Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Doing The Doc Dance

No, I don’t really dance; it’s a saying on a cruise ship message board people use when their travel documents arrive. I’m fairly relaxed about the whole thing and don’t post a thread on the board with multiple exclamation points and capital letters.

However, I do take great pleasure when Marilyn, my travel agent, calls and says, “Your documents are in.” It’s the unofficial start of the journey, the time to start looking over what I’ll wear, make a list and check it twice for what I’ll need to bring.

But no matter how many times you have sailed, you still sit down with a cup of your favorite hot beverage, take the document pack and look over everything. Even the bag tags. I don’t know why; they are just tags with the ship’s name on them and a place to put yours and your cabin number. But it’s part of the ritual. Then you look at the cruise ticket itself, which is partway through a booklet of ritualistic boilerplate printed ticket-size pages; it’s nice to see your name, the ship’s name, and the sailing date. Then there are all the other things you will throw out before you even get close to leaving.

Now where did I put those golf shirts with my radio station’s logo? Got to have them; I am a radio person, after all, and I don’t want some goofy manufacturer’s name. I don’t buy my stuff to advertise the company that made them. Passport; that’s in my “Next Cruise” drawer. Ditto with my small-size deck of cards. Express Boarding Pass … a bit of a joke, as most people on the ship have those, taken care of online. Well, it makes us feel special, if nothing else. We get our own line, but it’s just as long as the other.


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