Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Celtic Thunder Cruise 2013 - Day 5

November 5th, 2013
Grand Caymans (At Port)

Today was amazing—up until the late afternoon. Then it got better again.

I took a lot of pictures of the sunrise! Here those are.

The sunrise as viewed from the back of the ship, I believe.

The water with the sun making it all blindingly bright.

Wasn't the sunrise gorgeous?!

I don't know if you can see it, but that's a rainbow! :D

This is the sunrise picture I'm most proud of. ^_^

I woke up and, as per usual, spent most of the morning eating breakfast and watching TV. I was looking forward to another day of wandering the ship looking for singers, dancers, musicians... I also was looking forward to talking to Sammi again.

Not much happened until we left the ship to go to port; there were no events going on since most people were leaving for port. We waited until everyone else had left so that we could leave without being jostled by crowds. When we left the ship, we had to board a smaller boat that the crew called a ‘tender’.

There isn’t much to say about the Grand Caymans; I took pictures, but the town was pretty boring, and the pictures weren't any good, so I'm not going to show them. XD About 50% of all the stores were diamond or jewelry stores. We weren’t even approached by any interesting characters. We ended up going back to the tenders after about an hour.

Then we had to sit and wait for enough passengers to return so that the tender could go back to the ship. To my happiness, Goitse was sitting in front, and I could see them. I wished I could go talk to them, but I respected their privacy and stayed where I was. I just sat there and watched Tadhg smile. XD It wasn't creepy; I was just shocked that he could be so happy when it was so hot and humid. o_O

Eventually, we got back to the ship. I went up to the front so I could be prepared to leave the tender boat. I was acutely aware that Goitse was right behind me, and struggled not to look over my shoulder and say hello.

Then, a few minutes later, I was back on the ship and heading for our room. We cleaned ourselves up, and then headed out onto the Lido Deck to watch Goitse play their music. I found Sammi, and we chatted. She asked me if I would later photograph her and the Goitse band, and I said I would.

This is a life preserver I took a picture of; it was hanging on the wall next to one of the pools.

Lo and behold, a bit later, she spotted George Donaldson, the only Scottish singer in Celtic Thunder. She asked if he would be weirded out if she went and said ‘hello’, since she knew him so well (she does know him fairly well), and I said he probably wouldn’t. I asked if she would mind me tagging along and getting a photo, and she said ‘not at all’.

We made our way up to that section of the deck, and stood there, waiting for other women to stop talking to him. Sammi said hello to him, and they chatted for a few minutes. When they stopped, I tentatively moved forward and asked if he would mind taking a picture with me. He said he didn’t mind, and I gave Sammi the camera.

George is 42, and a very fatherly guy to most people. I was apparently no exception—he put his arm around my shoulder and gave me a very tight side-hug. It was tight enough that I had to rest my head on his shoulder so it wasn’t quite as awkward. Sammi snapped the picture, and I thanked George before leaving with Sammi again.

Me and George Donaldson! ^_^

(Side-note, but the hug wasn’t inappropriate at all. :P One thing I’ve noticed about the Irish and Scottish guys is that they tend to hug people a lot, no matter who they are, and usually pretty tight. It doesn’t mean there’s anything creepy going on, and it didn’t now.)

I showed Mom the picture, and then went back to listening to Goitse. After they finished, Sammi gave me her camera and headed up the stairs to get her picture taken. I followed, and snapped photos of her and each of the musicians individually.

Colm Phelan had mentioned his full name before the show. So after I took the picture of him and Sammi, I just had to do it. I asked, “Your last name means ‘wolf’ in Gaelic, doesn’t it?”

He gave me an honest-to-goodness grin and exclaimed, “Very good! It does indeed! How do you know that?”

I shrugged in a shy way and explained that I study both names and Gaelic. He raised an eyebrow and asked, “So what does my first name mean?”

I had looked it up before, but I didn’t remember what it had meant. He gave me a hint by pretending to fly like a bird. I ran off a list of guesses—eagle, hawk, falcon, etc.—but none were right. He said something I couldn’t understand, and didn’t understand when he repeated it.

Then he told me, “Bird of love. The dove; ‘dove’.”

It all came back to me and I nodded, grinning. “That’s it!”

After that, I headed back to the room to get ready for Keith Harkin’s solo show. Last minute, I decided to go up to the top of the ship to see what happened with George Donaldson’s mini-golf tournament—I was planning on just staying there until 3pm, when I would head down to Keith’s show.

Here be the mini-golf course.

Sadly, George didn’t appear until after I left. I chatted to someone for a few minutes; just a random woman whose shirt looked very nice—as it turns out, she had made it herself.

