And what drinks they were! You can click through our gallery for a peek at the menu, and that cocktail in the picture up top is the Tonga Itch. This was our entree into the experience that is the Tonga Room--or the Hurricane Bar, which is where we were seated--and it almost blew our bangs off. It's super sweet but don't be fooled: it contains vodka, dark rum, orange curacao, along with fresh pineapple juice and grenadine. It's a little much but if the pool, shipboard decor and tiki huts don't transport you to another time, this innocent-looking drink will.
OK, so the drinks are not the best cocktails we've sampled all year. But who cares when they come with cocktail umbrellas and slices of pineapple? We were just sad that our Tonga Mai Tai was served in a plastic coconut mug, not a real one.
Also awesome in the best, tacky-slash-classiest way possible: the periodic fake storms, and the live music that started around 8 p.m. The stage--or should we say, tiki-hut on water--moves mid-song and starts to rock in time with the beat. Ca-razy!
The music also sparked something in our fellow Tonga Roomers that night. Almost the entire restaurant got up to dance as soon as the band came on--most of them dressed in suits and sequins, and all of them dancing properly, prompting us to wonder if they were a ballroom dancing meetup group having a holiday party. (Or just Dancing With The Stars wannabes?)
Either way, their joy was contagious. We guess you could say everyone in the place had the Tonga Itch, and we highly suggest you get yourself there to expose yourself to it. Especially as we've heard rumors that the Tonga Room may close or be redeveloped some time in the near future.
Just take the elevator down to level T for 'Tonga'! And leave your irony at the door.