Dragging myself out of my comfortable bed, I am determined not to miss the last comedy brunch of this voyage.
Eating and trying to focus on the comedians positioned in the middle of the Sapphire Dining room can be a tad awkward for all involved though. I can’t imagine how the comedians feel having to interact with guests who are digging into the Mexican feast on offer…laughing and eating can be quite a challenge!
With a menu designed in honour of George Lopez’s Mexican heritage, the biggest issue is deciding what to order!
I savour the huevos rancheros and balance that out with a fresh fruit platter for good measure.
Whilst many thought a bloody mary was a good idea, Timmy and I decide to stick to OJ and tea after limited sleep the night before and perhaps one too many mai tais.
Smiley Joe Wiley and Jason Blanchard are so funny that we decide to stay for three ‘teaser’ shows and anticipate their full routine later that night.
Only ‘on’ for 5 minutes each at the top of the hour, we head over to their table in between performances to catch up with the comedians who successfully manage to keep us laughing well after the brunch finishes.
Our morning of laughs transitioned straight into the afternoon with a performance of one my favourite ship board shows, the Liar’s Club, featuring the always hilarious John and Calvyn and cruise staffer Taylor.
With the aim to decide who out of the three is lying when they define a random word presented on a screen, all I kept thinking was how well the three thought on their feet whilst managing to be funny the whole way through.
The double entendres ran rampant and, whilst Timmy and I may have looked ridiculous trying to keep warm in the oft chilly Ovation Theatre by wrapping ourselves in our pool towels, we figured it just added to the hilarity of our day!
Guy Fieri beckoned and once our burger craving was satisfied, we decided to lie by the pool for the afternoon before prettying ourselves up for an elegant night at sea.
Dining in the dining room is always extra special on formal night with a choreographed performance by the waiters and Ken Byrne adding extra ‘oomph’ to dinner.
Where else can you be surrounded by entertainment almost ‘round the clock as on a cruise ship?
Heading to the Punchliner Comedy Club early so as to guarantee a seat, we take a leap of faith and sit in the front row…a potentially large mistake given the attention directed to guests sitting in that area in previous shows we had seen that voyage!
As far as we were concerned, it just added to the experience!
The club was packed to the rafters with standing room only.
Having been to so many comedy shows this cruise, the George Lopez introduction was getting old…it would have been nice if they added some more jokes to the pre-recorded repertoire and cycle them through a voyage so that there aren’t as many double ups.
Luckily for us, the comedians didn’t recycle their material throughout the voyage, meaning that you could safely watch a show and know that, whilst there may be references to other jokes they’ve made, that you were witnessing all-new material.
Smiley and Jason had the audience in hysterics more so than any of the other comedians that had performed on the voyage thus far.
It’s so refreshing to experience true laughter…the kind where tears roll down your cheeks and it rises from your belly erupting without concern.
In this case, the laughing was interspersed with gasps of surprise at the boundaries that were tested being an adult only show but, thankfully, they didn’t swear for the sake of swearing like the British comedians earlier in the cruise.
Luckily, apart from a few little digs at my friends and I, we emerged unscathed, already looking forward to their shows the next night.
For now though, it was time to celebrate DJ Alx’s birthday in our ‘local’, the
Crew and passengers were gathering to honour the man who had surrounded us with music through our Med voyage. It says a lot when a DJ can affect so many people on a cruise and, judging by the turnout that night, it was clear that DJ Alx and his vivacious personality had reached a lot of people.
Words: Natalie Aroyan
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.