So the couple of days before my cruise to Cyprus were really boring. Class after Class, Midterm after Midterm. I had a feeling that writing about those couple of days for that coming Sunday would be pointless. SO I figured that because my cruise started last Sunday, you all would want to know mass detail about my cruise.
On Sunday (April 5th), I got up early to meet my girlfriends at the Student Village to catch a bus to the Tachana Meer'kazeet (Central Bus Station), to then get on a bus for 3 hours to get to Haifa by 2pm. We ended up getting there around 1pm instead, so we had three hours to kill before having to check our baggage and get on the boat. So we walked to a small cafe down the road to have some brunch. It was really nice to sit and relax with the girls and get to know them a little bit better. I had known a couple of them from classes, and such, but two I didn't know very well so we all got to sit and chit-chat and talk about how amazingly excited we were for the cruise.
Around 3pm we walked back to the terminal and checked in our bags. We had to separate ourselves by room because that was the way that they were putting us through security. In my room was Nicole, Ayala, and Justin (Nicole's cousin), and in the other room was Hannah, Hannah (pronounced Honnah), Lindsey, and Molly. Justin's friend Jess also came, but because he got there at the last minute he was in a room by himself on a lower level.
When we got on the boat we got our room keys and set off to check out our rooms. We opened the door and we were in shock. I didn't know whether to cry in disappointment or laugh. The room smaller then a single bed room at Wagner College, with bunk beds. We had NO room whatsoever to move around without being on top on each other. We figured that our ridicules room would be the least of our problems, so we sucked it up, put our things away and explored the boat. We went to the main deck where there was a pool, hot tub, snacks and drinks to start the cruise off. Hannah brought her cards and we all played a couple games before the boat started moving. There was then a huge crash of music, and a man announcing "THE ROYAL IRIS DANCERS!!!!" Yes, this was all real, there were 4 female dancers standing on the outside parts of the pool dancing to the electric slide "remix." I swear it was like a car crash, we wanted to just look away and laugh, but we could not pull our eyes away.
After the "pre-dinner entertainment" we ate dinner together and hung out in the front of the ship, looking out over the dark water and no land ahead. I felt complete relaxation at that very moment. I felt free and happy and realized for the first time that I was on vacation. The rest of the night consisted of running around the ship, discovering new rooms, going all the way to the top of the ship (where we almost got thrown off the boat by the wind), and then ending the night with a midnight meal. Yes I said it, a midnight meal. The cruise included 4 meals a day; breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a midnight snack/meal that I think we all went to EVERY night. It just hit the spot after a long night of fun and complete craziness.
The next morning we had arrived in Cyprus, YAYAYAYAYY!!!! It was absolutely beautiful, we docked at the Cyprus sea port, and got all of our stuff together to go to the beach. I think we walked for about 2 miles before reaching the beach. We all then got so sunbeds that were sitting around, and put our stuff out. Hannah, Justin, Jess, and I then ran to the water and dove right in. The water was perfectly cold, definitely not freezing, and the sand bar went out for at least a mile, we then got really tired and walked back to our chairs. Right when we got back there was a man that was asking for our tickets to use the sunbeds. We told the man that we didn't know that we had to pay for them, and that the only money we had on us were Shekels (Israeli money). We also told him that we tried to exchange our money for euros but that the bank would not let us. He then started yelling at us saying that Israeli's are so rude and disrespectful, and leave their trash everywhere, and don't pay for things, among many other crude comments. I then opened my big mouth, which I probably should not have done, and said that we are also Americans and we have a lot of respect for countries that are not out own, and that he can clearly see that we have no trash on us except for our water bottles, which still had water in them. He still just would take it, and we said that we were sorry and then left.
Everyone else wanted to explore Cyprus a little but more, but Ayala and I were just so angry about what had happened that we walked back to the boat and sat on the deck for a little bit before getting ready for dinner. That night some of the girls were not feeling well, so a small group of us got dressed up and walked to a fun bar right next to the beach. We spent a good 3 hours there just hanging out, talking, and enjoying each others company. We got back to the boat around 2am and went to bed.
The next morning we all got up early to have breakfast together, then we all got on a bus that was taking the people on the cruise to another beach/touristy area. It was incredibly sunny out, but also amazingly windy, so we all had our sweaters on, and our hair flying everywhere. Then the funniest thing happened. As we were walking through the little strip of shops a puppy started following us. It was a stray puppy, and attached himself to us right away. He ran on the beach with us, and then slept in the middle of the group and would not move until we left. It was so cute, he was so sweet, and fun. He kept getting into our stuff or chewing our clothes (because the wind was blowing it everywhere), and when we had to get back onto the bus, he just sat staring at the buses leave. We all felt so bad, and we didn't know what was going to happen to him, we all secretly wished that we could hide him in our bags, and sneak him onto the boat.
When we got back to the boat we were all so exhausted that we took a 3 hour nap until dinner. It was crazy, we woke up so groggy, and found that the boat was moving (we were heading back to Haifa) so we all ended up feeling a bit sick from the boat rocking back and forth. The rest of that night consisted of a quiet dinner, a little bit of dancing in the boats disco, and chilling out side for a couple of hours before going to bed.
The next morning we were woken up at 6am by an announcement saying that we had arrived in Haifa and that we had to leave the boat in an hour. Basically, we got to Haifa two hours early, and they were kicking us off the boat because of that reason. We all rushed to get our stuff together, and eat a very fast breakfast before running to catch a bus to the central bus station, to then get on another bus to take the 3 hour ride back to Jerusalem. The cruise was really nice over all. There were definitely some parts where I was not happy with the organization of everything, but when we were actually having a good time, it was a REALLY good time. I loved hanging out with my friends that I already knew, and then making new friends that I hope to hang out with in the future during my last bit of school that is left.
It is now Pesach and I am spending the first Seder with my Cousins, and I am so very excited!!!
Pesach here I come!!!