Last year I decided that I wanted to do something really nice for my parents for Christmas. I finally felt stable enough to spend a little money on them in an attempt to repay them for the 20+ years of financial support, so I got them a cruise.
My parents are frequent cruisers – this was their 14th! They were saving up for a cruise in 2015, so I gave them the chance to go in 2014. My mom loves planning these things – that was as much a part of the gift as the tickets were. I hate planning stuff like this, so I was happy to let her take over. It seriously stresses me out. Another big part of the gift was the fact that I was going with them. (Awwww.) I went with them ~9 years ago, and they’ve been trying to make me go again ever since.
To prepare for this trip, I painted my toenails “Yoga-ta Get this Blue!” I also purchased the Game of Thrones book series so that I would have something to read. (Spoiler alert – I got through 1.5 of the books.) I bought new shoes and dockers. I packed the night before.
My parents came into town a day early and stayed at my place. That was a first, but it wasn’t so bad. I had to buy exactly three things before they showed up: bananas, Pepsi, and Tecate. They got to my apartment while I was still at work, and I had to explain to my dad over the phone that I didn’t have real TV. I walked him through turning on an x-box, using the controller, and launching Netflix.
Me: “Just use the joystick. The stick thing on the left. Yeah, the left one. Just, uh, push it down. You know, like, a joystick or whatever. You’ll figure it out. Use the A button to, uh, pick things. The one with an ‘A’ on it.”
Dad: “Does this thing get porno?”
Once I got home, I made them watch the first Game of Thrones episode, and my dad loved it, as expected. We went out to a nice dinner, and Brandon Bozzi joined us. My parents got wine drunk, dad harassed the waitress, and all was well. Nobody was noticeably racist.
The next morning we made our way to the airport. I showed my parents how Uber worked, and they were fascinated. My dad tried to hand the guy cash, but I explained that it was all handled through my phone. Nobody was noticeably racist.
Our first flight took us into Charlotte “Chat Roulette” NC. My mom decided that we were going to rough it out in the airport all night, instead of getting a hotel for like 8 hours. We got kicked out to the other side of security, but the guard hooked us up with the location of the couches. One was available, and we slept in shifts. Really I just played Path of Exile the whole time.
Eventually we made it to San Juan, spent a night in a hotel, hung out by the pool, nothing super eventful. We did meet Rob and Corina, a couple from New York in their 30’s. (They’ll return to our story later.) We ate at a really nice restaurant in the hotel, and it was one of the few times where I felt like the expensive food actually tasted better.
The ship was like four hours late getting into port. We showed up at 4pm to board, and waited in a line for like 2 hours in the heat and sun. People around us were incredibly cranky. I’ve never felt so uncomfortably white and #firstworldproblem. Like, I feel terrible even thinking something bad while waiting in line to get on a god damn cruise ship a few hours late. Little did I know that the broken cruise ship saga had only just begun…
UP NEXT: Day one! An unfortunate orange! Romance! Actually talking to strangers!