If you have ever embarked on a leisurely cruise, you know that within the first couple of hours you must participate in a “lifeboat drill!”
For me, the drill is just another thing that keeps me anxious until it’s over. This anxiety was first brought on by my wife’s absence on our first cruise.
While boarding, she was handed a “free makeover” ticket, and told that she must go to some lounge at 3PM to ensure an appointment during the cruise. The time was just one hour before the mandatory “lifeboat muster,” which left me at 3:55 PM pacing our cabin, my life vest on, sweating, wondering where the hell she was!
Then suddenly the captain sounded the alarm and begins the announcement to report to your “Lifeboat Station,” the number of which is posted on the back of your cabin door! Still no Judy!
Finally, after the corridors are almost empty of scrambling passengers, all decked out in their blaze orange floatation devices, I see her casually wondering along the hall toward me. “Where have you been? Would you please hurry?!”
Judy, nor any of the Dragons, ever gets in a hurry…it’s all about them and everyone else can just wait until they’re ready to play any of life’s games! So that’s where my anxiety over “lifeboat drills” was born.
So, on this trip to Alaska, we stood ready, in our rooms with our vests on, mine untied, since it wouldn’t reach around me, waiting for the dreaded signal. At least she’s learned to help squelch my anxious attacks by not wondering off just prior to the planned drill.
With the signal and the announcement blaring, we shuffled out through the little door and into the already crowded hallway, and followed the crowd down and out on the lifeboat deck, all the time looking for our proper station.
Once at the station, under the lifeboat hanging from above, we get into line and look outward toward our “lifeboat captain”, who incidentally happened to be one of the primary chefs by day!
I don’t remember this guy’s name, but even if I did it would be blurred by the nickname Neena hung on him.
He stood in front of the large group, maybe a 100 of us, and began to call off the room numbers for accountability with his heavy Asian accent, “Ceerow foree-sevan?”
Someone shouted, “Here!”
Well into the roll call we finally realized he was calling out the room numbers in 3-digits to conform to the roster sheet, and putting a zero in front of the double-digit numbers! From that point on during the cruise, when one of us saw him, they shouted, “There’s Ceerow!”
Ceerow would just look up at us puzzled and smile!