Last year, my family and I embarked on our first cruise ship journey. I’d heard so many great aspects of cruising from numerous people. The one thing they all seemed to have in common was that it is a great way to visit multiple islands on a budget, have an exciting experience with family & friends and of course, having all you can eat at your fingertips so naturally, when planning our family vacation, what could be better than a cruise!
I spent months researching YouTube, various blog posts and articles that provided intricate details about cruising essentials. I’m a planner by habit and like to have things in order so I made sure to cover all of the main bases; set amount of clothing for each family member (check), toiletries (check), cash and most importantly…MEDS (check-check)! I suffer from extreme vertigo so I needed to be overly prepared in this area, and by overly, I mean….packs of Benadryl, Bonine, Dramamine, and a enough Sea Bands for an entire Navy.
The ship itself was beautiful and the entertainment was on-point. As we explored the ship, we made way to our room cabin to settle in. They had the cutest little towel elephant on the bed which my son thought was an added bonus to an already great trip. As a family of five, we had to get creative with the space but somehow we made it work without feeling too cramped. We met our assigned floor and dinner crew, who would be with us throughout the entirety of the cruise, who by the way, was absolutely amazing! Everything was perfect or so I thought.
That night I woke up seemingly in a trance. I kept thinking, why is my head spinning, am I dying??? Apparently we were heading toward a tropical storm which is common in the Caribbean, namely in December (That little tidbit of info would’ve been helpful up front). The ship was bouncing with every wave and I was in my own little hell because my old friend vertigo decided to hit me at full speed ahead. I was like a madwoman pushing the acupressure button on the sea bands which needless to say I desire to get my money back asap! My husband rubbed my back in hopes of comforting me while advising me to close my eyes. Everything out of his mouth sounded foreign because my only thought at this point was getting the hell off of this boat! It was so bad that you could hear the dishes clashing in the kitchen from the hallway. It was tragic. After leaving the room to get some air, a by-passer stopped to tell me how awful I looked, which I didn’t take offense to because I was crying my eyes out so I’m sure I looked absolutely TERRIBLE. She gave me a small bottle of oil and told me to dab it behind my ears. For all I know, it could’ve been marijuana-CBD oil but I didn’t care, I needed instant relief. After a few crappy hours, I was finally able to get some much needed rest which didn’t last long being that we were 45 minutes away from our first island stop.
I literally had to pull myself out of bed and I still felt light-headed. Our room captain was so nice as to bring me a few green apples which he stated helps with motion sickness. Once we ported in Grand Cayman, I felt a bit better. Fact: The beaches of Grand Cayman Island are some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen in my life!
The remaining days of the trip were a little better but by this time everyone, aside from my daughter, got sea-sick. Maybe its the amount of leafy greens she eats daily!!! She definitely had time to explore the ship on her own. Thank goodness she was of age. The rest of us laid in bed, ordered room service, popped Dramamine, slept then repeated the process. Sadly, we saw more of our room in those few days than anything else on that trip. The perfect vacation turned into a nightmare. Once we sailed back to the port and started the debarkation exercise, it was obvious I still had the infamous SEA-LEGS….Yes, this is a real thing! I think we all started to feel back to normal around two days later.
I can truly sit and laugh about that ordeal now that its over but trust and believe, it surely wasn’t a laughing matter at the time. My neighbor asked would I ever book another cruise and as of right now I can faithfully say, Hell No…We Won’t Go, but who knows, maybe this topic can be explored again in a few years…no sooner than three! I still have recurring flashbacks from time to time.
How about you? Are cruises your go to for the ideal vacation or do you prefer more of a land experience (#raises both hands)? Let’s chat about it.