I gave up on waiting for George and headed for the stairs. As I did so, I spotted one of the employees who worked on the ship. His nickname, which had been given to him on the previous cruise ship he had worked one, was Sassy. His real name—or, at least, the name he was using for this cruise—was Kevin, but since I already know a Kevin in person, the name Sassy stuck and was easier for me to remember. That’s what I continue to call him.

I had wanted to take a photo with him for a day or two now, but hadn’t seen him until now. I hesitated, and then headed down the stairs for the Lido Deck.

Halfway there, I changed my mind and ran back up the steps, telling Larry I was going to get a picture taken with Sassy and that I would meet him and Mom back at the room. I walked onto the mini-golf course.

Sammi, who was up there by this point, asked me if I had changed my mind about Keith’s show and was going to stay. I told her I wasn’t, that I was just going to take a photo with Sassy. She readily held out her hand, and I gave her the camera.

I waited for Sassy to get off of his phone, and then went up and said, “Excuse me.” He looked down at me and gave me a bright grin, asking, “Yes?”

I said something like, “Some people call you Sassy, right?” I wanted to make totally certain he was the guy I was looking for, even though his unique voice told me that.

He explained that that had been a nickname of his on a previous cruise. Sammi piped up, “Meaning, ‘don’t call him that anymore’.”

I laughed, and then explained, “Well, I was wondering if I could take a picture with you?”

He looked surprised for a split second, then pleased, and then said, “Of course. I’m not Celtic Thunder, but I can try.”

Sammi cut in again as I stood next to Sassy; she said, “You’re not, but she loves you anyway!”

Sassy put his arm around my shoulder, and a few seconds later, Sammi snapped the photo. I thanked Sassy, then Sammi, and then headed downstairs to go to Keith’s solo show. 

Me and Sassy. XD

When I reached where it was, I found that it was a big theatre. The reason I had wanted to go was because I wanted the chance to take a picture with him. When I found out it was in a huge theatre, I was a tad disappointed but listened to the music anyway.

I know it's a horrible picture, but this is Keith in his solo show. :D

Then someone behind me mentioned that Ryan Kelly, one of the other singers, was doing a pub quiz in one of the lounges—a much smaller space. I asked Mom if we could just opt out and go there instead; I could listen to Keith’s music any time, and always could pay for concerts later on in life. How many chances did I get to listen to Ryan host a quiz, or chances to take photographs with a singer in a smaller room (meaning less crowding than a theatre)?

She said she would check on Larry (who had decided to go back to the golf tournament) to make sure he wasn’t getting into trouble, and then if I wanted to, when she came back, we could go to the quiz.

When she returned, I was waiting for her by the door. We headed to the Ionian Lounge to watch Ryan’s quiz. I had to walk up to the ship employee at the front of the room to ask him if there was a group that still needed another team member. He turned to his microphone and asked if any teams needed another member. Someone raised their hand, and I made my way through the small crowd of people towards them.

The quiz was fun. Ryan had fifty questions, and he sat on a chair at the front of the room by the microphone. He asked each question, and as I found out, the goal was to write your team’s answers down silently—not shout them out. *goes crimson* In my defense, lots of others were doing that too, not just me.

This is Ryan Kelly, reading out one of the questions.

Ryan smiling. ^_^

So that’s what we did. At the end, after the winning team (not mine) received their prizes, I started for the front of the room to timidly ask Ryan if he would mind getting a picture with me before he left.

That’s when the fun started. *sarcasm* :P

All of these elderly women (though some were in their forties), who had lots of money and—as many bragged—had seen Celtic Thunder in concerts more than five times, and had lots of pictures of themselves with the band members, started shoving their way past me to get to Ryan.

I’m not used to this sort of thing, so I was quite confused, and my polite side kept wanting to shut me up and let everyone swarm past. I tried my best to get through. Poor Ryan’s bodyguard/agent eventually had to usher him out.

I left the room to go with Mom back up to the room. I was now feeling rather snappish—I was tired, stressed, and annoyed.

See, as I later explained to Mom... I have a bit of a problem when it comes to elderly, privileged people. :P I don’t hate anyone, certainly not. But when elderly people who have tons of money to spare and have already used it to receive all sorts of crazy things act like each opportunity—no matter how many times they’ve taken the same opportunity—is brand new.

In other words, I can’t stand it when they use their money to meet celebrities, and then have the audacity to shove past other people who can’t go to concerts that often to do the same thing they’ve done dozens of times. :P

I know, I’m dumb. But hey, I have my pet peeves, same as anyone else. Mine are just... a lot more stupid than other people’s.

