Cruise Vacation Gone Awry

By JSRobertson



Dear Diary,

Whew! What a couple months it’s been.  First Lee almost divorced me and then I went to Las Vegas and got into trouble.  I did get out of doing latrine duty after seducing Lee that night but he warned me if I went on another mission without his written permission, there would be hell to pay.  There would be no getting out of cleaning the bilge tanks or latrine duty and I would also have to clean out the torpedo tubes (I didn’t even know they did that) no matter what I did to change his mind.  Then the admiral and Lee went to Washington to meet with the Navy to discuss a new missile detection system they want Seaview to test.  It’s been very hectic. 


Seaview will be in port for about a month.  They are installing that new sonar system they were testing on the last mission.  So, the Admiral gave Lee and me a ten day leave.  The admiral told us to get away from NIMR.  He strongly suggested we get go on a vacation...maybe a cruise.  A cruise sounded like a good idea.  Be on a ship where my husband won’t  have to worry about rogue submarines, sea monsters, alien takeovers or counting seals.  Just relax and drink pina coladas.  Sure, like that’s going to happen.




Dear Diary,


We decided to take a cruise to Mexico.  We would go to Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada.  I’d never been there so it could be fun.  We would leave from Los Angeles and the cruise would take seven days. I can’t believe we were able to get reservations so quickly


Chip flew us on FS1 to Los Angeles. When we got to the dock, Lee just stared at the ship.  It was huge and has eighteen decks.  He might want to talk to the captain and see the bridge.


“Welcome aboard Captain and Mrs. Crane,” the ship’s cruise director said as we were checking in.  “Captain Stewart would like to meet you, Captain Crane, as soon as we have cleared the harbor.  He is very pleased to have you aboard.  He would like to give you a tour of the bridge and engine room and show you how an ocean liner operates versus a submarine. Your wife is also invited to come.”

“Thank you for the invitation.  We would be happy to meet him,” Lee told her.

“He will send for you when he is ready.”


We located our cabin and found that it had a balcony that overlooked the ocean.  What a different view from above the ocean.  It was beautiful and calming to look at but I would have to wait and see if I liked it better than being under the ocean.


The captain sent a crew member for us after our life boat drill. We were taken to the bridge and given a personal tour by Captain Stewart.  It sure was different from Seaview.  I think it had even more instruments and dials than Seaview.  Lee was impressed by the bridge, but I could tell that he still preferred the control room in his submarine.  After the tour of the bridge, the Captain and Lee were going to look at the engine room.  I decided I would go to the cabin and unpack.  I haven’t even seen Seaview’s engines.


It would take two days to get to Puerto Vallarta so we had time to relax and just do nothing.


After Lee’s tour of the engine room we took a walk around the ship to see what it had to offer.  We found many restaurants, pools, lounges and various activities to do.


Since it was close to lunch we decided to grab a quick bite to eat at one of the more casual restaurants.  There was a lot of food to choose from and it was very good.  We went swimming later and drank pina coladas by the pool.  I had to keep close to my husband as all the ladies were eyeing him in his Spandex trunks.  We stayed at the pool for a couple of hours before returning to our cabin to get ready for dinner.


We’ve been invited to sit at the captain’s table for dinner tonight.  It will be a dress up affair.  Lee brought along a black  tuxedo and I have a rather low cut and short black dress. My heels aren’t comfortable, but worth it to make the ensemble complete.  


“Sweetheart, are you sure you want to go to dinner?’ Lee asked,  ogling me.  “I can think of better things to do than eat dinner!” he added with a smirk.

“Not really, but we don’t want to be rude, do we?”

“I gues not. We’ll go to dinner, but after, no lingering.”




Dear Diary,


I actually got Lee to sleep in. Sort of. Not bad considering neither of us actually got to sleep until after  5:00 this morning.  He set his alarm to  7:00  as he wanted  to try out the swim-against-the-current lap pool.  It sounded like too much work for me so I went for a walk around the deck.  I almost bumped into  a gentlemen standing at the rail.


“Sorry,” I told him, “ I wasn’t watching where I was going, are you okay?”

