When her long-awaited vacation cruise was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Destrehan resident Tina Scanlon took it upon herself to create her own relaxing getaway. Last week, she cruised in her very own backyard.
“About three years ago my best friend put together a cruise,” Scanlon said. “It started out as three or four couples and this year we were supposed to have 11 or 12 people go, but of course it got cancelled.”
This year’s weeklong cruise was set for May 3-10.
“I was most excited this year that we would be cruising for my birthday,” Scanlon said. “I was so excited about this one … I’ve been looking forward to it since Christmas.”
Instead of celebrating her May 9 birthday on the ship or on a cruise excursion, she and her husband Jack celebrated her big day at home. It is where their “cruise” last week took place, complete with themed itineraries, snorkeling, delicious cuisine and Snapchat filters that added to the authenticity of the experience.
The Scanlon’s friends and family joined in on the cruise fun via Facebook, where Tina posted daily pictures of the couple’s adventures.
“I ran into a friend at the grocery store and he said, “Oh the cruise ship let you off to come grocery shopping?”, she said laughing. “There’s only so much gardening and cleaning you can do in the house … my four walls are closing in a little bit because I’m usually really active.”
The pandemic left Tina, who is used to staying busy with daily babysitting duties and teaching dance classes at Destrehan’s Studio S, with a lot of extra time on her hands.
“I had to come up with something just to give myself something to do,” she said. “Then I saw the reaction of people on Facebook and that was priceless.”
Jack had to leave their cruise, also known as their home, to go to work every day. But when he returned, Tina said, he happily joined in on the cruising fun.
“My husband is a trooper,” she said. “He goes with the flow and he likes to make everybody smile and everybody happy.”
When Jack got home from work, he went straight into his bedroom to put on his swimsuit and then joined Tina in the backyard to get their daily cruise activities started.
Tina said her Facebook friends joined in virtually on some cruise activities like Mixology Day – where people posted their favorite cocktail recipes – and the Hairy Man Contest – where people posted a picture of their hairy contestant.
“People are telling me they are living vicariously through me right now,” Tina said last week. “People are saying, ‘We can’t wait to see your post everyday”, and I can’t wait to see their comments every day.”
Tina said her 19-year-old daughter Katie and her boyfriend Brian Bennet also joined in on the fun.
“Her and her boyfriend have been doing a lot of cooking and picking up food for us,” Tina said last week. “It makes it feel a little bit more like a vacation.”
In addition to cooking, Katie also served as the couple’s cruise photographer and even mastered the art of one of the most well-known cruise ship amenities – towel animals.
The home-bound cruise started as entertainment value for others, but Tina said she and Jack had a lot of fun planning and executing the activities together.
“I’m waking up every morning and can’t wait to get started,” she said last week.