Cruise ship off Cozumel at sunset, cruising the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Photo: Ingram Image

Sailing into a New Year!

The Monthly Mantra

Cruise Year Resolutions…Cruise Year Resolutions…Cruise Year Resolutions….

It seems everyone’s making resolutions this month:  Lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking and rev up the fitness routine.  As a cruise fanatic, my resolutions are a bit different.  Below are just a few of the ones I’d like to conquer in 2020:

Share and Share Alike: I will do my best to remember that the petit four tray is not for me alone.

Picture This:  I will sort through my four decades of cruise photos and discard the stupid ones:  out-of-focus people I can’t remember, the filet mignon I ate 35 years ago and about 300 shots of the Baked Alaska parade.

Style and Sensitivity:  I will not make fun of anyone’s formal attire, even the woman with the silver lame dress that makes her butt look like a pan of Jiffy Pop just off the burner.

Animal Rights:  I will not decapitate a carefully constructed towel animal to wipe up the wine I spilled on the dresser.

The Lotion of the Ocean:  I will carefully read toiletry labels so that when I emerge from the shower, I don’t slather half a bottle of hair conditioner all over my arms, legs and chest believing it to be body lotion.  It was Bulgari, but still.

Patience:   I will strive to appreciate professionalism in cruise ship servers and feign interest in endless presentations of a particular restaurant’s olive oils, salts or eight varieties of garlic.  And I’ll do this even when I really just want the server to stop talking and bring out the food.

Bubbling Over:  I will not sneak bubble bath into the hot tub just to see what happens.  Not even a capful.

Foot Loose: I will no longer pack my fabulous Giuseppe Zanotti 6” black suede stilettos that have traveled to three continents but have never left the cabin because they’re simply too painful to wear.

Alone Time:  Unless the chef wants to check out the local jewelry shops and handbag stores, I won’t go shopping with him.  I buy enough fish and produce when I’m at home, thank you.

Blame Game:  The morning after an evening filled with margaritas and my first taste of absinthe, I will acknowledge that it was the booze and not last night’s shrimp scampi that has made me feel violently ill.

Forgiveness:  I will not blame my travel companion when, in a period of 45 seconds, I lose $50 at the slot machine–even when said travel companion was hovering right there looking impatient the entire time and, no doubt, bringing me lousy luck.

Cold Feet:  When I enter the snow room of a shipboard spa, I will always wear flip-flops so as not to disturb others by letting loose a deafening string of profanities when my bare feet hit the icy snow room floor.

Eye Contact:  I will have greater tolerance of other cultures and not get totally grossed out when served shrimp with the eyes still on.  Okay…maybe I have to work on this one a bit.

Home Work:  I will be mindful in my cabin:  I will select a safe combination that is easy for both me and my travel mate to remember, I will identify one spot to place my card key each time I enter the cabin and, from the very first day, I will pay attention to which light switch operates which light.

Techno Tolerance:  As one who still marvels at the flush of a vacuum toilet, I will try to embrace today’s  virtual side of cruising — even though I really want a card key, a human bartender, a real balcony and if I want to sky dive, I’ll jump out of a plane, dammit, and not be shaken up on some gizmo in a penny arcade.  (I believe these anger issues might trace back to working at a company with truly useless IT people.)

Here’s to smooth sailing into 2020…what are your resolutions?

— 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.