Flotsam n’ Jetsam

Flotsam n’ Jetsam – my version of odds and ends, miscellaneous, etc. etc.

Flotsam  literally meant “wreckage or cargo that remains afloat after a ship has sunk.” Jetsam  meant “goods thrown overboard from a ship in danger of sinking in order to give it more buoyancy.” Both literal meanings remain current, although the distinction between them is often forgotten. 

flotsam and jetsam. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Retrieved September 30, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/flotsam and jetsam

Somewhere off of Cozumel, 2009.

No I don’t really have a photo of flotsam and jetsam –  the only thing I’ve ever really seen is “man-made garbage” floating along.  But thankfully not a lot of that. For purposes of my writing, I am putting that title on the page because I just want to write about anything and everything.

Well our next cruise is selected, paid for, and we’re in the planning stages.  It’s going to be a little tricky in the planning because it is a back-to-back. I’ve never been on a b2b; it must be fun to be on the ship “in between” sailings. They say that’s when you can take the best photos of the interior of the ship without the photos being full of people. I am so very excited.  Which cruise did we decide on, you ask?

5 Day Bahamas from Charleston, SC   – Jan 14, 2013

Departs from: Charleston, SC
Aboard the: Carnival Fantasy
Ports of Call: Nassau, the Bahamas  Freeport, the Bahamas


7 Day Eastern Caribbean from Charleston, SC  –  Jan 19, 2013

Departs from: Charleston, SC
Aboard the: Carnival Fantasy
Ports of Call: Grand Turk   Half Moon Cay, the Bahamas     Nassau, the Bahamas

We didn’t start out wanting to do a B2B, but at the time we were looking for a way to do a second cruise, the airline prices were extremely high. It would have been $450 each for plane tickets (lowest I saw was $379). Either way with tickets that high we’d never be able to afford a second cruise with additional airfare, additional hotel, etc. When the cruise price kept going down, it dawned on us that we could throw an extra cruise in and it wouldn’t cost us the additional airplane or hotel. That alone would pay for the cruise!

On to Other Matters

One of the things that you must keep in mind is that I started these pages as a learning experience.  I’ve never created anything like this; although I have done web pages for some professional organizations. My own philosophy is that you can learn best when you actually perform the task; I’m a hands-on visual learner.  So when I put something in these pages and you say to yourself “That was dumb; why’d she do that?” or “Why’d she put that in?”  The reason is because…..I can!  For example, would you like to see my trip down the Jamaican Bobsled in Ocho Rios?  I’ve never imbedded a video, so we’ll have to see if this works. (Side note here:  I’ve seen a number of really great videos on youtube on the bobsled, and I just had to have one of my own!!  To spoil the surprise — one cannot hang on for dear life and shoot a video at the same time!!!  Lesson learned.)

Photo of man and woman on bobsled


Let’s Do Some Planning

Preparing for January 2011
And this is only part of what was in the box.

Yes, indeed, the cruises are paid for, I grabbed plane tickets when they reached their lowest price, we’ve made reservations for the hotel in Charleston, and the “goin’ on a cruise” boxes have come out from under the bed.  I kid you not — we have plastic under-the bed boxes that have our cruising stuff that we don’t want to forget. Actually one of them has John’s cruising t-shirts and shorts in it.

After 36 years of marriage, I have indeed discovered that men and women really are quite different (and you thought it was other things that made them different!!). My husband keeps all his special cruising t-shirts and shorts in his special box and will not wear any of them unless he is on a cruise because that would only wear them out!!!  I, on the other hand, wear my clothes, take them on a cruise if they’re halfway new or particularly comfy. Alas, men are men, I suppose. Whatever makes him happiest. He is an extremely organized man, so I cannot fault him for his technique!

The one box has got a lot of stuff that I think of during the year and I’ll put it in there just so I won’t forget it.

For example, see the large manila envelope? Well inside are two pieces of cardboard. Anytime that we buy the professional photos on the ship, I slip them in the envelope in between the cardboard. That is a lesson learned from our first cruise with our dear friends. One of the nicest photos we bought got creased and bent on the flight home. I tried EVERYTHING from sitting on it to ironing it and could not get the bend totally out of the photo.

Here is another must-bring (for us at least):

  • Luggage tags
    Small notebooks for notes with pens
    Flasks (to bring to Lido)
    Corkscrew for wine
    Shot glass for measuring
  • Batteries
    Playing Cards
    Hat to grab on way out
    Pill containers
    Possible medical items, like band-aids, OTC medicines
  • Video Camera
    Still Camera
    S&S card, contact cards to hand out
  • Bug spray, sunscreen
    Clothes Pins
    Hair dryer
    Slot for Receipts (so they stay together)

This is just a sample view that we put together to show you what we normally keep in the shoe hanger. I must admit that we did cut off the bottom two rows because we really didn’t need them and they were too far down.  You probably can come up with so many more ways to use it. The biggest benefit that we have found is that it leaves room on the table or counter top for the ice buckets, bottles, glasses, etc. Also having all the receipts stuck together in the one pocket helps us figure out how much we’ve spent as we go along so the S&S bill doesn’t come as a “medical moment” to remember!

Dancing Waiters

I have seen so many videos of dancing waiters (and so much controversy also). Do the wait staff like dancing on the cruise ship? Do they think it is demeaning?  I have no idea and I don’t have enough information to form an opinion (and that’s exactly what it would be–an “opinion”).  The ones I’ve seen look like they are having fun; I know our waiter looked like he was having fun.  I have a video of it (you just knew that was coming, didn’t you?).  Again, I am just learning how to do all this and my videos are certainly not good ones, but at least they are a brief clip of time in my life; a time that I can relive whenever I want. 

The Big Day is Almost Here!!

Today is January 5th, I’ve finally had an opportunity to start packing my bags. Did you ever notice how busy it becomes at work in direct proportion to how close your vacation is coming.  Honestly, every day has become more hectic than the day before.  But it’s the weekend and I finally have things categorized to go into the bags. John is already packed; he was packed this past Wednesday, including an inventory of his “seabag.”  I feel like making up a large manila envelope, putting a fake set of orders to report aboard the Carnival Fantasy, and sticking it between his teeth.  Those of you who have spent time in the military know what I’m talking about – seabag on shoulder, etc. etc.  You know the drill.

sailor So Tuesday we are off on our next big adventure. I am so looking forward to it and I would like to work on my photo skills and also video taping experience. If I get good at it, it can be knowledge that I can pass along to my students.

For now, goodbye and we will see you for our next ship’s report.


4 Responses to Flotsam n’ Jetsam

  1. Karen Muermann says:

    Looks like you have it pretty well organized. I’ve read in the past about the shoe hanger but seeing it in action has me convinced. It’s on my shopping list. See you in January 2013 on the Fantasy.

  2. Joanne Callahan says:

    We’ve been on many cruises but are always looking for new ideas and tips-the shoe bag is great and keeps the tabletops neat. I saw another clever idea I’ll share: take along a few magnets for flyers and tickets as all the walls are metal. I like John’s “Cruise Box.” I, myself, have a “Cruise Closet” for all those clothes I never seem to have a place to wear, except on a cruise! I’m enjoying your sense of humor. Enjoy your trip. We. (my husband Richard and I) too leave soon: the Valor on the 13th. Enjoy!

  3. I love your outlook on life! A great blog. You and your hubby I bet are great to cruise with! I hope you enjoy your back2back x3. Looking forward to your next entry.

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