Cruise Control

Imagine, if you will, that woozy, groggy, hungover feeling you get when you....well, when you have a hangover. Pair it with the worst transatlantic jetlag of your life. Add a pinch of dizziness, a smidge of slight nausea, and a hearty helping of sleep deprivation. Welcome! This is how you feel the day after a cruise!

It's not that I am hungover, you understand, nor jetlagged; that's just the closest approximation I can find to this strange feeling of disorientation one feels when one is back on dry land after 48 hours on very choppy seas. All day I have been listing backwards and forwards, staggering around like a drunk on Mardi Gras, feeling some imaginary pull to the left, to the right, to the left, to the right. Three times already I've swayed so violently that I've thought perhaps there was an earthquake. Then I've realized that I'm the only one moving.

The free cruise was a lot of fun. This was, of course, partly because it was free, but it was also because my co-workers are a blast to hang out with, and when you're hanging out with hilarious people on what is basically a giant floating replica of Las Vegas for 48 hours, you cannot help but enjoy yourself. I ate, for example, two steaks in a row! (Uh, on consecutive nights, I mean; not one after the other.) I ordered champagne at every bar on board, and every glass was free. Walking home from work this evening, Sean and I mused that a tall hazelnut latte with a shot of Baileys tipped into it would be real nice right about now, wouldn't it? But then we realized we weren't on board the ship anymore and we'd have to---gasp!----pay for it. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that we each consumed three free lattes from the onboard coffee shop in a period of 24 hours this weekend. In fact, free latte consumption was pretty much our favorite cruise-related activity, but that was probably because we missed the Mr Hairy Chest competition on the top deck.) (No, really, we did. And you'd better believe I shall take that regret with me to my grave.)

Truth be told, I'm not sure cruising is really for me---a little too much sitting around in mirrored lounges in broad daylight for my liking---but it sure was nice to get a taste of it over the weekend. Our stateroom had a balcony, which was perfect for the aforementioned latte-drinking, and we spent some very pleasant hours sprawled on loungers in the sun, reading magazines and making idle chit-chat while gazing out at miles and miles of deep blue sea. Plus, it was a lot of fun dressing up for dinner both nights; I haven't eaten dinner in anything but sweatpants for the last six months. Well, maybe yoga pants for special occasions.

This was taken on our balcony. There's a fifty-fifty chance that latte was spiked.

The thing I really wasn't prepared for was how much the boat would rock. The first day wasn't too bad, but I woke up in the night convinced we were about to undergo some Titanic-like misfortune; the sea was black and roiling and you could feel the ship---all 113,000 tons of it---lift up and plunk down again with every passing wave. By the end of the second day, around a quarter of our group were confined to their cabins with seasickness; the rest of us swayed and staggered from our staterooms to dinner to the bar, clutching each other's elbows and asking "am I really drunk or....?" and "nope, it's not just you, I felt it too."

I slept about ten minutes last night---and it was a cumulative ten minutes, not even a full ten minutes at a stretch---because the passage back into San Francisco was even bumpier than the first night, and although I am well-versed at sleeping vertically in economy-class airline seats, I am apparently not so good at doing it at an angle on the ocean. We docked at 7am, grabbed our suitcases, and headed back to our apartment briefly, before leaving again for work. Our cats had left us a pile of fresh cat vomit on the bed---welcome home, deserters!---which we, if you can believe it, counted as progress. Hey, the little buggers usually pee everywhere to express their irritation when we go away. Vomit is nothing short of an improvement.

Mar 23, 2009

Eek, not sure I'd be too good with the choppy waters, but overall it sound kind of fun! Heck, free is always good!

Mar 23, 2009

This post confirms pretty much everything I feared about cruising. But, a free cruise from work beats the hell out of the free cake we sometimes get in the library as teachers.

Mar 24, 2009

We didn't think we were cruising types either, but we TOTALLY ARE. But only if the cruise stops somewhere every day. Those sea days are crowded and awful.

