Solo Cruisers

Don’t Remind Me – I’m on vacation. What else do I really need to know?

Monday Mantra

I forgot! … I forgot! … I forgot! …

Don’t Remind Me

I’m on vacation. What else do I really need to know?

The first thing I do when I arrive at my cruise port is buy a toothbrush to replace the one I left on the sink at home after brushing my teeth before leaving. I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I will always forget to pack my toothbrush (despite remembering an ample supply of toothpaste) along with a few other things — certainly tweezers and an emery board.

I suppose I could become one of those maddeningly organized people who maintain a detailed spreadsheet of what they need to pack for their cruise. The spreadsheet contingent not only expertly pack their wardrobe and toiletries but also remember to take along a yellow marker to highlight key activities on the daily program, a shoe organizer to hang behind the door, power strips, scissors, clothes pins, duct tape, safety pins, a sewing kit, suction hooks and their own pillow.

If I once forgot my bathing suit when I packed for a Caribbean cruise, what are the chances that I’ll remember a highlighter and a shoe organizer?

Sometimes it seems as though my memory goes on holiday even before I do and it stays that way until disembarkation….

Like when I sailed for a week with only one pair of dress shoes, a lovely style that I had purchased in every color offered. Unfortunately, on that 7-day cruise I packed a black left shoe and a navy blue right one. Which, surprisingly, was a lot better than the time I packed one black pump with a 5” heel and one black pump with a 3” heel.

Or the time I was certain I had everything I needed and yet left my cruise documents in the cab in St. Thomas — thank God that was for the tiny SeaDream II. The hotel manager merely waved me aboard and said he’d call the taxi company and ask that the driver to return the documents to the ship.

Or when I withdrew money from an ATM in Barcelona and then decided to check my balance a moment later and found that I had completely forgotten the password I’d used five seconds before… and after three attempts, my account was locked.

And let me just say that something has to be done about these megaships with five-digit cabin numbers. Try ending the evening with a few martinis at the bar and then let me know if you can remember cabin 80168.

Nope, I’ll never be as organized and detail-oriented as most of my shipmates but that’s okay. Maybe one of them will lend me an emery board.

— Judi Cuervo

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Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.