“I’m fine.  It would take a lot more than running into me knock me over,” he said laughing. “I’m Steven Arnold and you are?”

“Janet Crane. Mrs. Crane,” I added. For some reason he gave me the creeps.

“Nice to meet you, I hope to see you around,” he said and left. 


After Lee got  back from his swim we went for breakfast.

“Lee, honey, you look like you’re a thousand miles away,” I said over my grapefruit.
“Just thinking about Seaview and the sonar installation,” he replied, having eaten exactly one bite of toast. At least he’d slathered peanut butter and jelly on it, so I had to content myself with the fact that he got a little protein.

“Do you want to check in?” I asked.

“Yes, sweetheart, do you mind?”

“No, go ahead  and make your call, ” I answered with a smile.  Sometimes it was really hard being second fiddle to a submarine.  But I knew that when I married him and I wouldn’t have it any other way.



 “Hi Chip, it’s Lee,” Crane said through his cell phone’s speaker function, “how are things going?”

“Just fine. Why are you calling, don’t trust me to get it done right?” Chip laughed. 

“No, just checking in.”

 “How is your trip so far?”

“It’s been great just to be together.  This ship is huge.  We got to meet the captain, see the bridge and the engine room.  As big as they are, I  still prefer to be on my own boat, with limited space. ”

“Well don’t worry about the installation.  Everything is on schedule.  Just relax and have fun.”

“Okay, Chip.  I’ll talk to you soon,” Lee hung up the phone and returned to the dining room.



Dear Diary,


We almost had a little tiff when Lee rejoined me and took another bite of his now cold hard toast. He had that far away look in his eyes again.

“Would you rather not be here?” I asked him, stirring my coffee.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be with you. You know I do. I’ve enjoyed our time together immensely... but I don’t like not knowing what’s going on with my boat,” he sighed running his hand through his hair.

“Well,” I licked my spoon rather suggestively, “I can think of a few things that might distract you...”

I don’t think I have to put to pen just how I distracted him a few minutes later in our cabin.



Dear Diary,


We went for dinner at one of the very exclusive restaurants aboard.  The food and service were fantastic.  Then we went dancing in one of the night clubs and had a nightcap each.  But I had to keep my eye on him all night.  Most of the women kept staring at him.  Some of them were even bold enough to ask him to dance!  Of course, he declined and winked at me. We decided on an early night.


The ‘do not disturb’ sign is on the door again.




Dear Diary,


We docked in Puerto Vallarta this morning.  It’s a pretty town, but I could tell Lee really didn’t want to be there. Or on this cruise.  He was still having a hard time not being in control.  Call it some kind of separation anxiety from Seaview. Even though the admiral practically banned us from going to work, I didn’t think Lee would be able to stay away much longer without going stir crazy.


“How about we jump ship?” I asked Lee.

“What do you mean?”

“Sweetheart, I know you don’t want to be on this cruise,” I kissed him, “we can stay in the town for a couple of days, just enough to humor the admiral, then fly back home.”

“You sure you don’t mind?” he asked like a little boy keeping his fingers crossed for the answer he wanted.

“No, sweetie, I don’t mind,” I gave him a really long hug and kiss.


We packed up our belongings rather quickly, and were headed toward the gangplank, when the perky cruise director spotted us.


“Is there something wrong?” she asked.

“Not at all. But something’s come up requiring my attention at work,” Lee said.

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.  I hope you will sail with us again.”

“Thank you,” I said, “It’s been delightful,” I lied.


In minutes we hailed a cab and were standing at the counter of a Holiday Inn. It was difficult not to hit the desk clerk for gaping at Lee as she welcomed us to Puerto Vallarta.  


“We would like an ocean front room for the next two days,” Lee asked.

“No problem,” she said smiling.  “Please sign here,” handing Lee a registration form.

Lee signed the form and gave her his credit card.

“Have a wonderful stay, Mr. and Mrs. Crane,” she said her eyes never leaving Lee’s face.


“Well, she sure is smitten with you,” I said laughing.  “I’d better watch out for her.”

Lee just smiled, took my hand and together we walked to the elevator.


As I unpacked our luggage, Lee was sitting on the balcony looking out over the ocean.

