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Rated: 18+ · Book · Travel · #2249231
I went on a 5-day Cruise with a crazy (read: drunk) monkey!
Andre and I decided it was about time we got to know each other better, so we went on a cruise in the Western Caribbean*Beach* together! I can't wait... We can't waitIt was great! *BigSmile* *Monkey*

It was a 5-day crazy cruise from May 17 - 21.

We've returned! Come read about it! We're on our way! Until then I'll most likely be busy packing and planning. Yes, Andre, I'll remember the bananas. *Banana**Banana**Banana*

If you want to know more about this monkey business, you best ask Andre himself, over at "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar

We started the adventure by writing our "Packing List, and our first destination was "Fort Lauderdale!
May 22, 2021 at 2:51pm
May 22, 2021 at 2:51pm
The last day of our cruise was spent entirely at sea. We started the day with breakfast together with several of our fellow passengers. It was a nice and somewhat nostalgic atmosphere, and we all reminisced about our time in the West Caribbean*Beach**Sun**Wave4*.

After breakfast, Andre and I decided to check out some of the on-board activities, and we were immediately drawn to the 10AM magic show. It featured two up-and-coming magicians, Tell and Penner, who turned out to be a wonderful comedic duo as well. Andre and I were staring in wonder and guffawing in turn, and we were having a great time. I don't know how Tell managed to conjure those flowers*FlowerR* from thin air, or how Penner managed to swallow the Captain's keys*Key* without getting fired. Amazing.

In the middle of the show, we had a shock, though. The magicians were busy sawing each other in half, when they called on stage a magic assistant to help out. Turns out she was a female monkey*Monkey*, all decked out in a shiny red dress. Andre went completely quiet, and I'm pretty sure I saw him turn red too, blushing so hard it showed through his fur.

The rest of the show he was very quiet, watching the monkey assistant deftly help the magicians put each other back together in the right constellation. Wouldn’t do to have Tell's legs on Penner's body, would it*Puzzle2*?

I encouraged Andre to go talk to her when the show ended, but he refused. Instead, he hurried inside without a word. I had to go around looking for him for at least an hour, it's a big ship*Boat*. I found him right before lunch time, sitting by a slot machine in the Casino. He was wearing a pair of large sunglasses (indoors, mind you) and a bucket hat that shielded him pretty well from view. I recognized him anyway and talked him into coming to lunch with me. I had to make promises of banana pie*Banana* and more casino time afterwards, in order to convince him.

And so, we went to lunch, and had a nice meal with the other passengers. Andre kept looking around the room nervously, so he wasn’t much good for conversation. The food was delicious, though, and I treated myself to a banana martini*Banana**Glass5*. Andre declined, which would have had me call the doctor on a normal day, but I could still see a faint blush on him, so I didn't comment on it.

Instead, we went back to the Casino and played roulette for some time. After a while, Andre relaxed enough to enjoy a cigar with me (my first time, I coughed more than I smoked, and was more red faced than Andre had been earlier), and this time he did not decline the banana martini. The world was right again, all it took was patience and some dice and adrenaline.

We had fun at the table, whooping and laughing whenever the wheel was spun. We had some wins, but overall it was a definite loss. Not too bad, though, and definitely worth it to get Andre back on form.

The rest of the time we spent sitting on deck relaxing and chatting with our fellow passengers. It was lovely, we heard many fun stories.

In the afternoon, we reached Ft Lauderdale, and thereby our journey had reached its conclusion. We disembarked with great nostalgia. There were many hugs, laughter and tears, and exchanges of addresses so we can stay in touch with new friends, before we finally found ourselves back on the Ft Lauderdale beach by ourselves*Beach**Suitcase*.

We still had time before our flight, so we went back to our last, vaguely remembered, location before we boarded the ship several days ago—the Wreck Bar. The staff at the underwater, ship-wreck themed mermaid bar greeted us like old friends, and showed us to what was apparently our designated table.

