In the past week I spent time on a cruise ship cruisin’ the Gulf of Mexico.


In the past week I spent time on a cruise ship cruisin’ the Gulf of Mexico.

The experience  made me realize cruise ships will no longer be my first choice for vacation.

I traveled with Chris and his extended family. We flew to Florida Friday morning and spent the night in Coco Beach before boarding the ship Saturday morning.

Friday night was when the vacation first attacked.

After visiting local establishments along the pier, Chris and I decided after dark and before heading back to our room we should dip our feet in the ocean and feel the sand under our feet.

Mistake number one.

I waded in a little past my ankles and was suddenly thrown off balance by a wave. It took me down along with my purse, which contained my passport, my wallet and most importantly, my beloved iPhone.

iPhones do not like to swim. I also learned that replacing them, even if you have insurance on them, is somewhat close to impossible.

The wave also knocked off my favorite jewelled flip-flops. After Chris caught my purse from being washed out to sea (of course he made sure I wasn’t being washed out to sea first), he danced around in the dark chasing my shoes as they came and went with the waves.

He, too, was wet from chasing my shoes down in the ocean when I told him it wouldn’t have been so bad if my flip-flops hadn’t been found since they only cost me $6 on clearance last summer.

Mistake number two.

After walking four blocks back to our hotel in dripping wet clothing, I changed into something dry, salvaged what I?could from my purse and wallet (thankfully my passport was some how unscathed) and we went to bed.

It wasn’t until we awoke the next morning that we got a good look at the carnage of the previous night.

My phone was caked with salt and sand. What had been in my wallet was still wet and my purse sat in the sink still water logged. My clothes looked like I?had competed in a mud wrestling competition. They too hung dripping and caked with sand and salt in the bathroom.

Worse yet, our hotel room had more sand on the floor than the beach. Chris’  brother can attest to that. He took one step on the linoleum kitchenette that morning and both feet flew out below him. He landed on his back while kicking the fridge on the way down and hitting his head on a cupboard.

I threw out my purse, wallet and clothing and along with caution to the wind. After all, we were cruising to Mexico. It shouldn’t be hard to find a purse, wallet and new clothes, right?

Mistake number three.

I was able to replace my purse, but I was unable to find a suitable wallet for my cards and money. For the remainder of the trip Chris held on to my passport for safe keeping.

Hoodie sweatshirts like the one I was wearing when I decided to take a dip in the ocean was nonexistent in the 80 degree tropical climate. It is also hard to shop when shop keepers follow you closely in the store along with 4,000 other people you just got off the ship with.

After purchasing a purse, Chris and I decided shopping was a bust. To bide our time at port we sat down at one of the local tiki bars to enjoy the sun and a margarita.

Mistake number four.

I don’t usually drink hard liquor. And these margaritas were huge. Not to mention it was a sunny 80 degrees and I?was trying out a new medication for motion sickness. Apparently the medication recommends not drinking alcohol while taking it. I would have known that if I?had read the precautions I received from the pharmacy. They were still folded neatly on my kitchen table when I arrived home from vacation.

Mistake number five.

After a couple fairly large margaritas, I found out that security to get back on the ship requires a person to be upright and to be able to walk by the scanner without the assistance of others. They also require you to hand them your passport yourself—they will not dig it out of your new purse for you.

Even if you ask nicely.

Mistake number six.

I was given a choice to either stay the remainder of the day in my cabin or be escorted to ship jail.

Yup, there really is a ship jail.

I chose option A and Chris was banished to the cabin with me to act as my guard to make sure I didn’t try to escape.

When we arrived home 10 days later, exhausted and tan, Chris said I?shouldn’t feel bad.

“We will remember this cruise for years to come!” he told me.

And it will probably be the last cruise we ever take together.