This was our last day on the cruise ship with our entire extended family, so I wanted to make it one to remember. Now that I’m heading off to college, I don’t know if or when we will do a big trip like this again. I looked at the itinerary of activities on the ship the night before and pre-planned everything our family could do together. It went as follows:
11AM – Morning Trivia
2:55PM – Festivals of the World Performances
4:00PM – Silence Gameshow (so basically charades)
6:45PM or 8:45PM – Magic Show with Daniel Ka
7PM – Music Quiz
8:45PM – Yes/No Gameshow
9:45PM – Dancing with the Cruise Staff
10PM – DJ Hour
Let’s see how the day played out.
11AM: Morning Trivia
I managed to get up bright and early at 10AM (sucks, I know) in order to meet the family for the morning trivia. I got ready in time and went down to the coffee bar for *coffee* and a pastry with plenty of time, but they forgot to put my order in and I was too shy to ask if my coffee was coming so I stood there for 20 minutes and ended up being LATE to the trivia! When am I ever on time, though? Let’s be honest here. NEVER. And I am ashamed to admit it.
My uncle ended up knowing all the answers to the trivia and we ended up getting 16/20, which is a lot better than I expected. I learned that butterbeans is another term for lima beans, which my aunt actually got on the trivia. The only trivia question I knew the answer to was: “What Dreamworks movie features a talking donkey who marries a dragon?”
Let me explain something to you, though. The demographics of this ship were mainly Asian and elderly, so when the host told us to yell out the answer, I was the only person in the entire room who shrieked, “SHREK”. Shrieking shrek in the middle of a classy lounge in front of a bunch of seniors is not exactly a proud moment, but at least it was redeemable when the host said it was right.
We got lunch afterwards and saw that the amazing opera singer from the other night was holding a 2PM performance that we wanted to catch, which leads me to…
2PM: Matinee Performance with Lena McKenzie
I have nothing to say except that she is the most amazing and beautiful and humble performer that I’ve ever seen (well actually, Christy Altomare is ultimately the most humble) and I’m really hoping that opportunities will allow her to stop performing on cruise ships and seek out major performance gigs. Lena McKenzie explained the evolving concept of opera singers and how opera is less about the singing technique itself and more about the performing aspect and flamboyance behind it.
I don’t even want to count the number of times I said some form of “perform” in the last paragraph.
2:55PM: Festivals of the World Performance
This one was really interesting because during each sea day, the entertainment cruise staff were hosting classes to teach dances and songs from different cultures such as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, and it was all in preparation for this day. During this festival, the cruise directors would announce the piece that was about to be performed, and then the staff member that taught the class would rush out with about 30 guests (or however many attended those classes) and they would perform the dance or song in the middle of the atrium with three floors of passengers watching them. I have to give a lot of credit to these passengers who performed during the festival. It was brave to participate and every single person excelled at the performance! It was so cute to see like 50 seniors swaying back and forth while singing the Little Apple song in Chinese.
4:00PM: Silence Gameshow
Like I said earlier, this was basically charades. It was charades. There were two cruise staff members hosting, and while one of them mimicked the word, the other would run around the room at various locations and we would have to run up and whisper in their ear what we think that word is. There were different categories such as food, nationalities, and movies. Unfortunately, my family and I sat in a location where we were blocked by barriers on three sides so getting out and running to the staff member was really difficult. I did end up getting four points, though! I mostly got the ones that the Japanese people didn’t know. I think my proudest answers were Star Wars (which Japanese people know…) and High School Musical.
We went for dinner afterwards, but my parents and grandparents actually booked a specialty dinner reservation for 8:00PM, so they left halfway through to catch the first showing of the magic show. The waiters did their Baked Alaska parade which was really cute 🙂
After my parents and grandparents left, my sister and I hung out with our uncles and aunt at the dining room and then headed over to a lounge to watch a band called Hightide to kill time before the magic show.
8:45PM: Magic Show with Daniel Ka
The magic show itself was impressive in theatrics, but I just felt like everything was so fake because the magician was overplaying everything. There were some tricks where I could totally see every sneaky thing he was doing, but the one trick that I’m still not really sure about was when he drew a face on a piece of paper and made the eyes move. I have to research that one.
I found the source here.
9:45PM: Dancing with the Cruise Staff
This was by far my favorite activity of the night. There were 6 cruise staff members who pulled names out of a volunteer box to be their dance partners. It was so cute to see a ballroom dancer staff member partnered up with an 80 year old man, and a young staff member partnered up with a 4 year old girl. Some of the dances were actually really impressive, though. Another staff member was also a ballroom dancer, and he got partnered with an elderly Japanese woman who might be the most graceful woman I have ever seen. They danced beautifully together, and nothing was rehearsed.
I notice that a lot of Japanese people have ballroom dancing experience and expertise, and I think it’s so cool that they’ve integrated ballroom dancing into one of their class values.
We ended up hitting the club at 11:30PM, but there was hardly anyone up there. My mom and I requested Latin American music, and we danced until almost 12:30AM when they shut down the club early because no one was coming.
I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my last day on the ship any other way, and I’m so thankful to have spent so much time with my entire family to create more memories before I head on my own path in college. This Japan cruise was so much more relaxing than any other cruise I’ve taken, and even though there was nobody my age on the ship, I really enjoyed the company of other passengers and staff members alike.