After careful thought and preparation for my cruise with hubby on the Imagination, nothing came out as planned, and I'll explain why.
We had plane reservations from Philadelphia to Miami for March 23. We had to catch a connecting flight in Atlanta to Miami. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight from Philly, but there was one problem. Apart from the fact that it was pouring, we got caught in a horrific traffic jam, and after inching our way to the long term parking lot, we were told by the attendant that the parking lot was full to capacity, and we should try some other parking lot. After getting directions on how to get there, and after making a couple of U-turns, we finally got to the other parking lot only to find out that it too was full to capacity. After gnashing my teeth and hitting the steering wheel, we inched our way to the short term parking garage to see what we could find. We found a prized parking space, and I parked there knowing that that parking space was going to cost me a pretty penny. It was $38 per 24 hours.
When we entered the terminal I knew right away that we were gonna miss our flight. The check in line was very, very, very long, and after waiting in line for a couple of minutes I realized that we were in the wrong line. We needed to get our boarding passes downstairs. Down the escalators we go to get our boarding passes only to find another loooong line, and our flight delayed due to the bad weather we were having. After waiting there for a couple of minutes an employee asked for my flight number and when I told him, he told me I needed to use the phone to rebook. I asked him why and he said that our flight was delayed, and we needed to rebook to an earlier flight so not to miss our connecting flight in Atlanta. Everything was done quite fast, but then I was rebooked as a standby passenger in a 6:30 flight that was delayed until 8:15. What the heck was happening? I was asked to rebook because our original flight was departing at 8:30 and get put in a flight that's been delayed to 8:15, and as a standby passenger at that.
To make a long story short, we went back to our original flight departing at 8:30 only because we had confirmed seats. The lady at the gate told us that if we missed our connecting flight, the airline would put us up in a hotel for the night...NOT!!!!! I don't know what possessed me to check my purse when we finally boarded the plane, but I thank God I did. MY WALLET WAS MISSING!!!!! I had all of our vacation money, credit card, and driver's license in my wallet. I went crazy trying to make my way back to the front of the plane to tell the flight attendant. Passengers were trying to put their carry on luggage in the overhead bins, and I was pushing my way to the front. With a crazy look in my face and a shrilly voice I told the flight attendant that I had lost my wallet. The pilot, not a flight attendant, but the pilot himself offered to deplane with me to help me look for my wallet. I was hysterical, telling him over and over again that I wasn't going to find it. You will not believe this, but somebody found the wallet and turned it in at the gate, and not a penny was missing. When he waved the wallet in my direction I let out a short scream. It took over 45 minutes for my heart to stop beating so fast, and it took a whole day for the pain in my chest to go away. That's how bad I felt. I kept asking God to please bless the person who was honest enough to hand it in.
Just around the time my heart rate was going back to normal, my husband told me he wasn't feeling too well and headed to the lavatory. Not two minutes had gone by when a flight attendant asked if there was a doctor on board. I looked back but didn't see anything. She said that there was a gentleman on the floor and they needed a doctor right away. I got up to see better, and lo and behold whose feet were sticking out? My husband's. I literally crawled over the girl next to me trying to get to the back of the plane. My husband had not eaten anything at all the entire day, and with the hustle and bustle he became dizzy and fell on the floor. Blessedly, there were two nurses on board who helped my husband. He actually was okay, he was just dizzy because his stomach was empty. They gave him soda and bite size graham crackers, nothing else. What a flight!!!
We missed our connecting flight as expected, and nobody was able to help us. We were booked on the 7:00 a.m. flight from Atlanta to Miami, but the problem was that we needed a room for the night since we got there at 12 midnight. The airline didn't give us a room because the delay was due to the weather. I was heated, I was mad, and I was tired being that I had worked that day and it had been nonstop since i woke up. My husband spoke to a very understanding employee who gave us a discount coupon for a hotel room which wasn't too bad. We ended paying $52 for a hotel room which included a complimentary continental breakfast, and free shuttle transportation to and from the hotel.
