Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lissie & Lilly: Cruise Day 5 - Arrival at Back at Port

Today is just a super short epilogue to our trip. After that brilliant sunset last night, we woke up to a mass of fog outside this morning. Due to the weather, the port authorities shut down the port until the fog rolled away so our ship, along with many others, sat outside the port waiting until the weather was clear. Basically, we had a delay over nearly 3 hours. XD

Lilly: Oooo, it's so thick out there I can't even tell where the ocean stops and the sky begins. I'm not surprised the Galveston Port authorities have shut down the port until the fog lifts. It's dangerous for so many large ships to try to enter the small port when they can't even see.
Lissie: This would never be a problem for Capt'n Lissie! I bet we could parallel park a snowmobile in the heart of Hell itself.
Lilly: I wonder, you know snowmobiles aren't made of snow right? They just drive on them.
Lissie: My metaphor makes perfect sense if you don't think about it!

Lissie: Hey look! What's that smudge off there?
Lilly: It looks like another ship, probably one that transports cargo.
Lissie: We're stuck. They're stuck.
Lilly: What are you trying to get at?
Lissie: It's not too late to squeeze in one last commandeering expedition.

Lilly: But can you even see enough to commandeer? 
Lissie: Well, I suppose there's no glory in commandeering a stuck ship anyway. Let's go do something that's actually glorious while we wait instead.
Lilly: Like what? I can get a lot of studying done in 2 hours.
Lissie: One last go through the Make-Your-Own-Omelette bar!!!
Lilly: Did we talk about about cholesterol with you yet?
Lissie: No, but you can tell me over omelettes! Onward!

Something I learned is that when a large ship comes to port, there will be a pilot (that's what he's called) who will come to the ship in a small boat and board it. The captain will give the wheel to the pilot and he is actually the one who steers the ship into the port. Pilots are trained specifically to bring ships into a port safely. This is supposed to reduce liability on the cruise line (and other ships) in case the port is damaged due to, er, bad ship parking if that term exists. 

When the port authorities finally felt it was clear enough to open the port, they sent the pilot to our cruise ship and he brought us into the port and "parked" us (I'm not sure what the nautical term is). By this time everyone was super antsy and ready to get off the boat so the ship staff had a heck of a time trying to hold back the crowd until the customs people had boarded. You know... in case people try to smuggle dolls into the US.  -__-
Lissie: We're finally out! FINALLY. 
Lilly: It wasn't that bad, at least it was shorter than getting on to the boat.
Lissie: And if by that you mean it was only one hour instead of two, then yes.
Lilly: I mean that security didn't stop us this time. I'm proud of you Lissie. I thought for certain you'd try to smuggle a towel animal through.
Lissie: ...Who says I didn't?

Lilly: Our ride is sure taking a long time. I wonder if they got lost.
Lissie: Or maybe they're just parked in that very shady VIP Cruise Parking garage.
Lilly: It could be VIP on the inside. Don't judge a parking garage just because it looks shady from the outside.
Lissie: No, I'm fairly certain it looks shady on the inside too. Parking garages by default are shady on the inside, especially if you're in an action/thriller movie.
Lilly: But we're not in an action/thriller movie.
Lissie: ...Who says we aren't?

Lilly: At least parking in a shady garage would be better than just parking on the median randomly.
Lissie: WOW! I didn't know you could do that! Who is this person who has such a flagrant disregard for societal rules and laws? I must learn their ways!!!
Lilly: I'm not sure you need to learn from them. You seem to be doing pretty well on that front already.
Lissie: Awww, shucks Lilly, don't flatter me so. You know what blushing does to my vinyl. I guess we can have a flagrant disregard for societal rules at home too. It's so boring now that our trip is over.
Lilly: ...Who says it's over?

Hahaha! That's right! It's never over! ^_^ Thank you to everyone who has read through our trip with us! It was so much fun to write and put the photos together, and I hope it was fun to read. Overall the cruise left me with so many wonderful memories and a few more inches to my midriff. 

I wanted to take a moment to ask anyone who likes to go on cruises or plans to go on one eventually to please be kind and gracious to your cruise staff. They are recruited from all over the world and work extremely hard nonstop. To give an example, our cruise ship docked in the morning, unloaded us, and departed again in the afternoon with a new load of passengers. The people working on the ships get little to no breaks between voyages, and are under a lot of pressure to not fall ill or down on the job least they get sent back to their home country. Admittedly, I am not familiar with the labor laws that govern cruise ships. However, I have seen first hand how much mess and chaos these people deal with with little rest on a daily basis and at the risk of sounding preachy, would like to ask other passengers to treat these workers kindly, with dignity, and if possible, generously. Your trip with be that much more enjoyable for it, I promise! ^_^


  1. "Lissie: We're stuck. They're stuck.
    Lilly: What are you trying to get at?
    Lissie: It's not too late to squeeze in one last commandeering expedition."

