Monday, July 30, 2007

A Question For Y'all

Many of you long time readers may recall that I get very motion sick. And, when I say "motion sick", I mean that I drive everywhere our family goes because I get nauseous even riding a couple of blocks as a passenger. (Offspring takes a kind of fiendish delight in getting me on the Teacups at Disney World and spinning as fast as possible, trying *purposefully* to make me sick. She must get that vicious streak from her father's side of the family.)

Bearing my unfortunate propensity for mal de mer in mind, JF and I are quite excitedly considering a Disney Cruise for our next year's vacation. This would be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip for us. JF is due to come in to some money (God willing and the creek don't rise) this fall that would finance this venture. We would never be able to afford it under other circumstances.

The cruises available are: a) the four night Bahamas cruise; which goes to Nassau and Disney's island, Castaway Cay, b) the seven night Eastern Caribbean; where the stops are St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay, and c) the seven night Western Caribbean; which goes to Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay. If we book a seven night cruise, and I'm seasick, I have to endure an entire week of Vacation From Hell that I shelled out big bucks for. On the other hand, the seven night cruise is not that much more expensive, and if I manage to do well on anti-nausea meds, we'd much rather take the longer (and more diverse) itinerary. I think the family consensus is that we'd like to do the Western Caribbean.

The only thing that's holding us back (other than not having the money until late fall, that is) is my motion sickness. Now, I take over the counter meds (Dramamine) to get through each vacation, and on most days, I feel pretty well, but let me ride Mission: Space a couple of times in a row, and I might get a bit green around the gills. I would think that anything a doctor would prescribe would be much more effective than any over the counter med might be, and think I would be able to muddle through. But -- and here's the main sticking point -- if I am sick, we're at sea, with no escape until we dock. In that instance, would I prefer seven nights of torture, or four?

What would you do? Have you ever been seasick on a cruise, or have a family member who has been? How did you/they cope? Do the prescribed meds work better than the over the counter meds? Most people would just say, "don't go!", but it's something that the whole family would enjoy, and why not partake of something we would all benefit from? And there's only a CHANCE that I would be ill on top of whatever medication the doctor would give me.

Here is our breakdown of the pros and cons:

* We'll actually have the money, and not be putting ourselves into debt in order to go.
* None of us have ever been on a cruise.
* It will be the first time JF and Offspring have ever traveled outside the US, and I'd like to make that happen for them both. Not to mention that *I'd* love it.
* We might convince other family members to join us.
* It would be something a little more culturally enriching for ALL of us.
* I think we'd all have a really good time.

* This will likely be the ONLY time we are able to afford such a trip, so it's now or never.
* The aforementioned seasickness. What if I'm miserable the whole trip? We've wasted a TON of money so I can throw up every hour for four to seven days.
* The time schedule would be difficult to arrange, with school and work, but we'd manage.
* The four night cruise vs. the seven night cruises. Which one?
* We'd have to get passports, so I'd have to start planning that this fall in order to get them in a timely manner before the voyage.

I've got to figure that if this is all that's worrying me lately, then I am very fortunate, indeed. This would, more than likely be what JF and I give each other for our upcoming 15th wedding anniversary. I would like to hear what you guys think. Any input would be appreciated.


DevilMacDawg said...

First, you should go ahead and get your passports now. Regardless of your decision on the trip. You should always keep your passport valid and current. You just never know when you'll need it (I had a friend who had to go to Greece to bring home her ailing father - she was the only one in her family who could go because her passport is kept up to date).

Second - the prescription meds supposedly work very well. My mother used the ear patch things when she and my dad did a cruise in Alaska, to great success. She has horrific motion sickness, as do I (THANKS MOM!). Like you, I do a lot of the driving.

That said, I can give you many, many ways to spend the same amount of scratch as the cruise and see much, much more of the world! I do know your soft spot for Disney, so how 'bouts EuroDisney?

In all honesty, I can't give you a good opinion on the cruise options (I can't think of something less suited for me, honestly). However, I can say that, according to my source (my mom), the ear patch things work extremely well (much more so than Dramamine).

AND get your passport and keep it current!

amy said...

On the vacation the fam and I just returned from, we had to cross Lake Michigan by car ferry. This ferry is HUGE, but the water was just a mess on the way there, so I wanted to die. Like you, I am prone to motion sickness, and I should have seen it coming and taken something.

Before our trip home, my friend gave me some Bonine to take. I took it, even though the water was quite smooth. I have to say, it was better for me than Dramamine, but I wasn't impressed. I was sitting in the kids' play room, feeling fine, when suddenly I had vertigo. I'm not kidding. It hit so quickly, it couldn't have been anything but the Bonine. The up side was that I also felt very, very mellow - like a low-grade, smooth drunkenness.

If you're so worried, maybe the four-day is the better choice? I've never taken a cruise, so I have no idea how landlubbing motion sickness translates to the seasickness one would get on a liner on the ocean. My input is nearly worthless. I'm shutting up now.

Miche said...

I too, am prone to motion sickness. I've historically done quite well with a scopolamine transdermal patch (TransDerm-V, I think it was called) which I believe you need a prescription to get in the States. I've you're a good candidate, see if you can get your mitts on that patch and then book yourself for the week.

ccw said...

I have no advice about the motion sickness but I imagine there must be a prescription version that would do the trick.

I hope that you all take the trip. You sound so excited!

La Reina said...

Any chance of taking a test ride in a boat with the aforementioned patch before making your reservations? I'd imagine that a huge ship would be much smoother than, say a speed boat or a pontoon boat. (Have you asked the Roaming Gnome yet? She's been on more crusies that Gofer, Julie, and Captian Steubing combined.)

Bridget said...

do the seven days! or hey spend teh money and come visit us in ireland! :) good luck!

Jenevieve said...

Oh yeah, combined Ireland/Scotland trip would use an alarmingly large amount of spare cash, if you needed to spend it...

Karyn said...

Girl - get thee to a drugstore and check out the SeaBands. They are dorky looking but I don't much care; I wore them while I was pregnant with Door # 2 to ease the desire to hork all over the place and make it possible to go out in public.

They are soft cotton wristbands with (I think) magnet dealio inside them, and when you position them according to directions, they hit a pressure point in your wrists which definitely in my case made a huge difference.

I say go for it. Dramamine, sea bands, Disney, rock on, girl!!!!!! Kiss any Caribbean pirates you see for me, yeah?