After our return from a recent Caribbean cruise, I feel compelled to share three separate events that caused us both angst and some giggles too. John and I traveled with our friends Ron and Margie, our daughter Dianna, her fiance Stephene, and our eldest grandaughter Lexi. John, Ron, and Stephene needed to take their suits for the two formal nights aboard the cruise ship. After some alterations, John’s suit was ready to go, and the other two men had freshly pressed suits ready to go as well.
On the morning of our departure we were all very excited as the limousine whisked us towards the border and Buffalo Airport. It was an hour into the trip when our future son-in-law, Stephene, grew quiet and gloomy. As it turned out his suit was left behind – hanging in the closet so it wouldn’t get too creased before we left. What to do? If we went back, we’d miss our flight. Upon arriving in Fort Lauderdale where we stayed for three days, we planned a shopping trip at the Sawgrass Mills Mall. Stephene was a man on a mission the next day when we arrived at the mall. Before long he and Dianna came upon a high end men’s clothing store and found a Hugo Boss suit that fit perfectly. Problem solved! Now Stephene could breathe easier and grace us with a brilliant smile.
After enjoying three lovely days in Fort Lauderdale, we boarded our ship, The Oasis of the Seas at noon on Saturday. Shortly after getting settled in our staterooms, I heard a frantic knocking on our door. Our friend Ron was having a panic attack in the corridor. He came in and told us he had left his suit hanging in the closet of our hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Yikes! Not again! John offered to call the hotel, struck out with the stateroom phone, and dialed the number on his cell phone. Yes, they had it, and they could send it over by taxi immediately – in fifteen minutes. Yureka! Ron and John streaked out of our cabin and headed for Deck 5 where we came aboard. As they checked out with their sea pass cards they were warned that the ship was leaving in just under one hour. Oh good grief, they had to move their 60+ year-old butts down to the dock faster than they’d moved since their teenage years. Huffing and puffing they arrived at Customs where the officer in charge took pity (they forgot their passports in their cabins – necessary for re-entry) and told them he’d let them through when they came back. Then they dashed outside to the dock and ran to the taxi stand waiting for a white taxi van. They saw several – all with passengers. John told Ron to look for an empty one… yes, there it was!~ John flagged it down and found that the smiling driver had Ron’s suit on the seat beside him. Full of relief and gratitude, Ron gave him a hefty tip! Giggling like a pair of errant schoolboys, they walked quickly back to the ship, were waved through Customs by a few cheering officers, and made it back aboard the Oasis with time to spare. Now the men all had their suits… or did they?
Once John returned to our stateroom, he found me unpacking our suitcases which had finally arrived. I was chuckling about getting locked out of our cabin while Ron and John were chasing down his missing suit. My smiles turned to frowns as I removed John’s suit and found it to be unsuitable to wear to a dogfight. I have never seen a suit with more creases. Just then our cabin attendant, Amos, greeted us from the doorway. I showed him the suit and he said he’d look after that for us and have it back in time for supper the next night. It was the first formal night and we had dinner reservations for 5:30 pm. By 5:00 pm Sunday there was no suit. Panic reared its ugly head again. John rolled his eyes figuring he would not get his suit in time. In a strangled voice he phoned Amos who arrived at our door with a perfectly pressed suit at 5:10 pm. Phew! We dodged another bullet with twenty minutes to spare.
As we hurried the length of this gigantic ship to get to the dining room, we passed a Perry Ellis outlet that rented out suits and tuxedos on the ship. Ron, Stephene, and John looked at each other, winked knowingly and thought that might be a better idea next time. So the men’s smiles in the group picture above are about relief and victory over adversity. Oh, they were having fun too!
Anne Fioravanti / February, 2014