Dinner is planned on the Lido Deck and then we’ll retire to a show or a little dancing to burn off some of the overeating that tends to happen on these Caribbean cruises. The night is planned, and all is well. Then, like so many times in life, we are reminded that less is in our control than we might ordinarily like to believe. The horns sound and it seems there is another “test” of ourselves and crew in meeting the required U.S. Coast Guard lifeboat drill. Didn’t they say when we did this before leaving port that we would only have to do this once per trip? Maybe they meant that we must do it each time we come and go from U.S. waters. Where are we, anyway?
So, the story goes, when the alarms sound, we often find ourselves in disbelief. This cannot be happening. Is it possible that the ship is going down? Will we survive? Should we try to get our luggage? Do these guys who last night were making swans out of the aluminum foil wrapping our leftovers from dinner have a wealth of knowledge in nautical survival? Will they really help us before they help themselves? Do we give our seat to the 90-year-old or do we do our best to survive and to raise our own young kids? What is the moral duty and to whom?
As the warning horns are blaring from The New York Times to Fox News, is our ship, the USS Economica, really going down? How many of us will live to tell about it? Will we be among those lost at sea? It is good if we can swim, but how long can we hope to tread water? Where are the sharks? Is help coming too late?