Liz and I are back from our cruise! We’ve been away (and mostly offline) for the better part of a week, and slowly getting settled into our normal lives once more. I spent the better part of Sunday, going through all my photographs and videos, and finished up my recap of the trip. I was good about doing short blog posts for the first 2-3 days, but then stopped completely and focused the rest of my time on just enjoying the ship and our excursions.
At one point, while I was sitting at the bar, I looked over and saw two women huddled near the phone. The lady closest to me was instructing the other woman – who then got on the phone, dialed a number, and began semi-shouting into the receiver: “Please help me! My baby fell into the water, and she’s not breathing. I don’t know what to do! Please somebody, help!” From where I sat, it looked like they were playing some kind of really terrible, cruel prank on someone. But the woman on the phone was insistent with her fake distress, and kept it going. The woman closest to me saw my puzzled look, and gave me a wink.
After leaving Aruba, we had two full days of sailing to return to the States. With our land excursions at an end, we spent the rest of our time on board the ship, hanging out.
Just outside the Aruba Ostrich Farm. We learned that the males have dark feathers, and the females have gray ones. Part of the tour involved an opportunity to walk up and feed the ostriches (using a bowl). We were warned that the ostriches liked shiny objects, and advised to remove jewelery and such.
Due to the weather throughout the night (it was a rough one), we were pretty delayed on our way to today’s destination: Curaçao. While we were planning on arriving sometime in the late morning, we didn’t pull into port until around 4:30 PM. Kind of a bummer, since we were hoping to have a full day ashore, but wound up only having a small handful of hours to look around.
I treated the waves much in the same way that I treat turbulence on a plane: I kind of braced myself, and figured on waiting it out. But unlike turbulence (which typically is short lived), traveling over rough waters can last hours on end. So I found myself in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
We were warned by the captain that we might be in for some rough travel, and he advised folks who might be prone to motion sickness to take some Dramamine. I’ve had a bad history of seasickness – most notably when I was traveling to Cozumel a few years ago. I made the mistake of trying to video our ferry ride, and watching the camera viewscreen while we were moving more or less did me in. I felt nauseous for a few hours afterwards, and it was a terrible feeling that took a long time to get rid of. It wasn’t something I really was wanting to experience again.
Starting at around 9:00 AM, the cruise began shuttling people from the boat to shore in what are called “tender” boats. Each person on the cruise is issued an ID card, which is typically used at meals or to buy things, but they’re also used to track passengers – we each had to get “scanned” on departing and re-entering the ship.
I was a bit nervous about getting seasick on the ride over, and a few times the tender boat made some pretty serious dips in the water. But I focused mostly on the horizon, and arrived on land without being too much worse for the wear.
Pulling up in our cab, we were greeted with the enormity of our ship: the Caribbean Princess. I had heard cruise ships likened to felled skyscrapers, floating on one side… and it’s a pretty apt comparison. The closer we got, the more we felt swallowed up.
Cruise should equal relaxation. But a part of my brain simply cannot get rid of that scene from Titanic, where the old couple is clutching hands in bed as their cabin floods with seawater.
Sorry it’s been so quiet these past few days. Liz and I have been busy preparing for our vacation, which kicks in this weekend. We’re joining some of the Beeson family, and going on a cruise (my first, ever) to the Caribbean islands. Should be an interesting time, as I’m really hoping I don’t get too seasick. In our frenzy…