Have you ever had one of those mornings when you wake up unaware of the time of day or where you actually are at that very moment? Day two of #SNCcruise arrived in that manner for me. As I pried my eyes open begrudgingly, I peered over the edge of my bunk and saw Amanda was showered and dressed already, putting the final touches of her makeup on in the mirror. My immediate thought was that it was time to go to the show already…had I really slept that long without noticing anything going on in the cabin? My mind instantly went into panic mode as I asked Amanda what time it was. She assured me that it was only 10:30 am, but we had been docked in Key West since 7:30. Jenn and Tara had already exited the boat to explore what Key West had to offer. Amanda informed me that she was just about to wander the ship so she didn’t disturb my slumber…imagine my panic if I had woken up to that situation. I told her that if she could wait a few minutes, I would get ready and we could go explore Key West for a little while.
After a hasty shower, we exited the cabin to see if we could figure out how to disembark the ship. We wandered into the main lobby of the ship (which apparently was where we entered the ship, but not where we would be exiting) to see Charlie exercising on the stairs with the cutest little man ever (Hayden). We greeted them and informed Charlie that if he wasn’t careful we may steal that adorable little person. We said our goodbyes and made our way toward the elevators. As we entered the elevator, a familiar voice asked us, “Are you guys leaving the ship?” It was DR and his wife, Sara. They asked if they could join us in an attempt to leave the ship. We said sure, but couldn’t guarantee we wouldn’t lead them astray.
We managed to disembark on floor 0 (who knew that actually existed?) and made our way out through security and into the tropical land of Key West. As we entered the shopping area, directly after the dock, Amanda spotted a coffee shop. The area was crowded with people and we decided to wander a bit…in hopes of finding a less congested area to get caffeinated. We wandered about in a stupor until we finally decided our best decision was to head back to that coffee shop we had spotted initially. As we wandered in that direction, we saw Charlie and Hayden. Charlie said hi to us and joked about how he had finally made it off the ship. We continued our trek to the coffee shop, with dire hopes that we wouldn’t pass out from heat and exhaustion before making it there. We stumbled into the shop and both ordered Milky Way coffee… a little piece of heaven in a cup. We exited the coffee shop and paused for a moment to take in the scenery. As the caffeine hit our systems, we came to the sudden realization that we were starving. Glancing at the ship in front of us, we decided that our best course of action was to board the ship and get some food (we couldn’t remember if we had seen anything worth trekking back to for nourishment and ship food wouldn’t cost us any additional money). Key West, it’s been real.
We made our way back through security with our giant coffees, and went straight to the Lido deck where we knew we could find food quickly. We heaped our plates with breakfast goodies and found a seat nearby. Whilst shoveling food into our mouths, a few of the guys wandered by. If I remember correctly, the group consisted of Ryan, Lauren (not a guy, but whatever), and Don. They waved and said hello as they strolled by and we gratefully waved back, however, this did not stop us from our task as hand…devouring our grub. As our bellies became full and we slowed down our pace, I noticed a familiar figure walking toward us from over Amanda’s shoulder. It was Seggie. He noticed us and sauntered over. When he approached the table he deftly picked up my coffee and began to shake it. I looked at him wryly, wondering what he could possibly be doing. It all became clear as he continued to shake it and ask “is there booze in there?” I’m not sure how shaking the cup would give him that answer, but we told him no, it was coffee. He then probed further by asking, “coffee with booze?!” The answer was still no…if it had been coffee with booze, the answer to his first question would have been yes. We all shook our heads and laughed at the exchanged. Seggie then bowed out of the conversation by stating that he had to go to rehearsals. They had to run through some of their Christmas songs. We said our goodbyes and then headed to our cabin to rest and get ready for the afternoon festivities.
We entered our cabin and tried to figure out the best course of action. It was early afternoon and the Leftover Cuties would be performing at 2:00 followed by SNC at 3:35. Seeing as the Palladium Lounge, where the concerts would be taking place, was directly one floor above us we had no need to rush. As we lounged on our beds, I suddenly heard the dulcet tones of some familiar songs. The bass was the most distinct sound and we really had to strain our ears to make out what song was being sung, but we could in fact hear the guys of SNC rehearsing merely feet above us. We both had smiles on our faces as we drifted in and out of consciousness.
We were suddenly jarred awake with the sounds of announcements over the PA system. They were paging a Mr. Tolbert, who had not made it back onto the ship, delaying our departure from Key West. After many announcements of his name, we suddenly realized that this name sounded familiar and could only be the beloved K-Merch. We chuckled about this as we readied ourselves for our afternoon entertainment.
Walt introduced us to the first musical performance of the afternoon. He raved about their excellence, but no depiction of the musical talent would have adeptly prepared us for the musical masterpiece presented to us on stage. The Leftover Cuties were magnificent and mind-blowing. The experience was one that cannot truly be expressed through words. We had little expectations going into this concert, but were thoroughly entertained and blown-away by their talents. They are a group that I highly recommend seeing if you ever have the chance. They are truly captivating.
