Yes, my friends, the series that started its sarcastic existence over on the DIS, based on the more peculiar characters from the parks, has now ventured over to the sailing seas of Disney Cruise Line.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with this satirical look at some of the strange behaviors we find ourselves surrounded by while visiting Disney property, you can catch up on all the excitement with the latest land-edition here.
Yes, it is snarky and a bit dramatic, but that is all part of the fun in this not-so-serious attempt to replace common frustration with a bit of a giggle. Are you ready to embark on the Disney Reflection? No, that isn’t an actual Disney Cruise Line ship but a silly, inconsequential name I have given this journey. And before someone expects it, Corona-Guy won’t be on the list; it’s too easy!
Mr & Mrs Contraband
Much like an airport, your Disney Cruise usually begins with a check-in and security where baggage is checked by X-Ray for prohibited items. Most people mosey on through without any issue until it comes time for Mr. & Mrs. Contraband to step forward. With a series of side-glances that avoid eye contact while their bags are being checked, but when pulled to the side for further inspection, that is when the fun begins.
One by one, the forbidden items emerge from the bag as though a completed scavenger hunt for every single thing you aren’t allowed to bring on board. Like that carpet bag from Mary Poppins, this one suitcase has more removed from it than could have possibly fit in it. Foot Spa – check!
Ten minutes of negotiating later and the rice cooker emerges from the second bag, followed by the portable fishing rod. Before you know it, the security team has uncovered everything from pool noodles to a chihuahua, all previously concealed within the bag.
Mr. Contraband argues his rights while Mrs. Contraband practices her resting sea-witch face, shooting dirty looks at anyone who makes eye contact as though she may murder you in your deck chair.
As you pass them by, one can only hope they are not your on-board neighbors!
The These-Chairs-Are-Taken Crew
Move over Mind My Spot Crew from the queues of Disney theme parks, the These-Chairs-Are-Taken Crew are the new space-absorbing kids on the block, and they mean business. As soon as the pool is open, one seemingly innocent woman will appear. She daintily arranges her towel on a deck chair; watching her is almost like a romantic, black and white movie, you can envisage violin playing softly in the background. Then she places another towel on the chair next to hers, clearly saving it for the special someone that isn’t too far behind. Ah, it’s like The Love Boat.
Then she places the third towel; perhaps some children will share a seat by the pool with them? Who knows. The violins stop, and the black and white flickers to a stark colorful picture of greed as she places towels four through ten upon the last of the front row deck chairs.
Thirty minutes pass by, and no one has joined her. A few brave souls have approached, asking to use a single chair for their family of five, only to be told: “sorry, these chairs are taken.”
Fast forward a few hours, a handful of family members come and go from the seats, never occupying more than two chairs at one time out of the ten they are hogging.
By the end of the afternoon, one might be inclined to offer a suggestion as to where they could put the eleventh towel tomorrow.
Where is Mrs. Contraband when you need her?
Annie Oakley and Frank Butler
Now this one is a more obscure reference; I will give you that. From the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun, came the timeless classic duet, Anything you can do, I can do better performed by Annie Oakley and Frank Butler. For this article, our Annie and Frank characters are the couple that has done everything you have done but bigger, better, and more frequently. Their sole purpose upon this ship is to make sure that you are all aware that they are more experienced than you and that at all times, you should look to them as a reference point for everything.
Annie begins every sentence with an introduction like, It was 2013, on the banks of the Seine River in Paris… Add in a “Picture This!” and it’s Sophia Petrillo from the Golden Girls minus the cute nightie and Sicilian charm.
Frank likes to bounce rhetorical questions into the air like, Was it the seventh or thirteenth time that we sailed through Antarctica that we adopted Matra the Whale? Before continuing with an unrelated story about another time they were better than you at something else.
There is no escaping them.
Editor’s Note: While we don’t know if buffets will be open on Disney Cruise Line ships once they set sail again, we’re leaving this next bit in strictly for the enjoyment of reminiscing!
It’s time for that breakfast or lunch at Cabanas you’ve been looking forward to for a while. A fresh, beautiful looking buffet awaits filled with all of your favorite things. A couple beside you approaches the area headed for the plates. To be polite, you step back for them to go ahead.
Plates in hand, you all move toward the seafood offerings, patiently waiting for them to hand over the serving tongs allowing you to get a few things for your plate. You wait and wait; a crowd now draws behind you as the couple each stack their plates excruciatingly high with all the best bits. As they walk away, only four measly prawns (shrimp) have been left behind, and that is including the two that fell on the floor as they tumbled off the piled-high plate.
You take one of the remaining two edible morsels as the ten people behind you sigh in disappointment. It isn’t that they won’t bring out more, or that you care what other people eat. It’s the complete disregard for everyone else in the room.
The Hang-On Family
You open your stateroom door to a delightfully friendly family exiting their room the next door over. What a lucky day, this is going to be the best cruise ever, right? It turns out you are both headed to the same dining area too, what a coincidence.
Before long, it seems as though every time you leave the room, there they are; almost waiting for you to go. Their family spends so much time with yours that crew and cast members seem to think you are traveling together.
Suddenly you realize they have signed up for all the same activities you have. Bob has organized for your couples massage changed to four people instead of two. Karen has booked the kids into the same social groups and activities as yours, even though your children can’t stand being with theirs. They are everywhere you go. If you were to leave without them for any reason, you might creep back in with a watchful eye, just in case Bob and Karen had taken the opportunity to move in and make the union official.
Bob reminisces about that one time, back in the old days, when he made the joke about the life raft. You remind him that was earlier that morning, suppressing an eye-roll. Karen starts asking questions about what you’ll be wearing tomorrow and shows up in a color-coordinated outfit.
You take back everything you thought about Mr. & Mrs. Contraband at the dock and ask the nearest crew member if you can move in next to them instead. At least they could have made you some rice.
Let’s face it, the only person you really don’t want to be on a Disney Cruise, is the guy standing on the dock when the ship leaves port.
For those of you more serious types, the usual disclaimers are available below:
- I do not hate all neighboring families on-board.
- No, I am not suggesting that using a deck chair for a few hours shouldn’t be allowed.
- I don’t care what you take on board as long as it doesn’t stop the 500 people behind you from moving through security.
- While I don’t mind making friends, I’m on this cruise to be with my family, not yours.
- I don’t care how many plates of food you eat at lunch just leave enough for other people in-between visits to the buffet.
Have a few cruise line behaviors that you can’t stand? Let me know and they might make it into the next edition of 5 People You Don’t Want to Be.