The first three hours on the cruise ship I felt fine. Not that I hadn’t come prepared. In spite of several friends claiming that the cruise ships are so large that movement is barely detectable, I had three alternate motion sickness remedies in my purse. I hadn’t resorted to any yet. With a long history of strange and magnified reactions to medication, I had decided to begin the adventure unmodified.
Then the ship finally left the port … and I could immediately feel the difference. As Greg and I walked up a couple flights of stairs and through the grandiose center of the vessel toward the dining room, I wobbled like a happy sailor. Greg maintained that he did not notice the motion, except that my inability to walk steadily amplified it. I surveyed the other passengers for similar problems, in hope of the comfort of comradery. Not a misstep did I see, but our newly met dining mates assured me that they felt it, too.
It wasn’t until after dinner that I really began to feel sick. Greg and I were planning on dancing, so fashion concerns dictated that I pass by the pressure point wrist bands of thick polyester knit. The aromatic oil behind the ears was the next choice. I may have over-applied it in my desperation, but obtained only short lived relief. The fragrance, which included mint and myrrh, faded rather quickly, but not before I participated in karaoke and made it to the dance floor.
We were amazed to find the circular marble-like dance area unpopulated. (photo below taken the night before we left)
There may have been a handful of people in the surrounding seating that could accommodate close to two hundred people. The flow of disco and rock and roll favorites suited us well. We used the WHOLE dance floor. Here, I could still sense the power of the waves, but found that as long as I kept dancing I felt fine. All of my BBP and MTT paid off as I was able to dance with delighted energy in my Five Finger dance shoes. (Prior training highly recommended.) After a few songs, though, my legs would become fatigued or I would require fluids. Then I would have to lay my head on the cocktail table and gingerly sip 7-UP until I was able to dance again, usually within one song. Greg, naturally, showed no signs of being tired. He was my enchanted prince and I was …. the princess who was cursed with a spell to dance unceasingly!
More dancers came in after about an hour, but it was never crowded. We danced until midnight, apparently the oldest by far. Certainly we were the least self-conscious and having the most pure fun.
The next morning, with a good night’s sleep behind me, we disembarked to our first island, the cruise line owned Cococay.
It was quite pleasant with a slight breeze, warm sun, and the clear water protected inlets. Snorkeling was on the agenda. Greg explored first, then came back for me. The little fishies were colorful and inquisitive, often swimming right up to me to “take a look.”
The occasional translucent powder pink jelly fish that appeared right in front of my face were startling, but I avoided being stung.
Greg was impressed when I spotted a 3 – 4 foot barracuda. I swam away quickly, but he went closer and saw it’s teeth.
In an effort to conserve strength, I tried to not kick as much as usual, but instead float more as Greg suggested. This was not good. The key to my survival in a water environment seems to be constant self-generated movement. Between that and the nausea, weight gain was not going to be an issue on this trip. I gave Greg notice that I was feeling green around the gills and he towed me back to shore, followed by helping me back to my tanning station and a small bite of lunch.
(I’m slightly right of middle, the most reclined.)
For the rest of the afternoon, I kept vigil on the lounge chair while Greg went for a run, visited some sting rays, and practiced open water swimming.
By the time we returned to the ship, around 3 PM, I was almost completely recovered, but deemed it wise to take a dose of Bonine. Whether due to physical exhaustion or drug side effects, we went to bed early that night. The island of Nassau would be outside our window in the morning.
Nassau must be made of jello, because I could feel it wiggle.
Walking was not enough to quell the feeling, so I soon took another pill and was faithful with this for the remainder of the trip. Greg managed my drowsiness by timing my sleeping with the dining and dancing schedule. I slept two hours. We dressed for dinner in five minutes (literally), then ate in the formal dining room. I slept two more hours, until I was awakened at 11:30 PM to go dancing for three hours.
That night we began our dance circuit at the poolside party. When that area became congested, we proceeded to the original location. It was completely empty, but the music was playing and the disco lights were shining and swirling. We danced with enthusiasm, using the full circle for impromptu choreography. Just before 3 AM I begged Greg to take me to our stateroom before he had to carry me. I slept again.
The final day was filled with relaxing by the pool, eating, and watching a juggling-comedy show. We bid a final farewell to the other two couples in our dining group, then packed our suitcases. The rest of the evening was spent taking last minute photos of the ship and making sure we had seen every corner of it.
When we went ashore yesterday morning, I began to suspect that the entire world had turned to jello. I made observations in Florida and Kansas. There was not any stable ground. As I sit here in Nampa today, the ground continues to oscillate. Other than needing to focus on the moving computer screen or walk with a definite planting of my feet, I am not bothered. Perception is a strong force and for me there is currently only terra jella. Next time you hear that someone is “afraid of heights” consider that if they got too close to the edge they might actually fall over it simply because the earth rocks a different way for them.