Mr . and Mrs. Pizza had invited their best friends Mr. and Mrs. Diet over for coffee and dessert one evening. The Pizza's son Micah was best friends with the Diet's son Al. Their daughter Hippy's BFF was the Diet's daughter Victoria too. The Pizza's were hippopotamuses and the Diet's were alligators. The children were playing croquet in the backyard while the parents were talking.
Mrs. Diet and Mrs. Pizza suggested to their husbands that they take their summer vacations together. Their husbands thought that was a great idea. Mr. Pizza said the Noah's Ark Animal Cruise Line had some fantastic deals on cruises. After brainstorming, they finally decided they would take a cruise to Hawaii.
The next evening, during dinner Mr. and Mrs. Pizza told Hippy and Micah they had a surprise for them, but they would have to wait until they had finished their after dinner chores. They did their chores in record time. Then, Mr. and Mrs. Pizza spilled the baked beans that this year they were going to take a cruise to Hawaii for their family vacation and the Diet's were coming with them.
The families arrived at the Noah's Ark Animal Cruise Line's port-of-call. They could not get over the size of the Hippodile ship and the number of restaurants and activities available on the cruise ship. They had 10 restaurants, 13 swimming pools, 11 movie theaters, 9 inflatable bounce rooms, an obstacle course room, one library, one Mother-Daughter spa and one Father-Son shooting gallery.
The restaurants were named: The Spaghetti String, The Pepper Pizza, The Dog's Hot, The Flying Wings, The Big Dipper Ice Cream, Dying for Smoothies, Pop your Eyes Out Popcorn, Butterfly Pretzels, Mom and Dad's Meatloaf and Hippy's favorite one, Smokey the Bear's Burger Place.
When they arrived on the ship, they were greeted by the Captain. Captain Muflano was a goat from Italy. "We have something for everyone on our ship," said Captain Muflano. "Since I am from Italy, my is favorite restaurant is the Spaghetti String. It reminds me of my home. Now, I would like to introduce you to your waiter for the week. This is Cricky. He is from the Devonshire countryside of England." In the palm of his hand was a cricket. The families couldn't figure out how such a small cricket could carry such heavy trays of food. Captain Muflano continued, "Cricky holds the World Record for serving the most platters of food in one hour . "
"Good afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Pizza. Good afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Diet. Good afternoon Miss Hippy, Mr. Micah, Mr. Al and Miss Victoria," said Cricky. "If there is anything you need at all, I am at your service." Hippy liked being called Miss Hippy, but felt it was a little strange. Micah didn't like being called Mr. Micah. He thought it was just plain weird.
The first day, the parents went to the lazy river and floated all around the ship. The kids went to the swimming pool called "Tube Valley". This had 20 different tube slides.
Micah said , "Al and I challenge you to a tube slide race. The team that wins the best 2 out of 3 races gets to pick what we do next."
"You're on," said Hippy and Victoria. The first victory went to the girl's team. The second time the boys won.
"I'm getting hungry," said Hippy pushing the service button , "Why don't we have Mr. Cricky bring us some food".
A few minutes later, Cricky appeared. "You rang Miss Hippy?" he said.
"We're starving, can we get some snacks?" asked Hippy.
"Righto ," replied Cricky.
Cricky returned in six minutes saying, "I beg your pardon for my tardiness but it is rather difficult to make sauerkraut balls and potato pancakes in five minutes. I hope you enjoy your appetizers. Hippy and Victoria devoured the snacks, but the boys hesitated. "Mr. Al, Mr. Micah, would you care to join in?" asked Cricky.
"It's fine, but can I ask you a favor, please, please, PLEASE stop calling me 'Mr. Micah'."
"My dear boy, I mean no disrespect. I call you Mr. Micah out of courtesy to you, but in addition, it is a ship regulation. I'm afraid I cannot oblige you, Mr. Micah."
"Please, I won't tell," begged Micah.
