Soon, I'll be back on a Royal Caribbean Ship that features a Flowrider Surf Simulator, and I'm very afraid! Read on to see what happened in 2011, the last time I took on (dramatic pause) THE FLOWRIDER!
If you have done any reading at all about Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships you know that the ships have two Flowrider Surf Simulators on baord, and that most reviewers share tales of how these powerful wave machines tear the clothing off of women like a sailor on leave. In the short time I watched, I saw a top and a bottom go missing, as well as an earring. Not even a one piece suit will save you, as we saw one woman have a one sided wardrobe malfunction. And I can report that it also tore the pedicure right off my toes.
Now, when it comes to nudity, scientists have studied this issue and they have learned that there is a logarithmic decrease in interest in seeing a persons unclothed tush with the passing of each decade. So while all 6 or 7 billion of the earth's inhabitants think seeing a baby's tush is adorable, and a 20 year old's enjoyable, as you add decades, any interest wanes markedly until (if you are very lucky) when you hit your 70's, that there is just one single person left on the planet who is still interested in seeing your tushie! (Scientists also note that at this point, even YOU will not be interested in seeing your own tushie, assuming of course you can see at all!) Well, I do think of myself as being in pretty good condition for an old broad, but unfortunately, according to the research (which, I should note, I made up entirely!), that at my age, the odds of finding even one of the 6000 passengers on the Oasis being interested in seeing my tush is almost nil.
But did that stop me, even though it's been reported far and wide that people and their suits are parted on the Flow Rider?...oh no! So here is the story of how I came to be one of "those" people. One who parted with my suit on the Flow Rider, and the only consolation is that I was in a small private lesson, very early in the morning, so I only ruined the appetites of 4 or 5 people (My husband is not talking), and to my everlasting good luck, there was no one in the "stands" to record my shame for Youtube. Given that there were only unreliable witnesses (it was early, and I'm sure they were partying the night before!) and no video evidence, I could have pretended that this never happened. But No...in the spirit of full disclosure, in order to make your cruise vacation better and safe, I am willing to... ahem...bare all and tell my tale.
After all my extensive research, I thought I would be safe with a surf bikini with an adjustable tie at the hip and a surf shirt over the sporty top. Very sporty, very secure for real surfing, in a real ocean with real waves. (but clearly no match for ...dramatic pause...the Flow Rider).
We got up and headed right to the sports deck in the morning. Our small group consisted of a young woman, 3 men whose lovely ladies took one look and said " yeah, right, you can take a lesson on that thing, I'll be at the pool", (wise, wise women!) and my hubby and myself. The crew members Andy and a fellow from Brazil whose name escapes me (sorta like my suit bottom!) were wonderful, very patient and explained everything, and then they got us trying out the (dramatic pause) Flowrider
Most of the guys wanted to try stand up as they had boogie boarded earlier in the week. Only my DH and I were complete newbies. The staff do a nice job of riding along beside you, and helping coach you through the moves, which is to jump into the wave, boogie board for a while and then try to rise up onto your knees. Once you've mastered that they encourage you to try some tricks, like "superman" where you toss the board forward and then catch it, or a barrel roll. I think these are encouraged largely just to get you to wipe out so the next person can have their turn, but that's just speculation on my part!
Andy was working with me in the wave when I suddenly felt my bottoms heading south. I reacted quickly and dingtoed my feet, so they caught on my feet rather shooting all the up the wave to the bailout area, where I knew I would have the double shame of having to search for them. (and yet somehow the image of me with my bottom, bare in the air and my bottoms ensnared on my feet gives me very little comfort today.) It took me a second to register that I was still on this board, separated from my suit and giving the rest of the crowd and eyeful of awful! While contemplating what my next possible move could be Andy suggested I go for the kneel up on the board maneuver.
At this moment I decided I had better fess up, so over the rush of the water (it's really loud), I yell to Andy "I can't, I've lost my bottoms" (yeah, covering myself in glory here!). At which his face took on a look of terror and he screamed back " bail out!!!". And being a good student and wanting to spare him any more horror, I did immediately. SO now the wave has blown me back to the top at the bailout area, even closer to the mortified group, and the adorable Brazilian (whose name still escapes me). The next little thought to pop into this little blond head (natural, BTW) is "Hmmm, how am I going to get these back on without standing up, and revealing even more unwanted views?"
Luckily, the terrific staff at RCI is trained for these just these sort of emergencies and immediately went into full defcon "bottom retrieval and replacement" mode. I have never seen anything so efficient in my life...a boogie board is quickly raised to block the view, the group is asked to avert their eyes, the kind Brazilian gentleman holding the boogie board up averts his eyes, and with whatever modicum of dignity I have left, I reunite with my bottoms, which thankfully, I did not need to search for, or worse, have retrieved and handed to me by the adorable Brazilian crew member! I sheepishly join the group waiting in line for another turn, laughing my fool head off because what else are you going to do at that point! Luckily for me, I am not the only one with a wardrobe malfunction this morning, just the first, so we all decide, "what happens on the Flowrider, stays on the Flowrider" ! A few minutes later we are all boarding along, all having a great time, pretending that none of knows more than we should about one another and lose nothing more than toenail polish for the rest of the day!
For more on Ocean Cruising, click on Ocean Cruising on the right sidebar or see our Ships Tours in the drop down menu at the top.
Post By K. Klofft Photos By J. Klofft