The week before my birthday was very special. For the first time, both my parents were able to visit me!
Sunday morning, I woke up early to get coffee and talk with my man before meeting Mom and Dad at their hotel. We took a cab to Coconuts, a lovely brunch spot I had visited with friends. I ate a rich seafood frittata, and enjoyed catching up with my parents. After our meal, we went to the port so they could get checked in.
Once onboard, I gave them a tour of the ship. Both parents have cruised before, but on smaller classes of ships, so there were different places and features to point out. My father, although he’s a great businessman, is a sap. He had tears in his eyes when I showed him the theater I perform in. Although I made fun of him, I was happy to see him so proud.
The next day was spent at sea. We explored the ship, visited the restaurants and bars, and spent plenty of time on their balcony. I had a few extra rehearsals, so I was frequently coming and going. I was also able to join them for dinner in the dining room (a rare treat for crew).
Our first port was San Juan. We wandered around Old San Juan, and then I left them to take a nap and get ready for a performance that evening. They went to Triana, a tapas restaurant I recommended. There was a flamenco show featuring an amazing guitarist. I think his performance was one of the highlights of their trip. Upon returning to the ship, they saw another performance, featuring me! We performed our fairy tale themed show for a packed house as we sailed out of San Juan.
After the show, two of my good friends from the cast joined my parents and me for drinks. It was great to hear their feedback about the show. My dad hadn’t realized that we had a live orchestra, and was impressed by the technical elements of the show. The quality of the singers and dancers also exceeded his expectations. I’m so glad they were able to see the show, and also loved that they were able to meet some of my friends. My cast is like my family for 6 months, so it was nice to bring my actual family and ship family together!
The next day, we took a water taxi to Holland House in St. Maarten. They offer a beach deal that includes lounge chairs, an umbrella, and a rum punch. We enjoyed the comfortable chairs, made friends with a couple from Atlanta, and enjoyed soaking up some sun. We sat in the shade for a delicious lunch and cocktails, and then went back to the beach. Dad took a nap on one of the chairs while Mom and I wandered through some shops, and then we went back to the ship. That evening, they came to see me in the mystery theater. I think they were amused to see their Texan daughter attempting a Jersey accent.
The following day, we went to the Marriott in St. Kitts. We had a nice lunch at the poolside restaurant and then sat on the beach. It was a short outing, but was nice and relaxing! That night, I joined them for dinner at the steakhouse on board before running to a mandatory dance class. After class, I accompanied them to a Motown show in the theater. We ended the night listening to live music at the bar on Deck 14. For the second time, I persuaded them to hit the dance floor! It was a great night.
The remaining two days were spent at sea. One evening, we performed “Center Stage”, a music heavy show that ends with a Queen encore. My parents came to both show times, and cheered along when I was dancing in the aisle. We watched 70s Night on the Promenade after my show. The final day, I relaxed in their room while they packed up, and we enjoyed a nice dinner in the Italian restaurant. The waiters there know me well from Mystery Theater, so we were taken excellent care of. After the farewell show, about 5 of my friends joined us at one of the bars to say goodbye. It was the perfect ending to a fantastic week.
It was hard to say goodbye, but I’m so glad Mom and Dad were able to come see me. I think they are better able to understand my life on the ship after seeing me in action. I can’t wait to have them come cruise again next year!