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Sealetter Editorial
SeaLetter Editorial

New Year Thoughts, Plans & Opinions

by Sharon Jackson

Another January, another ice storm, another two weeks of fretting over what resolutions I'll make and break this year. Begging your pardon in advance, I just feel like rambling on about all the things we'd like to accomplish in 1999 and moaning over all the things we failed to accomplish in 1998. Some of this might actually have something to do with cruising and The SeaLetter.

Now what were those resolutions made a year ago? One was to turn K L Smith's CruiseLetter into The SeaLetter. Hey, we did that! Another was to make sure every issue was ON TIME and published by Midnight on the 1st of each month. Uh. . . Oh well. You can't win them all. We had better not make the same resolution this year - we've already blown it.

I - me - Sharon personally resolve to repeatedly praise, congratulate and thank our columnists Brent Betit, Alan Walker and Doug Terhune for all their fine work on The SeaLetter. However, I reserve the right to tease and make fun of them when appropriate. Like right now.

I met Doug Terhune in person in September of 1997 on the Sensation Cruise Bash. I think everyone should take a cruise with Doug at least once. Of course, once may be all most people can handle. Doug is a funny guy, a real party animal, a great interviewer, and writes some other amusing and interesting stuff. Did you read Doug's column this month? He obviously started celebrating New Year's Eve too early. I lay no claim to being an expert on human behavior, and I've already argued the point about smoking and the Paradise with Doug AT LENGTH on the CompuServe UK Travel Forum, but, once again Doug dear, you are WRONG! :)

I was going to resolve to stop smoking (AGAIN!) this year, but after reading Doug's column, looks like I don't have to.

I met Alan Walker on the same cruise. We had some great arguments during that cruise! Alan won the arguments, but I got back at him by beating him in a game of Scrabble. I think Alan is very, very funny. Amazing for an Australian-born Canadian Attorney whose male chauvinist days quickly ended when he married an American career woman and then later met ME! :) The SeaLetter would be a boring publication without Alan's quizzes, Cruise Humor articles and port reviews.

Brent Betit is a joy to work with. He's extremely knowledgable, incredibly handsome (And, modest, too!) and handles direct and honest criticism very well. Basically, he's an editor's dream reporter! If you have any questions about PACKING for a cruise, you must read all of Brent's articles on this subject. He's got some great packing tips there!

There would be NO SEALETTER without Bob Jackson. Bob not only updates DAILY our Cruise Specials, Cruise News and Cruiser to Cruiser departments, he does a lot of the basic HTML coding of the monthly reviews and articles and Letters to the Editor. He also calmly listens to me as I rant and rave about something, helps with the Agency's paperwork and accounting, and does all of our laundry and cooking and grocery shopping, Ladies, eat your hearts out.

And, of course - thanks, kudos, eternal gratitude to all of YOU who contribute your cruise reviews, cruiser tips, port reviews and feature articles to our humble magazine.

And thanks to all of our READERS who send us many letters of thanks and praise. All of this work, even though it's a labor of love for our very favorite pastime, would be unbearable without someone out there to read it!

Just thought of another resolution. I'm going to get 3, yes THREE, *Email SeaLetter*'s out each month in 1999. In addition to the Princess Cruises issue and the Holland America Line issue, I'm going to do a "Hot Deals & Last Minute Specials" issue for anything else that looks like it might interest our subscribers.

If you haven't cruised through the Panama Canal yet, you might want to do it this year. The Canal gets turned over to the government of Panama on December 31st. In my opinion, it won't make much difference. But there are always those prophets of gloom and doom out there who can dream up crises to scare us all.

We've scheduled our THIRD Annual Cruise Bash and hope that you will make YOUR New Year's Resolution to join us. We will be sailing on Celebrity's Mercury on a 7 Day Western Caribbean cruise departing on October 17, 1999. Watch for all the details in the next WEEK!

As to cruising in 1999, I'd love to take the 11 Night Horizon Caribbean cruise on March 1st. March 3rd will be the Jackson's 10th wedding anniversary and both Bob and I really want to see the Horizon since she's been completely refurbished and re-designed. I also have a craving for a Celebrity Swan Cream Puff and those Tournedos of Beef with Bernaise Sauce. My apologies to you vegetarians out there.

Speaking of vegetarians, did you know that Holland America Line has a complete, course by course with many selections just like the regular dinner menu, "vegetarian" menu? If you swing that way and plan to cruise on a HAL ship, make sure your agent has "vegetarian" noted in your booking record. The Maitre d' will bring you the special menu each night for you to order from it for the next night. Heck, even if you're not a vegetarian, ask to see the menu. There's a Crudites platter which is great for snacking on while you're waiting for your first course to arrive.

As you can see, I have obviously NOT resolved to lose weight this year. After about 40 years of making that particular resolution, I finally gave up. In 1998 I said forget it and made no such resolution and lost 15 pounds during the year. Go figure.

No so-called "Millenium Cruise" for us. We'll take 3 cruises for what one of those costs. And, the real Millenium turns New Year's 2000 to 2001 anyway. If you doubt me, just ask Arthur C. Clarke.

And, as I know that I lost that argument a long time ago, I resolve to never mention the "real Millenium" thing again!

Well, I told you I was going to ramble, didn't I?

Happy New Year and Happy Cruising!

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