At first, the boys thought the heaving and rocking of this ginormous Disney ship was great fun! After all, it was the first night of our seven-day cruise. We were sitting at dinner when the rocking, swaying, began. “Wow, you can really feel the ship moving! “ Kenny grinned.
Yeah, really. I wasn’t feeling quite so gleeful – not since the Captain’s announcement that we were heading into some rough weather, (smack into the storm that was smacking its way down the east coast) and to “hold onto handrails where you can.”
Beyond stairwells, my husband and I didn’t remember seeing any handrails. But neither had we’d seen much of anything yet, only having boarded a few hours earlier, in the pouring rain….
In my packing I’d never anticipated rain, never mind storms. Certainly not from the glossy Disney brochures where the sun is always sparkling in crystal clear blue skies. And where the suggestion is to pack a carry-on bag with bathing suits because before your checked bags would arrive at your cabin, the first thing kids would want is to go swim in the beautiful Goofy and splash cruise ship pools!
“The pools are closed?” Kenny had whined.
We had stood huddled in a sheltered area on the sodden pool deck.
“No indoor pools?” Ryan chimed in, to the whining. There were lots of whining children in the sheltered cold windy shelter.
Then there was nothing to eat; not for Ryan, from the only open buffet, the worst bet for a food-allergic child. The only safe food I could find him was from the soft ice cream dispenser which I was assured was nut and egg free – and had just closed in preparation for standard passenger emergency drills.
I was able to locate a sympathetic chef who ordered the ice cream machine to be reopened, and our starving child scarfed down a cone, before we had to file out to our designated wet deck area for the emergency drill, to stand in line while bored crew personal demonstrated how to adorn yourself in yellow lifejackets.
Ryan looked up at me and in a worried whisper asked, “Can we actually die on this boat? We could drown?”
The other son, bored, and pulling at his hair as we had to stand there is size order asked, “How come this isn’t fun yet?”
Anticipating a trip planned well a year ahead can be, well, maybe too much anticipation for the average human being. Which was about every sodden passenger embarking on this boat.
Finally it was fun, once our bags made it to our cabin, and we’d changed into dry clothes and arrived at our designated dinner table, in the Palette restaurant; where there were blinking artist palettes on the ceiling! And twinkling iridescent brushes! The boys were the happiest they’d looked since we’d boarded the ship! And then Mickey paraded through, and Minnie! Then came Donald Duck ! And then…the hold-onto-the-railings announcement.
As soon as we stood up from dinner Ryan said, “Mommy, my tummy doesn’t feel so good….”
Meanwhile, Kenny, the one most prone to car-sickness, was fine, and Daddy whisked him off to some Mickey Mouse stage production.
I tried to navigate Ryan back to our cabin. And got us lost, as we weaved and rocked our way down skinny hallways, where passengers were holding towels up to their mouths, leaning into the walls, green-faced.
“Mooommmmy,” Ryan began to wail. “I don’t feeel goooooood….”
Now I was having trouble even remembering the room number. I racked my brain, and it came to me! 6062!
In time for Ryan to sit down on a bed, with his head over a garbage pail, dry heaving and trembling.
Then the cabin steward who was coming in to prepare the beds, produced magically for us “Sea-Calm” pills, and suggested we order sliced green apples which evidently help to settle seasick tummies.
I imagined thousands of seasick passengers ordering room service for sliced green apples, and mad fast apple-slicing in the ship kitchens. In the lobbies they were handing out little packets of those “See-calm” pills like candy.
The good thing about the Sea-Calm pills is they knock you out. Ryan fell asleep with his head still hanging over the miraculously empty plastic garbage can.
The rest of us were fine, and as everyone slept, I lay there listening to the closet doors sliding open and shut, the bathroom ones rattling, and, even with all the stressful issues back home I was able to escape, as the ship swayed in the dark, I wondered where I’d really rather be, at sea right now or back on land.
The next day would be more rain. But we made it through the storm. We always do, so far….
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