Sunday, March 13, 2011
Ah, The Pleasures and Potential Perils of Sailing the High Seas
While sleeping on a ship in the ocean has it’s own rewards, I want to tackle the issue I hear from people about feeling in danger while cruising.
Yep, we hear the stories about cruise ships losing power and becoming stranded, the occasional pirating of cruise ships, passengers falling over board, and of course, the effects of bad weather.
Disney Cruise Line has a few of its own stories. . . ships being delayed coming into ports and leaving ports due to bad weather. This happened in January of 2010, just after we sailed. Ports being missed due to inclement weather. Also, some Disney Cruise passengers were robbed in Nassau on an excursion—that is no longer offered as an option to passengers. As far as falling overboard—Disney Cruise ships have been known to rescue some of those passengers.
And, power outages—we were on the ship when it needed to reserve power for a while—it was no biggy and the only inconvenience to us was using the stairs and missing the evening show as it couldn’t be performed without full power. The show was rescheduled for another night during our cruise. Since the entertainment staff had to work anyway, Disney characters were out and about on the ship in full force the evening the ship was trying to reserve power and fix the problem.
So, yes, there can be issues with cruising, but there can be issues with any vacation destination. Trying to control or plan for any eventuality (yes, I do this a bit) may leave a traveler stressed and worried. Going with the flow, adjusting accordingly, and not letting a minor glitch dampen the joy of your vacation is a better way to handle any issues that might arise.
One thing I hear from people who are crazy for Disney but hesitant about a Disney Cruise is that they don’t want to feel “trapped” on the water. It’s an anxiety feeling, similar to claustrophobia for them, I’m guessing. They worry about feeling the movement of the ship on the water and being sea sick.
Well, for us, we’ve only had a minor issue with sea sickness and that was the husband his first afternoon on board the Wonder. This ship hadn’t starting sailing yet, so I’m guessing it was more of a feeling of we actually made it to the boat, and we had been traveling since 2 days before that—that’s a whole other post—and he was relieved. We pack sea sickness medication, just in case, but have only used it that one time. As for me, I feel the effects after we are back on land. It takes me a few days to find my land legs, not the other way around.
We have had some rough seas, at least one evening/night on each cruise. On the Disney ships, there is a television channel dedicating to giving information about the height of the waves, wind direction, etc. We’ve had some 5-6 foot waves at least once on each cruise. The ships are built with stabilizers, and the crew does everything they can to minimize the effect of rough seas. Again, the effects on individuals vary. We were in the dining room for dinner, while many others were not.
As far as feeling “trapped,” we’ve never felt that way. The ships are huge, and the Dream is even bigger. There is plenty to do, and a type “A” personality would exhaust themselves trying to make it to every activity. One thing that Disney does, and I’m sure other cruise a line as well, is that they sail just so far from the shore. Most of the time, land is not visible over the horizon—it is a cruise after all, but if you had your GPS or a GPS app, you would be able to see that land is not that far away—at least some of the time.
For me, I love watching the waves and the water just outside the window as we make our way around the ship. That first evening, just after the sail away party, as the ship makes its way out to sea, is one of the best. The ship is moving and there is energy and excitement on board. Love it!
Then there’s sleeping on a moving ship. All I can say is that there is almost nothing better than being rocked to sleep on the sea!