Zombie Cruise Part I
Calling All Singles; A Passenger's View
Monica sipped her piping hot espresso and nibbled at her beignet in the French Quarter café.
She lounged back and sighed to herself, “ Ahhhhh….., just a few more days and I will be sailing
my worries away. No phone calls, no meetings, and no traffic, just free fun to do as I please.
Hopefully, I’ll meet a man, I haven’t been on a date in a while. Watch out singles cruise, here I
In Baton Rouge hoping to find true love was a meek, self-proclaimed genius named Wally Burke. This slightly over the hill, never married, childless prodigy longed for that special someone to share his interest with on a intellectual level. Wally was still emotionally damaged from being fired from his professor position at a prestigious university after accidentally blowing up the Physics Lab. Now, unable to restore his reputation, he is the store manager of Décor Galore Department Store. Packing for the singles cruise he rehearsed what to say to the ladies in the bathroom mirror.
“For all you single ladies out there, try to keep calm, there is enough of me to go around”,Wally said while trying to add chest bulk he lacked.
“That does not sound like me, I need to try to be myself, someone out there has to appreciate me for who I am. Let me start over. Hi, I’m Wally and I’m extremely nervous so bear with me. I have never been married, but am looking for a serious relationship, if you have kids that’s okay. My hobbies and interests are comic book LARPING, Physics, Molecular Biology, Organic Chemistry, hydroponics, soda bottle collecting, cat breeding, bee farming, coaching pet turtles, dumpster diving for treasure and long walks on a quiet beach”, Wally spoke with confidence.
“Okay, that sounds more like it”, Wally eased while grabbing his Indiana Jones travel toothbrush.
Over in Mobile, Alabama, honeymoon planning was taking its toll.
“No passport, no honeymoon cruise to Mexico, I’m sorry”, the travel agent firmly said.
“What!! I planned this for my honeymoon!! Drew do something”, cried Hailey.
“I want to make the future Mrs. Koffkey happy, is there any other appealing options without a passport?”, Drew maturely asked while putting his comforting arms around Hailey.
“I’m sorry, but for the departure ports and dates you want there is nothing available without a passport. I can suggest a resort vacation in Puerto Rico or the U.S Virgin Islands, they do not require a passport since they are U.S. territories”, the travel agent negotiated.
“Sounds good to me”, Drew said
“No!, that is not what I want. I want a cruise to Mexico! I am not settling Drew”, Hailey shouted.
“Honey, try to be reasonable, I mean you have changed our honeymoon plans five times. I thought we both agreed on staying in Key West, my great uncle has been generous enough to let out his waterfront vacation home as a wedding gift”, Drew spoke.
“I’ve been to Key West like four times and it is not Mexico!”, Hailey whined.
“Honey lets face it, we should of got passports in the first place”, Drew added while trying to be patient with his spoiled bride to be.
“How about a cruise to Hawaii!!”, Hailey cheered.
“Let me check on that”, the travel agent said while frantically clicking her mouse.
“Sweetie, I know you want the big wedding and the big honeymoon, but if we try to keep up with this lifestyle, we will not have enough money to put down on our first home”, rationalized Drew.
“So I’m not worth it! You made enough money to go to the Super Bowl last year, on my birthday, and now are short changing me on our honeymoon! I think right now is the time to make amends”, Hailey whispered in rage.
“Okay, I have great news!!! There is a fourteen night cruise departing from San Diego to Hawaii, no passport required and the cruise line is offering an airline credit”, the travel agent unveiled.
“So what are we waiting for, lets book it !!”, Hailey ordered with excitement.
“Wait, wait, wait, hold on….., how much is this cruise?” cautiously asked Drew while trying to keep his wallet in his back pocket.
“They are offering a five hundred dollar credit for airfare, so consider that with the price. For a standard cabin it will come to $3500.00 per person”, the travel agent cringed.
“Honey, that’s not too bad for two weeks”, Hailey said
“What!!, Hailey that’s $7000.00 not including the rest we have to make up for airfare, shore excursions and bar drinks, plus I only have enough vacation time for ten days, sorry honey, but this is not an option”, Drew confirmed.
“Wait, hold on…., I think I found something!! I found a three night cruise departing from New Orleans Sunday evening. It is aboard the newly renovated Sea Starburst in a Penthouse Suite and does not require a passport. Let me see…… WOW! This price is unheard of $ 299.99 per person”, the travel agent said.
“What’s the catch?”, Drew asked.
