From Left to Write: No Staterooms for Me

I think the title of this post, for me, says it all:

Never in a million years would you catch me on board a cruise ship.

I don’t care if it’s docked or if it’s sailing at 20 knots across the middle of the ocean — I won’t go near one. I’m not sure that I’d just shrug it off as a completely irrational fear, either. At the risk of sounding alarmist, ocean liners haven’t proven their value to me. Between ships running aground (like the Costa Concordia), and outbreaks of illnesses among its passengers (such as the Royal Caribbean line’s Explorer of the Seas), fires (like the one that forced another Royal Caribbean ship to dock early), and outright sinkings (she didn’t let go, Jack!), it’s just not a risk I’m willing to take, even if it means missing out on sailing the open seas with Mickey Mouse on the Disney Cruise Line. At least we can make it up to Joshua by taking him to Disney World.

Dead Wake, fascinating as it was, merely solidified my beliefs. During World War I, when the events surrounding the Lusitania‘s sinking took place, submarines torpedoed ships that they thought might be carrying munitions, or for waving the flag of an enemy nation. Now, I don’t know much about cruise ships (nor do I particularly care to), but I get the feeling that Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line ships aren’t carrying munitions — but anyone who watches the news knows that there are lots of people who don’t like our country right now and could attack a cruise ship full of helpless passengers to send a message. Add to all of that the fact that I’m just not a big water person, and it affirms that I’ll never set foot on a cruise ship. I’ve been on fishing boats and ferries and, though I don’t feel seasick, I don’t like it; if I can’t handle being on a boat for a short period of time, there’s no way I could willingly put myself on one for a week.

I’ll keep my feet firmly on the ground and let all of you have all the fun.

Does anyone share this fear (paranoia?) with me, or am I completely alone on this one? Share your thoughts in the comments!

This post was inspired by Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, a thrilling account of Lusitania’s last voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and the U-boat that attacked it. Join From Left to Write on March 26th as we discuss Dead Wake. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

The #AllYouNeedIsLoveProject: I Love Love Stories!

Happy Thursday, readers! You know what Thursday means around here…

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This week, the sleep-deprived-but-still-gorgeous-and-happy Carmen asked us a great question! “Share your favorite (or one of your favorite) love stories. In can be from any art form – a movie, a book, a piece of art, or a story you were told. Describe it and share with us why you heart it.”

Carmen’s own response, by the way, is here!

As soon as I saw “…a movie, a book…” I was hooked. This one’s right up my alley — which, funny enough, makes it harder. There are so many great love stories out there, and for a big reader like myself it’s incredibly difficult to choose one! Scarlett and Rhett, Katniss and Peeta, Dominic and Minuette. This is just a small sampling of some of my favorite couples.

My favorite love story of all time, however? After giving it a great deal of thought, I realized that I kept coming back to the same couple, and for good reason. (Surprise, surprise! I didn’t choose a book!) You don’t get much better than these two right here:

Titanic opened in theaters when I was a high school sophomore, and until I saw it I neither knew nor cared much for the doomed ship’s backstory. These days — thanks to Leo and Kate, and the genius that is James Cameron — I am still a woman obsessed nearly two decades after its premiere. What can I say? Rose said she’d never let go, and neither did I. Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows the fictional story that Jim Cameron created around the actual shipwreck: a first-class woman and a third-class man meet by chance and fall in love, fighting class norms and her fiance in order to be together. And, of course, we all know how their love story ends. What’s not to love?

Titanic, all these years later, has become a classic film, both revered and parodied. Millions of replicas of the beautiful Heart of the Ocean necklace were produced and sold. Kate and Leo are household names. Jim Cameron is world-famous as a motion-picture pioneer (Avatar, anyone?). Artifacts from the vessel are available to view in museums and on world tours. The ship itself continues to sit at the bottom of the Atlantic, slowly breaking down and returning to nature. If your pockets are deep enough, you can even pay for an excursion in a submersible to see it with your own eyes. Both the ship and the film are part of the American consciousness now; they are permanent fixtures in popular culture.

The film has earned a permanent spot among my movie collection, and there are quite a few books about the ship and its passengers in my library. Thanks to the film and the love story that it gave us, I fell in love. I can guarantee that I’ll always be in love with all things Titanic.

I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go!

What’s your favorite love story?! Shout it out in the comments!

Click through to learn more about Carmen and the All You Need Is Love Project!