Sunday, February 15, 2009

Disney Cruise

I admit that i was a little nervous to go on a Cruise, let alone one that was run by Disney. As excited as the girls were to go, i was equally as nervous about the whole thing. I am not the type that loves amusement parks to begin with. I don't care for the crowds. The characters really creep me out, plus, what must it smell like inside those felt suits in hot, humid weather, day after day? I am not a fan of the rides that go around and around until you feel like you are going to throw up. Which leads me to another reason i was nervous. What if i get sea sick and spend the whole week throwing up? Megan is a wonderful cook and eating out every meal for a week straight made me nervous. No homemade cookies? No homemade soup? We boarded the boat and spent a few hours with the boat in the port until everybody and all of the bags were loaded. During that time, we put on our swim suits and went and hung out at the pool.
The boat finally left the port and we took off for Key West. After a few hours we got dressed and headed to dinner where they had someone handing out sanitary wipes at the door. They were very persistent about cleanliness, which i figured could only be a good thing. The last thing they would want on a big boat like this is having the whole ship come down with something and having it pass around to everyone with no way of escaping it. It was a good meal which ended with us ordering one of every dessert on the menu, just so we could try them all.

In the Middle of the night, i woke up, sick to my stomach and i went and threw up. I went back to bed, but threw up 3 more times through out the night. I felt a Little queasy when the boat left the dock and started sailing earlier in the day, but not too bad. The water was a bit more turbulent in the middle of the night and i couldn't tell if i was sea sick, sick from eating too much dessert, if it was food poisoning, or if i had caught something, even though i was being very careful to wash my hands very thoroughly and often.
When morning finally rolled around and we docked in Key West and the boat stopped moving, i realized i wasn't sea sick. There were little signs in our bathroom that said that if you had any symptoms including vomiting or diarrhea to contact the boats medical director.
I figured i might as well go and see them and maybe they would give me a flu shot or tell me it was just food poisoning and i would be fine in a few hours.
After visiting the infirmary, and having my temperature taken, i was told that i was to be quarantined in my room for at least the next 48 hours, or until 24 hours after my last symptoms, whichever came first.Quarantined for 48 hours on a 7 day cruise. Nice!
I was told it was the Norovirus, which is "transmitted by faecally contaminated food or water or by person-to-person contact". That's funny because I didn't remember eating any pooh.

Before the cruise, I was worried about getting cabin fever being stuck on a cruise ship for a week. Now i had the opportunity to spend the next 2 of those 7 days stuck in a 10 x 20 foot cabin room.
Megan, #3 and #4 were supposed to be in my room with me and #1 and #2 were in my mom and dad's room with them. After i was quarantined, my room mates were moved to another room and i was left alone.
I spent the next 24 hours throwing up and watching TV and then throwing up some more. Apparently this bug usually manifests itself by "flooding the basement" too, but i was lucky enough to not have anything actually make it that far.
The person that came to freshen up my room would wear a face mask, gloves and clear glasses. He would change my sheets and give me fresh towels and i would lay on the couch sweating and fake smiling and apologizing about the throw-up he had to clean up splashed around the tiny bathroom. After about 24 hours, i finally stopped throwing up, but i was required to stay in my room for another 24 hours so they could be certain i would not spread the virus to other guests. I got jello and ice cream sent to my room and watched High School Musical 1 and 2 as well as Camp Rock, the Sweet life of Zak and Cody and many, many other Academy Award winning masterpieces.
While i spent some quality time alone in my cabin, doing some serious soul searching broken up by the occasional stomach cleanse, the rest of the family would lay by the pool drinking umbrella drinks and hanging out with Mickey and the gang. I guess the good news about me being quarantined is that they gave me a $200 per day credit for each day i was in there. It was their small way of saying, "Sorry you paid a lot of money and came on our floating bacteria dish and caught something and we sent you to time out."

By Tuesday morning i got the medical ok to rejoin my family in their new cabin and proceed with our vacation. I figured they would probably just burn the first cabin i was in. But then it made me think, What about the new cabin i was in? Did someone get quarantined in this cabin last week? What if the guy that was supposed to sterilize it missed a spot and now i was going to catch something else? Figuring that my immune system was working on overdrive right now and not having another choice, i sucked it up and slept in the new room.

By wednesday, i was still not feeling like i wanted to eat the way you are supposed to eat on a cruise, i started small, but eventually warmed up to it and got into the groove. Knowing i had a few days to make up for, by Thursday, i was eating breakfast, brunch, that meal between brunch and lunch that doesn't have a name yet, lunch, an afternoon snack, supper, dinner, a late night snack and a midnight snack. It was a lofty goal i had to eat that much, especially after being so sick for the first few days, but i always set my sights high. After a few days of that, i felt a little like the people on the spaceship in the movie "WALL-e".

