Kusadasi Canine.

I was perusing the fleet news and looking at the upcoming new ships checking out the new Emerald Princess and Royal Princess itineraries. Crew like to see what’s going on early so we can try and adjust our contract dates to get the new ships or the great itineraries on our next contracts. Have you looked at the itineraries of these two ships yet? Who’s EXCITED about the launch of the new 680 passenger Royal Princess in 2007? Have you seen the amazing med itineraries it will be doing?? You all know how I feel about the Med and Med cruising but O.M.G! Check out the itinerary on the Princess website. It is listed under the new press releases. She is going to TROY for gosh sakes! How exotic. I can tell you from my experiences cruising the Med, this is going to be an amazing run and an amazing ship to do it on. If your thinking of booking her, book early.

Looking at her itinerary made me think of one of my favorite ports, Kusadasi, which the new Royal will call into. Absolutely the BEST place I have ever been to for purchasing Turkish rugs and LEATHER. Leather everything, especially jackets, for incredible prices. You can also rent a harley for pretty cheap.

We used to go ashore in Kusadasi allot to have a couple beers and EAT. I mean honestly to crew members every port reminds you of some fantastic food that you had. In Kusadasi it was the incredible seafood FEASTS you can have for really low prices. Open air restaurants and heaps of shrimp and crab and fish and squid, you name it. After the feast and a few beers you regret that your crew and have to go back to the ship and work!

I remember one day my buddy and I went ashore in Kusadasi to find a place called “Shirley Valentines” run by a British woman of the same name, or perhaps named after the woman in the famous movie… we didn’t know but we were aiming to have a couple Effes beer and find out the history behind the pubs name.

We wandered around for quite some time searching for the place. My friend was certain he knew where it was but apparently he was mistaken. I was just about to tell him to call off the search while we still had time for a cold beer when he looked across the street and thought he saw the place. It looked like what had been described to us, a high rock walled open air “pub” with a narrow stone entry down a narrow alley. Ok, so far so good.

We walked into the narrow alleyway, only wide enough for one or two people, and pushed open the black Iron Gate which was the “door”. The gate made an incredible loud creaking noise as we opened it and inside we could see that there was indeed a bar, bar stools, a few tables and…most importantly…Effes beer taps on the bar. We walked into the place and up to the bar… but it seemed closed. There were no patrons or bar staff. In fact the place was completely deserted. We were looking behind the bar to be sure there was no staff around before we decided to leave, and I was commenting to my friend how strange it was that they would leave the place like this without even locking the door if it was closed… when we heard the loud creaking of the gate behind us. We both looked around, hoping to see a bartender who would pour us a long cold draught, and instead saw the largest Doberman Pincer dog that has ever walked the planet; and unless he was an incredible well trained canine he wasn’t here to pour us any beers.

It seems that this sneaky creature had sat quietly behind the Iron Gate as we pushed it open and waited until we were far enough inside to ensure our capture, and then revealed his position by pushing the gate closed and standing between it and us! I felt immediate dislike for the cunning beast. The thing that was most scary about this dog was that he didn’t bark or growl. He just stared at us. I could see he was tied up with a chain, so he only had about 5 feet of freedom, presumably just enough to guard the gate, so at least he wasn’t going to rush us. He was just waiting, and staring. He knew we had to get out via the gate that he blocked and you could see in his black little eyes that he was wondering which of the two tasty morsels was going to try for the exit first. Luckily neither my friend nor I are scared of dogs, but we are not stupid either. It seemed to us, after looking at the situation logically that if we put our backs FLAT against the wall and did the Tom and Jerry wall scoot we should be just beyond the reach of the cunning canine and be able to skirt out the side of the gate.

The thought did occur to us that we could test the beer tap and see if it was working, and then just sit and wait for rescue. But what if no rescue came and we were still sitting at the bar waiting when the ship left without us? It would be a hard thing to explain to the Captain and PSD twelve days later when the grand returned. Almost like telling your teacher that your dog ate your homework. Besides, what if the next person to show up was a large Turkish fellow who would not be happy about us drinking all his beer? They do say owners and dogs become like each other...so we decided to try and escape.

I am not sure how we decided who went first, but I managed to win this one and my friend ended up taking the lead. I followed along closely behind him. The plan being that if the dog COULD reach him I could try and pull him free and then return whatever body parts remained to his family for burial.

We put our backs against the rock wall, and started skirting slowly toward the gate. I remember my friend saying to me "just go slow and don't look into his eyes" and BAM... I looked ( DOH!). I am telling you now, believe me or not, I saw that dogs eyes and I could SEE his little doggy brain working hard to figure out what we were doing... and I could see the exact moment when he did... and he got mad. He got REALLY mad and started tossing a fit like I have never seen. He was tugging so hard on the chain that held him that it sounded like a dinosaur stamping his foot whenever he pulled it tight. He barked, he snarled and he spit his worst canine curses at us but we just kept on skirting the wall as flat as we could make ourselves.

As soon as my friend was in range I realized I had NOT gotten the better end of the deal by going last because I could see how close the dog was to his face and belly with his impressively white and plentiful teeth! It would have been better to have not known this going in, because I admit I got just a tad afraid. But not wanting to look the wuss in front of my buddy I sucked in my belly as far as I could and skirted past Fido’s fury. If you’re wondering how close he really was; I could see he had raw chicken for lunch, some of it was still stuck between his back molars.

We walked casually away from the closed pub doing our best not to look like thieves, because the dog was making such a fuss now everyone was looking at us like we had just burgled the place ( I suspect he was bitter we defeated him). We decided to pull into a little pub for the cold beer we had set out for in the first place and lay low a few minutes. As we sat down a waitress came over and took our order, and as irony would have it, wouldn't you know we were in Shirley Valentines.

I love the Mediterranean. You just never know what to expect.

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3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for the great story, you had me laughing a couple of times. I look forward to reading your post every day. It is not only entertaining but it is very educational as well. Thanks again!


  2. Anonymous Says:

    We just booked Royal on the Troy Itinerary...I can't wait!!!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    So when a new ship comes out, how is it decided which crew will be assigned to it? Is it by volunteers, or by who's contract is up on their current ship? If there are a lot of volunteers, does it go by seniority, or if an employee has received a lot of positive reviews than they get first shot at it? Or all of the above? Great stories keep them coming.

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