“Sweetie, you sure you don’t mind not finishing the cruise?” Lee asked me again as he watched the cruise ship sail out of the harbor.Joining him on the balcony, putting my arms around him I said laughing, “Well, honey, I think it’s a little late to change our minds.”


“Why don’t we get some lunch and look around the boardwalk?”

“Okay, let’s go,” I grabbed his hand and we headed out the door.




Dear Diary,


We had a nice lunch and did some shopping on the boardwalk.  I bought a pair of sandals and a necklace.

Lee called the airline and made reservations for us to fly home in two days. 


So much for a long relaxing vacation.  I wondered what the admiral was going to say when he saw we were back.  He would probably be pissed because we did not get away for very long.  We had been putting in many long hours at NIMR and Lee also needed a break from Seaview after some of the dangerous missions we’ve had recently.  


After we took a nap, a real one, Lee decided to go downstairs to ask the front desk clerk about a restaurant for dinner.  He forgot to take his cell phone as it was on the charger.  It’s a nifty phone, and has a GPS tracker.  Lee had always had one, thanks to ONI, but NIMR put one on mine after  I went to Las Vegas and went missing.  If we were in trouble, we could activate it and NIMR would know where we were.


“Lee,” I called after him when I realized he didn’t have his phone, but it was too late. The elevator doors were already closed.  He’s only going to the lobby, how much trouble can he get into? 


Plenty, I thought.  So I ran to catch the next elevator with my phone.




Lee got off the elevator in the lobby and was walking to the front desk when someone came up behind him and put a gun in his back. 


“Don’t turn around,” he commanded.  “Make like there is nothing wrong and walk out the door.”

“Who the hell are you,” Lee muttered under his breath.

“That doesn’t matter, but I’ve been tailing you ever since you boarded the ship. A bit short for a cruise, don’t you think? Now, walk straight to car over there and get in,” he shoved the gun a little deeper in his back.


Lee did what he was told.   When he was in the car, a cloth with chloroform was put over his face and he was unconscious by the time they drove away. 


There was a cab driver in front of the hotel waiting for a fare and saw Lee get into the car.




Dear Diary,


By the time I got down to the lobby, I couldn’t see him anywhere.  I went up to the front desk where the same woman I saw this morning was still working.


“Excuse me, I’m Janet Crane did my husband come here to ask about a restaurant?” I asked, a bit frantic.

“No, Mrs. Crane, he never stopped here but I saw him walk out with another man,” she answered.


“Another man?” If he were an old friend, Lee would have brought him up to meet me. This was bad. I ran outside to see if I could him anywhere on the street.  He was nowhere to be seen and there were no cars in sight either, except for a cab.


“Do you need a ride?” the driver asked from his open window.

“Did you see a tall, dark haired man come out of the hotel? Just a few minutes ago...”

“Yeah, lady,  he was with another guy. They got into a blue car and drove away,” he told me.

“Can you follow it?”

“I guess, but...”

“Try, please,” I got into the cab.

We were lucky. The car hadn’t gone very far when my driver spotted it. 

“No, don’t honk...just follow it wherever it goes,” I pleaded, “don’t let on you’re tailing it.”

“Like the cops?”

“Yes...please...he’s my husband.”


We followed the car to a warehouse located on the outskirts of town. 


“Don’t stop too close, ” I told the cab driver.  “I don’t want them to see us.”

The cab driver parked the cab a few doors down from the warehouse.

“Is he with another woman?” he asked.

“No, I think he’s been kidnapped.”

Cheesh, want me to call the cops?”

Before I could reply, Lee was dragged car unconscious and into the building.


I activated the GPS tracker and called Chip on his cell phone.


“Hi Janet, what’s wrong?” he asked.

“Chip, Lee’s been kidnapped,” I cried.

“What? I thought you were on a cruise!?”

“We decided to jump ship and stay in Puerto Vallarta for a couple of days. We were going stir crazy, Chip. We want to come home.  “He forgot his phone. I was too late. The front desk and a cabbie told me was with a man, and got into a car. My cab driver saw it...we’ve followed it.  Chip, they dragged him out, unconscious. I want to sneak in....”

