Heavenly Father, look down on us your humble, obedient cruising servants, who are doomed to cruise this earth, taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs, eating ourselves silly and walking around muggy Caribbean islands in drip-dry underwear.
We beseech You, our Lord, to give us non-stop flights, to see that our planes are not hijacked, our luggage is not lost, our overweight baggage goes unnoticed, and that there is no hurricane anywhere on the planet during our chosen cruise week.
Protect us from zealous Immigrations Officers who swear our "certified copies of our birth certificates" are forged; from suspicious Customs Inspectors who insist on seeing the $1,000 worth of T-shirts we bought in Nassau; from unscrupulous over-charging Jamaican taxi cab drivers, from avaricious porters who would search our bags and discard all the beer and soda therein, and from Guest Relations Clerks whose knowledge of the English language stops at "This ship is full. Don't even THINK of asking for an upgrade."
Give us this day Divine guidance in the selection of our cruise ships, that we may find two level showrooms, wide promenade decks, alternative dining options, a pizzeria, bartenders who know how to mix Margueritas, our staterooms made up with the twin beds converted to a king, a cabin steward who understands what lots of ice means, and that we actually paid less than the folks in the cabin next door.
We pray that our waiter and busboy speak our language, our iced tea glasses are kept filled at all times, and that there are no emergency shore-to-ship phone calls from our children which would force us to cancel the rest of our cruise or wash dishes in the galley to pay the balance on our shipboard account.
Lead us, Dear Lord, to 2-for-1 specials on deluxe cruise ships where the food is superb, the waiters friendly, the wine, soda pop and port charges, taxes and government fees all included in the price, and that Richard Simmons was on LAST week's cruise.
Give us the wisdom to tip correctly and forgive us for undertipping out of ignorance or overtipping out of fear. Make the bartenders put a full shot of rum in our Miami Vice and learn to love us for who we are and not for what we can contribute to their families back in Turkey.
Grant us the strength to attend the daily aerobics classes on deck, to work out frequently in the health spa, to use the stairs at all times, and to order only one or two main courses at dinner.
Permit us to book beauty appointments, massage sessions, thassalotherapy treatments, and to browse through the onboard shops and boutiques without sending our VISA cards into convulsions.
Allow us the will to attend all shore talks and the stamina to sit through another debarkation talk. Give us the strength to keep us from heckling the comedians and from making fun of the Cruise Director and the karaoke performers.
Help us become educated and wise cruisers, visiting the museums, the cathedrals, the forts, the palaces, the castles and the rain forests listed in the shore excursion booklets. If perchance we skip an historic monument to take a nap on a beautiful sandy beach, have mercy on us, for our flesh is weak.
For Husbands. . .
Dear God, keep our wives from signing us up for the "Not so Newlywed Game", from shopping sprees in St. Thomas, and away from the slot machines at all times. Protect them from bargains they do not need or can`t afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know not what they do.
For Wives. . .
Almighty Father, keep our husbands from finding the "topless deck" and from gawking at all those bikini-clad women strutting around the ship's pool comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in the Disco and in the Passenger Talent Show. Above all, please do not forgive them their trespasses for they know exactly what they do.
And now, All Together. . .
And when our cruise is over and we return to our loved ones, grant us the time and strength to write a review for The SeaLetter, and grant us the favor of finding someone who will look at our videos and slides, and listen to our stories, so that our lives as cruisers will not have been in vain.
This we ask You in the name of Julie, Doc, Isaac, Gopher, Captain Stubing, Kathie Lee, Robert Urich and Bob Dickinson.