Since one of the things I loved most about college was dressing up for any occasion, you’d think I would have welcomed the chance to go all out for Halloween on Semester at Sea. But the problem is I’m one of these “go big or go home” type of people, so while I had planned to have something custom-made in Vietnam, the port came and went so quickly that before I knew it, it was the day before Halloween and I was costume-less. Instead, I figured I’d just skip dressing up altogether as I’ve done the past four years.
But Paula was having none of it. She had brought a genie costume from home—seriously, with the limited amount of packing space we had, she allotted a good portion of it to a padded blue costume she would wear once all voyage. Gotta love that. And she also happened to buy a mini-rug in Malaysia, so I pinned it onto my dress and went as her magic carpet. Easy peasy, no work required.
(Apparently, that’s my patented magic carpet pose. I didn’t realize until the camera started flashing in my face but I don’t actually know what face one makes when trying to pass as a magic carpet. What I did remember, though, was every word to Friend Like Me. It came in handy throughout the night during awkward lulls of silence.)
Then Josh and Trina showed up and unveiled their collective creative genius. They showed up as…Josh and Trina dressed in denim onesies. And not just any denim onesies, but tailor-made denim onesies with fur hoods and their initials embroidered on the front.
We were an eclectic smattering of costumes, for sure.
For the first portion of the evening, we welcomed trick-or-treaters. The 22 children on the ship had trick-or-treating hour where they could visit the cabins who had signed up to give out candy we procured from the various ports, so Josh, Paula and Trina convened in mine, and we marveled at the kids’ creativity. It’s not easy to create a costume out of limited ship resources, but I’d say they did a great job: There was a dragon trainer, a Luke in the Box, a fancy cat, a party (“part of an ‘e'”…clever), a bunch of balloons, a police officer, Tinkerbell and many others.
After the kids were done trick-or-treating, we headed to the ship’s social epicenter, Tymitz Square, where all sorts of characters were convening.
We saw foosballers.
One really fat guy.
A whole lot of Tom Cruises.
Some Vietnamese dudes.
And unicorns and students posing as other students pantsless.
My personal favorites were the two jellyfish, as well as the pair of students who dressed as Jim and Pam dressed as a cat and a three-hole punch. And in a stroke of brilliant luck, our work study student Maryum just happened to come as Jasmine! Lurking nearby was a tiger, who we dubbed Rajah.
We led Rajah around on a leash and made him pose with us all night.
To complete the picture, my ship son, Will—we were placed into shipboard families during early days; more on that later—showed up as Aladdin. It couldn’t have been more perfect if we had actually planned it in advance!
A two-hour Halloween ball in the Union—which was more like a rave, you know, sans booze of course—rounded out the fun, and SVV and I stayed until I was sweaty enough under my carpet to need to go home and take a shower. In retrospect, I’m glad Paula dragged me out of my cabin and made me participate. I don’t like to miss out on anything, particularly when it involves dressing up (and better yet, seeing other people dressed up).