SS Brittanis

Summer, 1983


This was my very first cruise, in the summer between 10th and 11th grade. We went as a family, got a deal through my mom's college, kind of like a class trip. We left from New York city and traveled at sea for 2 days, spent a day in Bermuda, then sailed home for 2 days. It was the most fun I had had in my life up to that point. My brother Craig and I went crazy with all the stuff to do, he played the video games all the time. I met lots of kids and a group of guys from the college that thought I was in school with my mom. I was only 15. I had most people convinced I was 19 and had a blast playing a college student. The ship was a foreign registry, British maybe,  and the whole crew was foreign, they barely spoke English at all. I could just walk up and order anything I wanted to drink and never got carded or asked my age. Needless to say I drank alot. My first big experience with alcohol and I did a great job of not getting sick or overdoing it. I danced in the disco every night and got in about 4am every night. Slept in every day and had dinner with my parents who were glad I was still alive considering they barely saw me the whole trip.

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I did stay still long enough for them to get some pictures of us. Mom looked great, I looked young.

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All these pics mom sent to me in emails so the quality is not that great. Plus they're really old too. Don't mom and dad look great? I just look really young. Would you serve me? 19, no way!!!!!! 15 maybe. Can't believe I had them all fooled, or maybe they just didn't care.

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Our formal dinner, I think. I was dressed up anyway. That was my prom dress a few years later. It was my favorite dress and I kept it for a long time, even a few years after I couldn't fit in it anymore. That was about as long as my hair ever was.

We ran into a storm one night and half the ship got seasick. I felt bad but was trying to stick it out. We went down to the doctor to get seasick pills, I tried to swallow the pill but it dissolved on my tongue and I tasted it and it made me sick. I only got sick because of that, afterward I felt better and went out dancing that night. I was a kid we bounce back fast.

Anyway, Bermuda was gorgeous, the water impressed the hell out of me and that's when I knew I wanted to live there, anywhere, in the tropics.  I stayed in the water as long as I could. I was amazed by the soft pink coral sand, the crystal clear water, the warmth, the beauty of the island with all it's pastel colors and white rooftops glaring in the tropical sun. What a wonderful time. I'd love to go back someday. We took a horse drawn buggy ride around the island then went to the beach after a little shopping.

I remember the flowers being huge and smelling incredible, the lizards on the walls lining the streets, the houses being clean and big and well kept and the yards all groomed beautifully. It is a rich island and things did seem expensive back then, can't imagine what it's like now. I remember mom complaining at a restaurant about the hamburgers being 5 dollars. I just wanted to lay in the sun, hang out on the beach, swim and laze the day away. I'll never forget being in water up to my neck and looking down and seeing my feet clear as day.

I had alot of firsts that trip, along with all the cruise, alcohol and island stuff, there were kisses and gambling and a really good makeout session. Standing on the top deck with a guy I had met and looking at the water and the moon's reflection, it was a first I'll never forget. I am so glad it all happened and I wouldn't change a thing. I think every kid should have such a great experience, something to remember, to last a lifetime.

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