Nadine On…The 12 Days of Christmas rewritten as The 14 Days of Cruisin’

Fourteen days of transatlantic cruising. FOURTEEN DAYS!

Now Jose’ and I aren’t cruise virgins, but this kind of Adventure had us excited! (And because money is always the bottom line with Jose’ the added bonus was it was much cheaper to cruise home than it was to fly!)

Besides the opportunity to see some fantastic sights, workin’ on my tan, trying not to eat myself silly, finishing the second edit of the book (save your applause for the book signing party)…I’ve taken the liberty of amending The 12 Days of Christmas song…I present to you “The 14 Days of Cruisin’.”

Don’t hate me because I’m almost famous.

On the first day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me a 14 day Trans-Atlantic Cruise.

On the first day my true love loaded me, my 5 suitcases, 3 carry-on bags, one pillow and a blanket! aboard The Navigator of the Seas to return home after a yearlong ‘working vacation’…he worked… I vacationed!

On the second day of cruisin’
my true love gave to me two shows a night…at the Met-tro-pol-o-i-lis.

Overheard in the Metropolis Theatre, a truly splendid concert hall with 3 levels of balconies, and two bars, a huge performance stage with a state of the art lighting and sound system…a husband explaining to his wife:

“Now Mildred, don’t sit all the way in to the middle of the isle, in case the show sucks and we want to leave early.”

Good to know.

But the shows never sucked and were jam packed with some amazing talent, singing, dancing, acrobatics a hypnotist and then some. Really AMAZING shows.

On the third day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me a three mile walk…around the ship’s outdoor track.

In case you didn’t know there is a huge difference between mall walkers and cruise ship deck walkers. First of all, mall walkers are usually up early and out of there by the time the shoppers arrive at 10:00 a.m. Not true about cruise ship deck walkers…these people walk All.Day.Long. And you best not get in their way or walk the opposite direction of the flow; lest you get your beads read.

Basically, it’s this…walk the direction of the wheel, lead, follow or get out of my damn way. I’m on my way to Belly Dancing lessons and I don’t want to be late!

On the fourth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me four bingo cards!

Cruise ship bingo is hilarious! These people really get into it and the cruise ship folks make it really fun and funny. Of course, this is just the appetizer for the main course served in the ship’s Casino. Where it’s not uncommon to hear someone exclaim at the craps table “Oh shit! I crapped! Dolores, please tell me I’m not out of depends.”

On the fifth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…five golden watches!

It’s a hard sell on those watches. Especially when making a transatlantic cruise. Because as you cruise to the East, each night they turn the clocks back one hour. It’s fantastic! Everybody sets their little clocks for 0400 and gets up and turns back their clock. Right? Ok, am I the only one here?

By the looks on your faces, I’m thinking I am.

But what an incentive to market these watches…because those poor souls selling them have to turn each and every one back if they don’t sell.

On the sixth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…six bands a playin’…on every deck of this stinking cruise ship.

Where do they get all of this talent?! Amazing, truly amazing. Whatever kind of music you are into, they’ve got your flavor; from Salsa in Bolero, to easy-listening piano/jazz in the Schooner bar, to fifties sock hop in Studio B, to an hour of Mowtown or ABBA in the Dungeon, to 60’s/70’s/80’s mix on the main pool deck 11 rockin’ with a great band Adam’s Rib. A shout out to the drummer, Riley, who we had breakfast with.

On the seventh day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…seven ice cream cones.

Have you tried the ice cream cones? Yum! Beware, though of the ice-cream-cone police. Because they WILL cite you if you go over the daily limit.

First you get a warning…but after that, no mercy. It’s not hard to get carried away and you could find yourself dangerously close to exceeding your limit.

Which I have set…arbitrarily…at seven.

On the eighth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…eight lords in speedos.

Ok…eight very large men in speedos in the hot tub.

Dit-do-do! Dit-do-do! Dit-do-do!

A public service announcement people, listen up!…A word on appropriate cruise swim wear. Make sure it fits.

For ladies…It’s all about the foundations; not only your cup size, but your butt size. If it’s creeping up your crack, and it’s not pretty to YOU…then it’s probably not pretty to the rest of us.

And men! You don’t get off so easy. There happens to be a Maritime Speedo Law enforced out here on the open waters. There is a no Speedo limit…and it goes like this. If you can’t see your feet…NO! Speedo.

On the ninth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…nine ladies dancing.

These women are animals! From Belly Dancing lessons to Flash Mobbing…They will literally dance your legs off all night long in the Disco. And beware if you let them make requests! Because we’re… um, they’re on each other’s shoulders while doing line dances, swinging around the ceiling fans, sliding down the banisters from the upstairs to the downstairs…and that’s before the body shots!

On the tenth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…ten sparkling diamonds!

Sparkling Diamond friends that is. That’s what the cruise line calls the frequent fliers. Because if you think back, the reason we’re on this cruise is because it’s a good deal. And ya’ll know Jose’. And ya’ll know me, I’d rather spend $1,000.00 on my Harley, than on a new diamond ring.

But I wouldn’t trade for my new Diamond friends! From Hansel and Gretel, Monica and Jim, Joan and Big Al from Jersey, the four Louisiana gals, Ginny and Al, to Kathy and John. Ok, that’s 14! Who’s counting? They are all really great people and we are so blessed we met them!

On the eleventh day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…eleven meals a day!

Oh My Goodness, I felt like a Hobbit. But Hobbits only have seven meals a day:  Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevensies, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Dinner and Supper. Somehow we managed to add in another four! Which leads me to the twelth day…

On the twelfth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…twelve pounds a gainin’…so far!

Oh gosh! I hope these Spa scales are wrong. Because I can’t stop eating this fabulous food. The three courses a day, plus snacks are about to do me in! The food is so excellent here and the presentations are amazing. There surely is an abundance…and apparently it has decided to settle on my butt!

On the thirteenth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…thirteen minutes of Internet time.

Oh.My.Goodness! Have you seen the prices of that stuff? For crying out loud! You’d think AT&T has the monopoly here for what they charge! Highway robbery. Seriously.  But after 14 days, and 257 new emails in my mailbox, 13 minutes is just a drop in the bucket. Sorry honey, about that bill. Let’s see, doing the math, 75cents a minute for 412 minutes…oh well, I didn’t really need another watch.

On the fourteenth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…fourteen days of memories that I will never forget as long as I live.

So to cap it off…On the 14th day of cruisin’ my true love gave to ME!!!

14 days of memories,

13 minutes of internet,

12 extra pounds,

11 meals a day,

10 Sparkling Diamonds,

9 ladies dancing,

8 lords in speedos,

7 ice cream cones,

6 bands a playin’,

5 golden watches!!!

4 bingo cards,

3 mile walks,

2 shows a night,

And a 14 day Trans-Atlantic Cruise!

WHAT an adventure this last year has been!

He led us into the desert and he has led us back out as promised. Isaiah 43:19 “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

As we close one chapter, we open another. Frankly, we are looking forward to what’s to come.

At home.

Because, there’s no place like home…(click your heels together three times)…unless it’s Texas!

Feel free to leave a comment, I love your commentary…or to follow (not stalk) me. Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

Your very best friend in the whole entire world

Nadine Bodine

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