When the mermaid show started, Andre was so excited to show off his new diving skills, that he got in the water with them. It was a fascinating sight, seeing a monkey swim around with a bunch of mermaids. Luckily, I had convinced him to wear a pair of swim shorts, a nice green pair with flamingos. I was so caught up in watching the show, that I didn't notice the figure sliding into Andre's empty seat next to me. Suddenly, Andre's eyes went wide underwater, as he looked in the direction of our table, though. Only then did I turn, to discover the female monkey magic assistant sitting right next to me. Andre shot up out of the water with record speed, as she laughed and screetched, jumping up and down on the chair next to me.

With some help from the staff, a sputtering, coughing Andre got dressed in a dry beach kimono, and I gave up my seat so that he could sit and talk with his new lady friend. They both got Mermaid Margaritas with mashed-up bananas in them, and I got a Zombie, with three types of rum, by the bar*Glass5*.

Andre seemed shy and embarrassed at first, but it didn't take long before the two were laughing and chatting loudly. I think they like each other. They're right over there, do you see them? *Monkey**Monkey*

And that's how I found myself sitting here at the bar, talking with you. How about you, have you been traveling too? Any stories to share?

May 20, 2021 at 5:54am
May 20, 2021 at 5:54am
Last night was a hoot! We had Formal Night aboard the cruise ship, and it turned out to be a real party*Party* Everyone were there. At one point I saw Richie Krueger ~ Bald Lil' Bro and Andre smoking cigars, donned in their nice suits. Andre must have done several costume changes during the evening, I also saw him swinging from the chandeliers in his red shorts and Mayan outfit. After that, though, Apondia started passing around honey mead. Being Norwegian, I love me some mjød, so things started getting a bit blurry after that. I vaguely remember dancing on a table with QueenNormaJean livs inOctoPrep , and possibly someone who's not a monkey tried to swing from a chandelier too—I won't mention who.

When the Mariachi band started playing 'Jarabe Tapatío', though, things really kicked off. They played faster and faster as we danced faster and faster. Drunk on margarita and Apondia 's mead, I then betted with Richie Krueger ~ Bald Lil' Bro that I could play the Mariachi trumpet better than him, bragging that I would do great since I played the trombone in a marching band as a child. He only smiled confidently as the trumpetist graciously let us both have a try. Lazy Writer est 4/24/2008 betted against me with the Captain, who took pity and pretended he believed I was as good as my drunken bravado would have it. Brother Nature and PandaPaws Licensed VetTech were busy having a crazy dance off, and QueenNormaJean livs inOctoPrep was just laughing uproariously at it all. I think it's fair to say that I lost that bet quite spectacularly. Andre was the judge, but he was too busy swinging from the chandelier to swing the result in my favour (I don't think I can stand to listen to Sia for a long time after this). I guess I owe Richie Krueger ~ Bald Lil' Bro a drink or two at our next destination, and I'm pretty sure the Captain owes Lazy Writer est 4/24/2008 a chance to steer the ship for a while. Luckily we somehow still arrived safely at our last port, which is....(Psst, do the drum roll now Andre).. *Monkey**Guitar*.. yeah, okay, ukulele picado will do.. AND THE LAST DESTINATION IS:

*Compass*George Town, Grand Cayman


We arrived earlier today, and Andre and I decided to head straight for the Seven Mile Beach, north of town. It.. was.. AMAZING. Beautiful to behold, with its play of blues, turquois and whites, we couldn’t wait to get in the water. After our dolphin adventure yesterday Andre was even game for doing some diving. Finally! We snorkeled around, and saw lots of beautiful tropical fish*FishG**Fishp**Fishb*, and strange colourful sea creatures we don't even know the names of.

Then we swam in the shallow water amidst a whole fever of stingrays (the Captain told us last night that's what a group of stingrays is called... guess I remember more than I thought). It was fantastic to play with the creatures up close.

We had a bit of a shock, though, when a menacing dorsal fin was heading straight for Andre!! *Shark* I could just hear the Jaws theme in my head.. Dun dun Dun dun Dun dun... And then a dolphin*Dolphin* jumped up, splashing water right in Andre's face! We were so happy and relieved that we were hardly even embarrassed at the screaming we'd been doing.

