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.

BY Dennis Hensley

August 17 2007 12:00 AM ET

Day 6: "Ciao from Italia"

Tuesday, August 14 -- Venice, Italian

Ciao, amici! We
just arrived in Venice, Italy and it's jigsaw puzzle
pretty everywhere you look. We're here till tomorrow so I'll
write more about it in my next installment.

Yesterday, the
ship was in Dubrovnik, Croatia, one of the most magical
places I've ever visited. The words that come to mind are
enchanting, storybook and pizza. I only say pizza
because I'm in Venice and it's almost time for lunch.
I had visited Dubrovnik around 1990 when I used to
dance on cruise ships and fell in love with it then.
Whenever, I would hear news stories about the war and
unrest in the country during the 1990's, I would
wonder what fate was befalling the enchanting, storybook
old town in Dubrovnik. Well, I'm happy to report that it's
lost little of its charm. Our fearsome
foursome--myself, my boyfriend John-Michael and our
new friends John and Angel--walked around the massive walls
surrounding the old town and though there are some sections
that appear to have suffered something (bombs maybe or
perhaps they're halfway through an episode of
Extreme Make-over: Home Edition), it's still
very much as I remember it.

The biggest laugh
of the day came when we followed the sign that said
"Cold Drinks and Beautiful View" and grabbed a soda at a
cliff-side cafe that overlooked the Adriatic Sea. Angel, it
seems, is some kind of cat whisperer. He'd pick up
every animal we'd come upon. He spotted a cute black
and white cat at the cafe, leaned over to a
neighboring diner who he had never met and said, "Can you
pass me that cat, please?" Like he was asking for the
sugar or something. Maybe you had to be there.

We returned to
the ship with plenty of time to get ready for the Spartan
Leather Party on the aft end. It was quite a scene, with
cod-pieces and arm bands and muscle-bound CPA's
getting to live out their 300 fantasies for a
night. I'm always curious to see what the regular ship's
crew makes of gay crowd. They seemed to be loving it and I
totally get it. Believe me, I've worked on ship's and
most times the passengers are in their early hundreds
so to have some lively leathermen onboard buying
drinks and copping the odd feel is like a breath of fresh
air. A breath of fresh air that smells like poppers.

In my first blog,
I referred to a couple we met at the airport on day
one; the "what happens on the ship stays on the ship"
couple. They're two of my fave people now and one of
them, Thom, showed up to the Spartan party in full
drag, with a feather hat and dark glasses. "I thought
they said feather party, not leather party!" he explained,
adding that they learned the hard way that leather's too
heavy to schlep from home. Feathers are much more
manageable. The things you learn.

Tags: Travel

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