Well, it's just after 1AM on Friday morning and when I wake up our ship will be in the Miami harbor. This went by way, way too fast! I didn't actually do a lot of TCM-related things today, so this post will be more of a general overview of the whole trip than a recap of Day 5.
I started off with breakfast and blogging about Day 4 (and saying hi to Ben Mankiewicz, let's not forget about that!) and then me and Nicole headed over to Castaway Cay for a couple of hours. But not before catching a little bit of Top Hat again, which was being screened by the pool!
This may be a TCM cruise, but it's on a Disney boat and Disney goes ALL OUT. I mean, they have their own island just for cruise excursions. And it may be the prettiest place I've ever visited. I don't even think Crayola could capture the blue of the water. The air was warm but not too warm, the waves were soft, small, and gentle, and it was so quiet that at times the only sound you could hear was the rustling of palm tree leaves. Every detail was so perfect that I wouldn't be surprised if Disney engineered the clouds, as well.
We headed back to the boat so that Nicole could catch Witness for the Prosecution while I filled out postcards. I got a little sidetracked when I noticed someone else on their phone and remembered that I had purchased 100 minutes and hadn't even used up one! So I ended up spending a little over an hour on the phone with my parents. I think this is the longest we had ever gone without talking, it was SO nice to hear their voices! I'm definitely at that point in a vacation where you're still enjoying yourself but you find yourself fantasizing about sleeping in your own bed and using your own bathroom, haha! I'm really looking forward to getting home tonight and seeing my family (and my cat!! I miss her so much it hurts!)
The only movie that I ended up seeing today was Too Many Husbands. Unfortunately I took too long in the shower and even though I rushed over to the theater with wet hair I still missed out on seeing Illeana Douglas and Kate MacMurray introduce the film. Nicole promised me that she'll write about their introduction on her blog when we get back home! She also saw Ruta Lee introduce Witness for the Prosecution and said it was one of the best interviews of the whole cruise, so she'll write about that as well.
Too Many Husbands is such a fun movie! I forgot how laugh-out-loud funny it is! I had a similar reaction when I saw Sunday in New York at TCMFF last year. That's actually my all-time favorite movie, but when I saw it on the big screen and could *really* see all of the facial expressions more clearly it just got 20x funnier. Too Many Husbands is hilarious on a small tv, but seeing their expressions on a giant screen was priceless. All three of the main actors - Fred MacMurray, Jean Arthur and Melvyn Douglas - are comedic geniuses and their facial reactions really enhance the verbal and physical comedy.
And that was actually our last TCM event of the trip! We went back to the room to pack (and I sadly realized I had somehow misplaced four of my souvenirs and had to repurchase them) and then it was time for dinner. I actually didn't have a lot of luck with food on this trip. I found some really great potato products but most of the vegetarian offerings were too spicy or just not my cup of tea. But finally for our last meal I got this amazing sweet potato puree, wrapped in a sesame phyllo shell, sitting in a tomato and spinach sauce with roasted cherry tomatoes. It was the perfect end to the trip!
We have to be up really early tomorrow morning so Nicole wisely went to sleep at a reasonable hour while I stupidly stayed up to finish my postcards. I went up to the top deck, and it was totally, completely deserted. When I was done I wandered around a little and just watched the water and the stars before coming back to the room to write this.
Which brings me to another selling point to this cruise -- if anyone is interested in attending one of the TCM events alone, I think this is the one to go with. There were plenty of times that Nicole and I split up to attend separate events and it felt very safe. I attended a screening alone that ended at 1:45am on the top deck of the boat, and I was perfectly comfortable. There is no way I'd attend a screening that late by myself in Hollywood. I like having alone time a lot, and you can get that on the boat way more than at the festival.
Also, I don't know if this factors into anyone's decision, but the demographic on the cruise is considerably older than the festival. So if socializing with young classic film fans is a major selling point for you, you might prefer the festival. I personally loved this aspect of the cruise, though. It was pretty quiet for the most part, and everyone was very friendly. And I'm not sure if there's anything cuter than seeing older couples dancing together :)
It's very hard not to keep comparing the festival and cruise in my head, even though I thoroughly enjoyed both. To be honest, I think that if TCMFF was in New York City instead of Hollywood I'd probably have a much harder time choosing a favorite. I was not that thrilled with Hollywood when I visited last year. I found it hard to navigate, not very pedestrian friendly, expensive, and slightly run-down. I just keep imagining how cool it would be to see TCM screen films at Radio City Music Hall. And how cheap it would be to hop in a yellow cab instead of always having to buy an $80 uber ride. And New York City has sooooo many places to eat. And Robert Osborne already lives there! I feel like TCM should have a committee like The Olympics and I can go campaign for New York, haha!
I was incredibly thrilled with the film schedule on this trip. I felt like the Roger Corman movies were my favorite part, since they're a little different from what TCM usually schedules (as much as I adore Top Hat, that was a much more typical choice, you know?) My only complaint, like I mentioned in my first post, is that I wish they'd schedule more foreign films. And maybe get some foreign actors to visit the cruise or festival, as well! Anna Karina would be fantastic! Or maybe Brigitte Bardot!
I'm planning on going back to TCMFF in 2016 and tentatively I'd love to do the cruise again next year. My mom suggested it could be a combined birthday trip for her 60th and my 30th, which sounds like a very good plan! It's definitely one of those trips where once you've experienced it it'll be very hard to resist returning every year.
If you have any questions about the cruise let me know in the comments and I'll do another post to answer them. I really can't recommend this highly enough. It's definitely one of my favorite vacations I've ever been on and if you can swing it, I guarantee you won't regret it :)