Philipsburg, St. Maarten

YESTERDAY wound up being a good day to be indoors. We spent the entire day at sea, making our way from the Bahamas to St. Maarten, where we arrived this morning. The water had finally flattened out, but the skies were overcast and we had intermittent rain showers.

So we were happy to be in the Vista Lounge with our three panel discussions. First was a series on the New Media vs. the Old Media. After lunch Mike Murphy took the stage and regaled the cruisers with tales from Arnoldland, Hollywood, and his many campaign trails. To cap off the day, William Kristol and Fred Barnes joined Murphy for a look ahead at the 2008 race. (Hint: Don't underestimate Dean and don't assume that Cheney won't run.)

It was a pretty full program, but it didn't stop me from connecting with more of our impressive cruisers, including a former governor, a retired general, and one communications consultant who did a long stint as an Air Force pilot flying the storm-watcher routes. You don't meet interesting people like this every day.

Our schedule also didn't prevent me from thrashing Victorino Matus in a sunset game of shuffleboard on the upper deck of the Westerdam. (I suspect there's an entire Seinfeld episode in that setup; I'll leave the jokes to you.) Victorino didn't take it too hard, though. After having dinner and a taking in a show, I found him in the ship's casino at the craps table. He was surrounded by cruisers and WEEKLY STANDARD staff who were yelling encouragement, although so far as I could tell, none of them were not throwing their money away on a game whose rules are positively inscrutable. Can't wait to find out how he did.

A lot of people have already written in about next year's WEEKLY STANDARD cruise, so I want to continue to remind you to send us an email if you're thinking about coming aboard for our next trip. Just drop us a line at and you'll be among the first to get all the information about next year's voyage.

--Jonathan V. Last

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