Missing out on a cruise is hard, but sometimes there are great reasons. Last night, while on Freedom of the Seas, we got to meet the friends of one of our readers, (Connor, @fay78x on Twitter) learn about why he's not onboard, and connect with them all in what has certainly been the most personal experience of our adventure so far.
While lounging in our cabana yesterday at Labadee, I got a tweet from a reader. I've copied the first part of our chat below.
@CruiseHabit have you by any chance bumped into a group of Irish 6 girls and 2 lads from Dublin
@fay78x not yet? are you in the group or is it friends/fam? Hope we meet either way. Labadooze meet at Schooner Bar in 30 mins.
@CruiseHabit if you see them could you tell them baby Aiden said hello from Dublin
@fay78x Sorry you missed the trip. Congratulations! Will look out for your friends. Tell them about our meetups. http://RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com/fe
After this, some crossover started to occur.
@CruiseHabit how weard Is that I seen there snap chat in the same pub with them all singing then noticed your periscope
@CruiseHabit I'll b keeping a eye on the rest of them
Later in the evening, and after a fun and awkward group karaoke (see below) with Matt of the Royal Caribbean Blog (made more awkward because I don't actually know any pop songs), I was doing some more research on the affect of Irish whiskey and English Ales on a cruise nerd. Larissa noticed a group of Irish folks having a grand time, and noted they'd be in the pub when we were the evening before - so these must be the folks. My approach however, probably wasn't the best.
See, I hadn't looked at the tweet in a few hours and my cloudy memory told me that Aiden was the person I was tweeting with, not his newborn child. I walked up to one of the gentlemen (Noel, pictured in the green shirt) and asked him and the group, "does anyone know Aiden from Dublin?" Now, I realize that without the context I had (which they didn't), this was roughly equivalent to walking into a pizza joint and asking if anyone knows Vinnie from New York. There was a bit of kind-spirited mockery in response to my question and then Larissa had me bring up the tweet again. "Oh, Aiden is the baby's name!" She re-approached Noel and clarified, getting a very different reaction. Soon everyone was talking about how mad it was that we'd made this connection at sea, with their friend's, and in the original plans, travel companions.
We chatted for a bit, took a few photos, and sent the photos and a note back to Connor
@fay78x Connor, was talking to Noely, asked about Aiden said was his god child and said he's having a good time, give A a hug and kiss.
Over the years we've met many people while cruising, some we still chat with, others we don't. This however was probably the most memorable interaction. Getting to close that gap a bit, making the world a bit smaller, was a real joy. Congrats to Connor, his growing family, and his friends. Maybe one day we can all enjoy a drink in the same pub aboard a ship.
*And now, because I mentioned it, please enjoy a disaster of a karaoke booth experience. Thanks to