Hawaii, and my fellow voyagers

Honolulu Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
So, yesterday I was in Honolulu for the day.  My friend Heidi and I hiked Manoa Falls, which was amazing.  I had never been in a real rainforest setting before.  We got lost a bit around the island trying to use the buses, but since we had no plans or time constraints, it didn’t really matter.  We found a shopping center and stocked up on supplies before we officially left the US and couldn’t find things like our favorite candy or replacement jeans (because the only two I brought already got holes, and I doubt the Japanese can even fathom my size pants).  We ended the day sitting in a park under some beautiful banyan trees and calling home to check in.  We got back to the ship at 6:30pm, on ship time was 9pm but with the rush of 700 kids all at once, we had been advised to get back early.

I went to bed by about 8 because I was completely exhausted and needed the rest before classes resumed the next day.  I was awakened however, by announcements over the loud speaker calling off a never-ending list of students names.  My roommate had just gotten on the ship, at 9:30pm, and proceeded to tell me about the horrible situation she had just gotten through.  Apparently starting around 7:30, the huge lines started to form outside the ship with kids trying to get back on.  However, almost every other kid in line was either completely drunk, or had alcohol strapped to their body or hidden in their bags- both of which are very much against the rules and had been stressed repeatedly by the crew.  So from that point on, in addition to the already thorough search of people’s bags, they also had to start patting down each person, and escorting the drunk ones to the health office.  Meanwhile, people in line were getting tired of waiting, and they thought it would be smart to start chanting “We want dock time!” – which is pretty much a “time out” in the next port you get for coming aboard the ship after the designated on ship time, and the later you get on, the longer the dock time is.  I guess they thought that was their way of being defiant.  As the conduct officer tried to come out and calm them down, he offered them a deal- if they found no more alcohol from that part of the line on, he would cut everyone’s dock time in half (basically saying throw it out now and they’d cut you a break).  The students’ response: screaming obscenities at the officer.  I don’t wish to use such words in describing it.

Basically, the only punishment these students would receive, both for being drunk and for smuggling alcohol, would be to get “written up” – big deal.  The worst part is, no one has officially made any kind of announcement today about the issue, and even more horrible, the fact that these kids are walking around and bragging to their friends as if they had achieved something award worthy.  It disgusts me and I am embarrassed to even be associated with them.  What happens when this goes on in our next ports, when we aren’t in our own country?  How bad can they make American students look?  And it will only get worse from here- the lack of punishment and the actual success of some students in getting alcohol on the boat undetected, will only lead to more attempts in the future- not to mention that in the other countries almost all students will be intoxicated since the drinking age is not 21.

I can’t believe what little respect these people have for themselves, for their shipmates, for their country, for their parents, and for any staff on board who are trying to keep this experience a pleasant and educational one for the rest of us.  I hope their parents are proud of what civilized adults they have raised- and should be happy that most of them are so rich that their wasted $20,000 won’t be missed.

I hope that it was worth it for them.  For the maybe 2 shots of alcohol they were trying to smuggle on the ship.  Oh, and did I mention the ship actually sells drink vouchers for up to 6 drinks a day?  I suppose that clearly is not enough.

cuzsteve says:
Welcome to UglyAmericaVille. College is a funny time. Best advice: don't take them too seriously, and don't ride tall on the high horse. Nobody likes a drunk, but nobody likes a party pooper either. Hope you're having fun. We're missing you.

Steve, Amanda and Nathalie
Posted on: Sep 26, 2007
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