(Missed the first four installments? Don’t worry! Just go here and scroll to the bottom. Or read everything, I’m not the boss of you.)
I had never been on a cruise that made two port stops before. I was curious about Half Moon Cay because it wasn’t an actual city, and I’m not really one to enjoy “fun in the sun”. Megan and I slept in as long as possible with the onslaught of overhead announcements about getting off the ship, and then sleepily moseyed to deck 3 (I think) to stand in line and grab our stickers for the ferry. Because. I thought there were a finite number of ferries. And I was slightly concerned. I popped into the line, and Megan popped over to the bar to get us some bloody mary power while we waited. But the line moved VERY quickly. So I panicked and hopped out, joining Megan at the bar where we found Jonas, and later Nina and Sonya, too. Christina and Kala assured us we had time to drink a couple bloodies, and that the ferries would be going back and forth all day. Whew. I was worried we’d be trapped on an island until 5. I uh…don’t like outside.
Once we got on the ferry, I felt very “Ellis Islandy” and wanted to do a monologue about arriving in the new world, or rap seven Hamilton songs, but kept my mouth shut and made odd faces instead. I did catch the eye of the two people sitting across from me, because we seemed to be irritated at the exact same things. Which is always a nice way to make friends. Shout out Ange and uh…not Ange? I forgot her name because she didn’t friend me on Facebook. I’ll not mention what was so irritating because I’m a nice person. Or I hate confrontation. Probably that one.
Arriving at Half Moon Cay and actually walking around was interesting because I was wearing what I’m calling a bathing suit. And I don’t do that. I had a very Selena-esque bra on, that I pretended was a bathing suit top, and high-waisted bottoms, but I also had a black, mesh t-shirt dress to cover all my lumpy bits (and the bikini area I literally haven’t even seen in a year. Let’s just say I was prepared for 70s night). In a word, I was uncomfortable. I felt exposed. So I drank to forget about that, and we made a beeline right for the food. The food on the island was better than anything I had eaten on the ship, and to make things interesting, we got to make eye contact with live, roaming chickens while we ate jerk chicken. Effectively making us the jerks, and not in fact, the chicken. If I’m being honest, the roaming chickens, especially the tinyfuzzychirpybabies, were the highlight of my trip. They were putting on a chicken parkour show and it was enchanting. It was so much of a show that I half expected someone to interrupt and shout, “Where’s Joe?!” (that’s a 2016 callback.)
After we tore ourselves away from the chickens, we hopped back onto the maze of concrete sidewalks and attempted to walk toward the water. We eventually succeeded, and basically just walked into the ocean to put a stop to how em-effing hot it was outside. I don’t “lay out”. I don’t prance on a beach. I hid in the water. I did do a lot of booty dancing, because when you twerk in the ocean, it feels like you’re really good at it. I recommend it. There was a crowd forming near the roped off area, so Megan and I decided to float toward it, just in case something cool happened. What eventually happened was a boat full of New Kids gliding in, and Danny, Jon and Donnie taking a ton of beach selfies with sweaty, swimsuit-clad fans. There was a GIANT line forming to take selfies with Donnie, and I did not want to get out of the water and/or stand in it at all. So I didn’t. I was in shallow water when I realized I was right in front of Q the bodyguard (who you may know as “Z” from last year’s blogs), so I smiled at him and he gave me a side hug and a cheek smooch, which was very sweaty. But very nice. Because he’s basically a giant pile of muscles and swag. So.
I was standing awkwardly in thigh-deep water when I heard a bunch of people shouting my name. I tried to stay at least thigh deep because I hadn’t shaved my legs in several days, and those bitches grow a mean 5-o-clock shadow in a matter of hours. I was trying to protect the masses from the atrocity that is my nearly-nude body, you see. Because I’m a humanitarian. Anyway, people were shouting my name, and when I finally started wandering ashore to see what was happening, I realized Megan was standing with Donnie, and they were both waiting for me to come take a picture. Perfect. I’d never looked better. We did that, and then Donnie told us to go up to the pirate ship and hang out. When Donnie gives an instruction, you take it. Even though it seemed like a literal uphill battle to get there. We went, and we were stopped at the stairs because we did not possess the required “All Access” passes. But luckily, some dude had seen Donnie point and tell us to go there, so he mentioned that to the security bro, and we were let in. It was just the other side of the bar that we had already gone to for drinks. But it was the private side. So we felt cool.
Donnie came up shortly after we finished doing a samba with Billy from Philly, and embraced us into a very sweaty, very shirtless hug. It was low-key more skin on skin contact than I’ve had in an actual year. Don’t tell anyone that, though. It’ll be uncomfortable. I’m guessing I was feeling some type of way in the moment, because the resulting pictures that someone from across the bar apparently took were very offputting. I don’t give good face. He asked how we were enjoying the cruise so far, if we needed anything and then if we were sure we didn’t need anything. I couldn’t think of anything to even ask for. In retrospect, I should have asked if he could introduce us to Jenny. Kicking myself now. Then, he said he was heading upstairs and asked if we wanted to come. Obviously we did. I didn’t even know what else was upstairs, but again, if Donnie says, you do it.
We started to follow the entourage of Donnie, Cory and Q, but of course Donnie got sidetracked taking more selfies with fans who were outside the ship, like the beautiful angel from heaven he is. We awkwardly loitered behind them because we didn’t know where “upstairs” was or how to get there without Donnie. We didn’t want to actually follow him in his meandering selfie journey, because that would have been hella weird of us, so we just kind of hung back and watched, until we lost sight of him. By the time we saw him again, he was ducking up the stairs and all we could see were the backs of Q’s ankles as they disappeared into the unknown. We tried to follow, about 30 seconds behind. But the security guard at the bottom of the illustrious stairs didn’t know we were allowed up. So he said no. Megan tried to reason with him, assuring him we weren’t just “crazed fans, making up a story about permission”, which of course made us seem like crazed fans, making up a story about permission. I suggested we just forget it, and we argued right in front of that security guard. He refused to use the walky-talky hanging suggestively from his belt to check with Cory or Q to make sure we were allowed. So we just left, and headed back to the water.
The bummed-ness of missing out on the potential to hang out near Joe or have a delightfully awkward moment near Jordan didn’t last long, though. Because about 10 minutes later, all the guys were back on their little dingy, heading back to the big ship. Which is exactly what we did shortly after.
Keep following to read about my favorite of the theme nights, Block-a-versary!