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Cruising In 2020

by Linda Johnson |  Published: Sep 09, 2020


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As someone who has spent at least six months every year traveling (mostly cruising) for the past 20 years, I am actually enjoying being home since February. That said, I do miss cruising. I have been asked if I will resume cruising once the cruise lines go back into operation, and the answer is most likely yes.

I have been following closely how the cruise industry (especially my favorite cruise line Royal Caribbean) has reacted to the pandemic. Even before the CDC shut down the cruise industry, Royal Caribbean had implemented extra safety measures such as requiring all passengers to go through a health screening and have their temperatures checked before boarding the ship, sanitizing all public areas every 30 minutes, hiring extra medical staff on each ship, etc. Royal Caribbean recently established a “Healthy Sail” panel whose priority is to review every detail of every department’s operation in order to develop unprecedented standards to keep crew and passengers safe. The panel consists of some of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality, and maritime operations. I am eager to see what the “new normal” in cruising will be.

One thing is for sure… I really miss all of our Card Player Cruises guests and staff. Many of them have become close, close friends and are like family to me. One thing that has happened on every one of our cruises over the past 28 years is a fun welcome party on embarkation and a farewell party at the end of the cruise. On every cruise, we watch and listen in order to create a top 10 list of the funniest things our passengers said or did during the voyage. At the farewell party, we surprise guests and call them up to the stage to receive a silly gift while we announce what they said or did to have earned the award.

Since we all need a good laugh these days, I have looked back at some of my favorite top 10s over the years and will share them with you in no particular order (recipients’ names have been concealed to protect the guilty).

1. Do you think I can find a place to buy some jewelry in the Caribbean? (There is a jewelry store on every corner!)
2. Has this ship ever sank?
3. Does Viagra work on a cruise ship?
4. Since so many of your passengers are from Las Vegas, why don’t we cruise from there?
5. I gained so much weight this week that the bed sheets are tight.
6. I’m eager to go to Nassau to see the Johnson Space Center (I think he meant NASA).
7. My stretch pants don’t have a choice.
8. I’m hungry…I haven’t eaten in at least 15 minutes!
9. Gilligan’s Island is the reason I overpack. (young people may have to google Gilligan’s Island)
10. Why don’t the inside cabins have windows?

And of course, Alaska cruises have their own list:

1. On which side of the ship will the whales appear?
2. When will the Northern Lights come on?
3. Are the glaciers out all year long?
4. I took the whale watch excursion…we went to Walmart!
5. The people on this ship are so old, the late show is at 7 p.m. ♠

Linda Johnson is a WSOP bracelet winner and hosts tournaments, seminars, and charity events. In 2011, she was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. She is a partner in Card Player Cruises, and invites you to cruise with her on any of the upcoming Card Player Cruises trips. Please contact her at with questions or comments.