"Orders, Mr. Micah,"
That did it for Micah; he grabbed Cricky by the bowtie and yanked him into the pool. Cricky climbed out of the pool and said, "Please excuse me, I must go change into dry things"
The girls won the third race and chose to stay at Tube Valley for the rest of the day.
A little while later, Cricky appeared in his swim shorts and a bow tie . "Miss Hippy, Mr. Micah, Mr. Al and Miss Victoria, may I join you?" he asked.
Hippy replied, "Of course you can. We are having so much fun ."
"Would you like to try a chain?" suggested Cricky.
"Only if you go first," said Micah.
The waiter and four shipmates went down the slide. Cricky looked quite shaken up at the bottom and hopped out of the water coughing and snorting. He apparently had gotten water up his nose. "Oh, I forgot how dangerous the tube slides were," he stammered. "I think I have to get back to work. Yes, I think it is safer for me."
They went to dinner at the restaurant called Mom and Dad's Meatloaf that night. After dinner, they went to a movie theatre called "Disney's Castle". It featured all Disney movies with castles in them.
Since they were all wiped out from the first day, on the second day they went to the library in the morning. The library was called "The Histories of Benjamin Flamingo". It had a big section of history books and any book you ever wanted to read. It had a cozy quiet reading area where you could lay down in a hammock or sit in a bean bag chair or sit in a bouncy chair that hung from the ceiling. Hippy was so comfortable reading Paddington Bear that she fell asleep in the hammock.
In the afternoon, the boys and dads went to the Shooting Gallery. The girls and moms went to The Mother-Daughter spa called "Pet-a-Cures". "This is going to be so fun Mom," said Hippy to Mrs. Pizza.
"Mrs. Pizza, Mrs. Diet, Miss Hippy and Miss Victoria, would you care for a drink?" asked Cricky.
"Wow, you always seem to be ready to wait on us," said Hippy.
"Miss Hippy, I am at your service for the entire cruise," Cricky replied.
A few minutes later, Cricky brought the girls cold lemonade and the mom's mint juleps. They sipped their drinks while they got pedicures. Next, they soaked in a hot tub with bubbles. When they finished at the Spa, they went into the shop next door and bought matching dresses and shoes. They wore them to dinner that night.
At dinner they all agreed they couldn't imagine ever having a better vacation. But what they didn't know was that things were about to change.
The next morning, the families ate breakfast at Butterfly Pretzels. Hippy had the best cinnamon raisin pretzel ever.
"What are you kids going to do this morning?" said Mrs. Diet.
"We are going to the Bounce Rooms," said Victoria.
"That sounds like fun. Do they have a room for grownups too?" asks Mrs. Pizza.
"I don't think so. We wouldn't want any of you to have a heart attack," teased Hippy. "I propose we do teams again in the Bounce Rooms, but let's switch partners today. How about I partner with Al and you partner with Micah, Victoria?"
"Sounds like a great idea," said Victoria.
"You kids have fun," said all the parents.
"We better go check the Bounce Room schedule and make sure we can get in," said Micah.
The kids leave Butterfly Pretzels and head to the Bounce Room assignment board which is on the deck on the second floor of the ship. Micah and Al stand up front and block Hippy's view of the board.
"Down in front," said Hippy.
Since Micah is always teasing her, he winks at Al and whispers, "Let keep blocking her view."
Hippy stepped back a little bit, but still couldn't see the board. "Hey, you aren't made of glass," she said with a frustrated voice. But, the friends just smile at each other. Hippy stepped back a little bit more and eventually found herself up against the railing of the ship, but she still can't see the board. She decided to boost herself up onto the railing.
Just as Hippy was boosting herself on the railing, Cricky came around the corner. "Miss Hippy be careful, those railings aren't meant to be sat on. They are just as dangerous as the tube sli --," he starts to say as Hippy lost her balance. As she flipped backwards, she tried to grab onto the railing. She cut her hand on a jagged edge of the metal railing and continued to fall over the side into the ocean waves.
"Ahhhhhhh," she screamed as she went down. She splashed into the ocean.
