Tom Stieghorst
Tom Stieghorst

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

One thing's for sure. You're not likely to miss that quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" once you enter Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s new $247 million Terminal A, which opened last week at PortMiami and will soon be home to the Symphony of the Seas.

The quotation is set in big, brass letters beside a staircase leading up from the entrance to the check-in area. It is the only quotation on any of the terminal's walls, as far as I could see.

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" tells the story of two characters, the namesake hero and his repressed friend Cameron who lives under the thumb of a domineering father. Ferris fakes a sick day from school and shows Cameron life's possibilities.

It's an ode to truancy and a triumph of adventure over tedium, epitomized by teacher Ben Stein droning the absent Bueller's name during roll call at the start of class.

"Bueller," Stein intones in the voice of attendance-takers everywhere. "Bueller?  Bueller?"

But Bueller, played by Matthew Broderick, and Cameron have borrowed Cameron's father's red Ferrari to go tooling about town seeking fun and mischief, making the most of their sick day.

Director John Hughes periodically has Bueller address the audience directly to comment on the action, and his enduring quote about life moving pretty fast is the one that audiences remember most.

It's also a slogan that travel agents can use in selling a wavering client on a cruise. Yes, it's irresponsible. Yes, it's indulgent. Yes, it's not in the budget. Do it anyway. Because, you know, life moves pretty fast.

Many people over 50 are going to recognize the quote. But it even works for millennials, none of whom were born in 1986 when the movie came out. Two texting acronyms that every millennial recognizes are FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and YOLO (You Only Live Once) and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is all about FOMO and YOLO.

While it trashes playing by the rules and sticking to the script, the movie, Broderick said, is also about a unique moment — that last week of high school — which spells the end of freedom and the start of adult life.

In other words, kids, it may not be the best strategy at your first job to call in sick and joy ride in the Ferrari.

But Hughes' point was to keep that joyful teen spirit alive in adult life so you don't turn into Ben Stein blathering on about the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Certainly, a cruise can help people with a little too much Smoot-Hawley in their lives reconnect with their inner Ferris Bueller.

Where better to embrace the crazy possibilities of life than on a modern cruise ship, where you can simulate sky diving on the high seas?

After the movie came out, author Christina Lee disparaged it as a "splendidly ridiculous exercise in unadulterated indulgence."

Come to think of it, the same description could apply to the Symphony of the Seas.

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