Article Title:Two Dorothies all at sea: A steamy departure
Category:True Stories
Author or Credit:Steve Attwood
Published on:19th October 2011 - 01:05 pm
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Story ID:10940
Text:An occasional diary detailing the experiences of a “straight” cruise by couple of gay Kiwi boys aboard a cruise liner as it circumnavigates Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand – 15 October to 15 November 2011. Part one: Packing, shopping, embarking We’re flying to Sydney tomorrow. Tomorrow! We’ve resisted packing before now, but now it’s time to get serious. Thank goodness we decided to pay the extra so we could have two suitcases each on Air NZ. One would never do. There’s formal wear, smart casual wear, casual wear, beach wear and poolside wear! Will there be room for a frock?   (Poolwear! Oh God, look at my legs still emerging from a Wellington winter; talk about whitebait!  Is it too late to start using tanning cream?) Check the small print (again!) – Crap, you’re not allowed to pack an iron! Mental note, purchase some silk shirts – they’ll look fab after a few minutes hanging beside the shower! And all your laundry gets done by the ship drycleaners – not so much as a pair of knickers is allowed to be done by hand in your room. Make another mental note: Purchase new underwear, the existing collection of Farmers’ six-per-pack cheapies is way too floppy and drab to be seen by cute strangers. Think labels darling, labels! (Sound effects of roaring jet engines, gratuitous stock footage of Air NZ jet touching down at Sydney airport, montage of Sydney Opera House, tower and uber-stylish downtown shops.) We're at Myer in Market Street (think Kircaldie and Stains or Smith and Caughey). Yayyy, they have a sale! I buy a pair of swimming togs 'reduced' to $A100 (it was a bargain darling – feel the quality). The small print says you need at least two pair. I buy a second pair at Paddy’s Market for $A15. Challenge our gay host to tell which is the most expensive pair – surely quality will shine! Fuck, he picks the $15 ones! I choose to believe he has poor taste. Myer also stings me $160 for a shirt – down from $260! An easy soft fabric that will survive the suitcase crushing and still look fabulous (well that was my excuse anyway). HE buys two pairs of swimming togs at Myers for less than the cost of my one pair. Cheap bastard – but they look amazing. (I think I’m beginning to hate my husband.) We discover our giant suitcase – nicknamed ‘the coffin’ ‘cause it’s as big as one – has not survived the journey. A broken wheel and torn fabric, contents threatening to escape. Who to blame? Wellington Airport’s baggage handlers or Sydney’s. We choose to blame the Aussies. This will become a familiar pattern. Steve sails in the sunset Saturday just after midday. We arrive at the Overseas Passenger Terminal to board the Radiance of the Seas. There’s more than 2,500 passengers to board -  the queue starts a block and a half away and the sun is scorching. A VERY cute boy takes our bags. He doesn’t notice the torn and broken suitcase. Reputation as discerning “Queens of means” still intact – so far! The queue inches forward. Inside the terminal the air conditioning is not working. It’s hot and the humidity is 100%. There is no seating. Another black mark for the Aussies. Old people are rushed to the front of the line. Two women faint and are also rushed through. HE considers faking a faint. I have firmer scruples. Besides the eye candy is pretty good. Burly customs men packing – and they have guns! (Search me, I’m carrying drugs  - ah ah ah, not with your hands!) (The heat has gone to my head.) RWC by the pool Bliss! After 2 ¾ hours queuing in the heat, we’re aboard. Our stateroom is lovely, has a balcony and a view and is ice cold. Give thanks to the man who invented air conditioning. Our room steward, John, welcomes us. Like many of the staff, he’s Jamaican - it is the Royal Caribbean Cruise company after all. He’s a huge black man. His frame fills the narrow corridor. He has a deep base voice and a delicious Jamaican accent. Shades of Gangsta’s Paradise. Perfect! Oh fuck, the suits in the crushed suitcase are equally crushed. What’s a girl to wear? Gratefully we notice the first night is casual. The suits can wait for another night.  Another pair of hangers for the shower! Steam is a boy’s best friend. The ship's atrium, bathed in Lesbian Lavender light We set sail just on dark. Sydney sparkles past the bow. We watch the Welsh play the French on a giant screen beside the pool. A cute man with a Latin accent brings us Pina Coladas and Long Island teas! He’s VERY attentive! I drift off to sleep to dream of dark men with foreign accents. Goodnight John Boy! (Note: The author’s views are based on his own genuine experience. He booked and paid for his cruise privately. He has received no incentive or gratuities, financial or otherwise, from the cruise company or any travel or tourism agencies.)     Steve Attwood - 19th October 2011
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