Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Opinion

May 23, 2014

Don Newbury: Two thumbs up for cruising from teens

The dots could have been connected quickly by a 2-year-old during the few weeks or months between pacifier-sucking and iPhone text messaging. Predictably, my mental connection of the dots stretched over a few hours.

We came out at the same place, however, that the upcoming cruise would include an inordinately large number of children. Never mind we arrived at this conclusion slowly — as we say in Texas  by “blind hog luck.”

My first clue that there would be at least a thousand kids should have been a muttering by the New York City cab driver delayed at an intersection. 

“Just my luck,” he fumed. “Here we sit, waiting on a convoy of 18-wheelers delivering macaroni to cruise ships!” 

My wife and I smiled, realizing his remarks were aimed at Carnival Cruise Lines’ Splendor, the ship we’d soon board for warm days in the Caribbean.

———

My corrective nature — in a bit-chomping state — yearned to advise him that “the diaper and pre-teen crowd call it simply mac n’ cheese.” 

However, we’ve learned, over the years, to allow cab drivers to bask in the warmth of their own opinions. Let others argue with ’em.

The ship in sight, we dreamily anticipated the indescribable blue/green waters, grand food and lavish entertainment. We thought, too, of gracious, accommodating staff who’d respond to virtually all whims of some 3,000 vacationers.

Much would be left behind in the workaday world. Destined for deletion from vacation thoughts were frustrations associated with the crazy weather, income tax deadlines and heightening issues around the world. Aren’t issues, local or otherwise, always heightening?

———

Upon boarding, we heard squeals of children, most of ’em on spring break. Some decorated cabin doors with themes of Easter, the holiday we’d observe three days later.

Realizing that dozens and dozens — if not hundreds — of entire families were on board, we took the “high road” for speculation.

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