NO, DO NOT  go in,” Chip ordered. 

“But, I can’t just leave him there...they might kill him!” I protested.

“Let us handle it Janet. Understood? Just stay anything you see outside of the wharehouse. Janet? Mrs. Crane, respond!”

“All right, all right, keep your pants on,” I ended the call.

“You gonna’ listen to him, lady?”

I’m  not sure,” I said, trying to decide what to do.




 “Damn. Can’t they go anywhere and not get in trouble?” Nelson  said sharply from his office at NIMR. 

“We’ve got to get down there,” Chip said, studying a map, “Chief, get the flying sub ready to launch, yesterday! We need to leave now if we’re going to rescue the Skipper. You’ll be co pilot.”

“No,” Nelson said, “You  stay here and supervise the rest of the sonar installation.”

“But sir...”

“And Chief,” Chip said, “ tell Jamie we need him. Full kit.



As FS1 was leaving Seaview, Chip explained to Jamie what was happening.


The admiral, Chip and Jamie left ten minutes after Janet’s call.  They would be in Puerto Vallarta in about two hours.  Chip called Angie to let her know they were leaving on FS1.


“Hi Chip, what can I do for you?” Angie asked.

“The admiral, Jamie and I are flying down to Puerto Vallarta to rescue Lee.  Janet called a little while ago and said he’s been kidnapped.”

“Oh no.” she cried.  “Please be careful and let us know what is happening.”

“Okay, will do.”



“Janet, are you still in the cab?” Morton called Janet back.

“Yes, for now.” 

“The admiral, Jamie and I are on our way down.  We will be there in about two hours.  Stay in that cab.  Once we get closer to Puerto Vallarta we will be able to track your exact location.   Janet...Janet answer me.” Chip yelled.

“I heard you.  I will stay in the cab,” she said tersely. “For now,” she muttered hoping Chip didn’t hear her.

“Damn, I bet she doesn’t stay in the cab,” Chip told the admiral shaking his head.




Lee came to and found he was securely tied to a chair.  He had no idea who had taken him and why they wanted him. He didn’t know where he was or why there were three men with their guns aimed at him.


“Who are you and what do you want from me?” Lee asked still groggy. “How did you find me?”

“I’m Steven Arnold. I’ve been watching and following you and your wife since you boarded the cruise ship in Los Angeles.  In fact, I met Janet on the ship when she went for a walk.  I almost lost you when you left the ship.  Luckily, I saw you talking to the cruise director and it gave me enough time to get my things. I was staying at the same hotel and saw you come down to the lobby. It was the perfect time to grab you.   If you hadn’t left the ship I was going to grab your sweet little wife and use her as a hostage.  I work for the People’s Republic and want information on the new missile detection system your Navy has developed.”

“You must know I won’t tell you anything!” Lee snapped.


“Give me the information,” Arnold demanded punching him in the stomach.

“Never,” Lee spat.


The men began to  punch  him in the ribs again, but now also used the gun butt. When it looked as if he was still uncooperative, they began to use the butts  to strike his head.

“Careful, don’t smash his skull in,” Arnold said. “We don’t want him dead...yet.”


Lee felt  a couple of ribs break as the battering continued.  It was getting hard to breathe and he wasn’t sure if his lungs hadn’t been punctured.  He was sure he had a concussion and it was getting difficult to stay alert.


“Enough for now men. I know how to make you talk, Commander.  I will bring your wife here.” Arnold said maliciously.

Lee looked at him with hatred .  He didn’t want Janet to get hurt, but he could not  reveal anything about the missile detection system. At least Janet would understand that...but how could he possibly let anything happen to her?



Dear Diary,


The cab driver and I were still outside the warehouse. I was going to get out of the cab when the driver grabbed my arm.

“No you don’t, lady, you heard that Chip guy!” he pleaded.

“I have to find my husband.  They could kill him! I don’t care what Morton said.  I have to find him!” I hissed.  “ Now, will you help me or not?  You’ll be paid for your helpI’m desperate! Lee could be dead by the time Chip gets here! Do you want that?”

