For strange - the man who went SLOOOWLY thru the breakfast buffet line with his Cam-corder comes to mind (he seemed especially interested in clearly documenting the cereal and juice selections). So does the man who was irate at the Pursers desk demanding (and I mean demanding) $100 for having his picture taken. For funny, I have to nominate our waiter Rafeal on the Dawn Princess (5-00 Panama Canal repositioning cruise) - everything he did each night was great, especially the night he put a bandana over his face, fashioned a pistol out of aluminum foil and "held up" all the head waiters, all the while admonishing his Asst Waiter, Mikhail, "not to work so hard" (he was doing everything while Rafael entertained us). The time I ran into my waiter, Pidy (HAL's Ryndam , Alaska 1999, the best waiter, I think, of all my 8 cruises), at the Lido buffet lunch and he asked me where my "husband" was - I was travelling with my Dad - was also priceless - I'll never forget the shocked/embarrassed look on his face. I'm sure after I post this many more will come to mind, but these are the first that did. Looking forward to hearing others'....
This one was a combination of strange, funny, and ultimately a little bit sad.
It was on our second cruise ever, September of 1977 from New York to Bermuda. Cunard had just launched a ship called Princess, and this was her inaugural season.
The group we were with was invited to a cocktail party right after sailing. We were rounding Battery Park and getting ready to sail by the Statue of Liberty when a young lady approached us and asked if this was our first cruise.
We told her it was our second, that we had been on Sitmar in the Carribbean the year before.
Hesitantly, she asked, "Is it always this rough?"
This question presented a problem. Obviously, since we were in completely protected waters, there wasn't the slightest sensation of motion on the ship. You literally had to look outside to realize we were under way. Yet we knew she was serious in her question, so we didn't want to laugh. We told her that sometimes it could get a little rougher than it was then, and changed the subject.
By the time we went to bed that night, we were out in the open ocean and there were some distinct swells, as there often are on that route. Neither my wife nor I are bothered by that sort of thing, and we fell asleep easily. But we were both soon awakened by the strangest sounds from the next cabin. A combination of moans, groans and gurgles from the other side of the wall got us to speculating whether the lady making them was having the best time of her life or the worst time of her life, if you get my "drift."
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the worst. It was, in fact, our friend from the cocktail party who was evidently very prone to seasickness, probably far more than she had even realized, given that this was her first cruise. The doctor gave her shots and whatever else he could think of, but she really wasn't up and around until the last day in Bermuda, with little to look forward to but the ride home.
We felt very sorry for her, and we certainly learned that seasickness for some people is really no joke. But we still laugh at the question at the cocktail party and our conversation about what might be going on next door in the middle of the night.
I am African American and I wear my hair in microbraids. While on Mercury in September of 2000, I was in the casual eatery when a waiter, obviously of Eastern Eurpeon descent grabbed my tray and asked me "How you make-a your hair? It's all the same! I did not knoe how to respond. I guess I make-a my hair just like everyone else who wears braids--at the salon!!! :-) See photo.
I've cruised several times but the strangest occurance was on the Norway. I was with a girl friend and one nite before dinner we were having coffee when an officer approached us. He asked if we would like to have dinner with the captain. Well, I thought about the Love Boat, you know, being asked to the captain's table in the dining room. Well, it turned out to be the captain's cabin! When we got to his cabin there were other officers and single women from the ship. Some were pretty drunk by the time we arrived. Neither my friend or I drank, thank goodness.
We ended up on the veranda for dinner, sitting man-woman-man-woman. Drinks ran freely. The captain got so drunk that he was standing on his chair with a napkin on his head singing dirty Norwegian songs (one of the crew interpretted). I lucked out because I sat next to a man who didn't drink and was happily married. We had a nice conversation. My friend was also fortunate because the officer she sat with was not really interested in the festivities.
After dinner and desert, my friend and I politely excused ourselves and left. The next day we ran into a couple of women who had been there who thanked us because we left which left the door open for others to leave. They had been drinking most of the evening and weren't sure what to do. When we left, they knew exactly what to do. I hope other's felt free to leave too.
Well, that's my strange story and a warning to women traveling together that if they are invited to the captain's cabin for dinner, beware -- unless of course you want to be there