There Goes the Sun – What do you do when the tropical rain soaks your ship?

Monday Mantra

Rainy Days and Sea Days… Rainy Days and Sea Days… Rainy Days and Sea Days…

There Goes the Sun

What do you do when the tropical rain soaks your ship?

Yay! We’re at sea! You wake and imagine a full day lazing in the sun, sipping cool drinks and reading, listening to music, or just watching people on deck, contemplating mysteries like “What on earth possessed that woman to buy that bathing suit?”

You emerge from the ship’s interior, scoop up a beach towel, and settle in to a perfectly located poolside deck chair. Sunscreen is first on the agenda, sunglasses next. You adjust the chair back, recline, close your eyes, and let the sun’s rays caress you and the gentle swish-swish sound of the ocean lull you into a state of serenity.

Suddenly, a shadow. You open your eyes and above you hovers a mass of gray, otherwise known as one big, honkin’ cloud. Its gray varies from the palest silver to the deepest charcoal. Your eyes scan the horizon beyond it, straining your eyes for a sign that sunshine lurks just beyond and that all will be well once the unwanted gray mass moves on.


Caribbean rain doesn’t begin with an odd drop here and there. It is, instead, a sudden and aggressive onslaught akin to machine gun fire. And it takes a cruise-ship sunbather from dry to drenched in 1.2 seconds.

I, personally, love to watch the on-deck spectacle when a storm appears. There are the optimists who drape a towel over their heads intent on waiting it out. There are the panic-stricken passengers who run for cover as though their very lives were at stake. Others stay immersed in the hot tub no matter what the deluge, while some remain in the swimming pool, squealing as they ride the waves that now crash over the pool’s edge and onto the deck.

The unoccupied deck chairs, covered since 6 a.m. with possessions left by people with no intention of showing up until late afternoon, suffer the greatest damage as I cheer on the storm, willing it to blow the chair-saving baseball caps and T-shirts into the sea and turn the paperback books into piles of soggy pulp.

While the chaos occurs on deck, cruise staff are behind the scenes evaluating the likely duration of the downpour and panicking like parents who suddenly need to come up with ways of entertaining their unruly children indoors. New activities are announced over the intercom but the thwarted sunbathers aren’t interested in napkin folding, a tour of the ship’s art collection, a showing of Out at Sea, or a skincare seminar.

They want the sun back … and, dammit, they aren’t going anywhere until it returns.


— 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.