Cruisin’ – by Cara
I must admit, I was scared taking my son out of the country for the first time, by myself. My security in knowing that I could carry it off was prompted firstly because I was very familiar with the Carnival Cruise line. Secondly, because I had already been to our destination, the Bahamas, several times, including once by myself.
For the most part, the beginning of our cruise went off without a hitch. My son never left my side for a moment. The Jet Blue television stations the entire flight to Orlando, Florida occupied him. And he followed instructions while rolling his own luggage to transportation areas and through airports.
We were taken to the cruise ship and again, my son complied through security, all the way through check in, and finally to our room. Since we were up early to begin our adventure, we rested in our room until everyone was called for attending the mandatory boat drill. Once that was over, we went back to our room, changed into swim attire, and went up for a bite to eat and some serious swim play!
The boat was equipped with three amazing slides! One was a twisty, swirling slide, while the others were straight, but steep slides. I chose to just relax on a lounge chair and feel the warm Caribbean breeze rush by me as my son continuously used these slides, no exaggeration, for 2 1/2 hours!
From here it was off to get changed for dinner. My son wanted to take advantage of Carnivals’ Camp Carnival, with children his own age. I perused the shops before picking my son up from Camp Carnival and retiring for the night.
The next day we docked in the Bahamas! Ahh! Home, sweet home, for me! My son was excited because at his annual physical the week prior, he was told he reached 48 inches! The minimum height requirement to use ALL of the water park rides at the Atlantis Resort, which was our destination!
My adventure son turned me into adventure Mom! He convinced me to go down the steep, Mayan float rides (twice!), the adventure slides, and I convinced him to go down the lazy river! Then our fun began to slide downhill.
It was nearing late afternoon and my son wanted me to go down the River Rapids. I agreed until we proceeded to the top of this ride. The only way I could describe it would be an enclosed roller coaster with a float. My fear of heights, I conquered, but an enclosed roller coaster in a float, was my limit. I sadly announced to my son that I was too afraid to go through the rest of the ride, but if my son wanted to go, he could. There were eight and 9-year-old boys behind us, so not to lose face, my son chose to go down. I promised to meet him at the bottom. My son came out a bit shaken up. He admitted that it was scary. He only wanted to do calm, safer water activities from then on.
Now here is where our fun goes downhill. I was trying to take a photo of my son coming down a slide. I kept edging my feet closer to the edge of the step to get as close a picture as possible. My left flip-flop slipped off the edge of the step, I didn’t want my camera to get submerged in water, so I held the camera high in the air with my left arm, reached with my right hand to break my fall, but my head hit the metal handrail while my right hip broke the fall on the step. I also got a deep abrasion on my right knee. But I saved my camera AND got the picture of my son!
The next day, we were back on the boat. My son was going down all of the fun slides at the top of the ship he had gone down before. I was lounging my sore body on one of the lounge chairs, again, taking pictures of my son as he came down the slides. Out of nowhere, it started to downpour. Since my son was on the swirly slide, I took cover under an overhang near the steps where I knew he would be coming back down. I didn’t see what happened, but some concerned parents, who saw what happened, waited at the bottom of the steps, as my son came down, crying and holding his head. I ran over and brought him to the overhang, and saw that the whole right side of his face was bleeding from abrasions. The parents, who DID see what happened, said that he was at the top of the spiral staircase when they closed the slide and told everyone to walk back down. Brandon looked out, I guess tried to find me, saw no one in any of the lounge chairs, panicked, because he didn’t see me, slipped on the very wet stairs, and fell down 3 flights of spiral stairs! Then he slowly made his way down to the bottom where these parents were.
I immediately took him to the medical center. They cleaned and dressed his wounds. They said that I should put ice on his face (I saw them earlier for my bruised face from my hitting the handrail the day before), so we both went back to our room and each put ice on our faces. They asked that I bring him back later that day, which I did, and he was medically cleared. I still felt bruised and beaten.
Since we would be leaving out of Orlando airport, I scheduled an overnight stay at one of the hotels on the Disney World properties. My hope was to see even a little bit of Disney before we returned home. No such luck. By the time my son woke up and we disembarked the ship, my son was showing signs of being ill. Once we got to the hotel, I quickly bought some children’s cold medicine and because my son said he was hungry, but too cold to sit in the dining room to eat, I chose to spend the $40 on a hamburger and French fries, via room service and gave my son his medicine. I felt some sniffles coming on, but I was nowhere as sick as my son.
As I wrap up my blog, I am disappointed to say that we never left our room, nor saw any part of Disney World, other than from our room. My son DID say that he wanted to come back next year, so that might be our adventure for next summer.
My son is feeling a lot better, although as I type this, my head is stuffy, my ears hurt and my throat hurts. Among my other bruises. However, through it all, I had an exponentially wonderful time with my son, which I wouldn’t trade for the world!
And selfishly, I proved that I CAN be a single Mom even through calamities and illnesses, I am ALWAYS able to take care of my little boy!!