“HAY KID!”………… That’s how I knew it was Bernie on the other end of the line. He didn’t have to say who it was, he just had to say “HEY KID”. He might be calling to inquire about the next Bus to the Boat cruise. Or he might want to make sure he and his wife Rosslyn had the right cabin in the right location on the ship. I was in my early fifties at the time and to be called kid was flattering.
Bernie had spent his entire career as a high school teacher. I want to say that he was a Shop teacher but I don’t remember for sure. He had taught in the southern California area his whole life and now was enjoying retirement in Las Vegas. And I just loved talking to him and hearing some of his stories.
When I met Bernie he was probably in his late eighties but just full of enthusiasm and vinegar. I had the good fortune about ten years ago of escorting a group on a rather unique cruise itinerary where one of the port calls was Acapulco. Cliff divers, jewelry stores, deep sea fishing. All in all a great port call.
But the highlight for me of that port call, all those years ago was walking off the ship (the Carnival Spirit as I recall), walking onto the pier and from a distance I heard someone shout in my direction “HAY KID!” And there was Bernie, sitting in his portable chair, sipping his favorite drink, maybe smoking his favorite illegal (read Cuban) cigar, holding court and just watching the world go by.
That was how Bernie “rolled”. He didn’t need to do shore excursions, or sit on the beach. For him just sitting on his chair at a little café at the pier was perfect. He could do his own thing and enjoy his cruise experience that worked best for him.
So I walked over to him, sat down, maybe I had a beer and we just watched the world go by together for a few minutes. Is there anything better than that?
We will start to make those memories again for all our VEGAS VOYAGERS as we restart our Bus to the Boat program once the CDC opens up United States ports to cruise ships. Be assured once we get the green light to cruise, we will let you know in the pages of the VEGAS VOICE. I’m Stu Cooper for the VEGAS VOICE and the VEGAS VOYAGERS Stay safe and Be well.