(Pre)Christmas Vacation: Part 4 The Story of Joanne

New Years Resolution #2: Be a nicer person (aka don’t laugh at other people’s misfortunes). SOOOOO….. with 8 hours left until Operation: Sonja is not a bitch – I gift you with the most hilarious story of my vacation: the story of Joanne.

So there we were in the Grand Cayman Islands. It was one of those harbors with water too shallow for the cruise lines to dock at, so tenders were organized to take passengers from the ship to the island. Ryan had noticed that morning that the tenders we were using were actually from our own ship (instead of loaned out by the Cayman Island society of rental tenders or whatnot). They were located next to some of the lifeboats but were bigger / prettier than the average life boat.


Fast forward to the afternoon of our Grand Cayman Island stop over and there Ryan and I were hanging out poolside on the top deck of the ship awaiting our sail-away party. We both tend to have more Type A / anal personalities (not a shock to find this out about me, I’m sure), so with a departure time of 3 PM and a last tender departing the harbor at 2:30 PM, we were back with plenty of time to spare. Therefore, at around 4 PM I became restless and turned to Ryan to say, “weren’t we supposed to be leaving already?” There may have been some eye-rolling from Ryan as I tend to always run 15 minutes late to everything I do and then demand to know why other things/people are slow. But less than 5 minutes later over the PA system the cruise director calls out for Joanne to please contact ANY staff member of the ship. And around that time we noticed a couple things: 1) our engines were turned on and our ship started to MOVE, and 2) there was still one of our tenders at the Grand Cayman Harbor (we had watched the other 5 tenders being pulled up out of the water on cranes and placed back onto the cruise ship). And amidst all of this, our cruise director Dave kept calling out for Joanne. Then the ship slows (but does not stop) and we see that lone tender leave the dock and speed at full power to our cruise ship!


At this point I’m pretty much afraid of falling overboard because I’m enjoying the hilarity of the idea of a missing passenger so much that I’m halfway over the railing trying to capture every moment on camera as Ryan tries to yank me back. So the boat makes it to the cruise ship which stops only long enough for 5 non-employees (parents, 2 kids, and a grandma) and about 20 employees to run off the tender. The ship starts up again and the crew has to work on pulling the tender back onto the cruise ship while the engines are back on and the ship is quickly picking up speed (because our captain is so bad ass he’s not stopping for a second longer).


That same night was one of the few “younger” passenger activities: a pub crawl to the different bars on the ship. At one point, several very strong drinks deep, I joked that the crew that had to work on finding the family and then pulling in that last tender deserved a round of free drinks and the beverage captain overheard me, looked at me very seriously and stated, “you have no idea!”

Needless to say, the next day when we disembarked in Roatan, we were nicely reminded by about 5 different employees exactly what time we needed to be back on board the ship.

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