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When Stan cruises, he eats … a lot!

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I closed my column last week with a comment about the new Israeli cruise ship, the S.S. Mein Kind. Before you drive your travel agents crazy looking for it, there is no such vessel. It was a joke.

Jokes that require explanations are usually not worth telling, but in this case we must make an exception. The words “Ess Ess Mein Kind” translated from the Yiddish to English mean “Eat, eat, my child.” Any person who has ever sailed aboard a cruise ship knows that besides karaoke, shows, dancing, gaming, and swimming, one of the most important activities is the partaking of the many, many different meals served.

In fact, on one of the several evenings when Carol and I were honored to be invited to join the Captain for dinner, the master and commander explained some of the maritime laws that govern the nourishment being served.

I vividly recall him telling his guests that while aboard a liner at sea, it is mandatory that one consume food every two hours or he would pass out from malnutrition. So who am I to break a law?

Let’s talk about what could be a typical day on the ocean. We who are early risers are welcome to a cup of early-riser’s coffee beginning at 5 am. There might be another maritime law forbidding one to drink coffee by itself, because that pot of java is surrounded by muffins, pastries, and bagels along with various toppings and spreads.

This is more than enough to hold me until 7 am, when Carol and I meet at the dining room for a wonderful, sit-down served breakfast — three courses for her, six for me.

At 9 am, I join my friends who prefer to sleep a bit later at the Windjammer Café for an outstanding buffet breakfast. At 11:30 am someone will suggest a trip back upstairs for another cup of coffee. Remember that early-riser’s maritime law? It applies here also, so it is not even noon and I have already had four meals.

Lunch is served from noon to 2 in the dining room, from 11:30 to 4 in the buffet café, and from noon to 6 at the outdoor grill for dogs and burgers, outdoor café for chicken and chips and in the pizzeria on the most fragrant deck of all — the one that smells like your favorite Italian kitchen. Time it right and you can eat at all five for free.

The buffet dinner begins at 5:30 pm and the late-seating dinner is at 8:30 pm. Eat at both? Why not?

Last year I picked a day on a wonderful ship and actually showed up for all 11 meals. I wanted to prove that it is possible to actually time it so that if one wanted to, he could really consume 11 meals a day. No. I did not eat all 11 meals, but to tell you the truth, I didn’t do badly.

I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net telling you that they welcomed me as a passenger, I left with the cargo. When it was time to disembark they came along with a forklift!

Read Stan Gershbein's column every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.

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