Turns out, it was Andre's friend from yesterday, who had swam here all the way from Cozumel! I guess it had fun too. They played more, Andre hanging on, while the dolphin raced around*Dolphin**Monkey*. We've named it Flipperino.

We would have stayed longer, but it's a hot, humid day, 86F*Sun* the Captain said earlier. We were feeling happy but exhausted, and decided to say bye to Flipperino*Dolphin**Wave1* and head back towards town.

A local tipped us off about a nice place called the 'Grand Old House'. It's a nice beach restaurant that's both one of the Cayman's oldest restaurants and located in one of the oldest buildings.

We found ourselves a good table with a wonderful view, and sank down in comfortable chairs. After a lovely seafood meal for me, and a bunch of exclusive, ripe bananas for Andre, we ordered a couple of cocktails.

I'm now having a Seven Mile Breeze and Andre has convinced them to mix mashed-up banana into a Bikini Martini. Excellent service in this place. We'll just stay here until we have to leave for the ship again, this is lovely,.. right Andre? How about you, join us for a cocktail? Check out the menu:

*Glass5*Strawberry Daiquiri
*Glass5*Rum Punch
*Glass5*Gin and Tonic
*Glass5*Piña Colada
*Glass5*Seven Mile Breeze
*Glass5*Cayman Lemonade
*Glass5*Bikini Martini

Pick one, sit down and enjoy life with us!

May 19, 2021 at 1:28pm
May 19, 2021 at 1:28pm

This morning was a much more pleasant affair for Andre and I. We took our sweet time to eat breakfast and chat about yesterday's adventures, and had a pretty good laugh about all the drama. Soon enough, our talk turned to the topic of today's plans. The captain declared last night that we were going to:

*Compass*Cozumel, Mexico

Andre and I both smiled and pretended that we knew all about it, and then we hurried back to our room to check out the brochures we'd been provided with.

To my delight, it turns out that Cozumel is famous for its diving possibilities! It might make up for missing out on Dry Tortuga*Turtle1* yesterday... No Andre, I didn't just send you a dirty look, how could you possibly think that? Ahem, where was I? Oh yes, since Andre made us miss the Tortuga excursion (*Wind**Banana* Ouch, Andre, that hurt my head!), I was looking forward to a day of scuba diving in beautiful surroundings, maybe seeing the Palancar reef, the site Jacques Cousteau may or may not have popularized (more on that later). But this furry fella didn't like the idea of having his head under water, did you buddy?

After a heated discussion about the benefits versus dangers of underwater activities, we ended up discovering that we both love dolphins. One of our brochures had a dolphin encounter excursion, so we eagerly called the reception to book in advance. The rest of the evening we spent watching Flipper*Dolphin* in preparation, which later turned out to be very fitting...

And so it was, that Andre and I found ourselves on a bus drive to a marine center this morning, singing...

*Music2**Music1**Music1*"They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than liiiightning. No one you seeee, is smarter than heee..."

If we were a nuisance to the other passengers, they didn't mention, in fact one after the other, they joined in. Who can be mad anyway on a nice, hot sunny day like this? By the time we arrived, I'm pretty sure the whole group were singing in unison.

Our guide heard us, and couldn’t stop laughing. Later, he told us that it was very fitting that we sang the Flipper theme tune, because the cinematographer who filmed that show also filmed
'Un Mundo Nuevo'*Video*, the movie that made Cozumel's underwater beauty famous in the late 50s. The funny thing is that people often seem to get it mixed up with 'Le Monde du Silence', the documentary by Jacques Cousteau. Therefore, Cousteau tends to get the credit for showing the Palancar reef to the world. However, the Mexican movie was very much inspired by Cousteau, and he is often quoted on having called Cozumel the most spectacular diving site in the world. So perhaps the credit is not at all undue.

If you haven't guessed, our guide was a well of information about both water activities and Cozumel history. He also told us stories about the place's Mayan history, and Andre and I made a note of visiting the ruins next time we're here—which we definitely will be!

