Rushville Republican


May 23, 2013

Stuart: Scuttling the stories of spring break cruising

RUSHVILLE — I’ve been writing about my spring break cruise vacation for so long that I can’t remember writing about anything else. It makes me think of the advice that newbie writers struggling for ideas have gotten since the inventions of cave painting: write about what you know. Well, I know I like being on vacation!

Alas, our cruise did finally come to end, which led me to consider that I might ought to start writing columns previewing our summer vacation plans. But heck, there are still a few nuggets of our cruise history (cru-istory, if you will) that I know I must share to put a coda on our vacation and make your lives complete. After this one, I promise, the cruise will sink into the sunset. That is, I’ll capsize any more column ideas about it. Okay, I’m going to drop anchor on these nautical bon mots; I’m having Leonardo DiCaprio flashbacks.

My wife felt a little silly on day one of the cruise when she signed up for what she thought was an unbeatable deal: $43 for unlimited “adult beverages” while on board. Calculating our limit of about one drink per day (we’re short hitters), and an average of $8 per adult beverage, times seven days on board, she figured we’d make out pretty well. So she bought in, and then got a receipt to sign totaling way over $600! Because (duhh!) it was $43 PER DAY. For us to get our money’s worth, we’d have to consume a staggering amount of adult beverages. Which, as the cruise unfolded, a LOT of staggering passengers demonstrated they were gamely trying to do.

As is commonly known, cruises are all about food, food, food, and eating, eating, eating it. Over and above any other foodstuff, the one staple of nutriment that could be had any time of day or night was pizza. My kids absolutely love pizza, and interestingly, they all three agreed that the pizza on the Carnival Liberty was “not so great.” We heard this from them every single day aboard the ship. Each and every time they shared this opinion, they were scarfing down a piece of pizza.

Cruise ships devote a large amount of space to on-board casinos. The space has to be large because lots of people like, umm, “gaming.” Among those people are my father- and mother-in-law. I’ve never really understood this, because my father-in-law’s the type who pinches pennies so hard that Lincoln weeps, and it’s not as though he makes any money when he’s gaming. However, he almost always plays video poker, as does my mother-in-law. They pick machines that are not near one another. My father-in-law says this is for luck. But I think maybe it’s because it gives him an exquisite excuse to NOT have to talk to my mother-in-law.

It was kind of amusing when we departed our last port of call, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and those who like to game while at sea couldn’t. At least not until the boat reached some magic distance from the island, then the gaming commenced again in earnest. My wife and I were strolling the vicinity of the casino when the doors opened. Big mistake. We got knocked around by a couple of super-portly gamers (another reason the casinos are so large) rushing to get their lucky video poker machines and not have to talk to each other as they’d been stuck doing since we left the port.

Note: The super-portly folks were NOT my in-laws. They keep themselves reasonably fit with exercise, especially Tai Chi, which they practiced diligently while on-board. Not by signing up for a class, which might’ve (heaven forbid) cost a few extra bucks (remember, pennies pinched by my father-in-law bear the marks forever). No, they found unused spaces on the boat to do their Tai Chi routines. And when they did, they’d do it for long stretches of time. During which practitioners are to remain utterly silent. Thus, my father-in-law reaps that same key benefit mentioned earlier when discussing video poker.

It’s not uncommon apparently for people to discover new interests and passions on a cruise that they decide to continue pursuing even after they return to dry land, For example, my wife keeps saying she’d really, REALLY like to learn more about video poker and Tai Chi.



Text Only
  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

  • Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 11, 2014

  • Mankind is not causing global warming Back on Feb. 26 of this year, an article appeared on with the following headline, "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific proof humans are dominant cause of warming climate." Here's what Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and co-founder of

    April 8, 2014

  • One fine day True story here: a long time ago, a young woman from Cincinnati daydreams of growing up and meeting a nice man, getting married, learning to cook, having two children, etc. etc. Eventually, it all comes true for her. Except it all happens in a major

    April 8, 2014

  • It is time we take back our country What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    April 8, 2014

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you've nev

    April 8, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.