My wife and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary next week. My father-in-law—bless his heart—was kind enough to surprise us with an all-expenses-paid Mexican cruise on Holland America. We leave Saturday and sail from San Diego to Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. This is my fourth cruise so I pretty much know what to expect. I’ve already removed my “fat pants” from mothballs so when I return I’ll have something to wear.
I’m convinced that cruises are meant for gluttons; people who want a Thanksgiving meal three times a day for an entire week. I can’t even imagine what happens on a 21-day cruise. In fact, the thought of it makes me want to reach for the Tums. Why do you suppose we do this to ourselves? Is it because we want to get our money’s worth? Are we really that hungry?
Not too long ago I went on an Alaskan cruise. Nearly every morning when my wife and I were enjoying breakfast—well, I really didn’t enjoy the fourth helping of eggs, hash browns and turkey sausage, but cleaned my plate anyway—we ran into the same gentleman. I guess our morning alarms were in sync. The man was big; over six feet tall and must have weighed in at 300+ pounds. Not by choice but by utter curiosity, we watched this man consume enough food to support life in a small country. The mountain of greasy bacon nearly falling off his plate was mindboggling. In a sense, I think we actually sat near this guy hoping that watching him eat might curb our appetites. Well, the strategy didn’t work; I gained seven pounds.
This cruise is going to be different. I’m going to get up early every day and go to the on-board gym and do thirty minutes on the elliptical machine. I’m going to eat a light breakfast, enjoy a modest lunch and for dinner I’m going to stay away from the buffet line. Sweets and desserts? One indulgence per day. Alcohol? No hard liquor or beer. Wine only. When I return, I’m going to fold my fat pants, place them in a plastic bag and donate them to a worthy charity. But just in case my plan fails, I can always fall back on that one pair of worn out sweatpants that are four sizes too big. Shh. Don’t tell my wife.