As impressive as my consumption was, it was nothing compared to Trigger. I had a lot of catching up to do with being down and out for a few days, but Trigger was able to have double digit weight gains by the end of his trip. He limited himself to a diet of everything. He achieved his goal by ordering 2-3 main courses for dinner each night and only consuming the parts of those meals that were once on a farm. He did not let himself get filled up on vegetables or other useless empty calories. He was especially partial to meat that was killed in its infancy. I think he ate 2-3 whole cows by himself (some of them being baby cows), as well as pigs, snails and occasionally a bird or 2, but only if it was wrapped in bacon.
Trigger at one of the rare moments when he wasn't eating meat

The girls loved every minute of the trip and stayed busy the whole time. They had plenty of activities for the kids to do and were able to be quite independent of us. There was kids club where you check your kids in and they give you a pager and if anything happens, they page you. They loved having a soft serve ice cream machine available all the time and the never ending pizza was a nice feature as well. They had lots of cousins to play with and aunts and uncles to bug. There was karaoke, science experiments, a water slide, lots of pools, games, craft projects, movies and of course lots of sweaty felt characters in the shape of Disney personalities. At first, it was like "Hey, there is Mickey, lets get your picture taken" Then it became more like "Hey, there goes Mickey, lets go to lunch" and by the end it was more like "SSSHHHH, there is Mickey. Don't make eye contact or he will want to come over here. Pretend like you don't see him and maybe he will leave." I did get a new camera a few weeks ago that i was really excited to be able to have some time to play with it and get some good pictures of the kids. I brought a few lenses, and other accessories in a camera bag that in all weighed in at around 35 pounds. It wasn't until we got to Orlando that i realized that the battery was still plugged into the wall charger at home. I spent a couple hours friday night calling around, only to find out that there isn't a decent camera store in Orlando, or any of the nearby areas that would carry a battery for the new canon 5d mark ii. Now i had a 35 pound anchor that was too valuable to check with the luggage but completely useless for anything else. At least i had a little camera i carry around and let the girls play with and my dad had a nikon he brought but didn't use much, so i still was able to get some pictures.

While is was sick and hoping for my life to end, my biggest concern was for Megan. Would she still be able to have a good time even though i was so miserable. Who would open the doors for her or pull out her chair for her at dinner? Who would rub the aloe on her back after she got sun burnt? What if i did die? What do they do with the body until they get back to land. How would life be for a widow with 4 little girls. After coming out of my quarantine, i found out that she was never lonely, in fact she hardly noticed i was gone at all.

Apparently my brother Miah had an adult film shoot that the rest of us didn't know about. I didn't think that they would allow this type of thing on a Disney Cruise but he said he needed to grow his mustache out for the filming of "THE LOIN KING The circle of wifes". He offered to have our kids sleep over in his room one night but i declined. He kept saying something about helping him find his lost puppy and wanting to give the kids candy.

By Friday, i realized that i still had over $300 in credit to be used on the boat and they wouldn't cash out any of it. We got off the boat and went to Disneys own little island they bought and found some beach chairs. I ordered virgin strawberry daiquiries for everybody and we sat in the sun on the beach and enjoyed life.
A little while later the drink guy came around again so i asked him for another one. He asked what it was and i told him it was a strawberry daiquiri just figuring there was a lot of people and he forgot what he brought me 30 minutes ago. A few minutes later he brought it to me and i drank it. After a while i wasn't feeling great. It felt like we were on the boat and it was rocking. I told megan i was not feeling well and couldn't f igure out if i still wasn't totally over being sick earlier in the week or if it was something else. After megan looked at the receipts for the drinks, she realized that although they looked the same, i had 2 different waiters and the first daiquiri was virgin, the second was not.
I have avoided cruises and drinking any kind of alcoholic beverages for the first 34 years of my life. Last week, i was able to kill to 2 birds with one stone. I wonder what else is out there that i have not experienced?
Very little of what was said above is true but we all had a great time. Thanks Nanny and Dadu. It was a wonderful week, and just remember, with faith and trust and pixie dust, your dreams can come true.


Lindsey Jaye Pope Parry said...

Mid way through I forgot I was reading your blog and thought I had hit a link to the Disney Cruise web page- Testimonials section.

It has been snowing for what I believe has been 100 days here, when I saw ya'll in swimsuits, a single tear dripped down my face.

Brit H. said...

You have quite the active imagination. Have I said that before?

I loved the part about Miah though. Hilarious.

adam and angi bradley said...

OK, so how much of this story is true? Besides the part about Adam eating lots of meat? If it is all true, where was I for the Strawberry drinks? I see how it is.