On Gotcha Moments

It’s Valentine’ Day, so I suddenly changed my posting plans. Instead of telling a story about how we met or how lucky I am, here’s a story about us as a couple. After all, because we don’t have kids, we’ve spent a lot of time together.

Many people enjoy those gotcha moments, especially when they involve humor. On the other hand, being on the other end is another story. We had a first cruise to the Caribbean in early November, which was our fourth cruise … and this is a story of a gotcha moment.

Our common cruise itinerary includes going to “the show” after dinner. The first night show had only one performance, and that’s where the ship introduces the cruise director to the passengers – and it was there that we learned Mr. Ricky Mathews is one live wire. As my wife said after the cruise, “I can’t remember any of the other cruise directors, but I think we will remember him.”

We had two close encounters with Ricky on the 7-day journey, but I’ll start with the second – so keep in mind, we have been around him at that point – plus I imagine cruise director’s make it a point to know what is going on with the passengers.

The center of Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas is the Centrum – an area with a small stage for music, a bar, a small dance floor, and plenty of places to sit. It is also open all the way to deck 11, so an elevator lobby on every floor also allows guests to look down to see whatever was happening.

This particular night was a formal night, and I think it was before dinner. Two of the ship’s singers did a 15-minute show on songs from a decade (I think the 70s). Instead of being on the stage, the singers sang from the dance floor and encouraged people to dance around them.

My wife and I were innocently standing off to the side watching and enjoying the show without any intention of dancing – well, until Ricky walks over, grabs each of us by the hand, and pulls us onto the floor with others. (I think he knew we were ballroom dancers.) So we broke into a ballroom hustle, outshined everybody on the floor, and even both singers said something about us over the speakers. Plus, they said something to us (which was nice). Over the next several days, someone recognizes us elsewhere (elevator, on deck, or at the theater) and says, “Oh, you are the dancers.”

However, what about the first encounter with Cruise Director Ricky Mathews? It was the first cruise (at-sea) day, and we attended what the ship billed as a dance activity in the upper lounge. We should have known better seeing that Ricky was in charge of this event. It started with about 15 people, but a few dropped out. We were innocently learning a simple hip-hop line dance.

At the end of the session, dear ol’ Ricky said, “Now that you know the dance, meet in the Centrum tomorrow night at 8 to perform in front of the ship.” As my wife and I frowned at each other thinking “He’s got to be kidding”, so we forgot about it.

The next day after dinner, we were doing the familiar stroll from the main dining room to the theater through the Centrum. My wife looks at me and then reminds me that tonight performance night while pointing out the other couples who were waiting around. Along comes Ricky, who shuffles us into a private room to practice, and then gives us Gotta Dance basketball jerseys.

Onto the Centrum dance floor we go, he tells the audience about the Gotta Dance Foundation, we introduce ourselves (I’m Frank from Cincinnati – and yes, everyone got cheers), and then we did the following routine (no … this is not us) … but I doubt if we will ever see anyone from that ship again.

This spring will be our 35th anniversary. We’ve endured and through my tough times, she has stood by me – and for that, I am thankful. So to the one who occasionally comments here as The Right Angle, I say, “I love you and I look forward the days to come.”

Centrum picture is from Ginger’s Blog, which has other good images of the Centrum. Now here’s the Gotta Dance routine from the senior dancers of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. Enjoy!

35 thoughts on “On Gotcha Moments

  1. You’re a brave man, Frank. I probably would have done it too,and laughed myself silly the rest of the night.
    A Happy Valentine’s Day to you and the Mrs. And many more to come!


    • Guapo,
      Oh yes – you who have been there front an center! Being a New Yorker, have you heard of the Gotta Dance Foundation? I actually saw a video on YouTube of a large group doing this dance on Times Square. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours … and I look forward to Part II of your story later today. Thanks for commenting.


  2. What a lovely post! I love how you and your wife are both ballroom dancers. It’s such a great thing for couples to do together. I’ve married a very talented dancer but I’m a dreadful partner. I was born with no rhythm. It’s the one thing I’m going to take up with the Good Lord when I get to heaven – ‘Why didn’t you give me any rhythm?’ Just a little of Beyonce’s would have been nice. That sounds like a fun cruise. Great that you were such great sports and got involved. I would have died and cried if it was me!


