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We've done it...or rather, Walt Disney has done it! Our long national nightmare has come to an end and the Kogan family vacation curse has officially been broken! Nobody has lost their luggage, their temper, or their way. "My God," I say one evening as I watch Sam cut Julia's meat while Richard places a napkin in her lap. "We have actually stumbled upon the perfect family vacation." Read that sentence again, my friends. Take a good long look at it, commit it to memory. Because that sentence is what is known as the kiss of death.

The man at the next table tells his wife to "shut the hell up." He hisses that he hates her as the woman's eyes fill with tears, their child stares at her plate, and Lidra, Johannes, and I do our best to distract Julia from the ugliness.

For the next two nights, the father and daughter eat in silence and the mother is nowhere to be found, though I do spot her staring up at the stars when I go for my nightly walk around the deck, and I've got a pretty good idea what she's wishing for. It is on one of those walks that I start to cough. Before long, my throat is sore, my muscles ache, and my temperature climbs high enough that when I find myself in an elevator with Pluto, I worry I'm starting to hallucinate. Johannes is the next to feel it: chills, fever, a Donald Duck sighting. The ship's exceptionally kind doctor puts us on drugs and chicken soup while Lidra and Julia go line dancing with Snow White.

So a mean man and a flu bug did manage to rock the boat. But as all but those seven perfect families have discovered, there's no such thing as smooth sailing. We left that boat hand in hand and, much to my surprise, so did the fighting family from dinner. Who knows, maybe when you wish upon a star, anything your heart desires really will come to you...just like Jiminy Cricket promised.

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