Friday, March 05, 2010

Wretched excess
















The latest LasVegas hotel monstrosity? A new development for tourists in Bahrain? Nope -- it's the just-launched cruise ship Oasis, the biggest ever built. It has 16 decks, carries 6,300 passengers, cost $1.4 billion, and has seven "distinctly themed neighborhoods, each with its own unique shops, restaurants and bars to keep guest entertained during the evenings and the days where there is no port of call." For kids, there's a carousel on deck, buffets featuring animals carved from fruit, science labs, crafts centers and play theater. You can also get certified for scuba diving, take an ice-skating lesson, ride a zip line, play basketball, spar in a boxing ring, have a massage or see a version of the Broadway show "Hairspray" (see more photos here).

Snatches of conversations overheard on the maiden voyage:

"Wow, I can hardly feel the deck moving! This is some smooth sailing."
"Well, I can feel it moving... wait -- what? What deck? Whattya talkin' about?"
"Dude, we're on a ship. A big honkin' ship."
"Whoah. I thought I'd just had too many beers playing craps. No wonder the dice keep rolling."

"Mom, I'm BORED."
"So go to the science lab."
"I did that this morning, I mixed some shit together and it blew up and now I'm not allowed in there any more."
"Then go ice-skating."
"I did that too. But I fell down and the fucking Zamboni almost ran me over."
"Watch your mouth, young man... Go climb a rock wall without a harness, or ride the zip line right off the poop deck and into the damn ocean. Just quit buggin' me while Sven is giving me a massage. A little lower, Sven... mmm, yeah..."
"Gross. I'm going to the multimedia room equipped with a four-color offset press so I can make a fake ID and go to one of the 73 bars on this tub."
"Fine, whatever. Hey, before you go, pass me that pitcher of margueritas... Oh, SVEN!"

"Five floors of luxury suites, a garden bigger than Central Park... this is a lovely hotel, honey."
"Um, yeah."
"I'm glad I talked you out of going on that cruise -- you know how afraid of boats I am. And it was so cute that you made me wear a blindfold until we got into our swanky room!"
"Just an old romantic, that's me."
* Sudden lurch *
"AAAAAAH! What's happening?! The fucking hotel is turning UPSIDE DOWN! And now a giant aluminum palm tree is falling on my head -- OW!"
(sobs) "Not this whale! NOT THIS WHALE!"

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