Ship to shore: Mediterranean cruise blog

"Attention Ship's Company ... Would Captain Stubing please report to the Spartan Leather Party on the Lido Deck Aft...and don't bring Vicki..." Dennis Hensley takes to the high seas with sister-company RSVP's 10-day Mediterranean Odyssey cruise.



Day 4: "Sign of the times"

Sunday, August 12, On the way to Dubrovnik

There are stone
penises carved into the sidewalks in the ancient city of
Pompeii. This, our guide tells us, is so that the horndogs
of yore could find the brothels no matter what
language they spoke.

My BF John
Michael and our two new friends from Florida, John and
Angel, made it to Pompeii on our own by taking a train
from the Naples train station. This gave us a great
feeling of accomplishment. No stuffy tour busses for
us. We're too resourceful and bad-ass for such things. There
was a tour leaving the train station right after we got
there so we caught a bit of that action.

Our guide, Maria,
insisted on wearing heels through the rubble of Pompeii
because she "hates gymnastic shoes." You have to admire
that. Maria told us that the ancient Pompeii people
used to wash their clothes in urine then she showed us
paintings on the walls of a brothel featuring couples
in various acts of intimacy. Apparently, you could just
point to what you want, like a menu at Denny's.

In my last entry,
I wrote about our neighbors who have nude Colt models
on their door with Post-It's over their genitals. We lift
one each morning to tell us what day we're going to
have. As predicted, Messina, our second port, was a
bit flaccid although we did enjoy the cannelloni
siciliani, a specialty of the region.

There's another
door sign down the hall from us that basically says 'top
man seeks bottoms.' There's some of clever wordplay involved
but that's the gist of it. Then at the bottom of the
sheet, there are tabs with the guy's phone number on
it that you can tear off--like he's trying to sell a
futon or something. He started the cruise with fifteen tabs
and there are 6 left as this writing and this is like
day 4. It pays to advertise.

The entertainment
so far has been fantastic. Ant, comic and Celebrity
Fit Club
host, cracked me up with tales of his
flight attendant days and Kristine W "brought the room
down a little bit" with a mellow set of jazz-tinged
tunes that showed off her powerhouse voice. My fave
act, though, is Chicago's own Amy Armstrong and her partner
in crime Freddy on the keyboards. Amy's a wonderful
interpreter of songs but she's also outrageously
funny. If there were any justice in the world, she'd
have Sandra Bernhard's career. And she's warm and lovely
offstage as well. I'm going to be whatever her version
of a Claymate is.

One of her
signature songs is "Old Friend," about two old friends
who get together periodically, get drunk and "talk till
two." When she started into it, this gay in the row in
front of us leapt to his feet, threw his arms out and
yelled, "Oh my God, this is my favorite song in the
world!" I don't think he was trying to make a scene,
although he did. I think he was just overcome. It was a
hilarious five-alarm queen out. The next show, that
might be me.

After Amy's show,
we lost at Bingo but got a big kick out of the
evening's holier-than-everyone hostess, Sister Helen (AKA
comedian Paul J. Williams) The crowd almost got
violent, though, when the night's big winner turned
out to be the partner of the doctor who had just won the
previous game. Doctors and their hot partners don't need to
win Bingo once, let alone twice in a row...

Yesterday was our
only Greek port, Corfu, where we swam in the sea and
tried to order humus from a local restaurant but they didn't
carry it. What? Still, it was a raging day, as
predicted by the Colt door earlier that morning. Next
is Dubrovnick. I don't know if there are going to be
penis tiles on the ground, but if we get lost, maybe we can
just ask the top guy down the hall for directions. He
seems friendly enough. In fact, I think I'll go tear
of a tab from his door sign so I'll have his number.

Tags: Travel