So last night we were booked on a dinner cruise around Sydney Harbor. We were both looking forward to this, as the harbor really is beautiful.
When we went on our honeymoon a few years ago we had a bad experience with a dinner cruise, so we had made sure to be fairly specific about how we wanted this cruise to be. We made sure we had guaranteed window seating, and did not have to share the table with anyone else.
As we were waiting to board, it became more and more obvious to us that we were to be in for an interesting experience. I don’t wish to sound too posh, but I do wish there was a dress code for this sort of excursion. My lovely wife and I were dolled up to the nines, but we were in line with a group of Korean tourists in t-shits, shorts, flip-flops and plenty of japanese made electronics…
As we boarded we were seated downstairs right next to a stage were a guy was playing an out of tune keyboard. Seriously, I was not even sure an electronic keyboard could be out of tune! Anyway, as we were preparing to depart the dock, the official photographer came by and starting posing my wife and I like marionettes. He then began dragging me out of my seat pulling the table cloth, spilling the champagne… You get the picture. What was curious to me about this guy was that he was using an old film Pentax camera. He was going to be taking photographs of everyone one aboard, and was going to use a film camera to do so. He would then have to go to on onboard darkroom, develop the film, and create the souvenir items to hand out to us all? Surely in this day and age digital cameras and printers are a lot cheaper and time efficient?
The food was not too much to write home about. The Chicken dish I ordered was liberally covered in Tomato Paste completely ruining the subtle seasoning, and Pruscetto ham wrapping. However, my lovely wife seemed to be enjoying her food, at least when I looked up it was gone.
After we had ordered the food the â€œentertainmentâ€ started. This consisted of a close relative of Tutankhamen playing base guitar, with Gandhi on keyboard, and the lead singer being a cross between Dame Shirley Bassey and some frightfull feral cat. The looks, age, and figure was all Shirley, but the talent and singing voice came from the pits of hell.
Let me remind you, we were sitting as close to the stage as physically possible, and had to endure the singer trying to catch my eyes, whilst I avoided the same fate of others who did not avoid the â€œdeath gazeâ€, as she came closer to them exclaiming how she loves toy boys. I think even King Tut on base was once a toy boy of hers, and that didnâ€™t work out for him. I had figured out why the photographer used a film camera. There are no speakers in the dark room, and he was hiding there for the duration of the cruise.
At first we just shouted over the â€œmusicâ€ and the singing, but soon we it was the topic of conversation in of itself. Our private table was not so private as Shirley sang her little heart out increasingly louder, as she noticed we were not paying her the rapturous attention she felt she deserved. Her song selection was from the first edition of â€œHits across the Agesâ€, published in 1980.
We began counting the minutes before we could get off the ship, and weighing chances of survival of swimming ashore as an option. In the end, we got off in Darling Harbor (the first available exit point), and put the dinner cruise idea to bed once and for all.
As we disembarked, and looked for a bar to drown our sorrows, we saw and heard quite a few couples making the early exit the same as us.
Its such a shame, we were so looking forward to this. But to be honest, we had a great night out afterwards, and we have been laughing about this all day!