The weekend I turned 16 was one I will never forget. My parents had a proposition for me: I could either have a sweet 16, or they’d get me a car when I turned 17. Obviously I chose the latter. Little did I know what my parents had in store for me if I decided against the party: a cruise to the Bahamas with my best friend. On top of the fact that I was going to get to spend 4 days relaxing on a beach with my would-be-sister, they told me we were even getting our own room! This was a complete surprise and by far the most extravagant thing anyone had ever done for my birthday, and it didn’t stop there.
Upon arriving on the boat, my parents sent Tara (my best friend) on a quest to keep me distracted which wasn’t too difficult as the boat was huge and we spent this time exploring all the decks. We headed back to our room only to open the door and find the floor inundated with balloons, streamers hanging from the ceiling, a life-size cutout of Snow White (a reference and salute to my childhood hero), and a banner that read “Dalal’s 16th Birthday Cruise”. And this was only the beginning.
The memories we got to share on this trip are extensive, if not innumerable. Tara, my family, and I went parasailing, got a full spa treatment, went jet skiing, dined like kings, met the captain at a show on the night of my birthday, gave my balloons faces and names, shopped for one-of-a-kind souvenirs at Coco Cay, and swam in the crystal clear ocean.
On the afternoon of my birthday, after getting back from the beach, we found out that the ship had a Johnny Rockets, which I had never heard of before. As soon as we walked in, however, I found myself in love with the place. With its kitschy feel and retro design, it made me feel like it was something right out of Grease. We had milkshakes and hamburgers and then headed back to our rooms.
At night, we all got dolled up and headed to the cruise ship’s gourmet restaurant, where we had dinner and then cut a cake topped with a Snow White doll. Then, when my parents and sister headed off to their room, Tara and I headed to the teen club which, as it turned out, had not one a single soul inside. Not to be deterred on our quest to make the night a good one, we went back to our cabin, changed out of our heels and makeup, and had a lazy night in watching television, staying up all hours talking.
Upon our arrival at the Miami port, neither of us wanted to say goodbye to the ship. Needless to say it was a weekend that will embedded in my brain forever as the fondest of memories.
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