“It’s a cruise to Nowhere”, the travel agent summed up quickly.
“What does that mean?”, Hailey asked.
“Out to sea, without visiting any islands”, the travel agent said.
“I’m not sailing around in circles!”, snapped Hailey.
“Well, honey actually it is a good idea. Look we can apply for our passports now, pay the expedited fee, and hopefully have them when we get back to go on a better cruise. It is affordable, we don’t have to pay airfare and it is only for three nights. You get to be on a cruise, besides we don’t know if you get sea sick, it would be a good trial run”, Drew convinced.
“I don’t know”, Hailey shook her head in disappointment.
“Honey.., we are getting the penthouse suite. Lets face it, we have two choices Key West or a three night cruise sailing in the Gulf of Mexico”, Drew laid it down on the line without leaving wiggle room for her to give him the puppy dog eyes.
“Alright….but, once we get our passports we get a second honeymoon to Mexico”, Hailey agreed.
The travel agent failed to mention it was a singles cruise.
Across the country in Beverly Hills there was a catty spat.
“You booked your bachlorette party where?”, Mitzy asked in confusion, it was her maid of honor duty to book the venue.
“A three night cruise to nowhere aboard the Sea Starburst departing from New Orleans Sunday evening”, Porscha joyfully commented while petting her miniature poodle in her designer hand bag.
“Ugh!! Honey, we are all super models, we don’t want to be seen on that budget liner, Seaborne Cruises would have been more tasteful”, Pam squeaked while paying the valet.
“Look, Chad follows me everywhere. He is around every dance studio rehearsal, acting lesson, gym training and tanning session that I go to, I wanted to find a place where he could not follow me, so, I booked the last cabin. No boarding pass, no Chad!! I need a break from his boyish stalking, besides it is a single’s cruise I can take off my ring and have fun, no one will know”, Porscha explained.
“If he is so unbearable, why are you marrying him?”, I mean he is 50 times older than you”, Olivia inquired while applying her tutti fruity lip gloss.
“Girls, girls, girls!! To survive in Beverly Hills you have to have vision of the future. I am 25, middle aged in the modeling world, I can’t be a model forever. Chad has the connections I need to break into the movie business, not to mention he is a cash cow. I’ll seduce him dry and before you know it, two years later in divorce court, I’ll receive alimony, his vacation home in Palm Springs and half of his estate without breaking a nail, it’s purely survival of the fittest”, Porscha explained.
“Your totally evil, you know that”, Pam insulted.
“Welcome to my life”, Porscha introduced without shame.
Meanwhile down in Biloxi Mississippi….
“Ninety-nine point seven R and B hits, you are caller number ten, congratulations”, the radio host announced.
“I won…..… I won!! I can’t believe I won”, Miles screamed loudly on his cell phone at work.
“What’s your name?”, the radio host asked.
“Miles”, Miles quickly responded as his co-workers looked on during their lunch break.
“Where are you calling from?”, the radio host asked.
“Biloxi, Mississippi”, Miles answered
“Well Miles, brother…you have just won a three night singles cruise to nowhere aboard the Sea Starburst. You’ll enjoy a deluxe cabin, five star dining, nightclubs, shows, state of the art gym, room service plus roundtrip limo service to New Orleans. Stay on the line for us so we can hook you up”, the radio host said.
“Alright, cool!”, Miles reacted.
Then Miles thought to himself “ A singles cruise, well my girl is oversees and a man’s got needs. Sorry Natasha, but I’m single for this cruise”.
In New York City a deal was forming….
“Hello my name is Lawrence Eden, I was hoping to speak with your public relations representative please”, Lawrence introduced smoothly.
Lawrence had been a journalist since he was in grade school. He covered the Jupiterville Easter Egg Hunt, had regular articles in his rural towns tribune, wrote junior sports columns in a farming magazine and was chief editor/writer for his high school paper. Naturally he majored in Journalism and Photography in college. He didn’t have time to settle down enough for a serious relationship. As a freelance reporter, he had lived in several different places such as Istanbul, Turkey; Haifa, Israel; Marrakesh, Morocco; Shanghai, China; Cape town, South Africa; Bangkok, Thailand and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Just returning to the U.S a month ago, he wanted a break from reporting all the violent and corrupt stories to something more meaningful. He charmed his way onto the Sea Starburst covering his own documentary about “ Dating On A Cruise Ship: Smooth Sailing or Rough Seas Leading Nowhere. He wanted a story with touching substance and vibrant personality, he was in fact single and ready to meet someone special.