We arrived early in the morning only to find out that they had us as stand by passengers, and that flight was full to capacity. I was told that they had absolutely nothing available for that day (the day of our cruise). I panicked like you wouldn't believe and I told the lady on the phone that I needed to get to Miami because we were going on a cruise. She was able to put us on the 8:30 flight, which put us in Miami at around 10:00 a.m. With a sigh of relief we made it to Miami on time and caught a taxi to the port. I was a bit upset because I lost the pre cruise night hotel room I booked through Priceline which was at the Sofitel, but I was glad we made it, nonetheless. That's when I told my husband that we were going on cruise to Key West and Mexico. I was so emotional I started crying while I was telling him how I did everything. He was just speechless.
Check in was a total breeze, literally my husband and me were the first ones in the Horizon Bar and Grill eating lunch. Passengers were allowed to board the ship at 11:30 but only after promising the lady we wouldn't go to our cabin until 1:00 p.m. I had booked a gty OV cabin and ended in cabin U210 which is all the way in the back of the ship. The rocking and the rolling was nonstop. We headed to our cabin at 12:45 and it was ready so we put our luggage inside. After the muster drill we went back to our cabin to put our life vests away and headed for the open deck. What a sight to behold!!!! Miami is beautiful, and I got a kick of all the cars that honked our way and people taking pictures of our ship.
When I booked I had requested early seating but ended up with late seating at 8:30, and that's way too late for us to eat, so I headed to the Pride dining room to have it changed. The maitre' D told us that he had changed out dinner time because they had over 800 children scheduled for the early seating and he had moved us to late seating with another group of people. I told him that kids didn't bother us and we needed to have early seating. He changed our time, and I'm so glad he did. We met the nicest people for dinner.
At our table we had a father with his young daughter who were cruising for the first time, and were from Denver. There was another couple from Iowa traveling with their very young daughter (they only showed up the first night and never went back to the dining room), and we had a very lively couple whom my husband warmed to because they were spanish. She was from the Dominican Republic and her husband was from Cuba. They were on their eighth cruise with their son. And to put the icing on the cake our head waiter was fabulous. His name was Carlos from Colombia, and he made all of our dinners so enjoyable.
Why did I titled this post "surprise cruise for hubby gone sour"? Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has a cell phone, so I signed up for internet access at $27 (which includes a one time access fee) for 60 minutes. I wanted to be in contact with the babysitter, and my sister. Thursday I emailed them to let them know that we were having the time of our lives. Friday morning I checked my email and everything was fine with the kids. Hubby and I spent the day in Key West. We took the trolley tour, and that was enjoyable, but I would've liked to have spent more time there. I wanted to go to the Butterfly Conservatory but the time constraints didn't allow us to do this.
Saturday morning my entire world just shattered to a gazillion pieces. I checked my email with a smile on my face anticipating a good report from the babysitter, and her subject heading read "BAD NEWS". My husband's sister, who had been on dialysis for many years died on Friday while we were in Key West.. I checked another email from my sister telling me the same thing. All of my husband's family was asking for him, and there was no way for us to get in touch with them. Saturday was the day we were going to Cozumel, so as I was reading the emails, we were headed to Mexico. Everything around me started spinning and I began to cry, not knowing what to do next. I was afraid of telling my husband, and was trying to think of the best way to break the news to him. We went to the Mayan ruins and I was in total anguish seeing him enjoying himself and not knowing about his sister in Puerto Rico. From that moment on, my dream vacation became an emotional nightmare. I didn't buy one thing in Tulum. I was desperately trying to buy a phone card to call people in Puerto Rico. I was able to buy a card but was only able to speak to my sister in New Jersey, without my husband knowing. She briely filled me in on what was happening in Puerto Rico. I felt a heavy load on my shoulders, and I didn't know what to do.
Sunday was our "fun day at sea", and it was my sister-in-law's funeral. I couldn't keep the secret from my husband any longer and I broke down crying. I was crying so hard I could hardly talk. I asked him to forgive me a million times before I was able to muster the courage to tell him the bad news. What happened in that cabin that easter Sunday is beyond words. It's soooo hard to see your husband grieving at high sea, not being able to do anything. I tried numerous times using the phone to call to shore and I kept getting a busy signal. We were willing to pay $7:00 per minute to call his family, but when I called the pursers office I was told that they were having problems with the satellite and there was no way of communicating. Then internet was down as well, so I couldn't even write emails or anything.