We picked our jaws up off of the floor of the Palladium Lounge and readied ourselves for the Straight No Chaser show that would be starting in about 30 minutes. This comprised of us donning our Christmas light necklaces. It was nice to wear these old familiar friends. The concert started and we instantly forgot that it was mid-October and not the holiday season. The Palladium Lounge’s chilliness also helped with this deception…there was no way we weren’t in the balmy winter season of New England and actually the tropical climate of the Gulf of Mexico. I wouldn’t have been surprised if snow had flurried down from the ceiling, it was that cold. The guys sang all of our Christmas favorites, including Last Christmas which had never been performed live before. Part way through the set, Charlie began searching the audience for the coveted Christmas sweaters. He pointed out some notable Christmas attire, and then spotting us noted that he saw “the traditions in the center.” We were in fact seated in the center of the audience and were apparently the traditions when it came to light-up Christmas gear. He stopped his search briefly to have a casual conversation with the two of us, asking if we had brought three separate sets of lights with us on the cruise. The answer was obviously yes, so we merely nodded our heads in confirmation. He seemed impressed by this…come on, Charlie; do we ever skimp on the lights? The concert came to a much too early end, and we swiftly exited the theater. The next thing on our itinerary was the group photo, which would be conveniently located on the other side of the ship in the dance club.
We took a slight detour to the restrooms then entered the line for group photos. As we entered the dance club, an employee of Rose Tours was there to punch a hole in our wrist bands. Apparently they wanted to make sure we only went through the line once. I think they had been warned about us ahead of time. The line looped around the club toward the dance floor, where the picture would be taking place. Amanda and I happened to be standing in the line right in the same location that would be split to let the guys exit their secret room and out into the photo location. Amanda and I joked about blocking their entrances as we waited for them to appear. We were getting seriously silly; I think the lack of sleep was hitting us hard. Fortunately for the guys of SNC, there were two very adorable kids stationed in line behind us. We decided that we should be good role models and not initiate immature antics.
The guys came out of their hiding place, and walked right in between us and the children. Charlie spotted us and said, “Oh hi!” and Jerome paused to give us a hug. The other guys high-fived the kids as they passed. They were excited…the kids, not the guys…well, they were probably excited too. The guys got into position, and then the massive line of people inched their way toward them as each person took their turn. We weren’t too far from the front of the line, so our turn came quickly. During our group picture, many of the guys asked us where our lights were. We had taken them off for this fancy photo, although Seggie wasn’t ashamed to add his usual shenanigans. In fact, we hadn’t even completely exited the dance floor when I glanced at my camera and just exclaimed, “Look at Seggie!” to Amanda. She looked at the picture and we both left the photo area in a fit of giggles. You win, Seggie.
The improv game show was hysterical, and I can say with certainty that I cried with laughter the entire time. Many of the guys, their wives, and Chasers got involved. It was a lot of fun seeing another side of these people we have gotten to know so well. Amanda and I joked (but were actually quite serious) that we would have been really good at the game show, but we hadn’t signed up to participate. You see, we were forced to sign up as we entered the ship the day before and there wasn’t a ton of information as to what this would entail. We sincerely believe that if we could have signed up as we entered the theater, known some of the games being played ahead of time, and been able to put our names on the same slip of paper (which we totally should have done), we would have been so good at some of those games. Despite our lack of participation, however, it was still a blast and we had a lot of fun watching the incredible skits.
|Ummm light up shot glasses-how could we say no?|
As we began to leave the theater, I spotted a pair of scissors on the ground. My daycare/teacher instincts kicked in and I pointed them out to Amanda, knowing they shouldn’t be there. She picked them up and asked “what should I do with these?” Tyler was standing a few feet from us, so I logically decided he was the perfect person to give them to. He looked at them quizzically and then put them into his jacket pocket. Amanda told him he could use them for all of his crafting needs. He laughed and said we would need them before he did, and handed them back. I guess that didn’t really solve our minor snafu of what to do with the scissors. Blake noticed us holding the pair of scissors and asked us how we would have acquired them. We recounted how we spotted them on the ground and were trying to figure out whom to give them to. He remembered who they belonged to and returned them to their rightful owner. Thanks for the help, Blake. Once the scissor mystery was solved, Tyler turned to us and asked what we were doing now. The logical answer: going to bed. Our actual answer: I don’t know. Tyler smiled at this and said, “I’m going to the club. Let’s go!”
We made a quick stop back at our cabin to change back out of our comfy clothes, and in deed followed Tyler to the dance club. He had been quite adamant in his decision to go there, and we couldn’t say no to that. We found ourselves dancing and drinking the night away, and we didn’t return to our comfy bunk beds until 3am (which led to more cabin shenanigans and a cabin mate falling asleep/drooling in my suitcase #BlameTyler). At this point we had transitioned into Day 3 of #SNCcruise without realizing it. Stay tuned as the adventures continue.