Have you ever been on a cruise? I always wanted to go on one, until I did. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traveling and I even enjoyed the cruise but there is always at least one thing we don’t like but have to live through to finally enjoy our trip. Sometimes it’s the packing that you just can’t stand but without packing, there’s no trip! I really hate the getting to the airport from the time I leave until the time I board the plane and put on my seat belt, but I love the actual flight.
I love cruising. I’ve only been on two but that’s enough to tell you that I want to go on more and that I don’t want to go on any more! I don’t mind the waiting endlessly to board the ship. I don’t mind listening to the “orientation assembly” where they tell you everything you need to know that you already know (because let’s face it, who goes on a cruise without reading everything possible on the internet?). The one thing…just one thing that I absolutely cannot stand is the Muster Drill. You have to have one, it’s required by the Coast Guard or whoever administers those things. The Muster Drill, for those that don’t know, is like a fire drill. The horn/signal sounds and everyone has to drop what they are doing and rush to the escape location; rush up or down stairs; meet in the designated location and line up to be counted. That’s how they know everyone will know what to do in case of an emergency. They are very strict about it. If you skip it, they come find you and I have heard that in some cases, they will make you disembark or drop you off at the first stop. They ARE serious about it.
The first time I went on a cruise, it was to celebrate my daughter’s 21st birthday. We went on the cruise from San Pedro, CA to Ensenada, Mexico and back. It was great fun. But the Muster Drill was not. I hated it because they really rushed us and I felt like I had to run and I have a bad knee and back and I can’t rush like that. There were A LOT of stairs, too. Then we had to stand out there until everyone was counted and they had to count several times because the count was off so it took over an hour of standing time before we could go back to enjoy our cruise. I said I wouldn’t do it again.
Then, years later, came the invitation to my high school reunion, on a cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada. So I went. I invited my sister and she went with me. She has problems with her back and can’t do stairs easily. So when the alarm sounded for the Muster Drill, off we went. We were the first ones to the exit location and we had to lead all the others up the stairs. At the top of the first flight of stairs, one of the crew members saw us both struggling and told us to go around the corner and use the elevator. Yay! Off we went. We got in the elevator and there was a different crew member telling people not to get on the elevator. We ignored her and said we had been told to use the elevator. She kind of ignored us and started the spiel: “In case of an emergency, if the ship sinks, the elevator will get filled with water and you could drown…” I was feeling punchy so I answered, “Yeah. I know. I saw the movie. It’s called Titantic. It’s pretty good. You should see it.” And I pushed the elevator for the floor we needed as the doors closed.
Yeah. Sometimes I crack myself up. But rarely. THAT’S why I probably won’t go on another cruise. Remind me of this if at any time in the future you read that I am going on a cruise!