We arrived in Miami on Monday (yesterday) and caught a taxi straight back to the airport to find a flight for that same day to Puerto Rico. Our airline couldn't help us because everything was booked solid for yesterday. We tried three differet airlines, and they all told us the same thing. There wasn't a seat to be found because of spring break, and what they did have was in first class and we didn't have that kind of money to buy a one way ticket first class. The airport was jammed packed with travelers, and it was extremely muggy there.
We ended up taking a taxi back downtown to our post cruise hotel, the Hyatt Regency, for the rest of the day. As soon as we checked in my husband got into bed at 11:30 a..m. and covered himself from head to foot. I was at my wit's end not knowing what to do and hearing my husband blaming me for him not being able to go to his sister's funeral was pure torture to me. I needed to clear my thoughts so I took the PeopleMover which is a free tram ride to the Bayside Marketplace. I've cried so much these past couple of days. When I was walking back to the hotel my husband was outside. He called me and asked me if I had eaten. I said no and he said he was hungry, so I told him to come with me. I got back on the PeopleMover with him and took him to that wonderful place. He had a nice dinner by the water al fresco. We looked at the stores, and sat for a long while listening to this guy play the guitar, and later on another trio started singing. The couple of hours we spent at the Bayside Marketplace proved to be therapeutic.
At this very moment as I'm writing this sad report, I have a splitting headache and I don't know where my husband is at.
We got back today and I paid $228 for 6 nights parking at the short term parking garage, much more than what I paid for a roundtrip ticket from Philly to Miami.
Please forgive me for writing this, but I remember when I first posted my thread "surprise cruise for hubby" I was ecstatic, and many of you were so into reading it and enouraging me not to say anything, and keep it a secret. It would've been a beautiful vacation...
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Just remember we all grieve in our own way and your husband may be grieving more silently than you. I know that is what would happen with my husband and I. I would want to talk and talk and he would just be quiet which would make me think I had done something wrong.
This is not at all the story I was anticipating. So sorry to hear about all of your trials and tribulations and most of all about your husband's sister.
D/h and I have only been married about 8 years, but there is one universal truth we have discovered in our marriage and that every challenge we go through together has made our marriage stronger. Kind of like a diamond, the more pressure we're exposed to over time, the stronger we become as a team and the brighter our love shines. While we enjoy our get aways and fun times together, we know that coming together as a couple when the going gets tough is what makes our union even more durable.
Hang in there, give him time to process his feeling and grieve the loss of his sister.
I'll be sending lots of prayers your way and hope the two of you are able to move forward, beyond this sad time.
I'm so sorry to hear of your stress and heartache. My favorite bible verse is the signature on all my emails at home, Romans 8:28. "All things work for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose". As terrible as everything was for you, there were wonderful things happening all around because of it. We just don't know what they were. Maybe the pilot who saw that someone had returned your wallet untouched, really need that positive affirmation in mankind right then. Maybe if your car had been parked in the long term parking the way you had intended, it would have been stolen. Maybe your sister-in-law's funeral would have been more than your husband could have handled, and God promises He will never give us more than we can handle. I pray for you and your family to receive the peace and comfort that only comes from above. I can only guess that your sister-in-law knows how badly your husband needed this vacation and that all the problems you had getting there made him enjoy it even more. I'm sure she was watching with a smile.
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I to am also speachless, with tears in my eyes. My thoughts and prayers are also with you. Dont blame yourself for anything. Things always happen for a reason. It might be hard to find the reason, but one day you will. My heart goes out to you and your husband and his family.
I don't believe that if this had not been a surprise that things would have gone any differently....I am so sorry for the way your vacation ended...not at all what you expected. I am also sorry for the loss of your sister-in-law.
I'll be keeping you and your hubby in my prayers! GOD BLESS !
I'm remiss to find exactly the right words to convey my deepest kind wishes for you, your husband, and your families. Any attempt to write more would become riddled with meaningless cliches. So, like all of those that preceed you, try to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and do what you are already doing so splendidly: Love and Support your darling husband. Be there for him. He'll return the love another day.
So many terrible things to happen to you. What should have been a happy time turned bad. I am so sorry for you both. Deepest sympathy for you and your family.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
You did your best to give your hubby a grand surprise vacation. Just because things out of your control went badly is no reason to beat yourself up. You and your hubby had a good cruise until your emotional situation changed. And that is not your fault !
