Mighty challenge for the Captain

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The excitement is mounting – one week from today I will be stepping aboard Allure of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale, ready for a three-night cruise. Last time I was on board, in the shipyard at Turku, Finland, there were workmen crawling all over the vessel and I had to wear a hard hat and protective boots.
Now the ship is complete. US media, who don’t want to work over the Thanksgiving holiday, will be sailing this weekend, and it is being used as the location for scenes from Adam Sandler’s new movie Jack and Jill, also starring Katie Holmes and Al Pacino.
I am looking forward to eating dinner in the Samba Grill churrascaria restaurant, sipping a margarita and tasting the tortilla crisps in Rita’s Cantina, grabbing a snack from the Dog House, and sitting down in the theatre to watch the musical Chicago – all new features different from those on sister ship Oasis of the Seas.
It won’t all be relaxation and fun, however. Royal Caribbean are determined to put me to work for some reason. They have put together a series of challenges which they want me to tackle.
I’d settle for a giant bar crawl through the ship’s 30 eating and drinking venues, consuming my bodyweight in food and adult beverages, but there isn’t room in my suitcase for the XXXXL clothes I would need at the end of that marathon.
So it looks like I’ll have to choose from the tasks on their list. There won’t be time for all of them, so I’m looking for your help in picking the top three. Here’s what Royal Caribbean suggest I could do:

Delivering perfect drinks, snacks and meals at all times is the mission of the 2,413 crew on Allure. What happens when Captain Greybeard joins the team in the Cupcake Cupboard – one of the most popular venues onboard sister ship Oasis of the Seas – to ice cup cakes with artistic precision and creative flair?

Fish net stockings and top hats at the ready as Captain Greybeard slips into his dancing shoes to join some of the cast from Chicago. As the Broadway show gears up to its premiere onboard, could the Captain steal a headline role and learn how to tap his toes as well as he taps his keyboard when writing the Captain Greybeard blog?

After a Masterchef-style contest, Molly Brandt landed the job of a lifetime: Chef de Cuisine of the 150 Central Park restaurant on the ship. Will Captain Greybeard be able to cut it as he tests his cookery skills in his very own Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge with Molly? Or would he be more suited to flipping burgers at Johnny Rockets, or cooking hot dogs at the Dog House?

He thinks he’s funny – some people think he’s a joke – but could Captain Greybeard have the audience splitting their sides with laughter during an improv set in the Comedy Club? Or would he be gonged off the stage in seconds?

Shrek, Princess Fiona, Donkey … and Captain Greybeard? The Captain takes part in the DreamWorks parade through the Royal Promenade. He may even be persuaded to fall under a magic spell and dance the length of the ship, but let’s not go ‘ogre’board

Hundreds of families will be celebrating Thanksgiving on board the ship in traditional style – with a turkey dinner. How many of the hundreds of turkeys to be roasted next Thursday could Captain Greybeard stuff in 15 minutes?

The suggestions all sound like fun – to varying degrees – but what I would really like to do is sit in the big black chair at the centre of the bridge, tell the ship’s master, Captain Hernan Zini, to take a break for a while, and assume command of the ship myself. No need to prepare my muscles to wrestle with a giant wheel, the ship is controlled by a tiny joystick, and I could have the time of my life throwing sharp turns, pulling an emergency stop, and then accelerating back to full speed again, while the Royal Caribbean bosses hold their breath as their billion dollar baby is at my mercy.
What do you think? Please add your comments below, or on Captain Greybeard’s Facebook page to help me decide. And if you have any ideas of your own, add those as well. I look forward to hearing from you.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:16+00:00 16 November 2010|Cruise Entertainment, Cruise Food & Drink|18 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. simone 16 November 2010 at 10:14 am - Reply

    dancing with chicago

  2. Ann 16 November 2010 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Can you please stuff as many turkeys as possible while telling jokes and dancing in fishnets? A vote for all those three challenges…

  3. Adam Coulter 16 November 2010 at 10:35 am - Reply

    I would love to see you doing a stand-up improv routine – I reckon you’d be better than Adam Sandler!

  4. Briony 16 November 2010 at 10:40 am - Reply

    We’d like to see you being creative in cupcake cupboard and make some lovely cakes for the PR team who will be with you … we’ll need feeding lovely things to keep us sweet!

  5. Andy Goole 16 November 2010 at 10:42 am - Reply

    No no no Ann, are you mad? Capt Greybeard in fishnets?
    I hear the ship needs a subject to practice its man-overboard skills on.

  6. Al Pacino 16 November 2010 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Adam Sandler will extend the filming schedule for Jack and Jill so you can take part.
    I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse

  7. Esther 16 November 2010 at 10:50 am - Reply

    tap dancing up the length of the ship while creatively icing cup cakes sounds good to me ..

  8. Alan Hart 16 November 2010 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Razzle dazzle ’em, John. How they chose Richard Gere to play Billy Flynn in Chicago rather than you is one of Hollywood’s greatest mysteries.

  9. Russ 16 November 2010 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Has to be the stand up routine, you’re not as funny as you think and I’d love to see you bomb on stage!

  10. Carolyn Spencer Brown 16 November 2010 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    I’m going for the comedy club. And want to see video!

  11. Captain Greybeard jnr 16 November 2010 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Nowthen big bro, the choice has to be:
    1. Chicago
    2. Stuffing Turkeys
    3. Stand-up (let me know if you need any material)
    I presume there will be a record for posterity of the goings-on?

  12. Billy Flynn 16 November 2010 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Roxie Hart wants to see how you measure up. Shame Mrs Captain won’t be there to witness it!

  13. STEVE GEBBETT 16 November 2010 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    A guest chef stint would be brilliant, John

  14. STEVE GEBBETT 16 November 2010 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    A guest chef stint would be real food for thought for you John!

  15. Cruise Vacation 16 November 2010 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    I’m looking forward to a cruise on Allure of the Seas. I just got back from my first Royal Caribbean cruise on Freedom Of The Seas. I know some people prefer either Carnival or Royal Caribben, but I think they’re both about equal.

  16. Virginia Monsoon 16 November 2010 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Challenge: Captain Greybeard becomes Captain Bluebeard! At least you get to keep it, you just have to dye it! (Red would do too.)

  17. Jane 17 November 2010 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere about donkeys and asses. But as this is a family ship, I’ll go for standup while tap dancing across the stage in fishnets. Family? Maybe not.

  18. Steve Dyson 18 November 2010 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Deffo keen on having copied of pix of you in fishnets… that’s number one. Hearing how you perform in comedy should also be a laugh (boom, boom). And yes, stuffing Turkeys is the third one… it takes ages to gets the bits of giblets out of your finger nails!

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