In our 45 cruises, we have never experienced rough seas, “man overboard” (or women or children), or norovirus outbreaks. you know what.
So this quasi-cruise addict can’t claim to have seen it all, but at least it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for this sea leg scribe. Or maybe Disney Wish Guest Relations told me my suitcase wasn’t loaded on the ship hours after sailing, and I didn’t have enough clothes for the day. These stories are so much better than that, and unsurprisingly, many are from Carnival’s “fun ships.”
Dividing the most frowned upon moments into manageable numbers was as difficult as dragging myself into the ship’s fitness center. There are sail stories of their own, but these retellings do not include golden water lilies.
Just a minute after settling into my tiny cabin on the Nile Queen for our five-night cruise from Luxor to Aswan, the Egyptian purser came to tell us this troubling news with an uncomfortably grin. Did. He’s been out for about an hour. Who is Michael? share? Over my mummified body! After I angrily packed my things, disembarked the boat and checked into my hotel, the Aggressor Adventures reservationist informed me that a stranger would be sharing my stateroom and that the Lord knows what a cramped and awkward night it would be. I thought you were thinking… the sound that’s holding me up. Oh, and during a pandemic. This pyramid scheme has a happy ending. My trip turned from a river cruise to a once-in-a-lifetime land tour. And Michael, whoever you are, wherever you are, welcome to single his cabin.
Jet-lagged on our first night in the Galapagos, I wanted to visit the wheelhouse of the 20-passenger yacht Theory in Ecoventura at 1am at the captain’s public invitation. On my way to the bridge, I noticed that the outside door of the galley was open. This was a strange sight as the two cooks had just left for work a few hours earlier. I looked into the kitchen and saw a seagull eating from an exposed rice box. The raw meat was not refrigerated, the bowl of oil and shortening was not covered and there was a dirty floor. After driving the bird away, I slammed the door shut. Purser was lectured by me the next morning and in return I apologized and ensured she would personally deal with the galley staff. Glad I packed plenty of protein bars for the rest of the voyage. I have earned some privileges for not making the presumed health hazards of For example, let me take a risky photo of a surprise shark frenzy just inches from the carnage just aft.
A more appetizing food story is my personal record of 11 lobster tails conquered on a Panama Canal cruise aboard Island Princess. … I persevered in honor of the sacrificial crustacean until the seventh, when I hit the wall.
Little did I know that being candid with seafarers would expose my family to one of the most humiliating moments of my life. From the upper echelon Carnival Conquest, Special Chefs When asked if he enjoyed the magicians who played magicians between courses at dinner at the table did If I had answered “Oh, just great”, I wouldn’t have been visited by Mate the Not the Great the next night in the main dining room. The Hungarian broke down in tears, spoke softly, and begged my pardon for “ruining” our cruise. If there was an ad campaign for Southwest Airlines’ “Wanna Get Away?” So I did what any shameful coward does and covered my face with my hands until the magician disappeared. Another person who conveniently disappeared for the rest of the cruise was a two-striped whistling policeman.
Labadee, Haiti was sunny and blue, as it was the Wonder of the Seas’ first call on its first cruise to make the news. Unfortunately for the world’s largest cruise ship, the dry weather conditions outside didn’t apply to the ship either: while most of the passengers were in port, those on board were at the retail-dotted Royal Her I witnessed an artificial heavy rain on the promenade of A torrential downpour caused by a malfunctioning fire sprinkler caused a massive fire door to drop and temporarily close. The reopening of shops and bars in just a few hours after the Great Flood was a miracle that moved the waters at about the same level as when Moses parted the Red Sea.
No water was dripping from the top of the twin beds, but when we returned to the Carnival inspiration cabin, there were nasty stains in the very spot that questioned bladder control. It never happened.Me and my cousin wondered why the flight attendants were using dirty sheets and why they didn’t notice.So that another attendant could remake the bed. When I vacated the room, I felt compelled to leave a note on my pillow that read, “It wasn’t me!”
lost in translation
A Croatian photographer aboard the Celebrity Solstice wanted my wife and I to pose in front of a plain green screen backdrop on an elegant evening. When asked about the background image, he said, “Sheep. Both standing in front of a sheep.” “What a strange backdrop for an Alaskan cruise. Moose makes more sense than sheep,” I said to a photographer with a very accent. Fortunately, a man who was eavesdropping called out to me. Our ship is in the background! said the passenger. We all shared our biggest laughs on the cruise.
go old school
Apparently, the manager of Carnival Valor didn’t get the memo that the world’s largest cruise line and almost all of Western society frown on misogyny. So how shocking it was to hear him take the mic and welcome guests in the main dining room on opening night. No more cooking or cleaning! Perhaps because our dinner host was in the spirit of his 50th anniversary next carnival and was acting as if he was 1972, not a month away, until 2022. prize.
While exploring the Majesty of the Seas before setting sail for Cuba, the boys and I discovered that part of the ship’s ceiling had fallen onto the carpet and the panel that came from it had risen dangerously high. found hanging in the So, naturally, I decided to prank passers-by by making it look like one of his sons had been knocked out with a head injury. No crew passed for 10 minutes while my eldest son lay on the floor with ship debris on his skull.
no danish for you
Was it too much to ask the German-based crew of Viking Spirit for a table for two on their 20th anniversary night? , because I was told “no”. “That section is closed,” said the hostess, without apology or congratulations on the milestone of our marriage. . The danishes from the welcome reception were gone by 6am on the first day. “All I see is crumbs,” I told Guest Services. “But they bake more, right?” Isn’t 6am enough? And what is the crew eating our food for?
dress to impress
Back in the cabin, I stripped off my suit and tie and boarded Cunard’s swanky Queen Elizabeth, contemplating being the only gentleman not wearing a tuxedo at “Gala Night.” That is, until a lady wearing nothing but her birthday suit puts out a “do not disturb” door hanger the moment I pass her stateroom. Her brusque reaction was probably because her first birthday was about 75 years ago or she was totally giggling. Either way, this guy in a Men’s Warehouse suit no longer felt overdressed.
After six nights of being greeted by sunglasses-wearing dogs, dangling monkeys, googly-eyed snakes, and other cute creatures in the Carnival Conquest cabin, the mother of all the towel animals is my wife. Made me scream bloody murder. Waiting for us in our stateroom was an eight-foot-long alligator made out of dark blue pool towels that looked all too real in the dim lighting. A piece of resistance by our Linen seasoned steward, who scored almost as much in chips as his gator.
hairy hi jinx
The ‘hairy breast contest’ is all but gone from ships, but for decades this poolside pastime was family cruise’s biggest offender. , interrupted this crowd favorite and permanently hid these debauched displays in August. Of all the impromptu strippers, crossdressers, and other runaway men who brought shock and awe to the Lido deck, the most tragic was jumping off the top staircase to impress the female judges. It was the octopus man. To the horror of hundreds around the pool, he slipped on the landing and broke his leg. The poor guy not only did he finish third, he was on crutches for the rest of the cruise. I don’t know which is worse, the pain in my body or the laughter on the ship for 6 days.