When you cruise in the Caribbean as I just did, you not only witness the warm breezes but also three “D’s” of cruising.



When you cruise in the Caribbean as I just did, you not only witness the warm breezes but also three “D’s” of cruising.

Drinking is the first of them.

Throughout the day, lithe young men in white jackets move deftly among the sunbathers on the Lido deck, offering a dozen different drinks all spiky with straws and paper umbrellas. Then, during the evening meal, elegant stewards pitch a bottle of wine to every person at the table, offering to re-cork what you don’t drink and bring it out for you the next night.

The lithe young men also re-appear, more, selling brightly-colored liqueurs in pretty glasses that are yours to keep. One night this drink was a blend of Ketel Vodka, Midori and a coconut-flavored liqueur redolent of all the great old suntan oils of the early 1980s.

But if drinking is the first of the three “D’s” of cruising, the second has to be Digesting.

 Or trying to digest, since mounds of food are everywhere you turn.

I’m talking whole sides of beef, salad bars, veggies, stuffed pastas, hot breads and custom-cooked pizzas, offered for hour after hour - right up until night-time when the formal meal is served.

By then you’re decked out in your dressy best, trying to keep the sunburned backs of your legs from actually touching your chair, while a dozen ship’s photographers snap pictures of your ever-chubbier self, which you can buy and destroy the next day for a mere $22 apiece.

Finally there’s the third ‘D’ that you see plenty of on a cruise:

The Drama.

I’ve been on cruises where the wind blew so hard the water in the pools leaped onto the decks, swamping even those sunbathers 50 feet away.

I’ve been on a cruise where we were told to stay in our cabins and tie ourselves to our beds practically, which I did, peering out a porthole that was getting socked in the face by wave after angry wave. It was like watching your wash go round and round at the Laundromat.

And so it was that on this most recent cruise there were fresh dramas all around.

One day, a woman simply sank down at the salad bar.

“You’re falling,” the person bedside her said matter-of-factly.

“I know,” she said, melting floorward.

“You’re down,” he added none too helpfully.

“I know,” she said again.

Another day I came upon a young woman in the ladies room leaning over the sink while her nose bled profusely. I dashed to the buffet and tore back to her with ice in a linen napkin, which another passenger applied to the back of her neck. She must have bled for a good 25 minutes before someone from Health Service in crisp Love Boat whites finally turned up with a wheelchair.

Then, a third day, a 40-something fellow staggered toward his wife from the water slide area.

He had hit his head on the way down the slide, I think - and umbrella drinks may have been a factor - and with the water mixing with the blood from the wound he looked like the final act of Hamlet.

We who saw him paled at the sight, but his wife barely glanced up at him.

“Maybe I’ll go get some stitches,” he said sheepishly.

“Mmmmmm,” she answered, barely glancing up from her book.

“Want to come with?”

“I’m good here,” she said mildly, which just goes to show you:

One person’s drama is another person’s routine and vice versa.

Experiencing this truth may be why people want to cruise in the first place.

It’s either that or the Midnight Chocolate Buffet.

Write Terry at terrymarotta@verizon.net and see her daily blog for more tales and pictures too, at www.terrymarotta.wordpress.com.