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You've got a friend (with and to James Taylor)

You've got a friend (with a nod to James Taylor)... Ask any person who cruises, especially the ones who cruise a lot, why they enjoy the experience so much and the answers are as varied as their home nations. For some it's the chance to see parts of the world with minimal hassle. For some it's the chance to eat food that they normally might not have at home or might not want to cook. For others, is just the chance to relax free from the daily worries we all have in our lives. For us, it's all of the above, plus the chance to meet people from around the world, or even our own backyard. In this couple, Ellen is the extrovert who sparks up a conversation with anyone nearby. Me, I'm more introverted but can still tell a good story around our table in the dining room. This trip, Ellen secretly pulled a little trick on me that got me talking with more of our fellow passengers. One of my favorite T-shirts has "I love my wife" on the front. It has attracted attention and compliments. No matter where we go, when I'm wearing the shirt I get smiles from what I assume are wives and thumbs up from men I assume to be husbands. At first, whenever anyone would smile when they saw me, I self-consciously checked to make sure my zipper wasn't down and that was the only reason for the laughter. It never was, but, to be honest, the writing on the shirt is such a simple statement of fact that I never thought about it. When you're on a cruise ship the opportunities to meet people are virtually endless. From mingling at the breakfast tables to the many shore excursions, and, of course, to the other diners at your evening dinner table, it actually is hard not to become an extrovert. Even the conversations that happen in a brief elevator ride can be funny and enjoyable. For many passengers, it seems that friendships that blossomed during prior cruises remain strong. On this cruise is a couple we met on our 2014 transatlantic cruise. It's been great to see and be with them, and we've barely started the cruise. Of course, not every one seems to have that same spirit. They may be impatient waiting for an elevator (which never comes quickly) or are upset when "their seat" on the bus is taken by someone else. A cruise is much more enjoyable when you take advantage of talking with people from around the world. Those conversations bring a new perspective on your thinking about who we are in this global family. They also, if you're lucky, may lead to new friends. 

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