Yet another shameful spring break came and went. Now everyone hastily makes their way back to school, suitcases filled to the brim with stories and beer mugs they stole from the local bar. Whether you got wasted out of your mind at Dante’s in Key West or hopped aboard a larger than life vessel, odds are you encountered a plethora of people. Fresh off of a spring break cruise myself, I know first-hand the wide array of people who embark on such voyages. The variety starts with the all too pasty ladies and gentlemen and ends with the gaggle of girls who always seem to be three sheets to the wind. Let’s dive into the different individuals who manage to always make their way onto the ship.
1. The Veterans
The close proximity of hibachi style dining brings about simple conversations with fellow dinner mates. Amidst the heat of my miso soup, I listened as the pair explained this embarkation was their 6,428th. I didn’t know about the rest of the crowd, but I was awfully impressed! The couple, however, showed much less enthusiasm. From spaghetti slurping in Italy to enjoying Greek architecture, the husband and wife looked clearly well decorated in cruising. Almost too decorated. Their attitudes blatantly displayed how this cruise was “just another cruise.” Oh, yeah same. NBD. This couple fits the bill as the kids on Sweet Sixteen who wanted a Maserati, but got a Porsche instead. Florida State junior Montana Byrd knows a couple like the latter all too well. In fact, they’re her parents. “My parents get addicted to a different thing each year. I embarked on 32 cruises within a three-year time span,” Byrd said. What the hell. If y’all aren’t aware, Byrd’s annual number of cruises reached a maximum of 10. Casual.
First-timers throw all manners, charisma and normalcy out of the window the moment they step foot on board. Why wouldn’t they? They’re embarking on their first cruise and feel hella excited! The thought of a comfortable snooze in a queen size bed and consuming 12 mojitos by the pool might be an insane dream amidst schoolwork, but now it’s a reality. Spot a first timer with her eyes wide open with excitement, skin displaying the first sense of second-degree burn. They wouldn’t dare waste a second of sunshine. First-timers always take any opportunity to, well, embarrass themselves. My mind flickers back to moments on my cruise where two drunken ladies forced me to dance with them to the subtle piano tune in the background. Night time aboard a cruise transforms into a magical place filled with nice gowns and bow ties, but first-timers act rowdy 24/7.
My hometown sits directly under the Florida/Alabama state line, so I know first-hand how an Alabamian sitting poolside commands attention. Those five empty beer bucks on the pool deck? You can bet an Alabamian left them there. Visors and shorts above the knee also ring true for any Alabama thoroughbred. Upon arrival to cave tube in Belize, my friend and I decided to drench ourselves in bug spray—no Zika virus for us. We took turns spraying each other when suddenly, we heard a twang filled voice ask, “Oh lord, could y’all maybe spray my ankles for me?” I can’t make this up. You win a National Championship and suddenly everyone’s bug spray becomes your own.
4. The Show-Off
If you’ve ever voyaged on a cruise before, you’re aware of the many competitions and contests the cruise staff puts on. As if sunbathing on a lounge chair with a banana daiquiri in one hand and a greasy cheeseburger in the other isn’t enough. No matter the contest, the show-off succeeds in becoming the most arrogant person on the ship. From New York, a girl in her 20s signed up for every cruise competition offered. Despite the woman’s tattoos, pink hair and partially shaved head, she looked like she could kick my ass. Her biceps were killer, and as a result she won the deserved title of “Miss Biceps.” We all know a similar individual. The path to fame starts with the constant participation in pool deck contests and dance-offs. Next thing you know, the same individual trots up on stage during the night shows. I’m confident in knowing these ostentatious cruise goers must get their heads deflated each night before hitting the pillow.
5. The Loner
While aboard a cruise, no matter your location, you’ll witness the same individual strolling throughout the ship by himself. Not one time do you notice him with any companions. Content as can be, this loner calmly partakes in all activities, but with no one by his side. Out of the hundreds of people aboard the ship, the loner unknowingly asserts himself into your line of vision every day. Tall, tan and shaggy brown hair topped off with a pair of Aviator glasses, your loner will walk up and down the deck, alone. His purpose seems unclear. Does he have friends? Family? Why does he want to go to St. Martin for a day? Despite your thoughts and opinions of said person, they never seem to physically feel the loneliness. How refreshing.
