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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Laugh Track

In case your cruise travel companions are not entertaining enough, fear not, the mass market cruise ships have a lot going on to keep you laughing from the day you board to the day you get off. 
First, there are the contests. You’ll often find a hairy legs or belly flop contest around the main pool, which gives five minutes of fame to some gregarious (and often inebriated) guys and laughs for the rest of us.
Often, the ships feature comedians as headliners for the evening entertainment, some of whom have been on television. Sometimes, the comedians will do additional special performances late at night, when the kids are safely asleep, and their humor can get more risqué.

Then there are the game shows, like the “Marriage Game.” Most of the major ships have some version of this takeoff on the '60s/'70s “Newlywed Game.” If you never saw it, here’s how it works: three couples who have been married different lengths of time are chosen from the audience. The men and women are separated and sequestered, and when they come back together, must guess how their spouses answered a variety of questions.
As you might surmise, the questions are about as provocative as you can get—ranging from “Where was the most unusual place you ‘did it’?” to “What’s your wife’s bra size?” and perhaps the most dicey one I’ve heard, “If your wife died, which of her friends or family would you marry?”
You don’t need alcohol to find the laughs during this often raucous event. But you will need to go early to get a seat—its reputation has spread, and the small theaters fill up quickly.
Aside from the formal entertainment, some of the cruise lines feature crew talent shows. While you may not at first glance think this is going get you giggling, you need to see one for yourself. On a recent Princess trip, we signed up for a galley (kitchen) tour and were surprised to see it kicked off with crew skits, emceed by an Eastern European who had us in stiches. We were almost disappointed to start the tour.

And while we’re on the subject of the crew, even some of the cruise directors think they’re comedians. Some are not so successful. Others, more so. Particularly when they share the wacked out things we cruisers say, like this one: “Does the crew sleep on board?”

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