Couples Survival Kit

| Sunday, 05 Mar. 2000

sea chestCertain items are essential to having a romantic cruise - especially for new couples

My girlfriend and I were driving towards Port Everglades, trying our best to avoid the draw bridges of Fort Lauderdale, when she insisted that we stop at a neighborhood pharmacy for last minute notions. Of course I didn't want to stop, but did I have a choice? As it turned out, it was the best thing we could have done.

I ran into the pharmacy, grabbed a box of Dramamine, and carried it to the cash register. Pre-occupied with the time, I hurriedly said to the pharmacist with a surprising lack of mature nonchalance, "I'll take this and a box of condoms."

"Hey, if it makes you sick why do you do it?" he asked. "No, no, no," I laughed. "It doesn't make me sick, I'm going on a cruise." "Great way to travel!" He said. "I've taken a few myself."

And this pharmicist wouldn't let us go until he filled our "Couples' Survival Kit." And as it turned out, his suggestions were stellar.

My girlfriend and I have been together for a few years and there's a whole lot of love between us, but sometimes we need a little help to maintain the peace in our relationship. We are both mature enough to be as cranky, demanding, and set in our ways as we want to be without feeling the least little bit guilty about it.

Sex is like air, it isn't important unless you aren't getting any, but males are known to have trouble mating in captivity and cruise ship cabins can be pretty small. Close quarters can put a strain on a relationship, and if you have an argument there's no going home to mother. So, I am about to reveal the contents of our very own "Couples' Survival Kit" to help you and your spouse have a romantic cruise.

The first rule is not to intrude on your partner's comfort. Here is an embarassing disclosure: when I'm on a cruise I capture the prize for best snore, especially after an exhausting day ashore and a huge dinner. At home the rule may be; "Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone," - but on a cruise ship you don't have any choice, it's the bed or the bathtub.

One of the best snore remedies are those little nose strips, the kind football players wear. They open the nasal passages and cut down the noise, at least to a degree. For the scientifically-minded among you here are two reasons why nose strips help...

  • They stabilize the tissue surrounding the nostrils thereby reducing the "flap" factor.

  • They increase the size of the nasal opening thereby lowering the fundamental resonating frequency of the noise-creating aperture to create a pleasing tone more reminiscent of a French horn than a piccolo trumpet.

Just in case, my girlfriend also carries earplugs to reduce the sound of my snoring. In fact, I highly recommend earplugs for anyone who finds themselves sharing a cabin with someone they haven't (literally) slept with before, like a grandparent, for example. You never know, and you never want to know, what kinds of sounds emanate from your dear loved ones in the middle of the night.

Now, just in case you are thinking my girlfriend is perfect here is a disclosure for her. She is the world's worst insomniac, hands down! Give her a trashy novel and the effect on her blood pressure is like a double chocolate cappucino for the rest of us. Of course, it isn't any fun for her to be wide awake and lying in the dark trying not to disturb my sleep, so I wear a blindfold to bed. Yes, I look ridiculous, but I can't see myself anyway so what's the difference? I also use earplugs or stuff Kleenex in my ears to reduce the sound of her turning pages and snapping her gum. But a blindfold has a limit to its effectiveness, so she also uses a tiny snap-on booklite so she doesn't need the cabin lamps.

Thanks to the advice of our friendly pharmacist, we left that drugstore fully provisioned with our first "couples' survival kit". We now take one on every cruise; a night on board just isn't right unless I have on my nose strips, blindfold and kleenex hanging out of my ears. She doesn't feel complete without her earplugs and a booklite.

It is our duty at CruiseMates to do everything we can to help our dear readers have the trip of a lifetime, so I am happy to relate this to you, and I'll never forget how our pharmacist said goodbye...

"By the way, how much were the condoms?" I asked him before we left.

"$1.99 plus the tax," he replied.

"Tacks!??" I yelped, "I thought they stayed on by themselves!"

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