Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cruise Review Part One

So!  I'm back from my cruise!  Didja miss me?  You know what I think the best part of a cruise is?  The anticipation!  All that daydreaming about lazily cruising past gorgeous scenery, sipping the drink of one's choice, relaxing with family and friends and waiting for the next delectable meal....doesn't that sound heavenly?  Yup, that's as good as it gets.  Right there.  In your mind.  The reality of a cruise is somewhat different.  I don't mean to bellyache or carp (oh, how I crack myself up!), so let's just say that I got the whole cruise thing out of my system.  There are many fun things about a cruise, but most of them don't really mesh with my personality.  For example, I don't like large crowds of people.  Or drinking until I pass out.  Or losing money in a smoky casino.  Oh, and then there's my phobia of deep water (Which I'm pretty sure started when I first saw this book cover.  And yes, the shark is scary, but what really freaked me out was how deep the water was.) 

We went on a Royal Caribbean cruise and the boat itself was fine.  Lots of things to do, lots to eat, helpful friendly staff, and even the stateroom wasn't oppressively small with all four of us in it.  And Alaska was certainly beautiful with many forested hills, waterfalls, and fog.  Lots and lots of the best Alaskan Fog.  Possibly there were other things to see besides forested hills.  Maybe some wildlife?  While we did see a handful of bald eagles mostly we saw....fog.  Low-lying fog, mountain-obscuring fog, unbelievably low-ceiling fog.  You know what they do when there's fog?  Blow the foghorn.  You know what my kids hate?  Loud noises.

For the most part, our land excursions were fun and were time and money well spent.  David caught a salmon, I went on a glorious whale watch (that will merit its own post), we rode a train from Skagway, Alaska up over a mountain pass and into Canada that was breathtaking (despite the fog), and had a chance to wander around Victoria, British Columbia. 

We only had 2 full days at sea during the week, but let me tell you something.  You hear all the time that a cruise ship is so big that you can't feel the motion.  It's so smooth, they say.  Like a gentle rocking motion if you feel it at all.   Those people are LYING BASTARDS.  The first night, we encountered seas technically classified as "rough".  This translated to the ship pretty much bouncing through the ocean at semi-regular heart-stopping intervals.  I spent most of the night clutching Ritu's arm and whisper-screaming "We're going to die", waiting for the distress alarm to inevitably sound, and mentally rehearsing the best way to pluck Juliana from her bunk, dress her in warm clothing and a life jacket, and stagger to our muster station.  (It didn't help that HBO practically had Titanic on a continuous loop reel this month.  Did I mention my deep water phobia?)  

By the grace of God, we made it through that night but awoke to the boat still a'rockin'.  Within ten minutes of awakening, Juliana started to cry because her stomach hurt and she she had "a bad taste in her mouth that she needed to spit out".  Thinking fast, I commanded her to Go To Daddy where she promptly threw up on his foot.  This was 14 hours into the cruise, people.

Seeing her throw up freaked out David.  I dosed everyone with Dramamine (Don't leave home without it!) and as the morning dragged on, they both perked up nicely.  The same could not be said for much of the rest of the ship.  Somewhere around lunchtime, we suddenly noticed that barf bags were now affixed in portable holders to railings on the stairs.  The rocking was slightly better in the center parts of the ship, so walking through the large Centrum area found every couch occupied by a figure curled in the fetal position, pale, with eyes squeezed shut. 

Just think.  Thousands of dollars spent for a ride from hell with no way out.  What could be better?  Ritu overheard one woman at the purser's desk demanding to be let off for good when we docked in Juneau.  Apparently international immigration laws don't allow you do that, even if you are an American citizen.  You can imagine how well that went over. 

Much more to say, but I'm way too tired.  Tomorrow I'll try for  a post that doesn't mention nausea or vomiting even once!


osusan said...

Brava on the ship's log entry! I am reading this particular life experience of yours with bated (but not throw-up flavored) breath. Keep writing!!  Susan

jrekarate said...

fog and vomit......sounds like the makings of a horror flick!!  Welcome home!

momdeplume said...

Nausea and throwing up?  Oh go ahead.  You go ahead and carp, just for the halibut.

chancesutler said...

Glad you're back!  Looking forward to your description of whale watching.

foilhat16 said...

I missed you!  I appreciate your candor.  Pretty much confirms what I thought about cruises.  I get sick riding in the back of a car - can't imagine being trapped on a boat.  Can't wait to hear about the whale-watching, though.

hallcjm said...

Yep, you just confirmed that cruisin' ain't for me. I can whale watching off the coast here thankyouverymuch.

My kids have to take Dramamine just driving to the mtns. I can't fathom a boat, ugh!