Saturday 01 Oct 2016

Sea Cruise
Matt Seinberg

I think that every cruise director goes to the same comedy school when starting their careers. I write this because on every cruise, in my experience, the cruise director made the following joke on the first day at sea before the big show:  “You didn’t know that cruising is a religious experience, did you? How about when you first open the door to your cabin and say, ‘Oh My God,’ and realize how small it is? Then you see how much smaller the bathroom and shower are!”

Neil Roberts was no exception. He used the same line. It must be something learned in cruise-director school.

The joke never fails to get a huge laugh from the audience. Everyone knows it is true. Yet, we continue to cruise.

I just got back from a Canadian and New England cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess. It’s part of Princess Cruise Lines. You may remember them from the TV show “The Love Boat.” That was many years ago, and the original love boat is long gone.

I always make it a point to meet the cruise director and get a picture with him, if I can. Why, because it is one of my silly quirks I suppose. One other thing about cruise directors before I move on; on all my other cruises, they have been in their mid to late 30’s. Neil had to be around 45 years of age or maybe 50.

I asked Neil the stupidest question anyone could possibly ask. In my mind, it sounded okay, but when it came out it sounded stupid. Neil was very gracious about it.

I asked him why the average age of cruise directors was usually younger than he appeared. That pretty much asked him why he was so old. I’m lucky cruise employees have to be nice to all their guests.

Someone else I met, on this cruise, was the comedian, Max Amini. I had not heard of him before. He made a big thing of being Persian, which is another way to say Iranian. I understood all those jokes, since I had worked for Persians in a previous job. Max was much funnier than they were.

Amini did three shows on the ship. I caught all of them, though I missed the first few minutes of the second one. He did a joke during that show about having sex for one hour and five minutes and the audience kept chiming in with various comments that he really enjoyed.

The next night, Amini did the same joke and I was the only one to make a comment. It went over the rest of the heads, in that audience. Here’s the joke: I was having sex and the next thing I knew it was an hour and five minutes later. It turns out the clock was fast by an hour.

Then the second comedian made his appearance half way through the cruise, Rollin Jay Moore. He was hilarious and had the best cruise joke I ever heard. “One reason,” Moore said, “that people take a cruise is to eat. Let’s face it; the food abounds in copious amounts that could feed a small country for at least a week.”

Moore joked that if cruisers aren’t eating every twelve and half minutes, they don’t feel like they are getting their money’s worth. Normal people eat three meals a day. Cruisers eat at least six meals, with no maximum. I’m not kidding. With 24-hour room service, buffets from 6 am to 11 pm and various bars, there is always a time and place to eat.

By the fifth day, of the cruise, I was feeling stuffed and tried to control myself. Did you know that if a great white shark stops moving, it sinks. Right now, I feel like the great white elephant.

The cruise itinerary included stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor, Maine, Boston, and Newport, Rhode Island. We had been to Canada eight years ago, which in cruise time is like forty-two years. We walked around, took many pictures and bought souvenirs.

In Saint John, I stopped at Acadia Broadcasting, hoping to get some SWAG. The receptionist was very nice and explained they didn’t have anything, yet; it was a budget glitch. How often have I heard that line? She did however find a $50 McDonalds Gift Card and CDs by Brad Paisley and Lady Gaga. We thanked her.

Now, there was no way we could eat $50 worth of McDonalds. After we ordered, I gave the remaining $20.10 to the woman behind me. I told her it was her lucky day. That was my good deed for the day.

The other good thing that happened was meeting a nice family from Massachusetts. Melissa met Katie in the hot tub and then her father Dave joined them. After that, Marcy met them, and then his wife Pam, and other daughter Rebecca. We ended up spending most of the cruise with them, and I’m glad we did. The girls all had a good time, and it turned out that Dave and I had a lot in common, including “Star Trek.”

We start hearing about Hurricane Irene, how it was going to hit, violently, in New York City. When we got home Saturday, the rain didn’t start until we got off the ship. By that night, the winds were violent and the rain was cascading down.

On Sunday, around 11 am, we lost power. It’s now after 7 pm and I’m writing this at my in-laws house as my power is still out. Oh, did I mention that I also have an upper respiratory infection and feel sick as a dog? It’s very hot and humid; sleeping without air conditioning, for me, is difficult, and I think I might have a fever as well.

Luckily, I called my physician, on the way home Saturday. He gave me prescription for an antibiotic. It doesn’t feel like it is working.

After a great cruise vacation, to have to come home to hurricane and being sick, I now need a vacation from everyone and everything. Sometimes, I just can’t catch a break.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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