I’ve never been on a cruise. Or should I say, on a ship that wasn’t painted gray and called USS Lincoln. But when I heard that Princess Cruises was launching their inaugural Cruise for a Cause, and that it would honor veterans and military members, AND that a portion of the sales would go to Operation Homefront and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, I felt the call of the sea.
Now, I had to convince my husband (a submarine veteran) of why he should sail the seas when, in his former life, the very mention of a surface ship produced snorts and NOT ON YOUR LIFES and other amusing commentary (submariners…eyeroll). So I made up a fun little list of 6 reasons to go:
1. It’s a ship, not a boat. If you have ever been around a submariner and made this mistake, then you know why that’s an important distinction. Since it is a ship, he won’t be “disloyal” by riding on the waves rather than under them, and with the cruise honoring military and veterans, he’d have plenty to counter with when the ribbing starts (and it always starts).
GEEK OUT: This baby is a 112,894 gross tons, 947-foot-long and 206-foot-tall giant of high seas fun. (I have to throw stats at the hubby…he’s also a former Navy Nuke. If you’ve met one, I don’t have to explain.)
(Yes, honey, that is a “real” ship.)
2. You can actually see the ocean. Believe or not, you can do a ton of sea duty and not actually SEE the ocean. Or sunlight. And you definitely want to watch getting into a car with a submariner after a patrol.
(Not even close to reality)
Windows and balconies are not an option on your billion dollar submarine, but you can have one or both and more depending on which stateroom you choose for your Princess Cruise.
3. Lack of sleep will be by choice Nine nightclubs, 3 lounges, 2 theatres can steal your sleep rather than Oncoming, On Watch, Off going. You don’t even have to know where the engine room IS on the ship (and if you go around asking to hang out in there, then I will enlist some of the other Navy veterans to harass you mercilessly. And you know they will…MGACoftheClanNOAC)
4. The former Joint Chiefs Chairman and Chief of Naval operations are coming, and you won’t even have to shave! You can even call yourself Admiral. Of Starfleet. Or The Backyard. Whatever floats your boat.
(You have the deck and the conn!)
I will, however, VETO any leaning over the rail yelling “I’m King of The World!!!” For the children.
5. You really can “Drink to the Foam!” And explain what MGACoftheClanNOAC really means during one of the service branch get-togethers hosted throughout the voyage. You know sea stories are the BEST stories. Especially when they involve King Neptune.
(That Shellback Ceremony was off the hook…)
6. There’s Food. A lot of it. I really don’t have to add much to this, except that you can go out to sea and not lose 20 pounds. Or wonder why the lettuce is suddenly green again. Everything is hand-made, seasonal, fresh and Princess buys local.
(If 50 different types of pasta isn’t enough of a draw, then I don’t know what is!)
All joking aside, this is sure to be a unique and incredibly fun time, and it’s all for a great cause. If you’ve always wanted to take a cruise, this is the one for you. This 4-day Western Caribbean vacation cruises from Houston, Texas Nov. 5, 2013. The ship, the Caribbean Princess, features a host of onboard restaurants, cafes, lounges and spas for guests to enjoy, and will make one stop in beautiful Progreso, Mexico. You can dine by the pool, enjoy 24-hour room service and make new friends as you sail. To learn more about Cruise for Cause or to book your spot, visit Cruising for A Cause.
You could also win a spot on board by entering at www.operationhomefront.net/cruise . After you have entered the promotion online, you may submit up to three patriotic photos to earn additional entries. Anchors Away!