We had 5 days of amazing sunny weather, calm waters, blue skies – perfect vacation weather. And then Sandy decided to crash the party. The storm was north of us and headed towards the Bahamas. The captain announced that he was keeping a safe distance and was watching it closely. We followed it north and as day 6 came around, the clouds rolled in and we had some drizzles. The waves were minimal at this point. People were keeping an eye on the news – it was now a category 1 storm moving north and would pass Florida the day before we were supposed to dock in Port Canaveral.
Sure enough, on Friday afternoon, the captain announces that we won’t be docking Saturday morning as planned due to the rough waters. We would have another day at sea and hope to dock Sunday morning at 8am instead. Now, this announcement caused everyone on the ship that had flights Saturday to scramble to change their flights. We tried the phone in our room but all the lines were busy. We went for dinner, then went to Guest Services, stood in line for an hour and finally got to a working phone to change our flight.
While in line, we were hearing stories from various people and their airlines – Southwest had no flights leaving Orlando on Sunday, Delta was full…there was talk that flights to the eastern seaboard would be risky since that’s where Hurricane Sandy was headed. We kept our fingers crossed, finally spoke to an agent who got us on a flight with Air Canada on Sunday, the only space left was in Executive class, but we took it anyway – if we didn’t get home Sunday, who knows when flights would be landing in Toronto with the winds and weather coming their way…
Anyhow, $900 later, we had a new flight and all was well. We went to see the show and the boat was pretty rocky.
The next day, our extra day at sea, turned out to be sunny, a bit rocky, but WINDY! Before breakfast the wind was so strong we couldn’t even open our balcony door. At about 10am, the wind quieted down and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on the balcony enjoying the sun. It was still windy and the sea got progressively rougher as we sailed north towards Florida. I took a few pics of where things stood Saturday afternoon:
We saw another ship (maybe circling like us) and noticed how it was rocking and dipping – our ship must have looked the same to them… There’s a video of it at the bottom of the post.
We laid down waiting for the motion sickness to pass, while listening to the wind and things sliding and clanging in the room and the hallway. Glasses slid back and forth on our shelf, hangers were banging in the closet, our shower door kept rattling, you heard the stewards out in the hallway with glasses and other things making a racket and falling over… It would have been funny if we didn’t feel so crappy. And to top it off, we still had to finish packing and put our luggage out for the porters…. Anyway. We didn’t sleep much that night and we finally docked the next morning, got off the ship, and I’ve never been so happy to be on land before.
Funny – even now, I still feel the sway of the ship and my motion sickness headache comes and goes. It was a good cruise, just bad timing with Sandy making her appearance. If we were a day later, we probably would have been ok. We’re seriously considering avoiding that part of the world during hurricane season going forward though…
Here are some videos on YouTube of what it was like being on a cruise ship in the wake of a hurricane:
Watching the Norwegian Sky from the Carnival Dream:
We got to the airport, boarded our flight, there was a bit more turbulence than usual but we enjoyed our first class amenities and landed, glad to be home even though it was rainy and cold. The effects of the rough seas still lingered but it was nice to be home. 🙂