It was September of 2010, and my parents, sister, and I were on our way to the Bahamas on a 3-day cruise. We had never been on a cruise before and were very excited. We never really took such vacations before, but this one just came together as if God had planned it for us. As it turns out, it was incredibly significant and perhaps the most memorable and fun times I’ve had, at least with my sister, Alicia. It became the last vacation the four of us would ever take as a family. But it was better than we could have ever imagined and left us with some incredible memories.
A “Free” Cruise!
First let me give a little background of how this came together. It all started with a trip to the Pennsylvania Homebuilder’s show in the winter of 2010 with my parents. My dad was helping me with some basement improvements, and we wanted to see if we could get some ideas. Now, anyone familiar with trade shows knows that it’s a common tactic to get people to sign up for a contest to get an address or phone number to follow up with advertising. We politely declined a few, but for some reason, I decided to sign up for a kitchen makeover contest. My dad and I each filled out a card and the next day received a call informing us that we had “won” a cruise through a company called Sundance Vacations.
I did some research and found mixed reviews.We would have to attend a sales pitch, and at the end of it we would get vouchers for the cruise. Some people reported having success with it, and I figured I didn’t have much to lose so I went. The sales pitch was fine even though I wasn’t interested in spending tens of thousands of dollars on wholesale vacations. Afterward they sent us to a room where they talked with us individually, and I politely declined. (To their credit though, it wasn’t a hard sell, and they were respectful) I was then sent to another room to speak with someone else who offered a lower-end product (which actually didn’t seem like a bad deal although still outside my budget). After politely declining again, I was given two vouchers for the cruise and airfare to Miami. Nice! I called my parents and told them how it went, and they decided to go to the afternoon session. They also got vouchers.
Granted, we did have to follow a very specific months-long process with some restrictions. We had to send in some forms, put down a deposit toward “port fees”, and we had to provide three possible dates well in advance for the trip (and accept whichever they chose on the spot). And, even though we eventually learned our free cruise wasn’t exactly ‘free’ (Port fees, hidden fees, a fee to make sure we all traveled together, and a one night hotel stay) it was more than worth it. We never would have dreamed of going on a cruise anyway had it not been for entering that contest, so it worked out perfectly.
We had an amazing time. And the memories of that weekend became extremely important after my sister’s tragic accident less than a year later that took her life. I had a very close bond with my sister, and her and I shared a lot of fun on this trip. A big part of that fun was working on a very special video.
Alicia and I were both fans of The Lonely Island’s “I’m On A Boat” which was featured on Saturday Night Live. We had never been on a cruise ship before, so it was especially exciting for us. The “I’m On A Boat” theme was at the front of our minds the entire trip, and so we decided we would take a bunch of video of us doing ridiculous things on the trip and compile the footage later into our own “I’m On A Boat Video”.
So for the three days we were on the cruise, her and I would find time to record everything from dancing in elevators, to having pillow fights, sliding down railings, and more. We had so much fun with it.
After we got back, I got into my normal busy routine and never got around to finishing the video. After Alicia’s accident however, I just had to finish it. We had a very busy Summer and Fall, but finally I decided this would be just about the best Christmas gift I could give this year. So even though it may be a little rough, it’s finally done. The video is embedded below. If you’ve never seen the original “I’m On A Boat” video, please read the disclaimer below first before you watch it. Thanks and enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: If you have not seen the original version that inspired this, you really should watch it first or you simply won’t get it. Also, please note that the music to this video does have some censored language and includes some things which some folks may find offensive, but allow me to explain a little. The point of the original version is, in fact, to make fun of such outlandish song lyrics and various other clichés, and the over-the-top nature of it is what makes it so hilarious. And sure, alternative lyrics could have been attempted (I thought about it), but it wouldn’t have been nearly as good. And besides, judging something (or someone for that matter!) just because of a little profanity could be considered on the surface rather vain (and maybe even hypocritical) practice in itself. And I’m not a fan of vulgarity by any means. But if it still bothers you please don’t watch it, and please keep it to yourself. This is for my sister and my family, so if you don’t like it, I don’t care. 🙂