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Mrs. Kuki Hasn’t Been On A Cruise in Two Years

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Recently, at dinner out with friends, Mrs. Kuki mentioned she hadn’t been on a cruise in two years, and commented that she was missing it.
It wasn’t at all surprising to hear that she misses it, as at one point we’d been cruising 4 to 6 times a year. It was however surprising to be reminded that it has been two years.
I knew in late spring 2010, after a  bit of a lenghty self imposed hiatus, I had sailed on a press trip on Holland America’s Veendam to Bermuda without her, and in June a very short trip to Venice, Italy for the inauguration ceremonies of the Nieuw Amsterdam, also without her. While I did those two solo trips, I had also turned down several cruises for writing assignments.
But, when Mrs. Kuki mentioned it had been two year since we cruised together, I was rather taken aback. I just hadn’t thought much about it, but I figured there had to be a reason. She’s a wonderful and helpful cruisemate, so I really had to give some thought to the reasons for the big gap.
It’s rather amazing what the human mind can do, and what it might hide in it’s depths. After a bit of thought the reasoning become quite obvious, and was really quite simple.
 Two years ago we were on cruise, and on the last night of the cruise I received a phone call in the cabin telling us my father had passed away. A couple of days earlier we were told he was ill, and did look at leaving the ship in Belize and attempt to leave the ship from there. The timing of flights that would have got us home was such, that we would have got home one day earlier than waiting until the end of the cruise. After some discussion (with my father speaking to us by telephone, telling us to stay on the cruise) we made the decision to stay onboard until the end of the cruise. Early in the morning of disembarkation we received the call that he had passed away.
He was 92 years old when he passed away, and had been ill for a time, so none of this really came as a shock, and I think I took the news in stride, as something inevitable. I was home for the funeral with my family, and went through what I felt was a rather normal mourning period, and I felt I handled it pretty well.
Now, two years later I realize the impact of my not being there to say goodbye had been much more significant. I realize that deep within me I feel guilty for being on a ship, and not being there. I realize that what I thought was perhaps my loss of interest in cruising, was in fact my reaction to that guilt.
Though I wasn’t cruising, I didn’t resign my position at CruiseMates, and I kept watching developments in the industry, and I kept writing my weekly Blog. So, obviously I was reluctant to severe my attachment to cruising completely.

This month, aside from being the second anniversary of my father’s death, is also the 30th anniversary of the date Mrs. Kuki I were married. I’m convinced that I found the only woman on earth who’d have put up with me for 30 years. I feel bad that my buried emotions kept her away from cruising, which I know she loves as much as I do.

In February that drought is going to end, when we board the Sapphire Princess with almost 100 cruisemates for the 5th Let’s Get Lei’d CruiseMates Group Cruise. I want to reward her for the hiatus that I forced upon her, with a fabulous time. And I’m curious as to how I’ll react to cruising with her again.

The human psyche is obviously very complicated. I’ll be filing daily reports from the ship for CruiseMates, and this time it might be an interesting read because of the twist; seeing what, if any, effect my emotional baggage has on the trip.

When you lose a loved one, eventually life must go on. Mourning and missing lost loved ones are really two different things. We’ll see if in the time away, I’ve healed enough to know the difference.

For next week’s Blog I’ll be back to writing about my thoughts and observations on the cruise industry. This week’s was an excercise in therapeutic reflection for me; missing my father while remembering the joy of having spent the past 30 years with Mrs. Kuki.

– A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising –

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Comment from Paul Motter
Time December 1, 2010 at 5:04 am

While this is a very personal blog – it brings up thoughts important to everyone. I often think about matters like this when I am writing for the general public.

One of them is whether we should feel guilty about enjoying life after the loss of a loved one. Obviously, many widows cruise for years after their husbands die (we know that statistically).

Another question is whether we should cruise during tough economic times. It can seem a little frivolous.

But the over-riding thought is this – we are never getting any younger, and if we do not cruise now then when? When we are older and less able to enjoy it?

Significantly, you did not feel like cruising so much, but you wife missed it. The same can be said of one’s children and other family members. While the decision maker may think it un-wise to go, the kids may be thinking “we’re kids, we want to enjoy our childhood, we don’t care if uncle ____ lost his job and can’t go.”

In other words – when you miss opportunities to cruise, you may never get them back. So, it is wise to take them when you can. It also gives a balance to life that makes the bad times seem not so bad.

The Europeans have a very different philosphy on vacations – they take a few every year. They seem them as mandatory rights, not splurging.

Comment from Darlene (ready2gonow)
Time December 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Kuki, I’m glad that you were able to really reflect on your emotions and the the effect on your cruising schedule. So often we don’t examine the “why” when a life-pattern changes. My mother-in-law passed away in June, at the age of 104. Our plans had us traveling for all of the summer, in our RV. Instead, I had emergency surgery at the end of May, and had to return home. We were here about 10 days prior to her passing. Had we been on the road, I think I would have experienced the same thing as you. With Mrs. Kuki (and your fellow Cruisemates) by your side, you will be fine. Each subsequent cruise will bring you closer to the joy that being on a ship brings.

Comment from Tim Butler
Time December 2, 2010 at 5:36 am

A couple of cruises ago my D/W’s mother was in the hospital when we went on a cruise, she is 85 at the time. We told our children that if she was to pass away, don’t get in touch with us while on the cruise. We came to the conclusion, with much thought, that there would be nothing we could do anyway, it would ruin our vacation with mourning and we couldn’t afford to fly home our of one of the islands anyway. I know this might sound cruel but it is the truth.

Kuki, You are a man’s man for manning up and admitting your failures here on your blog! I hope that you and Mrs. Kuki have the greatest cruise ever this coming February.


Comment from RayB
Time December 2, 2010 at 1:44 pm

And we 2 remember the last time Mrs Kuki cruised with you. You drove up to Orlando inorder to get a direct flight home. And a few of us met you for dinner at TGIF. It was a sad meeting having lost your father.

But we will be with Mrs Kuki again and you too on the Get Laid cruise in Feb.

See you in feb


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