Disney Cruise was on the top of our bucket list when my husband and I got married. Because I was still in school during our wedding, we didn’t get a chance to go on a real honeymoon. So when our first anniversary arrived in October, we decided to book a 3 night Bahamian cruise with Disney. (Why we chose Disney Cruise? Well I’ll go over that in a separate post). Being naive first time cruisers, we didn’t realize that October was hurricane season.
This was the year of Hurricane Sandy.
As we were packing up to go on our cruise, we saw news alerts and warnings about a potential Hurricane hitting Florida around the same dates. However, like most people that year, we didn’t really take it seriously. We excitedly packed our summer clothes and dreamed about laying on Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
I remember when I had boarded my flight my mom had called and teased me that maybe I should cancel the trip since there is hurricane coming. I just laughed it off! We noticed grey skies when leaving the airport but assumed it was just some light rain, after all it was fall season.
We boarded the ship, and started to explore. We stuffed our faces with the lunch buffet and enjoyed the sail away party. It wasn’t till that evening as we were getting ready for the nightly show and dinner that we started to notice how turbulent the ship felt. But since it was our first time on the cruise, we assumed this was simply part of “cruising”.
As we were sitting in the theatre for the show, the cruise director came on and informed us that Hurricane Sandy had hit Florida! The port we just left!
The hurricane was due to follow the exact path that the ship was taking, therefore we might need to adjust our route.
That is when the gravity of the situation started sink in. To make it all worse, we had no way of contacting our families at sea!
After the initial shock of our lives are actually in danger started to wear off, a little bit of disappointment started to settle in. I started to lower my expectations for this trip that I had been looking forward to forever. But to my delight, this was still my favorite vacation!
Yes, we couldn’t really go into the pools because the wind was pretty bad. But it was so nice to relax on the deck and enjoy a view of just ocean as far as we could see.
Yes, the turbulence meant we had an earlier bed time than we normally would have on vacation. But not only did they still put up a broadway style show every night, but there was on demand Disney Movies in the room.
Yes, choppy waters means increased motion sickness, which means more nausea. But they actually provide free motion sickness pills and went to lengths to make sure we had anything we wanted (included halal meals.. more in a future post).
Yes, due to the course of the Hurricane we made no ports and essentially spent 3 days at sea. But they not only added extra activities on board, but gave us a very nice compensation that funded our future cruise!
Overall, though it was one of the scariest experiences of my life, it proved that Disney is truly magical.
The cast and crew on board the ship always had a smile on their face. Not once did I feel like I was in actual danger. To be frank, I didn’t realize the true devastation of Sandy till I got off the ship.
What is your scariest vacation?