For vacation, I'm on board with a cruise

July 06, 2008|By TIM SHEA

Every time I flip through the channels and either "Titanic" or "The Poseidon Adventure" is on, I stop and watch what can happen when a cruise goes bad.

Around Thanksgiving though, I'm going to have to bypass watching Kate Winslet and Ernest Borgnine for a few days.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I'm heading out to the high seas.

My fiance, Sherri, and I are going to spend seven fun-filled days and nights on the Carnival Valor.

We'll fly into Miami Sunday afternoon, then find our way to the ship, which hopefully will be more like "The Love Boat" and less like one of the two ships I mentioned earlier.

So what will be the easiest way to find the Valor? I figure if we follow Capt. Stubing or Julie McCoy, we're in good shape. If we see Leonardo DiCaprio or Shelley Winters, we're running the other way.


I've looked at the Web site for the Valor and it sure doesn't look like we're going to be bored. The ship has a WaterWorks park, a duty-free shopping mall, a world-class spa and a casino.

It will be like spending a week in the Tri-State area, except for the WaterWorks park, duty-free shopping mall, world-class spa and casino.

According to the Web site, the Valor also features a nine-hole golf course. So it's possible that Tiger Woods will be on board as part of his rehabilitation from his recent knee and leg injuries.

Note to self: Do NOT take Tiger's picture while he is golfing. That makes him kind of mad sometimes.

Here's my plan when I board.

First, I'll go to the front desk and ask for Gopher, aka "Your Ship's Yeoman Purser." I'll turn in my thousands of dollars in valuables. I'll also ask former Rep. Grandy if I should vote for McCain or Obama.

Eventually, I'm sure I'll see Isaac, aka "Your Ship's Bartender." I'll do that cool thing he does with his hands when he serves a drink. I'll also ask him how he can be called "Your Ship's Bartender" when the Valor has, oh, about 10 different bars.

I'm hoping to avoid Doc, aka "Your Ship's Doctor." Not only am I hoping to avoid illness, but did you ever see how he did with the ladies? Hey, Bernie Kopell, stay away from Sherri! I mean it.

Honestly, what can go wrong? One of the possible drawbacks to this is the possibility of seasickness. But my mother, who has only been on about 20 of these cruises with my father, aka "Dr. Norm," said she only has gotten seasick three times. Not a bad ratio.

The other drawback is that I apparently will have to waive my "no wearing ties except for funerals" moratorium for a couple of dinners. Why do I need to get dressed up when all I really want to eat is a cheeseburger and fries?

But instead of frowning upon this, maybe I should embrace this opportunity. I can imagine dining on stuffed lamb chops a la mode and drinking a quart of Jagermeister while the band is playing in the background.

You know, I might even ask my beloved Sherri for a dance.

Hey, can you guys play "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion?

Tim Shea is a Herald-Mail copy editor. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2329. or by e-mail at You can read more of his opinions on the Editors' Blog at

The Herald-Mail Articles