What would've been different had you planned this trip with your husband's knowledge? The airport delays would've still happened. The parking would've still happened. The passing of your SIL would've still happened. You still would've been on the ship when the funeral was happening.
What could you have done differently that would've changed anything?
I join all your friends here in expressing my deepest sympathy to your husband, you and your family. Surprise or not, unfortunately the outcome would have been the same. Don't blame yourself, just be there for your DH. Here is a much needed hug.....(((((getsemani)))))
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
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God Bless you both.........my heart aches for both you and your husband. All you can do is be patient with him while he grieves and be there for him when he is ready.
It sounds like everything that could go wrong, unfortunately did for you. But planning a suprise vacation for you and your husband was a sweet and loving thing to do and in time he will come to realize that. You both are in my thoughts and prayers.
I, like all the others here, am so very sorry for what happened. Sorry for everyone's loss. You are carrying a terrible burden right now and I have always believed that when we are at a loss for everything and our world is falling apart, we can only turn to God and ask if it is his will that some of this burden be lifted from you and your husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I think you had some angels with you on that trip and now try to look around and see them still hovering near you. I don't think they have left you. God bless.
My sympathy and prayers are with you and your family. Everyone here has already said everything so well. Remember God is with you and as Thomas said things would have been the same had your hubby been in on the plans.
We shared your excitement as your plans developed and we share your sorrow as you grieve for your sister-in-law.
May you find peace,
February 25, 2011
So, so sorry for what you went thru....I hope that eventually your husband begins to understand that you did not want to burden him with this news out of love and concern for him. I know it is probably difficult for him right now to realize this, but I hope he does eventually.....
Big hugs to you, and I hope that you post again to let us all know how you are doing...
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Even with everything gone so wrong, I still will tell you that this cruise you planned so hard for was a good idea. I know you are probadly asking yourself why did I do this ? And I'll tell you why !
Because you have great love for your husband, and you wanted to do something very ,very special for him ! This is very special, and you don't see this everyday ! You had very good plans, but just bad timing beyond your control .
Don't let these romantic ideas you have go to waste because of this. Try to plan another cruise oneday. I still say that, if my wife planned a cruise without my knowledge, ( and she could do it ) I would be speechless.
Our prayers are with you and your family , and our hearts heavy for all of you.
Sometimes we have to go through bad times, so we can enjoy the good times even more.
Do you know how I spent my day yesterday? I spent my entire day over my sister's house, and told her what a great time we had up until the time I found out about my sister-in-law's death. I got online and started planning another cruise on the Valor....well, at least I dreamt about going on another cruise.
My timing was screwed up so badly. I have dark circles under my eyes for lack of sleep, and not to mention that my husband and I haven't spoken to each other since we got back.
While still on the ship he told me to never, never, never, include him in any of my trips. I can take the kids, and everybody else for that matter, but he said he will never travel with me again. THAT HURT!!!!!!
His grief has been my GRIEF because his emotional turmoil has been directed towards me since I'm the closest person to him.
Thank you for your words of encouragement, and mark my words, I will sail again.
Thats true, sometimes when we're upset, we lash out at the closest people to us. Wife, husband,mother, father, and sometimes children and / or grand parents. I guess its because we know no matter what we say and do, they will still love us, no matter what.
Give your husband time to grieve, and heal, along with you too. You've got some healing to do also.Like you said," his pain is your pain !"
Ask yourself, if the role was reversed, how would you react to something like this? How would you handle this ? Or what would you do?
Just something to think about, and kinda help you too figure out whats going through his thoughts and mind .
Have yall got to go to Puerto Rico yet ? If not, it may help for him( and you, if possible ) to go to the grave site and to see his family. That can bring alittle comfort to yall too.
He's sayin that he will never travel with you again, give him some time ! Maybe after the first of the year or so, ( you'll know when the time is right ) tell him you're planning a cruise in ( month ) 2006, on this certain ship, and you want him to go. If he enjoyed himself, and loved the cruise ship invironment, he'll want to go. When this is all said and done, you both will need a vacation ! Stay in touch !
you are a real trooper, should be awarded medal of valor for holding it together for that long, i am sorry for your loss, you will probably always be second guessing yourself. should i have done this should i have said that, you did what you did and that's that, by the way the money you paid for parking could have been a down payment on a car