Mar 24, 2009

That's so weird! Every cruise I've been on (2) has been so smooth; I've barely even noticed movement. And after them, I kept waiting for the "sea legs" feeling, but I never got it. (It's not as thought I was disappointed, if it sounds that way.)

Mar 24, 2009

Yeah sea days bite, I like to pick cruises with maxium port stops. It kind of gives you a taste of each location which you can expand on at a later date with a more in depth vacation stay( a vacation sampler pack!).

It is really embarassing when you come back from a week long cruise, go out to dinner and both get up to leave and realize "oh yeah, we have to pay the bill" and have to sit back down and play it off like you were just stretching after a good meal.

Mar 24, 2009

Um, it's currently 8 am and I desperately want a spiked latte, thanks for that. :)

Mar 24, 2009

Like someone else said, this pretty much confirms everything I feared I wouldn't like about cruises. See, I've been on smaller chartered yacht cruises, and the part that I hated was all the rocking, swaying, etc. when on rough seas. But everyone I say that to tells me "Oh, but the big cruise ships are so much better! You don't feel a thing!". Clearly all of those people are liars.

Sensibly Sassy
Mar 24, 2009

Two steaks and three spiked lattes in a row?! I feel like I don't even know you anymore...

Jan Ross
Mar 24, 2009

I have been on a lot of cruises and it makes a HUGE difference where you are sailing as far as the ship moving a lot. We had sailed to the Caribbean twice and then sailed out of New York to Bermuda and were amazed at how rough the Atlantic ocean was! We always both take Bonine every day, just to be sure, so we are never sick but it can be rough if you are not prepared.

In all fairness, you didn't really have a true experience because you didn't sail to fabulous ports with lovely beaches and wonderful sights to see.

You should give it another chance!

Mar 24, 2009

I've never been on a cruise, and I can't imagine I'd take one that wasn't, well, free...but it sounds like you had a nice time. And two consecutive nights of steak and Bailey's spiked lattes are definitely my idea of a good time.
I don't know how you handle the cat-pee thing. My Siamese just yells at me for like an hour whenever I get home (like, even from taking out the trash). That, I can handle...pee???, no way.

Kerri Anne
Mar 24, 2009

I wonder if there are people, those people that seem to cruise on a regular basis, that can get over the crazy seafaring motion? I don't think I am one of those people, but I'm so curious! to feel a boat rock and roll like that underneath me. You know, sans Titanic-like misfortune, of course.

Mar 24, 2009

I'll one-up you on the cruise adventure. Last summer my friend and I took one of those Easy Cruises around Greece (and Albania) which was perfect except for one tiny problem- the boat rocked so much (earthquakes may have had something to do with it) that our bathroom flooded into our room every night. Wet everything is a barrel of fun, let me tell you!

Scottsdale Girl
Mar 24, 2009

Cat vomit? Pshaw. Easy Peasy. Dog shit on the other hand....not so much. Bleh.

Mar 24, 2009

Spiked lattes are generally the best part of any situation. Perhaps I should start dumping the contents of my flask into the contents of my coffee mug at my desk. Not that I have a flask or anything. Ahem.

Mar 24, 2009

I totally didn't think I'd be a cruise person either, until my husband and I were suckered into going on one with a group of people. It's definitely something I think is more fun as a group; I can't imagine it would have been nearly as fun if it were just my husband and me (not knocking the husband, we vacation together alone fabulously, it just seems like cruises are more conducive toward large groups and the hijinks that can ensue). I'm also the sort that can't even swing on a swing set due to motion sickness, but didn't have any issues on the cruise, surprisingly.

It is tough to readjust after, though, you're right on that. For a week after, every night around 10 PM I thought a Bahama Mama (or three) along with gambling away $60 in a casino sounded like a swell idea.

Mar 24, 2009

Don't blame the cats...They were obviously channeling your sea sickness! I'm sure they meant it as a sympathy gift.

Mar 25, 2009

Hmm, I got seasick just going out fishing in the bay with my husband when it was choppy. Don't think I could handle all that!