Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Departure

As I mentioned before, Stephen and I went on a cruise and we just got back a little over a week ago. The cruise was a lot of fun but since there were a lot of things that happened, we will be breaking up the goings on into a couple of different posts. Well, taking off ended up being a very stressful occasion. The day before the cruise, the upstairs girls' apartment laundry room started flooding down into our laundry room. I was in the bathroom trying to clean the house to get ready to go and when I came out of the bathroom, it sounded like it was raining, but in the house. So, I went into the laundry room, saw what happened, called Stephen home early from work, and we spent several hours trying to fix the problem, cleaning up the water, etc. But the rest of the cleaning didn't get done. We left the house with a sink full of dishes, dirty floors, full trashcans, and four hours of sleep. In other words, I was feeling very stressed, especially since I hate flying. The one consolation, however, is that Stephen did such a good job taking care of James during the flight that I was able to have my panic attacks in peace. After a bumpy flight we landed in Long Beach. We were the first ones to get to the port and board the ship. However, immediately after we boarded the ship, they closed the port because of a tsunami warning due to the earthquake in Chile. We were literally the last people to board the Sapphire Princess before they stopped the line of passengers and retracted the gangplank. After they told us why, I desperately wanted to get off of the ship. It didn't help that while waiting to hear the news in our cabin, the movies playing on the television were Titanic and Poseidon, the freaky movie about the capsizing cruise ship. I turned off the TV, afraid that the next channel would have Speed 2: Cruise Control. Finally, they opened the port again, and the rest of the Taylors and Joneses got on the ship. Stephen and I watched as we sailed away, and the excitement started to build. I went back to my cabin to take a shower, and the minute I stepped out, I was hit by a huge wave of seasickness. That same moment, Sarah and Michael came to our cabin to visit us. We handed them James, as I asked them very politely but forcefully to leave, because I could feel my lunch about to pay me a second visit. Luckily, I don't think they saw anything. (Right?) After my second contribution to the trashcan, I was very tempted to ask if I could get on one of the lifeboats to be taken back to shore. But fortunately, I had some seasickness pills with me, which helped me to feel a lot better, and the next day I was able to explore the ship and all of its wonders. (Originally, I was going to take the pill ahead of time, but the doctor advised me against it because I'm still pumping. Luckily we brought formula with us, so I was able to still keep pumping and throw out the milk, and after the cruise was over and I stopped taking the pills, I was able to resume James' feeding schedule.) I would like to make known here the saintly manner in which Sarah and Michael helped me feel better, cutting me up green apples, bringing me ginger tea, helping with James, and altogether cheering me up. Thank you Sarah and Michael! The first thing I would like to recall about the boat is the fabulous food. There were several restaurants, including a 24 hour buffet. I ate shrimp literally every single day of the cruise. They had fresh fruit, Swiss chocolate cake, all sorts of different types of sandwiches, stews, soups, curry dishes, cooked lamb, a full salad bar, unlimited strawberries, and not to mention, excellent room service.
I especially liked how they had someone going around with cookies and milk in the afternoon. Something else that was enjoyed was formal dinner nights. I was able to wear the two dresses I made for the cruise. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring our camera to the formal night, so I'll have to post pictures of the final creations later.
Stephen enjoyed spending time with Michael hunting big game in the video arcade, and attending trivia nights with Gabe. He also enjoyed being epically defeated by Nathan in a ping pong tournament. James had his first real encounter interacting with his cousin Preston. Stephen would also take James in the stroller along the deck to look at the ocean and give me a chance to recover from my daily pangs of seasickness. The pills helped, but I still felt a little woozy sometimes.
On the cruise, they had all sorts of entertainment. Singers and dancers, a movie theater, a children's play area, five swimming pools, spas, nightclubs, ballroom dance classes, shuffleboard, library, bands playing, and a good time walking outside with Stephen and James, just watching the ocean roll by. Here are some pictures.


linda said...

Great pictures and so many fun memories. We love you guys!

Katie and Ken Baldwin said...

Melinda, you are sooo funny! I love the pics, and it sounds like you had a fabulous time!