“Not really...okay, I’ll help, but let me call my brother. He’s always fancied himself as a cop... and he has a strong arm...”

“Tell him to hurry,” I interrupted, handing him my phone which was a far cry better to use than the taxi’s dispatch radio.



 “Janet, are you still in the cab?” Chip asked nervously as he called again.

“Yes, for now,” she replied, a tremor in her voice. 

“We will be there in an hour and...what’s that noise? Is that vehicle moving? I told you to sit tight! Janet? Janet, answer me! Damn it!”

“Did she hang up on you?” Nelson asked.

“Looks like it.”


The driver, Simon by name, had indeed reached his brother Seymour, who had quickly arrived in a rather  decrepit truck. After a quick conference Janet told Seymour to wait in the rear of the building, keeping watch while she and Simon kept an eye out from where they were. It wasn’t long before a man emerged from the front and drove away, Janet and Simon having ducked down out of sight.


“I know I’ve seen that man someplace,” Janet said as she got out of the cab.

“Wait. Maybe you’d better let me go in first...”

“No, Lee’s my husband,” she said, determined and in seconds they found themselves in the warehouse’s deserted lobby.  Then  they heard a groan from behind a partially closed office door along with some evil laughter.

“We gotta’ scram before they see us!” Simon hissed as he grabbed Janet’s arm.

 “No, you run to the rear of the building,” she whispered. “Have Seymour help you distract whoever’s with Lee from there. Somehow I’ll get him out and into our cab.”

“Heck, Lady, how? They probably have guns. We don’t. And we ain’t cops. Are you?”

“Well, no, but...”

“Look, we’ll do what we can for you, make some racket and stuff, but you call the cops first, okay?”

“Lee could be dead by then!”

“Do it or Seymour and I are outta’ here.”




The admiral landed FS1 in Las Caletas, a secluded cove off Banderas Bay, accessible only by boat. With a remote control he pressed a button and FS1 sank to the bottom of the cove where no one would find it.   After taking a raft to the beach, the men walked  to the boat launch where a boat would take them to downtown Puerto Vallarta.  They hailed a cab after getting to town and drove to the address they got off GPS tracker.  It would take them about fifteen minutes to get there.




Janet opened the door slightly when she heard the guards talking about the commotion going on in the back of the warehouse.  When they emerged and headed away, she snuck into the room.


“Lee!” she whispered, “it’s me. Honey, wake up! We’ve got to get out of here.” 

“Jan...Janet? What the hell are you doing here? Don’t bother with me! Get out. Get away, before Arnold comes back!” “Not without you,” she untied his feet.   

“Too late, Captain,” Arnold said grinning as he pointed his gun at Janet.   “Where the hell are Tommy and Benny?”

“You...”Janet said, realization setting in, “you were on the cruise....”

“Very good, Mrs. Crane.  Now,” he waved his gun, “move away from him.”

“Leave her alone,” Lee shouted, “she doesn’t know anything.”

“Oh, I know you tell me what I want to know or I’ll kill her....after I have a little fun of course.”

“You bastard! Janet...I...I can’t...protect you,” he lowered his eyes hoping she’d get the message about his unbound feet.

“You would actually let me kill your wife rather than reveal the information on the missile detection system?” Arnold laughed. “I’ve heard all about your fine sense of duty, but don’t you think that’s taking things too far?”

I’d do the same,” Janet glared at their captor then, “I understand, sweetie,” Janet whispered to Lee, moving behind the chair where Lee was sitting.

“Good grief, enough with  the hearts and’ll be a real pleasure killing your wife. But perhaps maiming her first would be a better idea...yeah...might bring that hero complex down a bit...” Arnold moved in. Suddenly Lee kicked his feet out from under him. 


Arnold’s gun went flying as he fell.  But before Janet could get away, he managed to get up and grab her. But he hadn’t counted on the special self defense training Crane had enrolled her in the Santa Barbara Police Dept.

“Man, that hurt!” she fondled her sore hand as Arnold was apparently down for the count.

“Sweetheart, you punched him like a girl, still...whatever works,” Lee said with slight grin.

“Well, in case you didn’t notice, I am a girl,” she began to untie Lee.