The dolphin excursion was nothing short of spectacular. We encountered dolphins*Dolphin*, alright, at least a dozen of 'em*Dolphin**Dolphin* *Dolphin* We even got in the water and swam around with them*Dolphin*. Would you believe Andre managed to hang on to a dorsal fin, and ride the dolphin *Dolphin*around in circles? Believe it! He was so excited, he was whooping and hollering, he didn't even care if his head got dunked underwater sometimes!*Dolphin**Dolphin*

We had a great time, and before we knew it, we were heading back to the ship with wet hair and big smiles on our faces.

We had time to stop by San Miguel, Cozumel's only city, before the departure. Inspired by our guide's stories about Cozumel's Mayan history, we bought clothes and accessories inspired by Mayan traditional wear. Well, Andre's bright red shorts May have been uniquely Andre-style, but I got a nice patterned dress, a matching shirt for Andre, and nifty stone-bead necklaces for both of us.

Now we're back on the ship, trying on our new outfits, feeling dapper. How do we look, guys? We're planning on wearing this for Formal Night. That's later, though. For now, Andre has insisted that we make time for margaritas on deck, and he's getting no fight from me on that one*Glass5*

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May 18, 2021 at 12:45pm
May 18, 2021 at 12:45pm

Well, I don't remember all the details from the ship's departure yesterday, since Andre and I had to rush on board last minute. It's all a bit of a blur for some reason, but I remember a nice crew attendant explaining all about the breakfast routines, exercise- and other activity rooms, how the light and air conditioner in the room works, and... well there was something else but I don't remember what.

.... Oh, yes, our destination! I was a complete blank this morning, so I was excited to look out the window and see:

*Compass*Key West, Florida

Yes!!! During the night we arrived at the southernmost place in the U.S., the delightful and fascinating Key West! We must have passed both Key Largo and Islamorada on the way, so I've added 'Key Largo' and 'Bloodline' to my Netflix list. Would have been nice to see the filming locations*Video*, but this very last of the keys has turned out to be a very interesting location.

You're wondering by now how Andre has reacted to all this. Well... To my great annoyance it's turned out that we got a double room, separate beds, thankfully! So I woke up to the little so and so snoring like a freight train on the other bed. And he kept doing so throughout breakfast time. Don't judge me, guys, there was no waking him.

And so, it was a very grumpy monkey I had to bring ashore today. We were supposed to go on a sightseeing tour of the Dry Tortugas, but thanks to Andre we lost the boat*Wave2*. I was a bit annoyed, I was hoping we could do a bit of diving. Instead, we decided to go on a walk from Mallory Square, down Duval Street, and see if we could find a nice place to eat some brunch.

And whaddaya know, you guys: There's a place called the Flying Monkeys saloon here. Ahem, let me rephrase that: !!!!!!!

We spent all the morning, and well into the afternoon there. I insisted it was a bit early for drinks, so we grabbed a bite to eat at Fogarty's. But we were already checking out the drink menu. Let me mention a few of the drinks listed:

*Glass5*Flying Monkey (of course)
*Glass5*Grape Ape (Bourbon, Rum, Grape Punch)
*Glass5*Banana Breeze (Vodka, Vanilla, Ice cream and fresh bananas!!!!!*Banana**Banana**Banana*!!!)
*Glass5*Dirty Monkey (Well...)
*Glass5*Chocohol(I think I'll refrain from listing more ingredients, due to public health concerns)
*Glass5*Monkey Slush(Hmmm....)

Can you guys imagine how excited we were?! We were just going to stay here, and we had already ordered a slush for me and a Banana Breeze*Banana**Glass5* for Andre (duh), when we heard an evil cackling behind us. No, it wasn't a wicked witch, it was far worse: Rhesus monkeys. The little rascals must have gotten tired of wrecking havoc at Lois Key, and made their way to the very heart of tourism in these parts, probably hoping to bum bananas off gullible visitors. And there they were, staring at Andre the outsider with his long monkey fingers already wrapped around his deliciously cool banana drink!

We ran.

