The Big Red Boat OF DOOM!

All the chatter about Carnival Cruise Line’s doomed cruises lately has reminded me of my family’s cruise history. I give you the story of doomed cruises, Herbert style…

When I was young and my parents were still in the jewelry business, we bought from a company that gave cruises if you bought a certain amount of product from them over the course of a year.

We cruised the seas on the Premier Cruise Line (aka The Big Red Boat, aka Disney Cruise Line before DCL existed) and it was great fun.

A few years in, after cruising every year to Nassau, they switched it up and we went to The Abacos.

The trip was uneventful until the morning we were supposed to go through a small channel to enter The Abacos or some other nonsense. The weather was bad and we couldn’t get through.

Apparently this had never happened before. OF COURSE IT HADN’T.

We turned around or something and went over to Nassau. Again. (I know, rough life?)

Premier gave everyone 50% off cruises and we took them up on it.

The next year, we hopped the same boat with the same itinerary.

Guess what?

Yup. It had only happened once before and again, we found ourselves on the cruise that couldn’t thread through the teeny tiny channel.

Back to Nassau. More braids and haggling with people over $1.50 trinkets made of paper (or imported from Vietnam).

Oh well. 50% off another cruise for 4 people. We’ll take it.

Third cruise booked. This time with my Aunt, Uncle, and two cousins. It was great fun!


According to the cruise line, this had only happened TWO other times in the history of navigating the miniscule channel that had been dug by hand by Oompaloompas apparently. And guess what? We were on all of them.

Free cruises for all! WHEEEEEE!!

We booked another cruise. Same ship. Same place. Because, well, obviously we’re insane.

When we boarded the ship, the Captain greeted us. We were “the family” that was doomed. I’m sure he wanted to kick us off so they would make it through the pin-head size lane to The Abacos.

But instead, he greeted us with open arms, a fruit and champagne basket in our room, and an invitation to breakfast in the steering room of the ship to watch him thread through the channel.

Even on vacation, we bounced out of bed at some ungodly hour and went down to the ship’s steering room. If it had been me NOW, I would have had my sister hold me while I hung off the front of the ship ala The Titanic, but alas, we just sat there and minded our manners while a (probably drunk) Captain steered us SUCCESSFULLY through the channel.

We were thrilled to finally see The Abacos. It was as gorgeous as reported in all the travel brochures.

The only part of that cruise that truly sucked, was the fact that it was the end of the line for free and discounted cruising for us.