Big Mama was so excited when Mom and I told her to pack for a seven day adventure! This was going to be fun! My mom, grandmother and I were going on a cruise to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday.
Big Mama is only 5 feet tall, so she needed a ladder to climb into my SUV. By the time I got the ladder out of the attic and loaded it with the luggage, we were late in leaving for Port of Miami. Once we got there, I dropped Mom, Big Mama and the luggage at the gate, and went to park. Wouldn’t you know it . . . there wasn’t a spot within a 3-mile-radius! I finally found a space, caught a shuttle and made it back to the ship with seconds to spare.
We were in great humor until we located our cabin . . . it was only a little larger than a standard bathroom, with barely enough room for a double bed, dresser and a three-foot tall refrigerator! Above the double bed, a bunk bed was bolted to the wall.
To reach the bunk, I had to climb on top of the refrigerator and stretch my leg over to the bed. When I was lying in the bunk, my nose was only five inches from the ceiling.
Later, we went on deck for a lifeboat drill. Big Mama decided to inflate her life jacket just to be sure it worked properly! It did! Once she was deflated, we thought things would improve. Wrong! It was announced that the chocolate buffet was canceled!
It was smooth sailing to Cozumel, but as our ship was docking, it collided with the ship docked beside us. Well . . . it was supposed to be beside us. Anyway, the crash caused a terrible shaking of our ship. Chandeliers swayed with the force of impact. Mom ran to get pictures while Big Mama mumbled something about the Titanic! The Cruise Director announced we would be given extra time in Cozumel, due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
We had a beautiful time, seeing the sights of Cozumel. All went well except when we thought we would be arrested for jaywalking across four lanes of traffic! A policeman came running out of nowhere, blowing his whistle. A quick picture flashed before my eyes of us in a foreign jail, but he was actually an “angel.” He stopped all lanes of traffic for us to cross.
That night, back on the ship . . . the ocean was rough. The Captain was making up for lost time and we sailed full steam ahead, bound for Miami.
Mom suddenly turned on all the lights and announced that the toilet wouldn’t flush. As she dialed the steward, we told her to hang up . . . we weren’t dressed. She said we looked fine and kept dialing. When the steward walked in, he seemed surprised to see three ladies in curlers and dressed in identical cat nightshirts. He said all of the toilets were inoperable. Was it due to the crash?
Sleep seemed to be the only option. I climbed onto the refrigerator, stretched my leg across and got into my bunk. The sea was so rough I had no choice but to climb back down, and the three of us spent the night in the double bed.
After arriving back in Miami, I left Mom and Big Mama with the luggage while I searched for a parking lot shuttle. This took nearly two hours! My cell phone wasn’t working . . . I couldn’t call Mom . . . she was worried and reported me missing. When I finally arrived to pick them up, I heard my name being announced over the loudspeakers.
Mom told Security I’d been found. She unloaded Big Mama’s ladder from the SUV, loaded her and the luggage, and then reloaded the ladder. All of this occurred while a police officer was yelling at me for being double parked.
As we left Miami, we heard a little voice from the backseat, “What are you all going to do for my 81st birthday?”
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