My wife, Kim, and I recently completed a 7-day Mediterranean cruise with Ron and Beverly LeGrand, along with the Wolff couple (howl!….). Beverly was delightful and Ron was… well, Ron (just kidding!).
It was an enjoyable and memorable time for Kim and me; the sights were new, and it was my first cruise in 30 years. Remember in school how they used to ask, “How did you spend your Summer vacation?” Well, I spent it on a mega-ship (largest cruise ship in the world) with 6000 of my closest friends.
My most memorable experience? Well, Rome certainly ranks up there; #2 behind the pleasure of not getting left behind on the first day…
Our first stop was Mallorca, a Spanish island South of Barcelona. As Kim and I departed the boat that morning, Ron’s last words to me were, “Don’t be late. This ship will leave you behind.” They turned out to be fateful words…
We needed to be back to the ship by 3:30. At 1:00, Kim and I queued up in the long taxi line. By 3:00, we were still standing in line with the knowledge of a 20-minute cab ride back to the boat and nothing but full cabs driving by. Desperate times call for desperate action, so I paid the guy at the front of the line $100 to swap his spot. He gladly agreed but still no cabs came.
Finally, Kim stood out in the road waving a $50 Euro bill. A civilian driver immediately pulled over in his car and asked, “Where do you want to go?” One of the ship’s engineers (also standing in line) asked, “Can my party join you?” I enthusiastically answered, “Yes” – reasoning that the ship may leave Kim and me, but they won’t leave their engineer. He was our trump card.
Five of us crammed into some little Spanish car. Kim had to literally sit in the baby seat in the back. The engineer crammed his fiancé in his lap and her girlfriend next to them. Six people in a clown car. I guess that made me Head Clown but at least we were rolling back to the ship.
We made it back with minutes to spare. At dinner that night, ever-sensitive Ron exclaimed, “Lance, can’t I even count on you to make it back to the boat on time?” Chock another one up to the memories!