Lapping Waves of Friendship - My Family Travels

The ocean waves lapped at the sides of the Carnival Cruise ship as I followed my family up the boarding ramp. My stomach was already queasy at the thought of taking this expansive ship into the very middle of the vast ocean. We were traveling to Cabo San Lucas and back for our annual summer trip and I wanted nothing but to be back at home, swimming and tanning with my friends. The thought of infinite solitude on a cruise ship with no friends didn’t seem at all appealing. I breathed the salty air in deep and reluctantly stepped on board.

The room was small, cramped, and tremendously dull. I sighed but kept my complaints to myself because I knew just how much this trip had cost. We weren’t exactly overflowing with riches but my parents wanted to give my sister and I everything they could, even if it meant stretching paychecks for awhile. They were overjoyed and excited, raving over how beautiful and exciting the cruise ship was. In my eyes all I saw was casinos, bars, and ballrooms, none of what I found to be exciting. They urged me to get out of the room and go explore the ship, so I threw on a pair of purple flip-flops and headed out the door.

That was when I saw it, the sacred sign that saved my vacation. “Club H2O” was painted in bright, enticing colors on a small door near the 3rd floor elevator. I peered inside, thinking it was yet another adult only club but I was stunned to see teens my age inside playing Dance Dance Revolution, board games, and watching MTV! I walked inside, head lowered, and timidly asked the leader in charge what exactly the club was. She told me that it was a place set up specifically for teenagers and ran daily from 10am to midnight. I was thrilled but anxious that I wouldn’t fit in or be accepted. That was when I was introduced to Missy.

It took about 15 minutes for Missy and I to become best friends and sisters for life. We spent the remainder of the week-long cruise doing absolutely everything together, from singing karaoke for the whole cruise ship, to competing in contests and playing mini-golf. We had sleepovers in each others cabins every night and became close with each others families. The only problem that existed was she lived in southern California and I lived in Arizona.

When the cruise ended, all of the teens who had attended Club H2O received medals as memorabilia and exchanged phone numbers. It was an emotional day as Missy and I hugged goodbye with tears running down our faces. She and I became such close friends and couldn’t bear to part. One week later she called and began a tradition. Every week we call each other, filling each other in on our lives, problems, and dramas. She came down to Phoenix to visit for a few days at the end of the summer and began dating someone I introduced her to that had moved to California. The cruise I took in the summer of 2008 led to one of the best friendships I have ever known.


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