When Crisis Magazine hit the high seas

Boy does this video bring back memories…

Bermuda. 2001. A Crisis Magazine cruise hosted by Deal Hudson and staff, with yours truly playing the role of Julie (Love Boat, anyone?)

The Crisis Cruise (possibly the most unsaleable name in maritime vacation history) always attracted a lovely group of people, and the speakers that year included Raymond Arroyo, Bill Donohue, and Fr. Frank Pavone. The ship’s route would take us through the Bermuda Triangle and back… which was a fact I tried hard to forget. The way I saw it, we had a 50/50 chance of making it back. Of course, I’m also scared of thunder and walking around our basement.

So we got to Bermuda and had a wonderful day… until we learned that a hurricane was on its way. Our boat chose to high tail it out of there while others decided to offload their passengers and brace for the weather.

As our ship made it’s way out of the Bermuda channel, we were having our scheduled variety show. Deal and his wife Theresa were performing a duet, when suddenly, the shipped lurched heavily to one side and Deal went sailing across the room, and flew head first into a drum set.

That wasn’t nearly enough to stop his singing, but it did mark the beginning of 28 hours of Pure Titanic Fun.

By evening, you couldn’t walk down a corridor without pin-balling from wall to wall. This was unfortunately one of our formal nights and the show had to go on, so we gathered in an upper deck lounge to enjoy the classical music of Ronan O’Hora. I can’t really explain what it was like to listen to rippling piano chords in a long gown and heels as waves crashed over the top of the boat. Thankfully, there were cocktails.

When the evening concluded, we crawled back to our rooms. By now, no passengers could use the elevators, water was pouring from the ceiling on the top floors, glass could be heard smashing every few minutes, and people were crying wherever I looked.

Finally back in my room, I took some kind of drug to make myself sleep, and prayed a rosary for dear life. Crew members were offering to come by and strap people in their beds to cut down on injuries, but I declined. If that ship was going down, I wanted at least a fighting chance to kick some old people off those lifeboats.

Obviously, the hurricane passed and we lived to tell the tale, but that was the last Crisis Cruise. Coincidence?

Zoe Romanowsky


Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Godspy.com. Zo

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