That's right, you gotta know when to cut your losses, this did not feel safe for Andre! Like the clever tourists that we are, we hid away in Hemingway's*Books2* house for a while. We were peeping out the windows, looking for the band of local monkeys, but they didn't find us. We wasted most of the time we had left there. It was too bad, really, we had some great plans. No Southernmost Point Buoy photo shoot for us; no Butterfly*Butterfly2B* and Nature Conservatory (and I really wanted to see The Birth of a Butterfly !); no kayaking in the mangroves (actually, we were gonna drink that one away anyway, how else to have time for both Dirty Monkeys and Grape Apes?).

Too bad. But it did mean we had plenty of time to get to know Ernest Hemingway and the ways he had about him. In particular, we noted that his favourite drink was not the mojito, but a simple scotch and soda, and perhaps a Gibson now and then. Good ol' Papa did in fact stay away from the sweet drinks (diabetes, but that's perhaps gossipy), so even the Papa Doble would have been all wrong for him-even though it's named after him!

Anyway, we made note of some interesting cocktail recipes, and spent the rest of the time reading in a 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'-draft we found lying about.*BookOpen* Interesting stuff.

We didn't have much time left though, and again we had to run to the ship*Boat* not to miss the 4PM bell!*Bell* And so, with the bell tolling for our departure (in the nicest way possible!), we have once again made our way on board the cruise ship. Now we just have to find our way to our room, we were NOT paying attention last time.

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May 17, 2021 at 1:45pm
May 17, 2021 at 1:45pm

*Confettio**Confettiy*DEPARTURE DAY!!!*Party**ConfettiB**ConfettiP**Confettig*

Andre and I have been so excited to find out where exactly we're going, and we now have our first destination:

*Compass*Fort Lauderdale, Florida

I was very excited when I found out, since I have never been to Florida. Immediately I wondered if we would have time for an airboat tour of the Everglades holiday park, but I think the alligators might be a bit too scary for Andre, so I didn't mention. He already had a bad scare the other day, when we found a tarantula in a nice ripe bunch of bananas, so we best stick to safer activities.

Luckily, it's a nice day for the beach*Beach*, with sunshine *Sun* and 80 degrees (in Fahrenheit, no need to scare a European by leaving out that part!). So Andre and I headed towards the beach as soon as we got here, ready to spend a nice day relaxing while we wait for the cruise ship to depart (preferably with us on board)*Suitcase*.

It took about five seconds before Andre suggested that we find a bar. Seriously Andre? What am I supposed to say to him, guys? I was in the middle of putting on my sun lotion, when Andre was suddenly pulling my arm, trying to get me to go to a beach bar which to me looked like it was from the 50's or so. I don't regret going with him, though, the place turned out to be pretty cool.

The Elbo Room, it's called, and it's actually been around since 1938. Not only that, but it's played a key role in putting Ft Lauderdale on the map. After being a place for soldiers since it's very beginning, the teenagers sieged the fort for spring break in the 60s. The Elbo Room played a key role, by being featured in the movie 'Where the Boys Are'. Teenage partying became 'a thing', and Andre and I have been checking out the place where it all happened. Rumor has it Elvis*Crown**ElecGuitar* used to like hanging out here, so now Andre is trying to comb his hair to look like the 'King' himself. I've refrained from commenting on the result so far, let the guy have his fun.

It also means that we're stocking up on music to play. We've remembered to bring our guitars (okay, my guitar, Andre's ukulele), and we've been playing Elvis-songs and dialectic jazz all day. Our favourite song of the day is Connie Francis' 'Turn on the Sunshine' (written by Greenfield and Sedaka):

And when you wear a smile
The world will shout, "Hooray!"
You gotta turn on the sunshine
You' gonna push the blues away!

Alright, Connie, good stuff. Andre and I are working on our own version:

*Guitar**Guitar*When Andre wears a smile,
The world will shout, "Hooray!"
You gotta turn on the sunshine,
Gotta send those bananas his way! *Music1**Music2**Music2*

Ahem. We're still working on it guys...

