You may find this hard to believe, but pirates have taken over a cruise ship. Legally. Yes, that’s right. It’s called The Bare Bones and the captain is a close friend of mine, Captain Billy Jacks Parrot. He asked me not to use his real name for fear the Enquirer would do a story on him and that would inevitably lead to an interview by the New York Times, and, being a pirate, he’s got a few skeletons in the closet. He’s got enough customs agents down in the Caribbean wanting to ask him questions he’d rather not answer. Besides his ship is still in the testing phase of the concept and he doesn’t want to go full frontal just yet.
So I’m Captain Billy’s front man in a manner of speaking. I don’t know who’s covering his rear. Probably his girlfriend. Or is it the other way around?
At any rate, to simplify things, I’m just passing on the letter he sent me explaining how he’s plundering the cruise industry with pirate abandon. I haven’t changed a word except those parts that might be a bit embarrassing because Captain Billy being a sailor and all frequently forgets the line between proper and bawdy. Actually, I don’t think Captain Billy knows there is a line.
“Carnival touts itself as the Fun Cruise Ship, but pirates know a whole lot more about having fun on a ship than Carnival ever will. After all, look how long pirates have been doing it compared to these cruise lines.
If ye ever sailed on a cruise ship, ye know their motto by heart. “Suck as much booty out of the passengers as you can, and do it faster than ye can say Yo Ho Ho.” I seen first hand how it works, and Captain Billy Jacks Parrot and his lusty crew can do a whole lot better.
First off, there’s the dress code. A lot of men and women bring their whole wardrobe on ship. Are you serious? Suits and gowns and tuxedos and high heels for dining in exclusive restaurants and Dress Up Night. Not on the Bare Bones. If ye show up at the Captain’s table wearing that, me and me crew will laugh ya out to the gang plank. Fer dress up night, yer cleanest dirty shirt and a new bandana is almost being overdressed. As fer dress code during the day, wear whatcha want. A bikini works fine but not too skimpy. If the Coast Guard finds out there’s a lot of crack on board, they’ll be boarding us constantly. Deep down there’s a pirate in every single one of them scalawags.
Veteran travelers know all about those little credit cards cruise lines give ya. Some call them Sign and Sail. They work jest like a credit card and are used not so much for yer benefit as the cruise lines. The more ye swipe it, the more money they earn. Well, Captain Billy and his crew issue you a Sail and Steal card. Once on board, it’s your license to steal anything that’s not nailed down. Of course, we’ll probably steal it back from ye when yer not lookin’, but that’s the fun of being on a pirate ship.
Next is that expensive liquor package. History! Gone! As fast and neat as Blackbeard’s head. Fer gawd’s sake, this is a pirate ship and it shouldn’t cost ye an arm and a leg fer a little rum. Arms and legs are at a premium on a pirate ship. So smuggle as much as ye want on board. And I do mean smuggle. After all it’s not fun unless ye think yer getting away with something. Ye jest be sure to bring a little something extra fer good old Captain Billy though, ye hear?
Ye might be wondering how this affects the bottle of wine ye bring to the galley. Cruise ships charge what they call a Corking Fee. I say bring yer own damn opener if ye want! We don’t bloody care! We’ll even open the bottle at no charge! On the Bare Bones, the Corking Fee becomes Corking Free!!!
Some of ye may be disappointed when we tell ye no photography on board, but what self respectin’ pirate wants anyone chronicling’ his shennanigans with photos. What happens on board, stays on board, mate! That’s why any scalawag pointing a phone at anyone will have to see the ship proctologist to retrieve it. And that stinks!
After several cruises, we discovered our massage parlor was far more popular than the beauty parlor, so git yer hair done before boarding, ladies. We now have two locations, and massages are done by board certified pirates. Board certified means our pirates have walked the gang plank several times. Our motto: We Know What ye Knead, and We Can Put Our Finger On It. And ye get yer money back if we rub ye the wrong way.
And when ye finish with yer massage, ye might consider getting yer ears pierced like any good pirate would do. There’s a small charge. A Buccaneer.
There are quite a number of other changes that make us far superior to other cruise lines which I be’s glad to share with ye another time. Even so, I think ye can see yer in fer a rollicking good time. When Bare Bones Cruises is ready to go public, you’ll know first hand right here. But before I be gittin’ back to me shipmates, I want to thank the Uncommon Mariner fer lettin’ me apprise ye of things to come. See ya out there on the High Seas! But it better be on me ship, mate. Or ye be in the ship house fer sure. Smooth Sailin’, mates! Arrrrgh!
Captain Billy Jacks Parrot and Bill Hegerich, The Uncommon Mariner, are equally guilty of this week’s blog.