Adventures with Uncle Deej - Old Sport's First Cruise

For the better part of a decade, maybe more, my family tossed around the idea of taking a cruise together. Well, by "tossed around" I mean a bon voyage message from my Dad every time MJ and I were due to set sail - you know, the kind that yields a slight twinge of guilt - something along the lines of "One day we're all gonna take one together." For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was our overcrowded cruising calendar, we were just never able to make it happen. That is until one day when my Dad asked about a particular cruise the week of Thanksgiving. Wouldn't you know it, MJ and I were already booked on the exact same itinerary...

Thumbs up for "The Big Ship"
After ironing out a few details, it was official: the long awaited family cruise was really happening. And so began the 6 person pre-cruise-text-thread between my Dad, Mom, brother, sister-in-law, MJ and myself.

On a side note, have you ever been a part of a 6 person, all-family text thread for 7 months? Yeah, I, um, highly recommend it.

Of course, aside from all the digital family bonding, the biggest benefit for yours truly in all of this was that I'd get to cruise with my nephew, Old Sport. From the start, this cruise promised to be a memorable one, but it was also guaranteed to be very different than any we'd taken to date.

For example...

The approximate time between parking the car to parking my keester in a comfortable chair onboard is usually about 12 minutes. When you're traveling with 4 other adults, plus a 3 year old with more luggage than the rest of us combined, that time stretches to roughly 48 excruciatingly long minutes.
Dad had the right idea.
By this time I've also usually identified and made friends with the only bartender on the ship who can make a proper old fashioned. But that task would have to wait, there was putt-putt to be played...

The best time of any cruise is always the cast-off, and if its available we usually enjoy it from the heli-pad at the very front of the ship. It's usually pretty empty and gives the best vantage point. It also gives a kid plenty of space to run around and burn off the pent up energy from the stupid muster drill.

Another benefit of this spot is it allows you to look up and watch the activity on the bridge. And if you have a cute kid in tow, you may even get the captain to salute you with a short honk of the horn.

And so it continued for the next 5 days. Normal routines were tossed out the window in favor of whatever idea popped into Old Sport's head. For instance... 

Instead of quiet time in the Solarium with a book, I made my first visit to the main pool and dodged waterfalls.

Rather than burning $20's at the roulette table, we visited the air hockey table.

Did I mention that we played putt-putt?

While I play the role of the jaded cruiser quite well, this cruise managed to teach me plenty of new things. Such as...

There's no rule against having escargots for dessert.

On sea days, the winds are perfect for flying.

Bingo is a lot harder than I remembered it.

The duty free liquor shop is also known as the "Chip Store."

Ice cream cones are not for sharing.

Balancing a spoon on your nose is perfectly acceptable in the main dining room.

Above all else, I learned that family cruises are chocked full of memories.
Hopefully the first of many.

OK, sappy moment over. Never stop for the welcome aboard photo...

Enjoy Your Stay