Those able eventually found the stairway to the previously quiet Viking Crown Lounge. Now my beer o’clock solitude is ruined, so I had no choice other than to sit amongst my fellow cruisers. Jan and Bob from Shepparton were pleasant enough, despite running a commentary on Mark Gable (Choirboys) who may or may not have been in the main pool below, with an apparent toddler.
‘He’s a bit old for that’, they opined. ‘He says he’s been off the drink and the drugs for years too’.
I didn’t engage. I was too busy analyzing the various forms of dance on display over in front of some random band. There are bands everywhere, some ship crew, many not. Because the Rock the Boat Cruise is run by Scott Collett and Mick Manov from Adelaide, there is a bias towards unknown cover bands from there.
Here’s the apparent dance styles that are in vogue, hip today, amongst the retired women community. Did I say hip?
- The Windmill. Kind of sway with your arms half extended, twist your torso a little. Slightly dangerous for nearby dancers.
- The Egg (closely related to The Carrot). This I’ve seen before at a Radiators gig in Parramatta. The knees are bent, with the bottom lowered towards the floor. Arms are kind of tucked out each side. The effect is that of a chicken about to hatch an egg, or correspondingly, it is a look akin to the posture one would adopt should a carrot be inserted up one’s arse.
- The ‘I’ll Tell You’. A fascinating partner dance for two women. Mouth a vague approximation of the lyrics while pointing and shaking your index finger in time with the music, at your partner. You both have to do it, or it isn’t fun.
- The Perp. Only works if you are way, way addicted to cake and ice cream, and have the prerequisite resulting girth. Essentially, adopt any style at all, and just do it. The perp part is when the song stops, because your blubber is in perpetual motion. So the dance continues!
- Finally, The Reversing Rogue. It’s the energetic hippy chook, usually in a sarong, who dances BACKWARDS. She careens and cavorts in reverse, causing others to leap aside. Highly dangerous.
I wanted to catalogue the guys as well, but the few men dancing were doing that REALLY boring partner dance, like the 60’s swing thing. Spin the girl. Spin her again. And again. Snore.
So being a man of the people, I now turn my consumer protection eyes towards The Royal Caribbean Line, and will complain to the ACCC upon my return at the clearly unlawful removal of The Drink Package.
Exhibit A: On every table is The Drink List, with a whole side devoted to Beverage Packages. ‘Royal Caribbean International offers convenient all-inclusive beverage packages.’ Except they don’t, on this cruise.
While it is convincing to believe that last year the hoard drank the boat dry, paying a convenient US$55 (‘Premium’), the removal of the packages was not flagged anywhere on my ticketing information. Indeed, I had full expectation that upon boarding I would pay said US$55 and drink away.
I certainly will take this up with the Rock the Boat people, but I suspect they had no say in it, and are probably as unhappy as everyone on board.
Finally, last night Russell Morris and Brian Cadd shared the stage, backed by Russell’s three amigos – Peter Robinson on guitar, John Creech (drums) and Mitch Cairns the MD and bass player.
I have to say, the vocal harmonies from all these guys were Eagles class, and the songbook from old Caddy is extremely strong. He is Australia’s Billy Joel or Elton John. It made up for the almost incoherent staggering Molly Meldrum who was clearly in his cups, and who made random appearances on stage, much to the alarm of the headliners.
The ship has just birthed in Port Vila, where I will Get Off.
That concludes this sometimes sad, yet hopefully informative journal.