Grrrrrr! My mom and brother do this just to annoy me and every year I have to throw away a bunch of ribbons and gift tags before they see them and add them to the tree again. It’s become a tradition and although I act grumpy about it, I secretly love it, how could I not when it’s the “Wright” tradition.
So what about my Christmas tree? Well, truth be told, it’s bling enough without any decorations, but that’s not my style! I was given a proper ornament (a cute snowman sunning his bod!) by a special someone, but just having this ornament on my tree made it look sad. So, keeping with the “Wright” tradition, I have added bits of curled red ribbon, gift tags and at the top (I don’t have a star or fairy) I have tied a pretty ribbon! It looks cute and pretty and amazing, especially next to my Advent Calendar (thanks David) and my Gingerbread house (thanks Chef).
Funny Jamaican story: To end off this festive post, let me share with you how the Jamaicans tell someone they love them: “Me love you bad, bad, bad… Me love you like cooked food, me love you like fresh vegetable!” I kid you not, this is Jamaican romance!
Highlight of the cruise: On the whole, this was a pretty great cruise. I’ve been shooting Christmas tree again, which means no resi on formal nights – I can hear your cheers of joy and congratulation echoing down the i95, the main crew corridor. I was nominated for November’s Smile of the Month. It’s a self explanatory award and I didn’t actually win, but I was still made to (embarrassingly) go up onto stage to collect a certificate. Sasha left us this cruise (sad face) and Ivan (from Colombia) has joined the team. He’s a new hire and is VERY enthusiastic and excitable, he’s really great. I have been appointed his “buddy” and so have been showing him the ropes. Oooooo!!! I’ve also been receiving more poems and letters from a special Chef. I have quite a pile now!