Sunday, June 17, 2012

Setting Sail: My trip to hell and back... Part 1

Well I don't know if it was hell but it was certainly interesting...

Day 1: Fort Lauderdale

I'm starting with my day having to put my cats in the kennel. All the way over I'm really sad and I know I'm going to miss them terribly.

On the way to pick up my dad in Port St. Lucie(PSL), I drop my hubby off on the train to Ft Lauderdale. He hates riding in cars and there simply will not be enough room in the car with everyone's luggage.

So I head down to PSL. The day before, my doctor was out of the office so I needed to get an IV treatment on the road. The awesome National Pain Institute was terrific in accommodating me before going on my trip. I heart them so hard! :D

The IV made me so stoned, I couldn't drive. So my dad drove, which is the lesser of two evils. He's a good guy, just a jerky driver, so my head hurt because I tensed up so much after being so loose after the IV.

Anyway, we had a really nice business hotel in Ft Lauderdale that had a great great breakfast and a shuttle to the cruise terminal. It was completely hassle free except for the desk jumping out and biting both my husband and I in the middle of the night. It's dark and too far out in the slim area in the walkway between the wall. We woke up my sister in the middle of the disaster because we both did it one right after the other.

Day 2: Sail Away!!

OMG!!! I'm so excited that I'm rushing everyone out the door. We leave our car at the hotel and take a shuttle to the terminal. Because of my hip and knee pain, I need a wheelchair if I'll be standing for a while. (I'm hoping this clears up by GRL) So we grabbed a wheelchair at the Port and get checked in. After much picture taking for our cruise cards and passport checking (and of course credit card swiping) I'm wheeled onboard. YAY!!

Woo. Steph is staying with us too and we check out what's happening from our balcony. Here are some pictures of the view from our room.

Yes, that's a Boardwalk right beneath our room. (That's going to come into play later. Trust me.)

But the room is not important now. We meet our lovely cabin attendant who checks on my onboard wheelchair to make sure it's delivered before Hairspray. But we do some exploring while our bags are being delivered. We head to the buffet where Dad and Helene are already eating and my dad is already packing away the sugar-free cookies. 

We think the buffet is just not for us. So we head down to Johnny Rockets and have a burger. Yum! Delish! Hubby had a massive beer I think I posted on Twitter earlier. This beer was bigger than my head. O.O

Anyway, we get back to the room and our stuff is there. I unpack in a nice OCD fashion and everything is perfect! I hook up my power cord for my laptop and iPod and hubby's iPhone. And we're off for dinner. 

The view of Central Park from our floor. 

So we go down to Dinner and our waiter is a dear. He's from Jamaica and very personable, very helpful. He's had everything on the menu so he knows what to order. He didn't steer us wrong at all. The first night was delicious but we have to eat fast because we're going to Hairspray. 

Now, there was a problem with the wheelchair because I still didn't get it. And I really need it to get down to the theater because it's on the other side of the ship. I decide to tough it out but my legs almost gave out. 

After being 45 minutes later, it finally opens and yay! We're seated.

So my pain level hits a new high halfway through the show, but they are really fabulous so I stick it out. Loved it.

I get back to the room and oh thank god, my wheelchair is here. But the music outside the room is really loud from the boardwalk. When I turned the TV on, I can't even hear it. I complain to the front desk but they said it's normal.

About 1am, the noise stops. I figure I can sleep in and be okay. :)

Day 3: At Sea

8am. I'm wide awake. Shit.

Well, since I can't go back to sleep, I get up and Steph is awake too. We head down to brekkie. I'm surprised Steph is coherent but she is :) anyway, we discuss politics and how Democrats need to grow a pair and stand up to Republicans. Blah blah blah. We head back upstairs and find Hubby is just waking up. The noise from the Boardwalk is just starting. I'm hoping for a break in the noise so I can nap and adjust my schedule.

But the noise just doesn't stop. I complain again. I'm told again it's normal and no one else has complained. Well, I fucking am. I suggest there may be a problem with our door, can you come look at it. They say they will.

