Monday, July 22, 2013

First Cruise

I just got back from my first cruise. Being no stranger to motion sickness, I’d always refused to cruise, putting it into the category of not in this lifetime. Deciding to be fearless, I tried it. Because we had to get up at 2 am for our flight, I was pretty sleep deprived, but that’s OK because sleepiness is a good defense against seasickness. While sitting in the Miami port, we learned our way around the ship. I was glad it was steady as a rock. Hopefully, it would stay that way when we got moving.

The next morning was another story. In foggy pre-consciousness I felt the bed move as if someone was tugging on it. What the--? I assumed it was my husband at first, and when I realized it wasn’t him I groped for another explanation. Ghosts? Then I remembered where I was. The ship was moving, and now that I was fully conscious and rested, I didn’t like it! I couldn’t face another 5 days. The bathroom was the worst. Everything rocked in there.

Finding our way to the stern for breakfast took a lot of trial and error and asking directions. To my dismay, the stern rocked most of all. There were whitecaps on the water. My next surprise was group seating. I’m not a morning person, especially when I’m not feeling so great. Will this nightmare ever end? I promptly ordered some ginger ale and hoped for the best. The person next to me happened to be a writer too. As I talked to her, I forgot all about the motion of the ship and even ate a hearty breakfast. I discovered the best defense again motion yuckies is distraction.

I gained my sea legs as the day went on. Sitting on deck with tropical drink in hand is a cool experience, and I loved the waterfront dining. Enjoyed our ocean balcony too. At night the water lapping the hull sounded like ocean waves washing on the beach. That evening I did karaoke and had the crowd cheering. They didn’t seem to care that my voice cracked in the middle of the chorus. This bar was in the stern too, but I began to notice the ship rocked more than usual.

We went to a gift ship to look around. By now, the excessive rocking was impossible to ignore. I had a hard time navigating the hard, slick floor in heels because it moved as if we were having an earthquake. Inside the store, necklaces danced on the racks with a life of their own. Time to head to the cabin.

As soon as I saw the water and horizon, I felt better. The explanation for the pitching was our reduction in speed. Long swells were manipulating the boat as if it was a cork. Feeling like a wimp, I finally put on my motion wristband. We soon picked up speed again and I was fine.

The next day, we stopped at Jamaica. Exhausted from the heat and some pushy salespeople, we ended up at Margaritaville where we had a great time eating lunch outside and enjoying the beach. The island with its tall mountains is enchantingly beautiful. I’m inspired to write! The day after, we visited a beach at Grand Cayman where I got to snorkel and commune with cool looking fish. We had another outdoor lunch, but it was expensive because of the exchange rate. At dinner on the ship, I saw lightning strike the water. I’m glad I wasn’t outside.

We had a mixture of calm and windy, rough seas the next day. With sea legs in place, I just enjoyed more tropical drinks on deck. The evening brought a windy rainstorm that saturated our entire balcony. It’s over already? I didn’t feel like packing, and the next morning we had disembark very early. I guess I was ready to sail around the world.

Now if I could just get my land legs back...

Afton Locke
Unlock your fantasies...

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