Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sailing Away: Trip Report part 1

As a therapist, I have often told my clients that you can’t run away from your problems.  And hat is true, problems are still there when you get back, and sometimes, they can be even bigger if you’ve tried to run away from them.  However, sometimes it is important to “take a vacation” from your problems and set them aside, giving yourself some time to relax and regroup, better prepared to tackle them head on. 
This I can speak to from experience.  Recent experience in fact.  Let’s just say that earlier this month, some personal/work problems came crashing down around my ears.  The blessing was that we already had a Disney cruise and vacation planned, and thankfully, paid for.  We had a couple of moments of wondering if we should go ahead with this trip, but we were in a cancellation penalty phase that would have cost us quite a bit of what we had already paid.  So, it was time to run away, or should I say, sail away!

We left home on Friday night after Kendall got off work, and drove to Ringgold, GA.  That night we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express that we had stayed at on a previous driving trip.  As we pulled in around midnight Georgia time, it seemed unusually dark.  The next morning, we found out why.  Apparently Ringgold had been hit by some of the major tornadoes that struck much of the southern states this spring.  As we were leaving the next day, you could see the devastation everywhere.  Talk about bringing some perspective to my problems.  I am healthy, alive and my home has been untouched by the storms and floods.  I am blessed.

Saturday morning we continued our journey to Cape Canaveral, and it was a long drive.  We made god time though, and everyone was in good spirits, as we all had slept well the night before.  We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites for the night in a family suite.  Payton was so excited because he had his own “room” inside our room.  He tried out the bunk beds, but ultimately decided to sleep in the single bed out of fear of falling off the top bunk, or smacking his head on the lower bunk.  We had some great local pizza that night from DiLorenzo's (

The next morning felt like the longest wait.  Naturally we were up early, had breakfast and sorted out our luggage.  Then we had to wait for our assigned shuttle time.  We had reserved the cruise package, which allowed us to keep our van parked at the hotel while on the cruise.  We were finally shuttled over to the port around 12:30 p.m.  By the time we got into the port, there were other guests already aboard the Dream.  It was hard to just hang out and wait.  However, we were far from the last people to board, as the Disney Cruise line buses pulled up well after we had checked in.

When we were finally called to board (along with basically anyone else that was left), we went in through the Mickey shaped tunnel and had our family “Welcome Aboard” photo taken.  Then it was on to the ship.  Wow…the atrium is as amazing as everyone has said.  Absolutely beautiful!  Our stateroom was ready so we went there first to put down our carry on bags and then go exploring.  We visited the upper decks, checking out the pool and the AquaDuck, then back down to tour the Oceaneer Club & Lab.  By then, it was time for the sail Away party.  Man it was sweltering hot on deck 11!  The sun was beating down, but that didn’t hamper the excitement.  Once the party was over, we headed down to our stateroom to clean up and go to our first dinner.

That night we were assigned to Animator’s Palate.  The restaurant itself is adorable, with all the nods to animation and the little details.  We were seated with a family of five.  Now with our family being newbie cruisers, this was kind of a new experience, as we are used to dining just the three of us.  The kids were all starving so there wasn’t much chatting going on.  Unfortunately, our first dinner was something of a disaster.  While the food was good, it was incredibly slow, taking over 2.5 hours to complete, and not by our choice, but because it took them that long to get the food to us.  Some of it wasn’t even warm by the time we got it.  And the first hour of dining was over by the time our fellow parents got their drinks.  Our serving team was as nice as they could be, but things just weren’t going well.  And I hate to say this, but we had a hard time understanding them throughout the cruise.  It was a struggle to focus enough to pick out key points as the food was described or even when they asked us questions.

So in my family, I am the one who gets motion sickness while watching my guys play video games.  So, I had begun taking Ginger pills prior to the trip, hoping to stave off the motion sickness the best that I could.  Well, not so much.  We could really feel the motion of the ship down in Animator’s Palate, and it only got worse during the Golden Mickey’s show in the Walt Disney Theater.  We went to the theater after dinner to get our seats, and right away I was not feeling well.  A few minutes after we were seated, one of the cruise entertainment staff members, Lauren, came up and asked Payton if he would help out in the show.  This kid has got some kind of fabulous aura, because he gets picked for this kind of stuff constantly!  Anyway, now I had to hold it together because my baby was going to be in the show.  Thankfully, his part as one of Snow White’s dwarfs happened early on.  He loved every second of it.  It’s so funny because we tease him about Snow While.  He’s been kissed by her twice in the parks, and this time, he got to hold her hand on stage.  Well, no matter how fabulous the show was, my stomach couldn’t take being at sea and I missed the last 15 minutes of the show getting more acquainted with the restrooms on the 3rd deck.  The show itself was wonderful though, and I couldn’t wait to see more shows during the four night cruise.

Following dinner, we went upstairs and decided to change into swim gear and hang out by the pool.  The guys took a spin on the AquaDuck at night, which they loved.  I opted to stay dry, as the temp had dropped significantly since we pulled out of the port.  Watching movies on Funnel Vision was pretty amazing and very relaxing.

So far, this running away thing was a little bumpy but for the most part, going well.  Next post I will share more about our cruise days at Nassau and Castaway Cay! 


  1. Great blog Mendy, I enjoy your blogging style! Loved the slideshows too!

  2. Thanks Michele! I'm having a blast doing this, and it's a great way to make myself go through the 1400 pictures I took and get them edited and organized!!