Interrupting This Program – It’s nice to know about the daily events on board … for somebody.

Monday Mantra

Get with the program … Get with the program … Get with the program … Or not …

Interrupting This Program

It’s nice to know about the daily events on board … for somebody.

I have a confession to make. When I’m on a cruise, I never read the daily program. Ever.

Most times, I find the following day’s program lying on my bed when I return to my cabin from a night out or time ashore. I’m exhausted, tipsy and just want to pop the chocolate on my pillow into my mouth, wash my face, brush my teeth and go to sleep. The rundown of the following day’s line-up holds no appeal at that moment and by the following morning, it’s too late since my cabin mate has no doubt swiped it or put it on the dresser in that cumbersome pile of previous days’ programs, leaflets, ads, and port maps. Even if I want to see it, which I really don’t, there’s no way I would find it in that mess.

Even years ago, when the program was routinely slipped beneath my cabin door instead of tucked in a mailbox or laid on my turned-down bed, I rarely bothered to pick it up. In fact, many daily programs were impaled by my stiletto heel as I walked over them en route to bed. It made my travel companions nuts.

Ignoring the daily program, all of the shows, activities and classes that cruise lines work so hard to develop and which most guests love, is probably just another of my idiosyncrasies — like putting ketchup on a knish (but seriously…what is it but a big french fry?), adamantly refusing to use stupid corporate expressions, and only reading murder mysteries. When other guests aboard rave about the show I missed, the fascinating lecture, cooking demonstration or wine tasting, I feign disappointment and promise I’ll make the next one, but I know I won’t.

The thing is that I don’t need a daily program when I’m on a cruise because I don’t need activities when I’m aboard ship. I don’t want to sit and be fit, attend morning trivia, name that tune, participate in a table tennis tournament, play bingo, or do karaoke. I won’t Zumba, play shuffleboard, attend an ice carving demonstration, an arts & crafts class or a line-dancing lesson. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to participate in a “singles” anything.

For me, the best part of a cruise is being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

And I sure don’t need a daily program for that.

— 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.