Archive for the 'Cruise Stories' Category



Two to Go

“…the ambulance came and the police came and your mother went to the hospital with them and I locked up the house and made sure the cat was in and that he had food and water and…”

“Okay,” I said. “Slow down. Let’s take it from the top.”

There wasn’t a lot of information available that hadn’t come out in the initial torrent, so I thanked Pat and hung up. I knew dad didn’t sound well on the phone – I guess this is one area where the telephone trumps email in communicative ability. I called my parents’ house

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Come On, Ma

I wasn’t about to broach the subject of cruising with my own mother until the holiday season was well past – there are some things a son just knows not to do. But I couldn’t just sit around and think about the upcoming cruise, and being a devout CruiseCritic, I followed my natural tendency to go out on the Internet, find fellow cruisers and start talking up the trip.

I imagined that the large majority of those who jumped at the chance to go on this trip were probably first-time cruisers, and indeed, this proved to be the case.

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One Down

I think Kris was momentarily taken aback. “Well, my mother probably would – but your mother? I doubt it. I don’t think my mother would want to be all alone in a room, though.”

“Our cabin can sleep four,” I said, mainly for effect. It worked.

“No way!” said Kris.

“It’s a lot less expensive that way.”

“No! Absolutely not,” Kris said.

“I could upgrade to a suite for the three of us and still save money,” I said. I knew she wouldn’t go for it, but what better way to demonstrate

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A Perfectly Crazy Idea

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If you’ve been following along, you’ve sailed with me and my wife, Kris, on our first-ever voyage (Galaxy), with me and my son, Ryan, on Mercury (Father and Son Cruise), and then on Millennium with Kris, me, son Wells and his best friend, Dan (Cruising with Teens). The first of these stories is now out in book form (What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?), featured in CruiseCritic’s holiday gift guide for 2005. It was inevitable that we’d cruise again. Here’s the

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Epilogue

Life returned to normal very quickly after our return from the Millennium cruise – quickly, as in the next day. Kris and I went back to work, while Wells and Dan returned to high school to serve out the remainder of their sentences. Next thing we knew, it was June.

The boys’ graduation may have spelled the official end to their childhood, but I think it really ended on the cruise. It was a coming-of-age experience for them. Wells and Dan had a great time on the trip, but details are hard to drag out of teen-aged boys. Perhaps we’re…

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Homeward Bound

At 7:15 a.m., I called the boys’ room. “Inspection in 15 minutes. Get up.” I couldn’t even tell who was on the other end of the line. Grogginess disguised the voice.

At the appointed time, I knocked on the door and Wells answered. He stepped back to let me in, and I was unpleasantly surprised by what I saw.

“You were supposed to leave your suitcases out for the cabin attendant last night,” I said.

“We did,” answered Wells.

“Yeah, but you were supposed to pack your stuff into them first,” I said. To my eye, it looked like everything…

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Nassau Revisited

Our memorable first visit to Nassau is chronicled in my book, What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?

I was reclining on a white sand beach under a strong tropical sun, clutching an ice cold G&T. Wells and Dan were in the perfect blue water, surrounded by an admiring gaggle of bikini-clad young women. Kris was absorbed in a book, playing warm sand between her toes. What a perfect way to spend the last day of the cruise.

As I drifted off to sleep, I could still feel the motion of the ship. Some indeterminate time later, as consciousness slowly spread…

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The Making of Young Men in Black

In this chapter, I have summoned the boys to make a little video – partly because I just do that sort of thing, and partly as retribution for some unauthorized ship-to-shore phone calls made against explicit prohibition – I just wanted to see them squirm a little. I consider their debt repaid…

I didn’t really have much of a plan for the video. I had two boys dressed in tuxedos, 2 pair of sunglasses, and a destination – the dining room. Beyond that, nothing much.

I decided to just ‘wing it’.

“O.K. Here’s the deal… I’m going to have both…

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Stainless Oasis

Kris and I finished packing up and headed topside for some reckless UV exposure.

“Want to try the pool?” Kris asked.

“We can try, but I think it’ll be mobbed,” I answered.

Sure enough, a human or a pile of human belongings occupied every lounge, so we scratched the pool idea and headed up to our spot on the forward sunning deck.

The day looked a little foreboding. Both the sea and the sky were predominantly gray, the wind was howling, and the sea was as rough as we’d seen on any cruise – 9-12 feet according to the captain….

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Galley Duty

We took our sweet time getting out of bed. The previous day had really tested our endurance, and the evening had tested our patience. A sea day was heartily welcomed.

“I’m so glad we don’t have to do anything today. I’m totally exhausted,” said Kris.

“That’s the sign of a good vacation,” I observed.

“I’m serious,” she said. “It was great to see Frank and St. Thomas again, but I’d be happy with a cruise that just went around in circles and never stopped anywhere.”

I nodded in agreement. “So what would you like to not do today?”

“I’d like…

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