A Scandal at Sea

Sunday marked a year since I met The Wedding Date.  Today marks a month until we set sail on our first cruise as a couple.  To say I’m excited is an understatement—I’m ecstatic, so ecstatic in fact that I’ve already begun trying on all of my formal wear and managed to get myself stuck inside the pink halter I bought at Jomar—but I’m also nervous.

We’ve never been on vacation together before, unless you count Boston back in January and that was only one night.  Our cruise is six nights.  Six nights is a long time when you still haven’t mastered the art of actually sleeping next to your significant other.

I’m also one of those people who likes her space and even though Royal Caribbean’s Vision Class cruise ships hold several thousand passengers, our room doesn’t.  We’re staying in an “interior stateroom” which is cruise-talk for Small-windowless-cell-because-you-can’t-afford-anything-else.

Our agent didn’t call it that, of course; she called it “the most economic option” but now she’s teasing me that she booked us the “boiler room special” so who knows.  We’ll either have the time of our lives or we’ll end up killing each other and I’ll have to draw upon my vast knowledge of Law and Order re-runs to make it look like an accident.

(Unless of course he kills me first, in which case, it was nice knowing all of you.)

There’s also the scandal factor.  Yes, I know it’s 2012, and yes, I know I’m almost 27, but I’ve never gone on vacation with a man before.  I went camping once with my boyfriend shortly after graduating from college but again, it was just one night.  I may run around in stilettos and spend an inordinate amount of time talking about men but I’m really quite the Victorian at heart.  The Wedding Date and I aren’t married.  We’re not even engaged.  And we’re going away for a week together!  What will the neighbors think?

(By which I of course mean what do you all think?)

16 Responses to “A Scandal at Sea”

  1. aka gringita

    Shame, shame, I know your name!

    No, seriously. Have fun.

    And the secrets to surviving the miniscule shared cabin:

    1. You must be really respectful of each other’s (limited) space. Note that this includes closet and bathroom space, because it’s alarming how little you will have of either. (Not a “couple issue” per se as much as a small-space survival recommendation: Coordinate shower products for zero duplication. Identify what products and items you truly must have and what you can live without for one week. Coordinate your outfits to get maximum mix-and-match value out of fewer items… OR, pack less and plan instead to do laundry while on the ship. This is NOT the most fun way to spend your time but when I went to Alaska — read as: need to pack for 4 seasons and any eventuality — packing some quarters and laundry supplies and spending a couple of “down” hours in the belly of the ship meant halving my luggage and doubling my closet space)

    2. You shall use the room primarily for sleep (and, ahem, other bed-based activity), showers, and a changing room. You may have space to sit and talk and whatnot, but do not plan to “hang out” there extensively.

    Oh, and if you get any rough seas making you seasick, I recommend a green apple for breakfast (and nothing else until you feel better) and LOTS of fresh air.

    Enjoy, you two!

    • Kat Richter

      Hmmm… I do have a soft spot for men’s shower gel. The girly flavors get on my nerves after a while. Good tip!

  2. susan

    Have a great time, stay up on deck as much as possible (particuparly if you feel queesy). The open air and sea and looking at the horizon is what being on a cruise is about. Take less than half of what you think you will need, dress down, not up and ENJOY!

  3. Jill

    The neighbors think this is *awesome* and advise that you do this now (meaning at this stage of relationship) and as often as possible. Wouldn’t the deck chairs do for napping, you know, if sleeping is a problem? Have an excellent time!

  4. Tracy

    Your eloquent, yet honest, Cruise Planner approves! and Susan’s comment about open air is very accurate! unless you book a cabin with a private balcony…get out and enjoy the fresh sea air as much as possible.


  5. Laurie

    Oh, the days of young love when there is too little space! I have such fond memories of this type of challenge. Time to cuddle! As for our approval… what took you so long?

  6. Grey Goose, Dirty

    No scandal at all Kat. It’s important to know if you can travel together! Sharing a tiny cabin will be an awesome test of that, but aside from *not* sleeping, you won’t be in there all that often anyway. Although I’m sure I’m not supposed to mention his name here, that was the last ‘test’ that TD took ….. I wanted to know if we could travel together as I love doing so. He passed. In that regard, at least.

    You’re going to have a blast!!! Enjoy!

    • Kat Richter

      Haha, Lord knows I talk about TWD enough on your blog so I’ll allow a brief mention of TD for comparative purposes (although I do of course hope that you are officially, officially done with him, LOL!)

  7. Wilma

    I don’t think this is scandalous. I think traveling with a man is a good way to test your compatibility for navigating life together. If you end up screaming at each other like some of the contestants on The Amazing Race, it’s better to know now, before you’re making honeymoon plans.

    Use the room for sleeping only and don’t feel like you have to spend every waking moment with him. Those are my two cents.

    Finally, how dare your travel agent taunt you with the “boiler room special.” What a bitch! She’s just trying to shame you into upgrading. Wait until the last minute and then check to see if you can negotiate an upgrade for little or nothing. Cruise ships sail regardless of whether or not they are able to fill the vessel. They want you to have a good experience so you will come back and cruise again. If there are better rooms that are sitting empty when you get ready to depart, you may really score a deal.

    And I know how much you like deals.

    • Kat Richter

      Well, I do love a good deal but my agent is actually rather fab (she’s known me since before I was born!) and was just teasing because I felt so lame about only being able to afford an interior room without a window 😦 But you’re right: rooms are just for sleeping!

      And on that note, I shouldn’t even tell you TWD’s devious plan for scoring a free upgrade. I nearly had a heart attack when he first mentioned it. Needless to say, we will not be pursing it, and boiler room special or no, I think it will indeed be a very good test of our metal 🙂

  8. Landlord

    Seeing as how TWD only needs a suit which can be changed by various ties, etc. You know how I feel about cruise packing…you get at least 2/3 of the space, after all, he will benefit when he sees how gorgeous you will look each and every evening, formal or not! And I do echo the spend as much time OUT of the room as possible. You actually were in steerage on one of the first cruises we took you on, I think, so you know how it is. Find a deck chair area that no one wants to be near, usually away from the pool and stake out your claim there, you can even nap in them, I have, that is what ear plugs are for.

  9. Chicago-Style Girl

    Take my opinion with a grain of salt because I did a lot of pseudo shacking up over the years. But the husband and I spent a lot of overnight time together before we were married, engaged, or even officially boyfriend and girlfriend. I say go for it. As long as your not filming yourselves naked on the deck, you are fine.


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