Archive for the 'Cruise Stories' Category


Wells arrived home from a successful ‘gig’ with his band a little after midnight.

“Where is your birth certificate?”

“Look at my blisters,” he responded while proudly showing me his fingertips. “We really played hard.”

“Very nice – we need the birth certificate.”

“The YMCA took in more than $600 because of us. They paid us $200!”

“Certificate. NOW!”

Wells beat a hasty retreat to his room. I could hear him rummaging for a while before he popped back into my office.

“My fingers really hurt.”

“So do mine. Where is it?”

“Don’t worry. I’ll find it.”

“Well if you…

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Ready, Set…

I thought about the possibility of getting an additional room. From previous readings, I knew that at least one occupant of every room had to be over the age of 25, but it seemed to me that there was some kind of exception to the rule. I dug out the Celebrity Brochure to study the fine print.

I found the relevant section:


No guest under the age of 21 will be booked in a stateroom unless accompanied by an adult 25 years or older. This age limit will be waived for minor children sailing with

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I have used a real live travel agent exactly once. It was many years ago, as we prepared to take our second trip to Disney. I had planned the first trip myself, and appreciated the amount of work that went into it. The process involved a lot of time spent on the telephone, an activity that ranks pretty low on my list of favored pastimes. Hoping to save time and agony, I went to the local travel agency.

The experience cannot be reflective of the industry as a whole, or it would have ceased to exist long ago. Everything, and…

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Cruising with Teens – Preface

I should have made the investment two years ago. How could I have known that purchasing a tux would provide a substantial return in so little time? As with plastics, IBM and Cisco stock, and the condos at Mahogany Run on St. Thomas, I blew it again. Opportunity lost.

The Surgeon General should step in and require that cruise lines put a warning on their advertising:

Warning: Cruising is addictive. While the attendant relaxation may be beneficial to your health, the habit may have significant impact on your everyday life and finances.

Even potato chip companies have the sense of…

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Reader Comments

Reader comments from the original Internet version ( of the book “What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?” by chesterh

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Letter from Celebrity Cruises

This is the letter I received from Celebrity Cruises in response to the Galaxy cruise story on CruiseCritic.

Dear ChesterH:

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ms. X, and I am the Director of Loyalty and Direct Marketing Programs for Celebrity Cruises. We have very much enjoyed your dialogue(and of course your wonderful cruise review) on Cruise Critic, and it occurs to me that we might be able to do each other a favor.

It seems that you may still have a bit of a case of island fever (Irie mon), and might be tempted to step aboard…

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Coco Cay – Sample Chapter from What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?

Friday, July 26, 2002

We were due to anchor off Coco Cay at 10:00, with passenger transfers beginning at 10:30. When we awoke at a little before 9:00, the ship was stationary. Off the verandah a small flat island was visible, a couple of squat structures rising above everything else. The sun was winning the battle for dominance, and the seas were sloshing at 1-3 feet. A ferry carrying staff and supplies was halfway to the island, and another was loading directly below us.

Raj set breakfast up on the verandah, and we watched the preparations continue. A pair…

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Some reader comments from the original cruise story posting

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 08:03 AM
Thanks so much, Mr. X!!!
I have been one of your VERY loyal followers for the entire 3 weeks. I have absolutely loved your review series. Each installment, I felt like I was reliving my Galaxy Eastern Caribbean cruise from last spring while learning much about the Western Caribbean cruise experience that my husband and I will be enjoying this fall.

It is with great sadness that I see your series come to an end (although I’ll be sure to

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