Off they headed to the cruise terminal on 12 Jan 2011 for their cruise. The queue for check-in at the counters looked quite long, he was thankful that they had decided to do the city-check-in two day before. It was their first time on a cruise, and it sure was an eye-opener for him, especially all kinds of people.
They were standing and observing the night sky and vessel when there seemed to be a commotion. A large group of Indian nationals had vacated the seating area and started an unruly queue at the embarkation gate. The poor auxiliary officer had to repeat himself over and over again, ordering the crowd to be in 2 lines.
The result - a more orderly queue.
Looking at the clock, he felt that they should also join the queue. That turned out to be quite a bad choice, an old Indian national man behind them had no qualms about pressing his huge belly onto people backs, which felt very disgusting. Didn't want to be rude to the elderly, so they shifted formation, and he promptly stepped forward to mash his tummy into someone else back. At that point of time, he didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Still waiting for the stagnant queue to move when a bubbly little Indian national girl came up to him and asked about the queue. Told her 2 lines, gesturing the line they were on and the next line. Then, a group of about 15 Indian nationals appeared out of nowhere, and inserted themselves few places down the line, and the queue started to become messy. Just when he was feeling bewildered how people could so shamelessly cut the queue, he saw the little girl peeking out from the group and grinning at him. He hoped that she doesn't grow up to become like the adults she were with.
Can you see any queue line?
By then, the non-stop chatter and cutting of queues had become increasingly irritating, spoiling the mood already. He was trying to keep it in, lest his actions spoiled her mood. The queue moved along into a snaking barricaded system with width just enough for two, but the chinese belly man kept trying to squeeze beside them. Belly man had space to stand behind them, instead chose to keep bumping himself and his luggage into them. The last straw was when yet another Indian national man clattered into them while trying to speak to his friends in the snaking queue. Never mind that "excuse me" and "sorry" were missing, this rude Indian national bugger could still glare when he was told to be more careful. How could such simple manners be missing?
After what seemed like ages, they went through customs and boarded the ship. They had to walk through a long aisle to the next lobby, and there was another group of Indian nationals standing on either side, whose best effort to give way was maintaining their positions. Imagine the width of the aisle, irritation to the max.
It was a relieve for him when they got into their balcony class room, relishing his personal space. Relaxed, washed up and prepared to go for dinner. A group Indian nationals walked past just as she opened the door, and one of them literally popped his head into the room, moving on only after he spotted the man of the room. Judge the civility for yourselves...
Went up to Level 12 for meals at Mediterranean Buffet restaurant. Still relatively quiet as diners sparsely populated the place. Also, there seemed to be 2 parts to it, the regular section and a vegetarian section. The vegetarian one seemed specially catered to the Indian community, so the contention for food wasn't half as bad as the boarding.
assortment of cakes
some strawberry mousse thing
Met another would be weirdo over at the reception lobby. They were trying to take photographs of the horses, when this cruise photographer came up to them, volunteering his services. They passed him the camera, but he rejected, saying that he's the professional photographer in there. Explained to him that they wanted their own digital copy, but he kept refusing and they spent a bit of time debating right there. She stepped in and said to let the poor chap get some business so that he'd stop the touting. They ended up with no photographs themselves.
Despite the eventful day, they continued with the ship exploration. Went up to Galaxy of the Stars lounge, where only one or two tables were occupied. Game machines were also suspended until reaching international waters. Got a beer and enjoyed the tunes belted out by 2 Filipino singers, supported by their musicians. This was when people started streaming in. The singers were very engaging, and managed to get a group of Singaporean aunties to open up and dance. There was another table of 3 Filipino guests who seemed to be professionally trained in dancing, and they became the highlight of the night, dancing for almost every song.