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Cruise Ship To Rehab Not A Happy Trip

We have friends who belong to AA. That's not American Airlines, it's Alcoholics Anonymous. So we are aware of how tough it can be to struggle with this disease, and to beat it, and to think you've beaten it and then discover you haven't.

Trace AdkinsOne of the unspoken fears of cruise lines is, because of the party atmosphere that comes on every ship, that they contribute to alcoholism. Don't ask, don't tell can certainly come into play. So can the Ostrich Theory: head in the sand.

On most ships, there are opportunities for alcoholics to meet. It's called Friends of Bill W and there is an area set aside daily, usually a library or small meeting room.

Why this? Why now?

Last week, country singer Trace Adkins entered rehab after 12 years of sobriety. It appears his fall from the wagon came while he was on the Norwegian Pearl, during a seven-day Country Cruising trip — he was one of the performers. he was celebrating his 52nd birthday and, unfortunately, he stopped celebrating his sobriety.

When the Pearl stopped in Ocho Rios, Jamaica — the first stop — Adkins left and went home. His manager later confirmed he had checked into rehab. It was not the first time Adkins has fallen off the wagon.

For people who enjoy his music, and most of all for him, hopefully it will be the last time.

Norwegian Jewel
7 nights
February 2, 2014
New Orleans (return): CozumelBelize CityRoatanCosta Maya
Oceanview: $429
Cost per day: $61

Cruising, Addiction and a Special Friend

In more than three years of writing about cruising in this space — five to seven days a week — one blog stands out because more of you visited cruisingdoneright.com that day than any other, by quite a margin.

So what compelling cruise blog did we write that day?

It was a blog that had only a peripheral connection to cruising. It was about a man, a close friend of ours, who had passed away three weeks earlier. The connection to cruising — and some of you may have considered it a stretch — was that he was an alcoholic who spent the last 23 years of his life sober and helping others, and we had noticed that on every cruise we took there was a "Friends of Bill W" meeting every day.

Alcoholics, whether they've become sober or not, know about Bill W. His name was Bill Wilson and he has one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. We learned about him from our friend, Jean-Guy Pelletier.

And the connection to today's blog is…?

Our friend wrote a book (with our assistance) that was nearly finished when he died 23 months ago. The book was about his recovery at the Betty Ford Center in California, the years that followed when he dedicated his life to helping other alcoholics at the Center and his friendship with the former First Lady. It was to be his legacy, as things unfolded, and he always told us that if telling his story helped one other person, then the book was worth writing.

We who knew him so well are committed to honoring his wishes of trying to help others, and at the risk of compromising our integrity, we are bringing this book to your attention. It is called Addicted to Betty Ford — because that's what he was, on two counts — and it sells for $15 plus shipping. Inquiries can be emailed to addictedtobettyford@gmail.com.

Given that we had a record number of visitors to cruisingdoneright.com on that summer day in 2011, we are left to conclude the reason for so many visitors was AA or Dr. Bill. If that's so, then some of you may be interested in reading Jean-Guy Pelletier's book. And some may, for whatever reason, find it helpful.

If only one does, that makes it worth noting.

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas
7 nights
October 27, 2013
Port Canaveral (return): Labadee, Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Inside: $635
Cost per day: $90

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