Micah and Victoria froze. Cricky passed out. But, Al, who wanted to be a Navy Seal when he grew up, sprung into action.
First, he pulled the emergency alarm cord on the wall. Then he ran back to his family's cabin . "Mom, Dad, something terrible has happened," he said as he burst in.
"What?" they said in unison.
"Hippy just fell overboard," he said. "You have to tell Mr. and Mrs. Pizza."
Al grabbed his swim gear which included : goggles, a body glove swimsuit, flippers, an air tank, a snorkel and a waterproof cell phone. He was rushing out of his family's cabin, when Mr. and Mrs. Pizza came to the door. "What do you suppose that alarm is about? You don't think anybody fell overboard, do you?" joked Mr. Pizza with a hearty laugh.
But, the look on Mr. and Mrs. Diet's face told them otherwise.
Al returned to the deck and dove over the side of the ship. He landed what seemed like a mile from Hippy and started to swim toward her. Hippy was being tossed around in the wake of the ship. She screamed, "Help, help !" She gulped a mouthful of saltwater. She had never learned how to swim. She was terrified.
Al was just about to grab Hippy when he spotted a shark headed toward her. "Hmm, the shark must have smelled Hippy's blood in the water," Al thought to himself.
Al grabbed his waterproof cell phone and texted his friend, Eddie the Dolphin for help. He used the GPS feature in his cell phone to tell Eddie where they were and that a shark was about to eat them.
Luckily, Eddie was close by. He swam as fast as he could. He saw Sandy the Shark closing in on Hippy and Al. Sandy was a terror in the ocean but, Eddie knew he had to save his friends. He head-butted Sandy and knocked him out. Al was so happy to see his friend, Eddie and the two exchanged a water hug. Then Eddie said to Al, "I don't know how he got here. Some of the boys were supposed to give Sandy a pair of cement shoes . He's been terrorizing everyone in the ocean for too long."
Hippy's arms and legs were beginning to feel so heavy. "Eddie, I want you to meet my friend, Hippy," said Al. As he turned to introduce his two friends, Hippy slipped under water. "Hippy", he screamed.
Eddie could see a look of fear and exhaustion on Al's face. "I'll get her if you are too tired," he said.
"Yes, that would be great," replied Al. With that Eddie dove under the water and scooped Hippy onto his back, and brought her to the surface. Al grabbed Hippy and swam back to the ship.
After they arrived back at the ship, Hippy and Al thanked Eddie for his help.
Later that evening, the families were celebrating Hippy's rescue at You Have the Stage dance hall. Captain Muflano spoke to the crowd, "Al, I want to thank you for saving Hippy. The Noah's Ark Animal Cruise Line would like to thank you also by offering you the job of Head Lifeguard on the Hippodile ship."
"Thank you," said Al, "but how will I go to school?"
Captain Muflano replied, "Well, that is why I am retiring and turning the ship's control over to the Pizza and Diet families." The audience gasped at the announcement.
Mr. and Mrs. Pizza and Mr. and Mrs. Diet approached the stage. Mr. Pizza said, "Thank you Captain Muflano. We most gratefully accept the offer."
"But, how will I go to school," Al repeated.
Mrs. Pizza said, "All of you are going to be homeschooled now."
"You mean ship schooled," said Hippy. Everyone cheered!
Later, while Hippy and Al were dancing the waltz, Hippy said, "Thanks Al, for risking your life to save me."
"You're welcome," he replied.
Then Victoria shouted, "Conga" and started to lead a Conga line.
Cricky quickly approached Victoria and asked, "Miss Victoria, do you mind if I lead this line?
"I'd be happy to oblige" she replied imitating Cricky's voice. Everyone in the Conga line kept their eyes on the floor, so no one would squish Cricky. The families danced the night away, and all fell fast asleep when they reached the comfy beds in their cabins at 4:00AM.
The next morning Micah said to Cricky, "Since we are in charge of the ship now, the new rule will be: You can't call me Mr. Micah." "Okay, Micah," sighed Cricky.