Anyway, after my mom found out why I was snapping at her and Larry, she stopped getting upset with me. We spent the rest of the day wandering around, as far as I remember. Then, after dinner, we made our way to the Caribbean Lounge to watch Celtic Thunder Feud—the ship’s version of the popular game show, Family Feud.

The Celtic Thunder Feud screen.

The entire Celtic Thunder group - Keith Harkin, Emmet Cahill, Ryan Kelly, Colm Keegan, Neil Byrne, and George Donaldson.

Keith giving the audience a silly look.

The Celtic Thunder lads waiting for the other team to answer.
It was hilarious, though some of the questions ended up as typical boy humour. :P Hey, what can you expect from six men who travel with each other several months nonstop out of the year in a tour bus doing concerts, huh? Especially when 90% of the crew is also men.

Anyway. XD I got some of the game on video, and I will go through the videos and attempt to figure out which ones are appropriate. Then I’ll upload those to YouTube along with all my other videos.

After that, we went back to our room. I ‘had school’ to do... really, I just wanted to talk to one of my best friends.

The problem? I only had fifteen minutes left. I rushed through the assignments I had to do, simultaneously chatting with my good friend. But then Mom wanted me to get off and save more than five minutes so she could check the email before we disembarked the ship.

I was waiting for my friend to say goodbye, but Mom was in the background snapping at me. I finally had  to shut down the internet... leaving only four minutes to use to check the email.

She realized I had been chatting to someone, and I got a much-deserved yelling-at. :P I can be a fool sometimes, and I know it. After that was over, we decided to go wander the deck. At... I think 10pm... the Celtic Thunder musicians (not to be confused with the actual singers) would be in the Thunder Pub, and I wanted to go to see if I could possibly get my picture taken with them as well.

An adorable folded-towel-elephant that Samuel, our steward, made for us while we were at dinner.

The Celtic Thunder screen out on the Lido Deck.

Me being a moron and taking random selfies. :P

My brother avoiding the camera, as usual, only this time it was Sherlock Holmes style.

Some yummylicious-looking chocolate rum fudge I wanted to buy but knew I couldn't. XD

We sat out on the Lido Deck for a while, and then made our way to the Thunder Pub. The musicians weren’t there yet—but a lot of people were. There were no nearby seats left, so I stood and leaned against the wall, fiddling with my camera.

Shortly after, one of the employees approached me with a chair and set it down, saying, “Here you are, ma’am.”

I felt all warm and fuzzy inside, thanked him, and sat down. Then I went back to fiddling with my camera.

My hand, along with my brand-new bracelet. It says 'Theodora'.

The pretty shamrock pattern on the carpet. XD

The musicians arrived and started tuning their instruments. Then Mom came up to me and sat down in another chair that the employee had provided.

A few minutes later, she nodded to a point across the room and whispered, “Isn’t that one of the singers?”

I strained to see through the dimly-lit atmosphere, and was shocked to see none other than Keith Harkin standing across the room. I think I may have placed my hand over my mouth and murmured, “Oh my gosh, I cannot believe this.”

She urged me to go up to him quickly and ask for a picture before everyone noticed and mobbed him. I hesitated, reluctant, but got up my courage and walked up to him. I tapped him on the shoulder, and when he looked at me, asked him if he would mind taking a photo with me. He said, “Of course not!”

I pointed across the room to where Mom had the camera ready, and then stood next to Keith. He put an arm on my shoulder, and Mom snapped a photo. Keith said, “There ya go.” I thanked him and went back over to Mom.

Me and Keith Harkin! :D

Unfortunately, people then started approaching Keith. :P He wasn’t mobbed, but one person after another kept coming up to him. Eventually, he hid behind one of the columns in the bar so that people walking past in the hallway wouldn’t notice him (they kept noticing him from out there).

Then he inconspicuously sat down at the piano bar where the musicians were playing. Everyone was so focused on the musicians, they didn’t even notice that one of the singers had sat down across or beside them.

I filmed a bit of the musicians’ show, and then Mom said that we should go. I had already gotten the one photo Sammi had told me I would never get—one with Keith—and that should be good enough. (Yes... Mom is very competitive. :P) I rather wanted to stay up later and wait for the musicians to finish, but I didn’t dare argue. I followed her back to the room, where I immediately uploaded the videos and photos to my laptop and typed in this journal until bedtime.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 6
Day 7


  1. I was hoping you would post a picture of the bracelet.... That is lovely. :)

    A lot of different cultures that I've had contact with seem to hug and things a lot more.... I have begun to have the feeling that America is sort of the odd one out when it comes to that. Kind of weird. 0.o

    1. Aw, thanks. :) I do absolutely love it.

      I know, isn't that strange? o_O It's another reason why I think I'd love to live in a different country. XD