Friday, November 2, 2007

Honeymoon Horror Stories

6 years ago today Mike and I left for our honeymoon.

With 9/11 in the not so distant past they were still working out the bugs of the changes made in the world of airport security. We should have re-thought this whole trip the moment we were standing in line to check in at the Baggage Counter. There was an A-hole in front of us with his wife, berating the clerk for pointing out that his wife's drivers licence was expired and therefore not valid identification. As he was swearing at the clerk two gentleman dressed in fatigues approached him with their M-16's and informed him they would have to go to get a new drivers license first and that he would not be permitted to continue on in the manner he was going on in. Unfortunately, they made it back from the DMV with a valid license just in time to be on our flight and a few rows back. Equally obnoxious to the stewardesses.

Arrived in Orlando in the evening. Things were looking up; Mike talked the rental car company into upgrading our rental. We got to the hotel to realize it was 3 hotels down from where we stayed when I was a kid. That was pretty cool that I still remembered it.

Our first full day we spent at Epcot Center. LOVED IT! Probably was my favorite day of our trip. Halfway through the day it downpoured for a few hours. Rolling with the punches we bought 2 Disney World Ponchos for $10 each (Turned out to be our best purchase EVER).

By that night there were reports on the news that Hurricane Michelle, a category 3 was headed for the Western Carribean....explaining the rain from earlier in the day...right where our cruise was headed. I called the cruise line to find out they had re-routed us from the Western Carribean to the Eastern Carribean. Oh least we could still go, right?

Spent a day at Disney World - no problems what so ever. It was a great time to visit because people were still scared to travel to places like that. We waited in no lines.

Boarded our ship. The Enchantment of the Seas by Royal Carribean. I had previously been on a Carnival Cruise. Royal Carribean is supposed to be much better. My first impression of the ship was the giant stains on the carpeting as we boarded. The ship just seemed filthy. I felt bad because this was Mike's first cruise experience.

By that night there were a lot of people sea sick already. One thing had changed since my last cruise; you could get cable channels instead of just piped in movies. I remember saying to Mike, why does it look like we're sailing right INTO the hurricane? I left the room for some reason. I came back and Mike was laying on his back on the bed. It appeared like he was bouncing on it but I couldn't figure out how with the position he was in. I asked him what he was doing and the answer was NOTHING, the SHIP IS DOING THIS. I should mention we had an outer cabin, were mid-level deck wise and had the front most cabin on the entire ship. We had champagne and strawberries delivered to our room as a gift from my cousin Jean and her husband Tony.

By morning I remember pulling the champagne bottle out of the ice bucket and throwing up into the bucket. Later I was amazed to see it completely cleaned out by our cabin boy. Mike became very sick. We noticed by looking out our window that our cabin would rise up in the air, then slam down and our port hole would be under water for about 15 seconds and then the process would repeat. We tried to order room service but could not get through. To find out later 3/4ths of the CREW were seasick as well so there was no one left do do room service. We had to drop off our shore excursion choices at the front desk. I decided to brave it, ducking into a few bathrooms along the way to throw up. I realized when I got to the center of the ship that it was a bit calmer in the middle. Not great by any means, but better. I went back to the cabin to try and talk the reluctant Mike into going to lay on a couch in the middle of the ship. WE STAYED THERE FOR THREE DAYS. Only leaving our post to go to the front desk from time to time for more motion sickness medication which they were pretty much handing out like M&M's.

By this point we noticed that they had yellow caution tape across all the sliding doors that led to the decks. People were not allowed to be out there. From time to time, water would rush across these passage ways from side to side if a door came open. It was a scene right out of the movie Titanic. All the carpeting in the surrounding areas was squishy. Yes, indeed we sailed right into that hurricane.

Our first Port of Call was Puerto Rico. If I would have been able to stand by a phone long enough in the day prior to our arrival I would have called home and asked my mom to make us arrangements to fly out of Puerto Rico. Instead we ended up on a tour of their Rain Forrest because we were assured the storm was almost over. Yeah, we were in Puerto Rico on the day they got their worst rains in 20 years. Cars were floating and here were Mike and I in a frigging rain forrest...wearing our Disney Poncho's. We were offered $50 each for them by fellow tourists and we declined. I wore my camera between my skin and the front of my underware to try to keep it dry-ish. No such luck, it never worked quite right after that.

Back on the frigging ship. We headed for dinner before it left port. Remember that tight security? Our table mates ended up on the wrong Royal Carribean ship earlier in the day. The security guards just couldn't figure out why their ship id cards wouldn't work. In the end, they just let them on. WTF? Seriously?! They didn't realize they were on the wrong ship until they couldn't find their room. Then they were given a hard time getting OFF the ship by the same idiots who let them on.

At one point we made it upstairs to an always open resturant. We sat down, Mike bolted out of there. I made it a whole 30 seconds longer, grabbing an entire loaf of bread off the buffet on my way out and got yelled at by a waiter. Hello, you haven't had to feed me for the last 4 days leave me alone. Then, I couldn't find Mike for about 4 hours. I finally found him on the same couches but wrong floor.

It was the 4th day of this splendid journey when I went and demanded we get a different cabin considering we hadn't been back to ours except to change clothing. Finally they relented and stuck us in the middle of the ship, only a few yards from where we had been staying. It wasn't much better but at least our window wasn't bein submerged in water anymore.

Our stop at St. Thomas we ended up on a tour with every old person on the ship. Besides the fact, it must have been a Seniors cruise because we were the youngest people on board by about 30 much for night life. We would have been bored out of our minds had we not had the Hurricane. Mike had to help everyone, their canes and walkers on and off the bus with each stop. We found a man and a donkey. I asked to get my picture taken with the ass end of the donkey because I felt it was fitting for our trip.

I think they hid the captain of our ship because everyone wanted him dead. He stopped talking over the PA by day 3. Captain Pierre...good old Captain Pierre. F-er.

We got off the ship at the end of our cruise and started calling the ship the "Entrapment of the Seas." I've never been so happy to see land. We went to fly back on November 12th. Right before we left the hotel for the airport there was that plane that crashed in the Catskills of New York. By the time we got on our plane we still didn't know if that crash was terrorist related or not. We hit a lot of turbulance on the way back, dropping from time to time. I'm still too scared to get on another plane. We also must have veered off course because we made a very abrupt turn mid air. They were probably told to get back on track by a fighter plane.

We got off the plane in Milwaukee and my mom gasped at our appearance. We both looked like Hell. Mike had lost at least 20 pounds. It turned out that there were only two ships that did the Eastern Carribean that week. The rest of the ships decided to do the Western Carribean - backwards and they ran into no problems what so ever.

What did they offer us in compensation for this hellish journey? A cruise at half price that had to be taken within 6 months and needed half of it paid for while you were still on board.

It's a journey I'll never forget. We haven't been on vacation since!


Kristie said...

What a trip!!! I would have been scared to death. When Andrew was little we were in a tornado and it was terrible.

Michelle said...

Hmmmmmmmmmm....Maybe I DON'T ever want to take a cruise......OR fly!

butrfly2200 said...

Might just turn you off cruises.
We went on a get cruise to Hawaii last Feb. There is still hope, you just had alot of very bad circumstances.

jillquilts said...

OMG!! That sounds completely awful!!! I can't believe that they offered you crap in return for the crap you suffered through all week. This almost sounds like something that would happen to me with my bad luck! I hope that your next vacation is awesome!

Moneik said...

Wow! I am completely amazed you didn't kill the workers. That must have been the worst week of your life! Come vacation in SD. We have no water deep enough for cruise ships!