14 Years Ago Today

newsletterMy wife and I have been on at least 25 cruises, in some years taking as many as three. Back in 2001 we started having “Extended Family Cruises” every couple of years, the first booking 53 cabins and about 120 family and friends going.

In early 2008, we’d planned another family cruise for the summer. A week before we went Hurricane Katrina hit, and the ship we were originally booked on was leased by the government for New Orleans refugees – the so travel agent scrambled to booked us on another ship. The day before we were to leave, there were three Hurricanes in the Gulf — and so many (the smart ones) bailed out going on the cruise. Just the same, we still had about 50 people in 20 cabins.

On these cruises, the cabin steward makes up your cabin while you’re at dinner, and will leave a white Newsletter with blue print on your bed. This Newsletter tell you about the ship’s plan for the next day and will introduce you to the ship’s personnel. I decided to make a mock newsletter to freak out my friends. I printed 50 copies (this was before half bailed) and on the first night of the cruise (at about 2:30AM) I slid a copy of the mock newsletter under the doors of our 25 cabins — and put the rest under another 25 random doors.

In the morning for breakfast — the whole ship was freaking out from rumors — which literally took the whole week to clear up. The ship security personnel did question some people trying to find out who had done it — but I skated Scott Free. The below is a link to the PDF file used to print the Newsletter. You have to remember that five years ago people were freaking out more about Terrorists, and hurricanes when you read it.


We did run through storms and there were barf bags taped to the railings every 10′. We got back just in time to get off Galveston Island before Hurricane Ivan hit it. We were about the only ones on the road racing (at 100MPH) to get back home before the storm hit.

As we were getting off the ship, there were people actually getting on. Galveston was wiped out and not only did all of those people parked at the terminal have their vehicles swept into the Gulf — but the ship couldn’t come back for another week. It hung out around New Orleans (with some sick, scared, and pissed passengers), and finally went to Corpus Chrisit to let people off there. They were bussed to Houston as the bridge to the Island wasn’t opened yet — and they didn’t have anything left there anyway.

My sister recently sent me a copy of my Newsletter — and I thought I’d share.

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