6. Underage and Under the Influence
Easy to spot: Hollister short shorts wearing, piña colada sipping girls with extremely obnoxious personas. They’re 15 going on 21, wishing desperately they could drink this easily back in the states. Where are the parents of these adolescents? “Nine times out of 10 when you witness a drunk child on a cruise, the parent can be found elbow-deep in curly fries and bacon Macaroni and cheese,” MIT graduate student Alan TeGroen said. These girls bake in the sun and request one fruity drink after another, each sweeter than the one before. There’s something about those paper umbrellas and tall, tapered glasses filled to the brim with coconut deliciousness. That’s hydration, right? Shape up your intoxication, ladies.
7. Third Degree Sun-Burners
While aboard my cruise, I came across a particular guest who honestly resembled Casper the ghost. No exaggeration. Throughout the week, her skin gradually became more and more crisped. By the end of the 7-day excursion the poor lady embodied a tomato. I soon became genuinely concerned for her health. These pasty folks hop aboard, immediately notice Hawaiian brown skin tones and strive to make their skin that color. You’ll see the sun-burners sitting by the pool deck for hours. “I passed out drunk while laying out and completely fried my back. [My sister] didn’t wake me up because she said I was sleeping so peacefully. I was literally hiding from the sun the next day,” FAMU recent grad Cierra Corbin said. From sunrise to sun down, they refuse to break away from the sun’s rays. Examine the area around their lounge chair and you’ll find no sunscreen. As you exit the ship at the week’s end, the poor sun victims will speedily return home to bathe in aloe in the comfort of their own homes.
8. The Creeper
In my 20 years of life, I quickly learned no matter my location a man on some level of creepiness would appear. Whether it’s the guy at the bar informing you of how silky your hair looks or the guy whose eyes wander slowly down your maxi dress, creepers roam the deck everywhere. Florida State senior Michele Costa found her creeper in the casino. “He was a young guy, very outgoing, super loud and annoying,” Costa said. “[He] totally hit on my mom…and that night wanted to hook up with ME.” The creepy man carries no limits. He’s found walking around the ship shirtless with a protruding belly as he gazes upon anything in a bathing suit. This man means no harm; he simply can’t help himself. If the middle-aged, single creeper does not exist aboard your ship, a middle-aged married man with the sex drive of a young boy will indeed be in the line-up. If I witnessed this man and wife grind on the pool deck one more time, I would’ve thrown up the cheeseburger I ate for lunch in no time.
9. Buffet Fiends
The Buffet Fiends reign high to me because I am one of them. I, Kirstin Redfield, am a buffet addict—“Hi, Kirstin.” Who doesn’t like a buffet? As a right of passage and an American past time, buffets automatically become a fan favorite to all. Those who share my love and passion for food always make their way to the buffet in record time (usually right when the food becomes hot and fresh). Cruise ships’ notoriety for their mounds of food makes buffet fiends stack their breakfast plates with sizzling bacon, fresh eggs, fluffy pancakes, seasoned hash browns and much more. Responding to their tummy growling a few hours later, the fiends return, filling up on cheeseburgers, French fries and an over flow of ice cream. However, cruise buffets do close at night. Then what? Junior at the University of Florida Natalie Aquilia discovered the solution on her 17th cruise. “[After] we met a group of people in the night club, the night buffets closed and we had nowhere to go. So, seven of us went to our room and we ended up ordering, like, 27 items through room service…no idea why they would ever make 27 orders of food but Celebrity Cruise did.” Food = eternal happiness.
10. The Itinerary Dad
8 a.m. – Wake up. 9 a.m. – Eat breakfast. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Lounge by pool deck. 2:01 p.m. – Convince wife the family will reap the benefits of a constructive itinerary. The father of four young children, wearing a “Life is Good” tee and a strip of sunscreen splattered across his nose quickly falls into the Danny Tanner category; the planner, if you will. The happy-go-lucky wife resists fleeing and creating her own adventure on and off the ship. The father needs structure. He constantly deals with four boys, two years apart, and physically cannot be without his daily schedule. I wonder if he schedules himself for time in the bathroom. 4:40 p.m. to 4:46 p.m. – Rid of waste and wash hands thoroughly. Yikes.
College Magazine does not promote underage drinking. Please drink responsibly.