    • Spiced,
      Well … no rhythm can be an issue. Then again, being that ballroom is more controlled, maybe that could work! In terms of the group dance on the ship, interestingly, not everyone who attended the activity showed up for the performance. But hey – it was fun and we laugh about it today! Thanks for visiting and commenting!


  3. Lol! I love RC cruises! We went last summer to the Bahamas and everyone there was super nice! That is a cool dance both of you did! Hope you and your wife have a wonderful day tomorrow! Great post!


    • Java,
      See … a fellow cruiser can relate to what we went through – but I imagine your Brazilian roots and the Brazilian dance genes would have step up for the occasion! 😉 The cruise director got us, but hey – we were good sports and laugh about it when we tell the story. Meanwhile, start planning your next cruise! 🙂 Thanks for visiting!


      • Yes, I can relate to how they love to embarrass their cruisers. I didn’t know my mom had told them my birthday had been 2 weeks prior to the cruise, so one random dinner time when we were in one of those fancy rooms, we were suddenly surrounded by FIVER waiters singing a happy birthday song to me. One waiter even leaned in each time to say, “Cha cha cha!” –it was pretty funny! Yes, I want to go to Bermuda this time since it leaves from close by in Baltimore. Florida is just so far South from us here in the North. 🙂


        • Java,
          Taking advantage of nearby ports is a great money saver. Heck, in that case, NYC would work too – hmmmm … going up the New England coast sounds good! Good luck on your next cruise!


  4. Frank great story. I love the fact that you and your wife “get it” marriage is a team sport to make it a success. Though I am not a big fan of the big V-day (see my blog posting) I pass a heartfelt Happy Valentine’s to a couple who really sound like they put in the time to create a wonderful relationship.


    • Kellie,
      Many thanks for your best wishes. I appreciate your story of love regarding your parents around their situation of dealing with your dad’s fight with cancer. I too observed what my dad did for my mother in her battle. I’ll return to comment later. Thanks for visiting.


  5. Hi,
    A lovely story, I would of died with embarrassment if it had of been me, and my Husband would of done the same. 😀
    All in all, it sounds like you both had a fantastic time.
    Happy Valentines Day.


    • Mags,
      The interesting twist is that my wife doesn’t like being in front of people. But as she told me, “I don’t know these people and I will never see them again.” … so the show went on! Cruise Director Ricky was quite the entertainer.

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours … and thanks for visiting.


    • Les,
      Cruises are fun and relaxing. Gotta think of them as a traveling hotel, but with only one pack/unpack cycle. Being in California, you can catch them there, thus (depending where you are), saving travel costs. I’ve met Californians who wait for the last-minute specials (the last couple of weeks), and just go. BTW – we had a wonderful Vancouver to San Diego cruise a few years ago. Thanks for stoppng by.


  6. How nice 35 year, glad you are still having fun and dancing. Sounds like fun going on a cruise. Ballroom dancers how wonderful. I did enjoy your video at the end and had to hop up out of my chair and try a few new dance moves. I’m not a very good dancer so I’m always glad to learn a few new dance moves!


    • Starla,
      Welcome first-time commenter. You must be from Mags as I saw your comment today about the yodeling monkey. 🙂 Ballroom is fun for us – nope, we don’t compete or perform – just social dance. Anyone can learn, after all, that’s why they called it “dance lessons”. In the video you saw, it’s a repeated pattern that is easy to learn. Nonetheless, and glad you watched it and visited. Please come back!


  7. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and “your” Right Angle, she certainly is!

    Well, I debated on selecting the PERFECT SONG…. your admiration (we’ll keep it at that) from Shania’s playlist…Yes, I have dedicated some songs/many songs to you and also to your lovely significant other.. Have I done this one?

    I know you thank that woman every day, right? She with you are VERY CLASSY folks!


  8. Hmm, can’t say my cruise experiences were in any way similar. Then again, trying to explain the double entendre behind the word “cathouse” to a delightfully befuddled Grace Lee Whitney is definitely one of those unforgettable moments!
    35 for you? Wow – we’re only getting to 20! I doff my cap to you, sir. Congrats!


    • John,
      It was a fun trip with some interesting experiences around our dance hobby. Hope you watched the video at the end of the Gotta Dance routine as it is done my many seniors! Thanks for the congrats … and for commenting.


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