The crew’s lounge is a nicotine-stained dungeon of slot machines, dart boards, VHS movies, and several flat panel TVs running obscure international soccer games, no matter the time of day. The room is centered with a DJ booth for the twice-weekly crew dances in which several hundred hospitality people merge in an undulating sweat pile, nimbly gyrating to the smoky calls of Lady Gaga. It was there, last night, that I saw what the South African crew members referred to as “Lady boys”. In Los Angeles we may quickly refer to a tranny or a drag queen, but there is a cultural phenomenon in the Pacific islands, particularly the Philippines, in which Lady boys are accepted and enjoyed. We’re not talking “gay” here, this is full on dresses, hair, nails, perfume, and scrupulously delivered sexual wares that confuse even the most gnarled of anthropologists.

This lady boy who had already won in the past, “Miss Diamond Princess”, followed only by three male runners up, danced enticingly with the straight male crewmen. What made this really interesting was the crewmen were transfixed by the inviting sexual nature of the lady boy, yet still gently repelled by the reality which was fooling their eyes and senses. It was flirt, then push away… flirt, then push away again.

I noted in the crew’s shop, where sundries and small electronics are sold at a discount price to staff, three pegs of condoms. There was no indication whether barrier protection was needed for hot crew-on-crew sex or if they were for the more traditional purpose of wrapping the rascal while ashore. I will do research and get back to you on this.

All that said, somebody shat the lotus spa and it had to be closed. A full investigation is clearly warranted here.
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