    "Lissie: WOW! I didn't know you could do that! Who is this person who has such a flagrant disregard for societal rules and laws? I must learn their ways!!!
    Lilly: I'm not sure you need to learn from them. You seem to be doing pretty well on that front already."

    Oh lawd. XD Lissie, you're one of a kind. I suppose it's a good thing you can't reach the pedals of a car, but on the other hand, I would -love- to see you, say, driving in the Indy 500. Or a demolition derby. Or the Indy 500 turned demolition derby...

    Thank you for the compassionate, thoughtful words for cruise ship staff. People can be obnoxious enough to ordinary sales clerks and waitstaff on land; I can't imagine what cruise staff might have to put up with.

    1. Hahaha! Oh my goodness, the mental image of Lissie wrecking havoc in a motorized vehicle... Something just shouldn't be allowed for the sake of sanity! :D

      The treatment of the staff (by the company) really disconcerted me. I was chatting with our steward and told him now that we were docked, he could get a little bit of a break. It surprised me when he laughed and said no, they were sailing back out in a few hours with a new load of passengers. Whenever one of them are injured or sick and have to visit the doctor, I know they will beg the doctor to "Please don't send me back" (to their home country). If they are unable to work for more than a few days, the cruise line will send them back to their home country and find another worker instead. They constantly ask for their attending physicians to write the diagnosis more lightly if possible so they can keep their jobs and continue working at the expense of their own health. I know I take this viewpoint because I grew up in an affluent country and to me health is number 1, but it really saddens me to see these workers who grew up in much harsher conditions put money over their bodies in order to support family back home or make a living.

  2. Lissie: WOW! I didn't know you could do that! Who is this person who has such a flagrant disregard for societal rules and laws? I must learn their ways!!!

    I think that's my favorite line of the whole series :D I laughed for several minutes before I could continue. I hope the other girls didn't miss Lissie and Lilly too much. Love the photo stories.

    1. Thank you Lindsay! ^_^ I'm sure the other girls are standing guard diligently at home waiting for Lissie and Lilly to return for more mischief and fun! :D

  3. FINALLY got a chance to sit down and read this whole epic! I didn't think it was possible to love L&L more, but I do. Hilarious, gorgeous (your shots are amazing!), and feels even more fun than an actual cruise! Thank you for such a detailed, entertaining, and fun story. It's snowy where I am and this is like the perfect vacation, complete with wise-cracking dolls! :D

    1. That's so kind of you to say Neici P! Thank you! ^_^ I'm glad you enjoyed reading about the trip and we would send you lots of sunshine but it's wet and foggy here again.

  4. Glad you had a fun trip!! I enjoyed looking at your adventures!

    I live by the Duluth MN harbor and they always have those big cargo ships coming in like the one in your picture, they are really awesome and HUGE!

    1. Thank you! I always am astounded just how much those cargo ships can carry and still stay afloat. It seems to defy gravity. Take that Newton!

  5. I really enjoyed reading about your trip! I bet you had lots of fun!

    1. I had a wonderful time, thank you very much! ^_^

  6. Hahaha I love Lissie! She's awesome! She makes me laugh so much!
    I didn't know about the details about "ship parking", it's very interesting.
    I agree. The people who work at cruises work so hard, with so little rest. I'm not familiar with labor laws on cruises either, but it looks like there should be a change to protect these workers a bit more.

    I'm happy to know you had a great trip! I love, LOVE the photos!

    1. Thank you Alex! :D It always makes me so glad to hear people enjoy seeing the photos and reading about the dolls' craziness. ^_^

  7. I have enjoyed reading your posts every single day! Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. "Us" as in the unfortunate souls who have never gotten to take a cruise before. Maybe one day...

    1. One day! When the next AG cruise comes! :) Thank you for dropping by and reading the travel posts each day! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed them and really appreciate you always stopping by to comment. ^_^

  8. I've always wanted to see the inside of a cruise ship. Thanks!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the peek inside a cruise ship. ^_^ Thank you!