“You okay?” Simon and Seymour rushed in.

“Janet, who are these men?”

“Simon’s my cab driver. Seymour’s his brother.   I was in Simon’s cab and we followed you here.  They distracted Arnold’s guards, so I could get you out of here.”


Simon took the discarded rope, and tied up the unconscious man.


“Did you call the admiral and Chip to let them know what was happening?”

“Yes, she did,” the admiral answered walking in the door with Chip and Jamie.


It wasn’t long before Jamie confirmed that Crane had a couple of broken ribs but didn’t think his lungs had been punctured.  The cut on his cheek would need a couple of stitches and he was not sure if he had a concussion.  He would check him out more thoroughly when they get back to FS1.


“Don’t you ever listen?” Chip hissed at Janet,   “I ordered you to stay put until we got here. Would it have been too difficult to just stay in the damn cab?”

“First of all, Mr. Morton, unless I’m  working aboard Seaview or at the institute, no one orders me to do anything.  Secondly, circumstances dictated that I get to Lee when the opportunity presented itself. Surely you wouldn’t want me to wait and risk him being murdered!” she began to hyperventilate and cry.

“Belay those tears, Mrs. Crane,” Nelson said, “I’m sure Mr. Morton didn’t mean it like that...we were simply worried about you too, you know. Lee, why were kidnapped anyway?” the admiral asked.

“Simon? Seymour, would you mind waiting outside?” Lee asked pointedly.

“Sure, sure, if you gotta’ talk top secret stuff, ” Simon said, “but no ducking out of what your lady promised us, in addition to the fare.”

“You’ll be more than adequately recompensed,” Nelson said.


As soon as the drivers had vanished, Lee sighed, “Arnold and his goons wanted information on the new missile detection system. There had to have been a leak on the Navy’s part.”

“How did they know you were on the cruise ship?”

“Arnold said he was watching and following us ever since we boarded the ship,” Janet said, “so someone must have let them know.  The only people who knew we were going on vacation were NIMR staff and the travel agent.

“We’ll certainly check everyone out,” Chip said.

“There are two more men in the back,” Janet said. “ And I already called the cops about a couple of suspicious men lurking around here.”

“Well, I’m glad you didn’t go into much detail with them,” Nelson said, “International relations and all that. But NCIS is already headed in to take charge of the criminals. Um..just how much do I owe Simon and Seymour?”

“Well, the meter was running...and of course they did put themselves in danger...about $400. I think.”

“That’s not bad,” Nelson began to fumble with his wallet.


“Oh...Lee? Chip? Jaimie? You have any extra cash on you?”


Dear Diary,

Chip and I returned to the hotel and helped me pack up our luggage and check out of the hotel while Nelson and Jaimie took him to the flying sub.  Simon was waiting at the front.


“Thank you again for all your help,” I told him.   

“No problem.  Come back and see us again,” he took the luggage.

“Um...I’m not sure we have the fare to the boat launch.”

“Perhaps next time you’re here.”


As we pulled up, there was already a  boat waiting to take us to the cove on Las Caletas.  The admiral was waiting there with the raft so we could board FS1.


Lee was already in the bunk when we got there.  Jamie had put a couple of stitches in his cheek, wrapped his ribs and confirmed had a concussion.   Jamie looked at my hand and didn’t think anything was broken, but it would have to be x-rayed when we got back to Med Bay.  For the time being he  wrapped it up and put a cold pack on it.


It sure had been a long day.


Chip was piloting and I was glad that we’d be home in a few hours. Chip radioed the Institute to let Angie know what happened.


“So much for a quiet, peaceful and restful vacation, right Admiral?” Lee said from his bunk.

“Remind me never to make you take a vacation.  You two can find trouble anywhere,” Nelson said grinning too.




Dear Diary,


We’re finally home. Lee has to stay in Med Bay overnight and he’ll have plenty of time to recover, but I think he’ll make a point of visiting the other lady in his life as soon as possible.


There aren’t any broken bones in my hand but it is severely bruised and wrapped up.


Lee and I decided if we ever go on vacation again, we would not leave our house.  How much trouble can we get into at home?



The End.