I decided to go explore the ship with Steph, Dad and Helene. This ship is massive. 17 floors, tons of balcony rooms, a central park and Royal Promenade that oddly reminds me  of Rapture from Bioshock. I kept thinking that one of the Big Daddys was going to step around a corner. Or I would see one of the Little Sisters running around.

I had lunch with Steph in the Japanese restaurant. It was delish! I ate all the edamame. :)

Anyway, one of the best parts was the Casino. Yes, this ship had the Casino Royale with the Trademark and everything. It was pretty sexy. And as you walk down the corridor, it loops the James Bond theme, which fucking cracked me up. I was dying.

Anyway, we change for our first formal night, which consisted of my regular dress with a Rolex added on. I could wear a burlap sack with that watch and everyone would think it's the latest fashion because of the watch :)

But before dinner, it's time for an ice skating show. Now, I was skeptical. I used to ice skate and I was thinking "Really? On a cruise ship?"

Frozen in Time blew me away! Here are some videos from a user on YouTube about it:

Steph and I were heckling the show a bit, especially the part when he put the red boots on the girl. I was snickering and then Steph piped up with "Aww, he found a girl to put his sparkle boots on."

The music from this number inspired me to re-write a scene in my latest work so back to the drawing board!

Anyway, dinner was fab. Back to Casino for Steph's first gambling experience. We all won and walked away with about three hundred bucks. Yay! :D

Tonight, Hairspray was broadcast to the Tony Awards from our ship! I didn't see it. Too busy running myself into the ground to do anything. I really needed an electric wheelchair

Get back up to the room. This time the noise didn't stop until 2:30am. I'm exhausted and I finally fall asleep.

Day 4: Haiti

I wake up as we are pulling into port early (like 7am). We're docked at sea and a tender takes you to shore. I decide not to go, not when I see how quiet the ship is. I sneak upstairs with my computer to write and eat breakfast and stare out into gorgeousness of this island.

In a sad way, it reminds me of when I was on a trip and we visited Venezuela way back in the day. As we approached Venezuela, it looked so beautiful with gorgeous green hills but we got closer, we saw the mud huts and the condos had no windows, except for one island where we visited. I remember thinking that town was made of gold compared to the rest of the country. It was gorgeous, even more beautiful that some of the nicest parts of town here in the US.

The contrast was heartbreaking. Severe poverty and extreme wealth all together. My mother was told to not let me out of her sight because I would be kidnapped as a blonde child and sold to one of the rich families. That shocked the hell out of me.

Haiti reminded me of that a bit because it was a remote part of the island. There wasn't a town nearby, just a private beach for our cruise line. The beauty and it translated into my story, the yawning canyon between beauty and darkness and how they can come together. I sat there for hours while I wrote. My waiter for dinner was in charge of the buffet and he told everyone up there to let me sit there and write. I got a lot done and I had the greatest time.

That night Hubby took me to the Japanese restaurant. But I'm starting to show cracks and after Hubby and Steph come back from the casino, they hear the problems with the noise outside. They can fall asleep in a hurricane so they have no problem falling asleep.

However at 1am, I went downstairs and lodged a complaint. The front desk guy was horrible to me, bitching back to me saying it was the first time he'd heard of the problem. I told him I hadn't spoken to a man, but only women before now. Anyway, he wrote down my complaint.

Thankfully when I went back to my room, the noise was quieter and I could sleep.

So that's it for now... stay tuned for the conclusion, Day 5: Jamaica My moment of breakdown and the massive computer failure :(

Part 2 is here now

(Note: I'll be posting more pictures so check back soon!)


  1. Oh, god, I would be barely holding it together in your place - I do NOT do well with messed up sleep, and I'm a crap sleeper. On the plus side, I do always sleep with earplugs and drugs (yes, I'm that bad at the whole sleep thing), so maybe I would've been ok...

  2. Ooh. I had the good drugs but I couldn't stay asleep due to the noise. It sounded like the TV was on in our room.

    So I couldn't sleep at all. It was horrible. :(....