We are on a cruise ship right now. I mean, if everything went as planned, we’re on a cruise ship right now. I purposely didn’t bring my laptop on the cruise, due to obvious moisture concerns (many of our cruise group spill their drinks regularly), so I wrote this column before we left.
We should be in the Caribbean by now, and rest assured, I am disappointed if we haven’t seen pirates yet. I will report on my findings when I retrieve my laptop from the desk at Miami International Gate J15, where I left it for safekeeping. I’ll just grab it on my way back through later this week.
This is my first cruise, so I was on a steep learning curve as far as preparations went. There was a lot to learn. Since it’s cruise season (they tell me), I want to impart some of the knowledge I’ve gleaned in this process so any other rookie cruisers can benefit from my experience.
There are some things you’ll need ahead of time.
First and foremost is a cool cruise group name. Chances are, you’ll be cruising with friends, and apparently you can’t show up to the ship without a group name. Prior to sailing, we hadn’t picked a winner, but our tentative list of choices was:
On Cruise Control
All Hands On Derek (This one really only works for us since one of our cruise group is named Derek. Otherwise, you’d have to find a Derek in Miami, and that can get dicey.)
Tropic Like It’s Hot
The Prostates of the Caribbean
I Like Big Boats and I Cannot Lie
The Caribbean Wine Mixer (Only funny to Step Brothers fans. So, obviously, really funny!)
We Shore Did
You can all vote for your favorite and I’ll let you know what we landed on later when I get back to Gate J15 and the nice man who offered to watch my computer for me.
The second important thing you’ll need to bring is all of your money. You’ll spend most of it up front, of course, but you’ll need to bring the rest for tips and “incidentals.” Incidentals are defined as half the things to do or eat on the boat that conveniently are not included in the exorbitant base price.
The third thing you’ll need, about a month before departure, is an Amazon account, a full tank of gas in your wife’s car, and a clear path to the Amazon returns counter at Kohl’s. I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently, it’s illegal for women to bring any previously worn or even previously owned clothes onto a cruise ship. This law resulted in Amazon corporate deciding to just dedicate one driver solely to our home address. His name is Steve. Great guy. I’m his kids’ godfather now.
The fourth thing you’re going to want for your cruise is non-hurricane-y weather. As I write this, Tropical Storm Bret is making its way through the Caribbean, with Tropical Storm Cindy right behind it, preparing to wreak havoc on our cruising path. Now, it will be what it will be, and I’m sure we’ll have a fun time no matter what, but news reports about tropical storms can lead your wife, as it did mine, to some late panic shopping on Amazon.
Panic shopping isn’t good for anyone. Especially Steve. He looked tired when he dropped us off at the airport in his Amazon van.
Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen
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