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Tempted To Cruise Through Life?

Aug 18, 2007
Cruise is a relaxing word. You imagine deck chairs, ocean breezes - and no responsibilities. The word lets your thoughts drift at sea - unless you're my husband.

John feels confined on ships, he feels confined in the tuxedo he's expected to wear to formal dinners on board and he can't be conned into feeling fine about it.

When in doubt - or you can't get your way - compromise. We compromised by sailing on a small ship - eighty passengers, casual dress and one seating for meals with a set menu.

One advantage of this type of vacation is having to unpack only once. One disadvantage on a small ship is finding a place for everything in a three-drawer locker with three feet of hanging space. There's no decoration in the utilitarian cabin, but an attractive sign saying, "Less is more" would have been appropriate.

The sign, however, wouldn't fit in the bathroom, which contained a toilet, sink and hand shower in a four by five foot space. Thankfully, I never got very dirty - I wouldn't have fit in the bathroom.

Walking seventeen times around the deck was a mile or you could read, which was a euphemism for napping. There was Bingo too. What would a cruise be without Bingo? It would B-2 bad. Although we played for cocktails instead of cash, Bingo was a sobering experience.

Because it was a small ship, there was no shuffleboard, volley ball or exercise machines. Instead, we shuffled cards, volleyed topics of conversation back and forth and exercised our judgment about whether to attend the lectures.

The lectures were about ports we were visiting - their history, their uniqueness and, of course, their shopping. When to have the lectures, however, was a problem for Goldilocks - not in the morning because people wanted to sleep late, not in the afternoon because it could turn happy hour smiles upside down and not after dinner because the snoring would be disruptive. Food for thought was most appetizing before lunch.

I don't know how long it took Pavlov to condition his dogs to salivate when they heard a bell, but passengers are conditioned by day two. On shipboard eating is the most popular activity. At first you try to be good - no pancakes. no breads, no desserts. However, you soon discover your conscience is on vacation too. It's a vacation that lets you put your life on cruise control.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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