Moms on a Cruise

What to call you and your friends when you guys are being “so bad”


When moms are let loose on a cruise there’s no telling what damage could be done.

They’ll definitely hit up the bar first, I’ll tell you that much, only instead of their usual glass-o-Pinot Gris they’ll do something totally wild, like get a piña colada.

With extra cherries.

The last one to grab her drink will throw in a wink at the waiter, too, because mama’s (pretending to be) 30, flirty, and diving into that upper deck pool as soon as her two-sip buzz kicks in.

Moms make friends with other moms on cruises almost immediately. Lounge chairs are more or less adult monkey bars, especially when considering how dangerous the ones are that self-recline. Instead of asking “Wanna be my friend?,” the universal code is, “Which one’s your kid?” The instant bonding begins when she points to her husband.

Once groups are formed they’ll crouch forward conspiratorially, whispering such uncivilized truths as, “I’m not wearing a bra under this robe,” and, “Last night, when the kids were asleep, I snuck to the fro-yo bar and had a sundae!”

“You did not,” the contingent of fellow moms will simultaneously exclaim. And then they’ll proclaim their mantra: “You are so bad.”

The formal dinners each night only magnify their mischief. If you’ve ever been on a cruise then you know that once the sun goes down all gossiping and splashing pauses for nap time. The ship becomes quiet as it’s overtaken by a quick game of shut eye, and then everyone awakens to sunburned noses. Parents get all dolled up while the kids run off to the teen club, and as the dads descend sleepily into the aggressively chandeliered dining rooms wondering how long they’re going to be expected to keep their pants completely buttoned, the moms pass one another with knowing, let’s-break-our-diets smirks.

Scientists have been debating for years exactly what it is that makes maritime mothers so uninhibited and — disgusting mom word, here — naughty, though after much research which involved slinking around in nautical camouflage (hey Fall 15 runways, there’s a thought!) they chalked it up to a combination of cabin fever, salty air, and vacation.

What they didn’t account for is that the attitude of Cruise Moms has a way of sneaking up on young women of the twenty-something set. Similar to Dad Jokes, Moms on a Cruise ‘Tude (abbreviated in legal documents as MOCT, though CMT is duly accepted) is a learned behavior. It tends to occur when the age of being “over partying” has just begun; when you’re finally old enough to revel in canceled plans and find yourself immune to the concept of FOMO.

If you’ve ever conspired with a friend to skip the same holiday party, then clinked your glasses of Chardonnay together in couch-centered celebration, you’re a Mom on a Cruise.

If you’ve ever said, “Oh, why not” out loud to the waiter and then ordered dessert — specifically, chocolate molten lava cake — you’re a Mom on a Cruise.

If you’ve ever postponed a gluten allergy in the name of the bread basket, got a blowout because “you deserved it,” skipped work to get a massage then told your friends you found it absolutely thrilling, or, if you’ve ever accidentally uttered the sentence “We are so bad,” then you’re a Mom on a Cruise, sans the tan, plus the ‘tude.

Welcome to the club. We’re making t-shirts.

Helena Bonham Carter Shot by Tim Walker for W Mag, Cruise via Condé Nast Traveler

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