LSMSA alumni aboard Carnival Triumph for the inaugural LSMSA alumni cruise.
A CRUISE TO COZUMEL NOWHERE KEY WEST
BY MATTHEW J. COUVILLION
Iâ€™ve never been on a cruise, so I did not know what to expect when I registered for the inaugural LSMSA alumni cruise. What I learned is that when you get on a ship with 72 alumni and family from LSMSA, it doesnâ€™t matter where you go. You will have a pretty memorable adventure. The cruise began with uncertainty and a series of emails. The night before our departure, we received an alert from Carnival explaining that they were monitoring Hurricane Nate in the Gulf of Mexico, but we could still plan to board the Carnival Triumph in New Orleans as scheduled. The next morning, we received another message from Carnival, explaining that our original destination, Cozumel, was in the path of the storm, so the ship would simply sail around the Gulf for three days. Though given the option of cancelling for a full refund, my companions and I all decided that the trip promised an escape we all needed, and headed to the ship.
Once on board, it was great to reconnect with all the alumni I already knew and meet some new members of our tribe as we handed out goodie bags that included a custom beach towel, a T-shirt, and other LSMSA swag. That afternoon as we waited on the lido deck for our staterooms, I consumed a few of the fruity rum drinks the Triumph crew offered. It was great to catch up with friends I met 26 years ago at LSMSA or folks I just met at Social Service Weekend in the last couple of years. Dinner in the Paris dining room that night was the first chance we had to gather as a group. The food was great and the friendly waitstaff was happy to deal with our shenanigans. The next morning at about 3 a.m., we got into the Gulf of Mexico, which I could tell because my bed started rocking up and down. Hurricane Nate was making his presence felt. I finally gave up trying to sleep and ordered a PB&J from room service. When the porter arrived with my early breakfast, he told me