When I took my first cruise, I noticed on the daily ship schedules that there were meetings of friends: Friends of Bill W., Friends of Jimmy K., and Friends of Dorothy. At first I thought these were some sort of floating memorial services or something. But then I saw the same groups getting together on other cruise lines.
On my second cruise, I mentioned this to Nancy Schretter, and she laughed before telling me that these were actually support groups. Friends of Bill W. was actually an AA meeting to help those on board stay on the wagon (or more aptly on the ship) while cruising. This made sense.
On my family cruise I learned about Friends of Dorothy, which was really a gathering at the beginning of the cruise for the GLBT community to meet while on a cruise ship. I’ll bet those gatherings are absolutely fabulous.
I still haven’t figured out about Friends of Jimmy K., and I also hear there are now Weight Watchers meetings on cruises to support members. Now there’s a new one to add to the list: Friends of Ernest H.
We had our inaugural Friends of Ernest H meeting in Donna Tunney’s stateroom on the Carnival Liberty during the #FunShip2dot0 cruise. Each attendee brought their bon voyage bottle of Champagne that was sent by Carnival Cruise Lines. So, technically, CCL was our first sponsor. It was so successful, we held a second meeting on our last night in Paul Reimer’s stateroom. We enjoyed a few bottles of wine sent by Care Vacations, who would be our second meeting sponsor.
So now you know what all those scheduled meeting on the ship’s daily activity schedule is really all about. And Friends of Ernest H? Well, we’re all travel addicts and we enjoy an adult beverage every now and again.