Friday, July 08, 2005

Dennis the Menace

Those who know me know I love taking cruises. There's just something about waking up every day in a new tropical locale and taking advantage of all the things cruiselines offer. The ships are practically floating cities, and there's always somethig to do.

This is why I was so excited to hear about a co-worker planning his first cruise. He asked me about cruising a few months ago when his father-in-law booked a vacation for the family.

He's leaving town today en route to Tampa for his cruise, which is scheduled to depart on Saturday. But Hurricane Dennis is on its way to Florida, and I'm crossing my fingers that it miraculously weakens (a lot) before it gets there.

After last year, Florida doesn't need another hurricane, that's for sure. And I would hate for his first cruise to be ruined because of the storm.

I know all too well about hurricanes and cruises. Last year, Jim and I boarded the Mariner of the Seas out of Port Canaveral for what was to be a 7-night cruise to the western Caribbean. That was right in between Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne. The cruise ended up lasting 9 nights - not 7 - because Hurricane Jeanne was bearing down on the path we were to take back to port. That sounds really cool because who wouldn't like to tack on an extra couple days to your vacation ... but the atmosphere was so hectic with people trying to reschedule travel plans and deal with work issues and school problems, that I was so ready to get off that ship when it was finally able to dock in Miami (Port Canaveral sustained some damage and was unable to allow us to dock where we started out).

We were bused back to Port Canaveral by Royal Caribbean and after finding our car in one piece, Jim and I drove back to Chattanooga. We were absolutely amazed at the devastation we saw during that ride through Florida. Hurricanes are so powerful it amazes me.

So, I'm crossing my fingers for my co-worker and everyone in the path of this hurricane. Let's hope it loses strength soon.