“Cep Diffnt”

No , that’s not a typo. I once saw a comedian do an impersonation of Elvis in which he said something “was just like that—except different,” which in Elvis-speak came out sounding like the title of my post.

That observation by The King makes comically little sense on one level, but on another, I know what he meant. There’s a mental model I overlay on every cruise and most times they play out pretty much the way I figure they will. And then sometimes they are, well,  “diffnt.”

The biggest question mark for me as a lecturer is always dinner, because it is important to be sociable in my role.  I meet a few people right away and little by little, through my lectures, the tours, the onboard games like Team Trivia and golf putting, I end up with a full dance card of dinner dates long before the end of the voyage.

This cruise  was so different from the get go. I was traveling alone, so I knew I had to put more effort into finding dinner companions than when I have one ready made every night.  I figured when I  had almost full houses at my first two lectures that I would find it easy to strike up conversations around the ship, but with this crowd it didn’t really work that way. It was a one-week cruise, which attracts a different clientele.  There were a number of family groups on board as well as several very large groups who were part of travel clubs. Often these passengers aren’t really looking to be sociable beyond themselves.

Most nights I honestly didn’t know at 6pm who I would be having dinner with, but somehow it always worked out over happy hour.  I had a wonderful time whether with one solo traveler or a family of five, with one couple or two, or whatever.

I hadn’t done as good a job reaching out  this time as I might have—haven’t played the games or gone on as many tours—but tonight, the last night of this cruise, I came home to notes and business cards on my door from people who want to stay in touch. More so than on cruises where I have tried harder, so go figure.

I haven’t changed my mind—this was a tough one, but as The King well knew, and put it so eloquently, it was the same as the others in some ways, except memorably different.