I’m leaving on a cruise today for a few days. It was a last minute booking that I made once I realized that Rosh Hashanah, which starts next Friday at sundown, coincides with my Catholic husband’s birthday. We’ll be spending next weekend apart, but with our respective children, with me in Miami with my two kids at my parents’ house and him home with his daughter. Blended family schedules are complicated and this particular weekend, his daughter has a mid-day soccer game on Saturday two hours in the other direction which makes them meeting us in Miami for the holiday impossible. I guess they don’t have many Jewish families where my stepdaughter lives because they have recreational sports scheduled on one of the holiest days of the Jewish year.

So a few weeks ago, I started looking for something to do this weekend, the weekend before his birthday, to celebrate. And the cruises were inexpensive. We’ve cruised before. My husband had been on many cruises before we started dating but I was a virgin. My first cruise was with him after we had been together awhile. Because he has cruised so many times, we are Diamond Members on Royal Caribbean. I got to marry in to the membership. This allows us to board and disembark separately from the masses. We get a special cocktail party during the cruise where we get to meet the captain. And a few other amenities which add to the fun.

My husband started going on cruises years ago as a way to escape his restaurant world. On a cruise, you don’t have to drive, cook, or clean and cell phone use is so prohibitively expensive that we keep ours off the entire time. And you only have to talk to other people on the ship if you want to. Plus we live in South Florida and it is easy to get to Port Everglades or the Port of Miami. No airplane, no liquids in little bags, no rental car.

With the help of my neighborhood girlfriends, I’ve arranged the kids’ pick-ups from school for today and tomorrow. They’re with their father this weekend and he can just pick them up at my friend’s house. Being divorced makes it fairly easy for me to pack my bags and take-off. I’ll miss the kids. I always do. But they’re in good hands. And they wouldn’t be at my house this weekend anyway.

So we leave today. Our cruise stops in Key West tomorrow. We’ll be hitting Blue Heaven for brunch, the aptly named Half Buck Freddy’s and the lesser known Leather Master. Then we dock in Cozumel on Saturday. We’re torn between attending a tequila tasting on the beach or renting a jeep and exploring the island. And then we have a whole day at sea on Sunday. In between the land expeditions, we’ll be working out at the ship’s gym, dancing in the discos at night (my husband has no choice), doing a little gambling and enjoying some good food and company. And yes, I’ve packed the CVS generic version of Astroglide. After all, the main point of the cruise is to celebrate my husband’s birthday.

We’ll be back first thing Monday morning. Rested, relaxed and renewed. Ready to celebrate the start of the Jewish New Year and looking forward to all it has to offer.

Bon Voyage. Wish you could come with us. Maybe next time?