Saturday, January 19, 2008

An American Guide to Cruising

Since I've spent a lot of time in and around cruise ports over the past few weeks, I thought I would take it upon myself to write a mini guide for all of those patriots getting ready to hit the seas.

1. Only eat in restaurants with English menu translations and a gift shoppe; restaurants without a pamphlet are generally unreliable. Senor Frogs, Margaritaville and Hard Rock Cafe are safe bets.

2. Always refer to the locals as "natives."

3. Make sure to wear something embroidered from somewhere you've been before to show the natives that you are well-traveled.

4. Blending in is integral, therefore it is recommended that you purchase any native-wear from the nearest gift shop. Depending on your location, such items as headdresses and marijuana beanies with built in braids are a good choice. In the event that you cannot find any authentic-wear, you can always choose a more universal look, such as Tommy Bahama, crocs, and visible fanny packs and/or money belts.

5. When using a map, remember to always fold it out completely and use in public so that people around you are aware that you're looking for direction.

6. Ask if everything has ice cubes in it, even if it came from a bottle or can.

7. To be safe, it is best to stay within one mile of the ship, and to apply antibacterial cream every 15 minutes.

8. Make all arrangements with the first person who approaches you.

9. Rest assured that a "special deal for you" from a vendor means that you are indeed in business for a bargain.

10. Speak slowly and loudly at all times; most foreigners do not speak nor understand English.

11. When somebody asks where you are from, it is best to respond with "America," since the USA is the largest and most reputable country in all of North and South America.

12. Sarongs can be worn 7 different ways and are acceptable in most eating establishments.

13. Wear your ship ID around your neck at all times.

14. It is acceptable to talk on your cell phones in all areas, including restaurants and public transportation. Natives usually enjoy hearing what you have to say since they are trying to be more American themselves.

15. Duty free perfume and cigarettes can save you a lot of money.

16. Customer satisfaction is a universal virtue, so don't be shy when dissatisfied. If it's not up to your standards, you have the God given right to complain and/or demand a refund.

17. All change should be distributed in U.S. Dollars, since they are the most important currency in the world.

18. Natives enjoy taking photos for you; feel free to ask them. In fact, it is usually more polite to give them at least 5 cameras, especially if they are all digital.

19. "Coca Cola Light" is based on American "Diet Coke," so it is not considered rude to stick to tradition when ordering.

20. Natives with children loved to be photographed. Make sure you get extra close to them and always use a flash.

21. Diamonds can act as a human shield in sunlight. Be sure to wear plenty of them.

22. Always travel in large groups.

23. If someone doesn't understand your question, ask repeatedly and use ample amounts of hand gestures to get your point across.


Elizabeth said...

Court, you are too funny!!! I understand that all of this is from your personal observations of your beloved students...?

Stephanie said...

You forgot to mention how nice it is for the natives to see you wearing a t-shirt with the body of a curvacious woman wearing a bikini (front and back views). Also, it is best to try to communicate with the natives by yelling when you speak (since they probably can't speak English, anyway). Yelling really helps them to learn English. I also prefer to say, "I come from God's country" when someone asks me where I'm from. I usually follow this up by pointing at the American flag printed on my t-shirt (I always wear American flag shirts when I travel-gotta represent), and yelling at the top of my lungs: "These colors don't run".

AValum said...

oh you are SO ready for the throngs of students about to descend on you!