In 2009 and 2010, as New Kids on the Block set sail on their cruise with fans, I sat by my computer, glued toTwitter, waiting for any and all updates and pics. In 2011, FINALLY, after years of longing to be on that boat, I was. It was surreal… it was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life… it was special… it was phenomenal… it was beyond words. It was also the most ups and downs I’ve ever had within four days in my life! (hence the title of my blog… it’s also one of my favorite songs on “Unfinished”)
It started with the flight to Miami… a definite low for me. I am terrified of flying. It’s an irrational fear, I know. You’re more likely to be killed on the drive to the airport, if statistics are to be believed. I know all that and yet, it makes no difference when I’m strapped into the seat. I’m fairly certain I’m gonna plunge to my death. As we took off, believe it or not, I cried. I was so freakin’ scared, I cried! God love ’em, my twin sister Amy (@twisted_writer) and my BFF since I was 5, Angi (@bville_girl), were totally there for me. And once we were in the air, I realized how silly I’d been to be so scared. It really wasn’t that bad of a flight. But that’s the thing about phobias… realizing they’re silly doesn’t make them go away!
Anyway, the night in Miami also was not so good. Angi had surgery two weeks prior and was in a lot of pain and wanted to go home. 😦 Every place to eat near our hotel was closed and we wandered around for a long time, before we finally just found a Pizza Hut. I was tired, worried that Angi wasn’t even gonna go on the boat, the Celtics lost to the Heat and were eliminated from the NBA playoffs, my cell phone was dying…. I was beginning to worry that this cruise was not going to go so well.
Thursday didn’t do much to change my mind at first… I decided to go to the AT&T store down the street and found out yup, my phone’s software had some sort of problem. It wasn’t gonna last the whole 4 days of the cruise. Thank God, I was eligible for an upgrade to an iPhone for $50, which I decided to do. However, the time at the AT&T store made us late getting to the port. By the time we got to the port, the line was RIDICULOUSLY long. The guys had already gone in and were on the boat, and I wasn’t happy that I hadn’t seen them arrive. I’m not sure how long we stood in line but it felt like two hours. Angi had decided to go and she was visibly shaking and pale from having to stand so long. There was nowhere for her to sit down and I was scared to death she was gonna pass out and they wouldn’t let her get on board. Turns out she wasn’t the one who would have problems getting on board!
Nope. That’d be me!! Stupidly, when I filled out the health questionnaire, I was honest and said that I’d been sick to my stomach in the past few days. I always get sick like that before I travel, because of my fear of flying. Some dude in a suit came and pulled me out of the line. I told him I was fine, it was just because I’m a nervous traveler, but he said a nurse had to check me out anyway. While my roommies/BFFs boarded the ship, and I read tweets from people who were spotting the guys on the ship, I sat in an office, alone, for about 20 minutes, not knowing if I was gonna get on the boat or not. I ain’t gonna lie. I cried. I damn near had a panic attack! FINALLY, a lady with Carnival came to get me and on a positive note, she took me past lines and lines of cruisers, who were looking at me like “who the HELL is SHE??” Trust me, ya’ll did not wanna trade places with me!!! I got taken down to the very bottom of the ship and met with the nurse. I explained to her that I shouldn’t have checked “yes” on the questionnaire, that I’m just a nervous traveler and that’s the only reason I’d been sick, I didn’t have a virus or anything. She explained they have to check me out and the words “You may have to stay in your cabin for the duration of the cruise” were uttered. I very nearly burst into tears but I somehow held it together.
She took my temperature, which was 98.7, and only then began to realize I was right and there was nothing wrong with me other than nerves. They let me go and I was released into a sea of people on Lido Deck with NO IDEA where any of my friends were. Thank God, I had a signal with my nifty new iPhone & so did Amy, & she was able to text me a picture of where they were and I found them! Hallelujah!! Seconds later, a waiter appeared with a cocktail, I snatched one up and said, “Now, it’s a party!” 🙂
At that point, FINALLY, my cruise experience began to take a turn for the better… don’t want to post too much at once so I’ll write about that in a bit. 🙂