Most people know that Tommy has autism.
It means he's shy. And he doesn't always understand social situations.
But when the pirate asked for him to come up front, he went.
I was a shy kid, and I'm not sure if I would have gone up.
But Tommy did.
The pirate lady taught him how to balance a wooden sword on his palm.
And then she told him he could do it with one finger.
And you might notice his socks. He hates wearing sandals. He has to wear socks and shoes, even if it's hot outside. It's a sensory thing.
We were going on the Red Dragon Pirate Cruise at Port Aransas. Before you board the boat, there's a pirate show. The pirate does all sorts of tricks and calls volunteers up. Natalie was wagging her hand in the air, hoping to be picked, but it was my Tommy, who didn't even have his hand raised, who was called. I told him I was proud of him for going and he said, "It was fun," with a shrug.
On the pirate ship, you meet all the pirates, and a story is told about a dude who stowed away on the boat.
The dude just wants to be a pirate!
"They should just let him," Natalie told me seriously.
Then the pirates on the ship say it's time to squirt the stowaway with water guns.
You could also squirt passengers. Ramona from The Real Housewives of New York would have hated it, because she doesn't like for her hair to get wet.
The pirates also had the kids swab the deck. I felt like I was watching a scene from Annie.
Natalie loved it. "This is fun!"
"Great! When we get home, you can mop the floors," I answered.
Naturally, Natalie had to pee, because whenever we go out, she has to see the bathroom. It drives me insane. I tell her to go before we leave, but yet it's always, "I have to pee!"
This was on the toilet. (Obviously the word that's cut off is EXPLODE.)
Natalie read it, and needed help with the word EXPLODE. When she uttered the word, her eyes went wide. "Where does the toilet paper go?"
I'm assuming it was a joke. I hope it was a joke. Because Natalie put her toilet paper into the toilet, and we flushed.
We did not explode, even though Natalie was all, "I'm scared."
When we came out, the stowaway was allowed to become a pirate, and had to prove himself. All the kids could line up and fight him. Tommy passed. Natalie said, "YES!"
"I won," Natalie informed me as she came over.
After the sword fight ends, pirates go around the ship and offer to paint faces like this:
Adults can get it done too!
Oh, and you'll find that pirates like to photobomb:
The final thing is dancing on the ship.
A tip? Have your child really strut their stuff. The two top people get a prize! (As I recall, it was a squirt gun and a sword.) (One of the top people was an adult! So if you have moves, show them off.)
We had a lot of fun on the cruise. If you feel overheated, there are drinks for sale. Adult drinks too. Mom and I sipped on a pina colada. Snacks are also available to purchase.
You can also see dolphins.
The cruise takes about two hours, and there's even a sunset one. We opted for the afternoon time. It was hot, yes, but there are several seats under the shade.
You can book tickets online here.
And nope, I was not compensated in any way for this post. I just wanted to share the fun we had.
So go on a cruise with pirates. Maybe you'll meet a Johnny Depp lookalike.