The Carnival Triumph debacle may be old news to you (at least the very first one), but to me, it’s still just the tip of the red plastic iceberg. Those two ladies that CNN and USA Today continuously showed kissing the ground? Yeah right. Show me a hot man, or any decent-looking man for that matter, after being stranded at sea and I’ll pucker up – but the concrete in Mobile, AL? As if.
There are things that go through your mind when you think you may never live through a situation (because yes, that was the severity we were all thinking at one time or another or perhaps it was just me over-medicating on my mother’s Xanax). For me, it was, “Oh $#!+… was my last Instagram photo really of me kissing a girl? On the mouth? People that know I played softball are going to have a field day with that. What if that’s the picture they show all over CNN?” Clearly Xanax and Lifetime movie flashbacks are not a winning combo coupled with copious amounts of Immodium to keep those red baggies at arms length.
There are things that I will never again take for granted after this s****y (yes, mark that the one millionth s**t pun in the media about this story) cruise experience. Things like hand sanitizer and sexting. And although that sounds creepy as if the two go together, they really don’t. But I will never again take for granted washing my hands. I don’t care how carefully I peed at a bar, and how quickly I need to return to the dance floor because “Call Me Maybe” is playing. I will always wash my hands.
For a short while before setting sail, I felt that sexting was a lost art or it had at least lost its luster with me. It was like second base and I was clearly rounding third, but being stuck on a boat and not being able to send a cheesy little emoticon or other things, was ultimate torture.
Never again will I travel without my own flask(s) on any trip, even to the gas station, because if the power goes down and there’s no alcohol, I’ll still be able to party. I’ll never take Stephen A. Smith yelling at me on SportsCenter for granted again, because it may be my last bit of sporting news ever, as depressing as that sounds. Glowsticks are also kind of rad, it turns out, not just at raves, but aboard desolate and dark cruise ships. I also think Lululemon shorts with built-in underwear are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Except when you have to wear them for 3+ days and can’t change the underwear part.
Let us not forget the bathroom situations either. I had to reacclimate myself to a 20th century toilet setting complete with toilet bowl, toilet seat, toilet paper and flushing capabilities. That was nice. I guess if Marie Curie could use the facilities like that back in the day, surely I could too. As my friend Kalin Hill shouted a few days later to the group text that will probably never stop, “Can I get a shout out for interior lighting!? Let’s give good ole Edison a standing O!” Clearly there was another “O” some of us would rather cheer for. Another partygoer in my group claimed she was most thankful for “valium” and private time in her own company, but she shall remain nameless or her finance would kill me. Oops.
For those wondering, there is such thing as sea goggles. Kind of like beer goggles, except all kinds of worse and taking inappropriateness to new heights. If there were an Urban Dictionary reference to such, and there may be but I was too lazy to look it up, it may go a little something like this:
Sea Goggles: When one begins to find fellow seagoers (man or woman, married or not), entirely more attractive than if aforementioned traveler was able to escape said failed 893-foot cesspool of a vessel. Showered applicants welcome but not required. Seeking delirious intoxication, but not from alcohol or drugs, rather stench and loneliness resulting in all kinds of awkwardness no one should ever admit to once disembarking.
Upon disembarking the “crippled cruise ship” or “floating petri dish” on Valentine’s Day, reporters were lined up to grab smelly sound bites for their viewers. Many were curious about the bruise on my left forearm, desperately hoping a fight had broken out amongst feeble and famished passengers in depleting food lines, but I’ve saved the story until now.
In my drunken stupor, coincidentally the same night the fire broke out and power went bye-bye, I ignored the smell of smoke for at least five minutes, then jumped off my bunk bed and slipped on a half-eaten pear in the middle of our cabin floor. My roommate, who shall remain nameless, was unable to discard her fruit in a trashcan before turning in, and yours truly slipped and fell. That’s also the night I was quoted live on CNN as “my least sober night so I don’t really remember,” but that’s how I remember it happening.
And speaking of bunk -- that leads me to another grievance I’ve had since departing the failed ship and have since been glued to the media surrounding it. This lady is now suing for $75,000 for dehydration? Dehydration? If one could sue for dehydration, every bar in Texas would be hearing from my lawyer after one of my many nights out of drinking, you crazy lady. Secondly, to set the record straight, the Triumph isn’t a luxury cruise, Nine West isn’t a luxury brand, nor is Aquafina a beverage limited to the upper class. Just want to get that straight.
On said “luxury” cruise, our bachelorette party of ten did have time to bond and create our own havoc. While I was busy watching the couple next to me partake in “boat head,” the others fittingly broke down the movie Titanic. Has anyone else ever noticed that the second Rose tells Jack she’ll “never let go,” the bitch basically says peace out and shakes off his hand? Not so romantic, is it? It’s amazing how much you can dissect a movie when given 100+ hours of nothing else to do.
And to the woman claiming it was “a mistake” to open the bar for two hours after being stranded with nothing to do but a crossword puzzle which came with the answer key, and a “fierce bean bag contest,” screw you. There were no fights. You know how I know this? Because if there were any fights, I would have either been the one starting it or the one videoing it. Give me a break. We were resigned to $#!++ing in red plastic bags, painting our nails with sharpies, and brushing our teeth with cans of Sprite – an open bar was the least they could do. The only thing that was “a mistake” was not letting the hard working crew partake in the complimentary lukewarm Budweiser because they went through the same as us, if not worse. Except for the fact they were getting paid, I guess.
I had very high hopes for an opening skit on SNL trying to capture the unshowered glory of 4,000 rank human beings, myself included, but they failed more miserably than the fuel line onboard the Triumph. Let me introduce Lorne Michaels to my dear friend Kalin Hill and her spot-on impression of Jen Baxter, the cruise director and her oh-so-proper British vernacular.
If you don’t find this painfully amusing, clearly you weren’t on that ship. Shame on you SNL, shame on you.
Let me end with a message to this douche who decided to say bad things about me in his LA Times article: you weren’t on the boat, so don’t presume when talking about things you don’t know about. Furthermore, I went to private school in a small Virginia town, so no, I’m not familiar with the Mayflower. Oh, and can you send me your mailing address? I have a lovely Carnival Cruise voucher to send your way. You prick.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.
Jayme previously inquired Would You Drink Beer for $50,000? and Extreme Sports, Legal Weed & One Cool Dude to Break It Down.