Cruising Barefoot

Monday Mantra

Cruising Barefoot

When novice packing mistakes seem to carry on.

I will not make novice cruise mistakes…I will not make novice cruise mistakes…I will not make novice cruise mistakes…

More than 35 years have passed since then and I now think of myself as a cruise veteran. I know how to scoot past photographers; I know what to do when a vacuum toilet starts to sound like it’s about to explode; I never forget my shore excursion tickets; and I even used to know how to cut the boat drill before they started taking attendance. Yet, recently, a novice cruise mistake nearly forced me to disembark in my pajamas.On the final night of my first cruise, I dutifully placed my packed suitcase outside my cabin door and didn’t realize until the following morning that it contained every pair of shoes I’d brought. I disembarked barefoot, but it was cool: I was 19 and pretty cute.

It happened aboard The Moody Blues Cruise, a sailing with some of my all-time favorite rock bands (which you can read all about in the September/October issue of Porthole Cruise Magazine). On the final evening, I was delighted to receive an invitation to the artists’ end-of-cruise party. At the time, I was attired in an outfit better suited to grocery shopping than hanging with rock stars, so I dug into my packed suitcase, changed into something fabulous, and chucked what I’d been wearing into the case.

When I returned to my cabin, I kicked off my shoes, re-packed the fabulous outfit, placed my luggage outside the cabin door, and went to bed. I was nearly asleep when it dawned on me … “DAAAAARN!!!” I screamed. (Okay, maybe not “darn,” but I certainly screamed as I leaped out of bed and flung the door open.) To my relief, there it was still leaning against the wall: the suitcase that held the pants that would save me from disembarking in my pajamas.

They say we learn from our mistakes and I suppose I did. I came awfully close to leaving the ship in my sleepwear. But at least I was never in danger of being barefoot.


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.