Jamie McGonnigal took to the high seas with Rosie and R Family Cruises. Below are excerpts from his journal and his adventures on the Norwegian Dawn
DAY 1, Sunday, July 11, 2004
Arrived at the pier at 2:30 and proceeded to wait in several lines. With credentials in hand, we got on line to board with our friends Julia Murney, Gavin Creel and Jen Bender - shortly to be joined by Anika Larsen and Brian Nash. Looking at the talent surrounding me, I knew it would be a hell of an entertaining cruise.
So after a few more lines, we're on the boat. It's FREAKIN' HUGE! Several children and their gay and lesbian parents. I mean a LOT of kids. It's kind of exciting since I'm someone who's so interested in activism, to see so many 'non-traditional families.'
Before we departed NYC, we went through the 'Lifeboat Emergency Drill.' We all proceeded from our staterooms in huge, rather bulky, and always ridiculous-looking life jackets. I'm sorry, but NO one looks good in one of these. On the way to the lifeboat however, Mick and I are accosted, hugged and kissed by a small African-American woman who was THRILLED to see us! 'It's SO good to see you guys' you look WONDERFUL' This really ain't my crowd-- all these lesbians..HAHAHAHA'Get me the hell outta here.' It wasn't until we both noticed the smell of liquor on her that we realized neither one of us actually knew her and that the party had already begun!
We left the dock and started our journey down the Hudson, passing the Statue of Liberty (breathtaking) and then going under the VerrazzanoBridge. We quickly left the city behind and it was time to explore'
Taking in the vast ship, I bumped into some more pals, Billy Porter, Seth Rudetsky, and the ever-Scottish Euan Morton. I found SEVERAL hot tubs located on every other corner of the Norwegian Dawn. I could get used to this'
After dinner at the Garden Cafe', Mick and I were entertained by Jean Ann Ryan's BOLLYWOOD. The only traditional cruise entertainment we would be receiving here on the ship. It was cheesy as all get-out , (what you'd expect) but I must say, it was all rather impressive. The acrobatics and stunt/trick work was really top-notch ' it was kind of a Cirque do SoGay meets Bombay Dreams meets Moulin Rouge. Overall REALLY well-done.
After that, we stopped by the lounge area to hear Bobby Peaco and Jennifer Kruskamp. This girl is SO brilliant. I met her in January when I directed the Nightlife Awards at Town Hall. If anyone has the chance to EVER hear her, consider it a blessing that you live in NYC, where the greatest talent in the world can be heard for the price of a martini (or two).
I finished the evening in one of those hot tubs I had scouted in the front of the board earlier in the day. I just couldn't wait to gaze up at the stars - a sight you don't get to see in New York City that often. It was amazing to be surrounded by darkness, with nothing but the sound of the ship cutting the water. I would have stayed in there all night, but unfortunately we found out that the hot tubs close at 11pm. After leaving the deck, we headed back to the cabin and ordered up some room service before going to bed. Not a bad first day, at all. I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings!