After all the saving, the endless planning; the plane tickets are finally purchased, the excursions are confirmed, the bags are packed and the hours are ticking away until it’s time to leave for the much deserved cruise. The journey begins with excited anticipation filling the air. Provided you make it to the cruise terminal on time and your luggage has decided to join you, the boarding begins and you are quickly greeted with the pre-departure buffet after you step foot on-board.
When the required amount of shrimp has been stuffed into everyone’s faces and the belly is telling the body it’s time for a nap, the jovial crew decides it’s time for the mandatory safety drill. Thousands of confused passengers waddle their way to their designated life boat for a head count and flotation device fashion parade. Smiling crew-members in crisp, white uniforms tick off names and inspect badly fastened buoyancy vests then merrily send everyone off to partake in the bon voyage celebration and drunk-fest.
Then about an hour into the official ‘cruise’, the eventual boredom strikes and the ship hasn’t even cleared the port yet. You are going to be stuck in the middle of the ocean with thousands of total . Not to mention those crazy family members you have to share a floating closet sized hotel room with for the next week. So, what do you do?
1. Get seasick. Barfing overboard is great for drawing in the sharks and it’ll guarantee that no one sits next to you on the Lido Deck. It also doubles as a remedy for the 5 pounds that every cruiser gains from unlimited free food and being waited on hand and foot by servers that barely understand English; smiling and nodding as they bring you another whatever. You, being the polite tourist, can’t bring yourself to say no, smile quaintly, thank them, and then down the whatever until your cruise wear reaches it’s maximum elasticity.
2. Freak out about how much water is under you. The ship’s doctor will give you some tranquilizers to help settle your nerves and before you know it, you’re dancing in the conga line (it’s probably really the wait staff trying to deliver dinner and getting annoyed at you because you’re getting a little too touchy-feely). Don’t worry, you can check Facebook in the morning and see your half naked ass splashed across everyone’s feed. Hopefully that bikini top you stole off the hottie and used as an eye patch will obscure your face enough that your anal retentive boss won’t recognize you.
3. Create 101 theories as to why the ship is still floating, and share your ideas with the kids activity club. Their parents and counselors will appreciate you making them all paranoid and afraid to leave their staterooms. Make sure you unplug your room phone because you WILL be getting phone calls in the middle of the night when little Timmy and Suzie have nightmares about the ship turning upside down because all the balloons you told them were holding up the boat suddenly popped.
4. Gluttony. See how many items of seafood you can eat on the all you can eat seafood buffet before you are either thrown out or throw up. Stuffing your pockets doesn’t count, but stuffing your cheeks and bra does. Mega bonus points for stuffing your thong.
5. Marine Mammals. Look for mermaids (I’ve seen ‘em on my cruise – ok, they were dolphins, but I like to use my imagination), and it made everyone else look. Then the bartender cut me off…bastard.
6. Theater. Re-enact all the memorable scenes from Titanic. More points if you do it from the crew’s private pool and recreation area. Get Helga, the Tormentor (aka, the Swedish Masseuse) to play the part of dainty Rose. Don’t forget to post your rendition on your vlog!
7. Panty Raid. Plan a panty raid but steal the officer’s cool hats instead. Offer to give them back if they let you steer the boat into the next port. If they don’t, trade them to the natives for cheap trinkets and rum. “Why are we always out of rum?!”
8. Practice Your Bartering Skills. Offer to trade the ship to natives on the next island for a bottle of rum (a case if they aren’t educated in the finer points of international negotiating).
9. After Hours Club. Not all cruise lines offer 24 hour casinos and discos. Why not set up an afterhours club in your stateroom and charge a cover? It’s a fast and easy way to get back all that money you shelled out for the cruise in the first place. If the spouse complains about the noise and keeping little Jimmy awake, teach the little guy how to deal cards. Get the spouse to serve drinks while you watch the door. A family that exploits together, goes to the brig together.
10. Scavenger Hunt. Offer to pay all the kids on board a scoop of ice cream for every towel they find and throw over board. What do you care? It’s free ice cream 24/7 at the snack bar! If they run out of ice cream, offer them shrimp.
11. Practice Photography. Prowl the decks looking for opportunities to take pictures of people enjoying themselves. Offer to email them the picture for the small price of $5.00 per picture. Don’t forget to write down their email address to make it look legitimate.
12. Miniature Golf. Offer to take Ma and Pa Smitherson (and snot nosed munchkins) on a guided excursion to tour all of the family friendly putt putt courses at the next Port of Call for the low, low price of $29.95 per adult and $13.95 per child. Cash up front, no refunds without a receipt. At the next destination, bribe a taxi cab to take the Smitherson’s for a backwoods tour of the island, round trip, of course, and pay him a third of your take plus the captain’s hat that you stole in the panty raid.
13. Blog. Half the fun of going on a cruise is bragging to all your friends and family left back at home (usually with a foot of snow on the ground and rolling brown outs). So, why not update your blog 5 or 6 times a day with pictures and recaps of all the amusing and exciting things you are doing on your much deserved cruise? They will thank you for it when you get home.
BONUS: Tweet and Instagram. Did you just have the most amazing massage while sipping champagne and munching on strawberries? Tweet about it and share an Instagram of the HOT male masseuse that made you feel more like a woman than your husband ever has. Oh those hands….*breathe*
The next time a vacation looms on the horizon, and the family is nagging about doing something fun, exciting and adventurous, consider sending them on a cruise while you stay at home and catch up on the missed episodes of Honey Boo Boo’s exhilarating life. You might not get richer. You might even lose a few brain cells. But you will be rested; who wouldn’t be after a week of me time?