Lost at Sea – Where do the things you lose on a cruise *go*?

Monday Mantra

I’m losin’ it!…I’m losin’ it!…I’m losin’ it!

Lost at Sea

Where do the things you lose on a cruise go?

Call me irresponsible — you won’t be the first — but it’s rare that I return from a cruise with everything I arrived with.

My losses are usually insignificant: an eye pencil, a windbreaker, a pair of cheap sunglasses. And then there are things I lose, but not really, like a set of Bobbi Brown make-up brushes that I mourned for a week before repurchasing — only to discover the original set inside my suitcase when packing for a cruise months later.

You’d think I would have learned. During a Rotterdam V sailing with mom in the 80s, I realized my wallet was gone. Gasp! Screams! High, high drama! I burned my dinner and booze calories that night running repeatedly from the Sky Room on the uppermost deck (figures) to the lower-deck Ocean Bar until someone alerted me that someone found my wallet and was returning it to my cabin. I ran there, flung the door open and found my nightgown-clad mom speaking with a strange man which, let me tell you, was nearly enough to make me forget the wallet entirely. The wallet-bearing man turned to me and barked “Young lady! I watched you run all over the ship but held this to teach you a lesson! Look! Your traveler’s checks and their receipts in the same place?? That’s irresponsible!”

I told you I was called irresponsible before.

About a year ago, I wasn’t as lucky. This time it was a camera. A new camera. An expensive camera. And, most importantly, a camera that held the only photos of me ever snapped in Palma de Mallorca. Since the camera disappeared while we were at sea, I knew that it was on board … somewhere. The front desk dutifully recorded my information in its lost-items log but that didn’t stop me from stealthily sidling up to anyone in possession of a Nikon to get a closer look and, like some shady tabloid reporter, offering a $100 reward to various bartenders should they overhear someone discussing a camera they found. In the end, I went home camera-less and bought the same one again … this time in an easy-to-spot red. Seriously.

That unfortunate experience didn’t ruin my vacation because possessions can always be replaced. And since vacation memories can’t be stolen, I steeled myself, forged ahead, let others snap the pictures, and thanked God it wasn’t my passport.


— Judi Cuervo


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.