Now we're out on the beach again*Beach*, though, and I think we should be heading towards the cruise ship, so we don't miss the departure*Clock2**Boat*. It's at 4PM, we really shouldn't mess around too much. Someone's pulling on my arm again, though. He wants to go to the Wreck Bar, to look at the underwater mermaid show they have there. I wasn't going to relent this time, but Andre just told me that they have a cocktail called Zombie there, with three types of rum in it. Oh, and Mermaid Margarita of course.

This might be a tough one to say no to, guys. Will someone come get us if we forget the time?

...Okay, Andre, just one drink.


May 16, 2021 at 7:38am
May 16, 2021 at 7:38am


..... ANDRE!!! I think we've overslept!! *Shock2* The calendar says 18th, and we were supposed to leave on the.... Hang on.

16th...It's the 16th of May, so we don't have to leave until tomorrow. Phew.

Still though, Andre, buddy. Cutting it close here. I think you mixed those Palomas too strong, we've been knocked out cold!


I'm serious Andre, drinks can be too strong.


Laugh it up, buddy.

Are you ready, at least, smart alec?.... Okay, okay,... smart Andre. Ready?



May 5, 2021 at 1:50pm
May 5, 2021 at 1:50pm
No worries, Andre is doing fine after the tarantula scare. He claims that he was only joking, but I think he fainted.

I've given him a Paloma *Cupr* to cheer him up, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! *ConfettiB**Party* *CountryMX**ConfettiO* *Confettig*We're taking a break from packing to have our drinks and read 'Where the Air is Clear' by Carlos Fuentes. Well, Andre is pretending to read it in Spanish, but I think he's bluffing.

Either way, we've kicked our feet up in "The Angel Lounge*Angel*. Anyone who would like to join us for a Paloma are welcome to stop by. Andre has mixed some more drinks up, and set a table here: "Re: May 5th Challenge/Party!"  

Nice one, Andre.

April 30, 2021 at 5:00am
April 30, 2021 at 5:00am
With all those bananas *Banana* to clean up from our packing-debacle, Andre and I ended up starting the party early, eating bananas and drinking... where did you even get those bottles from Andre?

Now we're practicing our singing. We're getting pretty good, I think we'll definitely get by on busking if need be. Our great inspiration is the esteemed Mr. Harry Belafonte. We've tried to learn some of his songs. Whaddaya say Andre, should we demonstrate?

*Guitar**Guitar* Ahemm... Here goes:


Day-o! Day-Oh no!
Daylight come and we want to party more
Day?!!! Is it day? Is it day? Is it day? Is it day? Is it day-OH NO!
Daylight come and we're too drunk to go home

We've partied all night and drunk lots of rum!
Daylight come and we don't want to go home
Eaten banana 'til the morning come! *Banana*
Daylight come and we don't want to go home

Come Mister Andre, man, eat all that banana *Banana* *Banana*
Daylight come and we don't want to go home
Come Mister Andre, man, eat some more banana*Banana* *Banana**Banana* *Banana*
Daylight come and we don't want to go home

Eat six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch!
Daylight come and we don't want to go home
Eat more and more and more, just munch! *Banana* *Banana*
Daylight come and we don't want to go home

A beautiful bunch of ripe banana
Daylight come and we don't want to go home
Hide the deadly black tarantula





April 28, 2021 at 4:07am
April 28, 2021 at 4:07am
My hairy buddy and I have had a bit of a gab session, and we're finally in tune again about the packing. Agreeing that bananas probably grow in some of our cruise destinations, we've decided to throw some bunches out of the suitcase...

*Banana* *Banana*

*Banana* *Banana*


Where was I? Oh, yes, we've decided to make room instead for...*drum roll**dramatic picado*...GUITARS!

Well... a guitar for me and a ukulele for Andre, perhaps. *Guitar**Guitar*

That way, if we run out of money, we can do some busking on the way.

Now we're jammin', Andre...

*Music1**Music2**Music1* *Music1**Music2*

April 27, 2021 at 6:21pm
April 27, 2021 at 6:21pm
Hawaiian shirts

OKAY, Andre! I get it.


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