In February, I went on my first cruise ship voyage. I convinced the patient people at Norwegian Cruise Line to let me do something unthinkable: ride from Miami one-way and jump ship 40 hours later in the Cayman Islands. It’s a good thing I did or I might have jumped overboard. I live-blogged the highs and lows on Facebook. Beware of the meat photo and the jokes from the lounge comic et al.

Lifeboat drill on the Norwegian Dawn. After years of snarky dismissal I'm aboard for the next 40 hours from Miami to Cayman. I convinced the line to let me get off there, thus avoiding the need to dive overboard.

January 23 at 12:43pm

Boarding my cruise ship adventure: we had to fill out health forms. Nearby, a squirrelly dude with tattoos probably created with a fork in a jail cafeteria, punched his female companion in the arm, hissing: "Don't answer yes! They'll lock you in a room till you stop shitting."

January 23 at 6:55pm

Worrisome hunk of meat on the cruise ship buffet. Possibly should be labelled "Stowaway."

January 24 at 8:02am

Tireless singers Jose & Patti work the Atrium Lounge. Their Muzak version of "How Deep Is Your Love" left the crowd listless. Switching to Neil Diamond was boffo. Cheers all around for "They're Coming to America."

January 24 at 11:30am

An art peddler not unlike the legendary Art Fern shows off "an etching by Picasso" during the art auction aboard the Norwegian Sun. Ignoring all etchings jokes, he breathlessly tells the crowd that another Picasso etching "recently sold for $3 million in New York" but now for the duration of the cruise "you can buy this one for only $29,500." Several shills fresh from the tequila tasting contest mumble excitedly...

January 24 at 3:46pm

D-Day at the sausage bar.

January 24 at 5:56pm

The jacuzzi: where your troubles bubble away and the joy of your shipboard adventure begins.

January 24 at 6:31pm

Comic (term used loosely) Dave Heenan yucks it up in the Spinnaker Lounge with a routine that hasn't been fresh since the Andrea Doria went down. I entered to: "Chinese guy says to his wife in bed: 'How 'bout 69?' Wife says: 'I no make you beef and broccoli now!'" When I left - I kid you not - he was telling a long (!) schtick about a priest, a rabbi and Lorena Bobbitt.

January 24 at 8:31pm

Possibly due to the onset of delirium, I really wanted to run in here and yell: "I've found the Poop Deck, but where's the Stacked Deck!?!" [Actually, I'm selling this to Dave Heenan.]

January 24 at 8:44pm

Hearing 'Funky Town' performed by a cover band for the fourth time today, I found some of the hard-working crew on dance duty wearing wigs and polyester in the vain hope they'd inspire some of the crowd to heave their swollen guts erect and join them dancing.

January 25 at 6:43am

If only the dessert bar and its bounty of delectable delights came with maraschino cherries to liven

things up.

January 25 at 7:08am

Bye Norwegian Dawn! Exiting the ship and entering Grand Cayman took two form-filled hours. Normally you only leave the cruise early if you, say, punch a bartender or defile the beige desserts with cherries. Eventually, however, I was with Cayman customs in an office filled with seized cartons of Otis Spunkmeyer™ muffins.

January 25 at 2:22pm

© 2011 Ryan Ver Berkmoes