If you’ve read my column enough, you know by now that my family and I (Mom, Dad, siblings, spouses, etc.) take at least one vacation a year together. We’ve been doing it for a long time (well into the double digits), so we’re pretty much experts at it. We know what we like (equal amounts of relaxation and discovery), what we don’t like (walking all day), what makes one or more of us snappish (no naps), and what makes every­one happy (food and drink).

Some time ago, we discovered that often the ultimate vacation for all of us is a cruise. We have ample time to be together, as well as time to do our own things. We’re able to discover lots of destinations without schlepping our bags from one place to the next. Naps, food, and drink can be enjoyed whenever we want. And except for escaping to a remote island, it’s hard to find a better place for relaxation.

When I’ve talked to people about cruising, I’ve noticed there isn’t much middle ground. They either love cruises or hate them. But I’ve also found that those who “hate” them haven’t really tried them (sort of like Brussels sprouts), and they’re basing their opinions only on what they’ve heard. But cruises have come such a long way.

If you don’t believe me, turn to our special cruise section. If you’re already hip to the benefits of cruising, you’ll find all sorts of great trips to choose from. And if you’re in the unsure-about-cruising camp, you’re bound to find something that piques your interest. So check it out.

There are a couple of other things I’d like to point out in this issue. Both of these fine stories are brought to you by our newest senior editor, Eric Celeste. If you want a good laugh, or at least a chuckle, give them a read. The Tunica, Mississippi, story is a wonderful look at boys and poker, and the interview with The Love Boat’s lovable Captain Stubing is, well, what can I say? Eric has been a writer and an editor for more than a decade, and for at least a few of those years, he’s been a really good writer and editor. We’re lucky to have him, and hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to fly often so you can enjoy more of his work.

As you read those stories and all the others in the magazine, I’m betting you won’t come across a single typo (I realize I’m going way out on a limb here). But I’m just that confident in the work of another new employee, Jennifer Worrell. Jennifer is our new managing editor, and although she hasn’t been on the job very long, it’s like she’s been here forever. This girl has the eaglest (think she’ll let that word fly?) of eyes, and we have yet to stump her with a grammatical question (oh, the fun we have around here!). She’s done time at all sorts of magazines you’ve heard of, but I won’t mention them because I feel certain they’re suffering from a lot more mistakes now that she’s gone.

So there you have it. Another issue chock-full of interesting stuff I haven’t even told you about. Take a look for yourself — and for me and my hard-working co-workers. In fact, a few of us could probably use a vacation. A cruise, perhaps?

Picture of Sheri Burns