We just returned from our first ever cruise! It was interesting. Definitely a new experience. It was my mister’s birthday and that is how he wanted to celebrate.
There is all kinds of new lingo you need to know on a big ship like that. Words like “embarkation” and “debarkation”, the directional terms were especially fun….did you know it is actually StarBOARD, not StarBIRD?? (um, was I alone in thinking they were saying bird?) That would be the right side of the vessel…. And have you ever heard of a “muster station”?? I hadn’t heard of that before, but they kept telling us we had to report to our designated muster station to go over what to do in an emergency, Titanic-like situation. We had to do this before we could take off….um, debark?….sail away. Oh whatever.
My mister had just ordered a bucket of beer out by the pool when it was time to report to our muster station to listen to the instructions. (Muster station, schmuster station….I just kept calling it the poop deck. I like that much better) Oh, and might I just add…..a bucket of beer includes FOUR miller lites all for $25.00. Ouch!
We gathered up our towels, my mister scooped up his bucket of beer, and we reported to the poop deck. They showed us how to put on one of those orange life preservers, and herded us out to where we would hypothetically load up in the dingy in an emergency. As we were all gathered in very tight quarters, shoulder to shoulder with all these strangers, there stood my mister with his beach towel around his neck, sunglasses on his face, a bucket of beer under one arm, and me under his other one. He stood there so proudly and with the attention of the strangers around us, he announced “I’ve got my beer and my wife. I’m ready!” The crowd roared. He reminded me of Cousin Eddie from The Griswolds’ family! Some gave him high-fives, some wished they’d thought to get a bucket of beer for the safety session.
Of course, adjusting to a vacation on the high seas inspired lots of questions for me…..ALL related to the Titanic. Now mind you, I haven’t seen Titanic since it was first in the movie theater in 1997. Well, being on that cruise ship made me practically obsessed with Titanic. Luckily my mister had more of a “clue” than I did and was able to answer some of my dumb questions. I had to confirm that the Titanic was based upon a true story. (Okay, I know what you’re thinking….duh, blondie!….Sorry. I thought so, but I had to be sure.) Then I wanted to know if those people were on a leisurely, vacation-type of cruise, just like us. I remembered they had vehicles on their ship though. I am pretty sure there were no vehicles on ours. The only reason I recalled the Titanic hauling vehicles is the hot, steamy moment between Kate and Leo in the car. Of course that’s the scene I would remember!
The questions just kept coming. My poor mister had to answer them all. (As we speak, he is DVR-ing a Titanic documentary for me.) Why did they sink? Did everyone die? Why didn’t they know they were going to crash into an iceberg? This is all very confusing to me.
That night after dinner, we went to the piano bar on the ship. I requested the song from Titanic. The pianist informed me they kindly ask that he not play that song…..for obvious reasons. Whoopsie! So, we requested Tom Petty’s Last Dance with Mary Jane instead. My mister gets all charged up by the line in the song that says “Indiana boys on an Indiana night”. He is from Indiana and I suppose it takes him back to the good ol’ days of his adolescence/young adulthood.
We met some nice people on the cruise. There were 2 ladies who had just undergone acupuncture for smoking cessation. They were literally within 48 hours of their very last cigarette. They were trying to quit something they loved. I could totally identify.
I really struggled with myself about whether or not I would break down and drink. At the very beginning, I just couldn’t see how I couldn’t see this trip through without drinking.I thought about how much more fun I’d be able to have if only I could drink. Every day they had a drink special. All over the place, there were little men walking around with trays of fruity frozen drinks and shots! OH, just kill me now, I thought! I quickly discovered that these little men would gladly bring me a pretty drink with fun garnishes that did not contain alcohol!
And they were just as enjoyable!! Maybe more!…..remember the fishing trip in St. Augustine???
….. My sweet son Tyler and I feeling green on the high seas….we were both wearing our Mister Yuk faces that day! (Oh, and I was wearing my Scram in that picture, even though you can’t see it.) Once I started to feel the sway on that cruise ship, I was thanking my lucky stars that I hadn’t caved to the fruity cocktails! I would have had my head in a nautical toilet. Now that’s a new experience I’d prefer not to have.
The teens on the ship and I ordered Shirley Temples at the bars! I overcame my internal struggle and unlike the Titanic, I was unsinkable.
I am still sober. I made it through an amazing vacation…..a cruise, my first cruise ever. With each life event that I experience sober, it gets a little bit easier. I don’t know that it will ever really be easy, but I am definitely very happy with myself!