"Alpha Team, Alpha Team, Alpha Team." "What the...?" "Excuse me passengers. I'm sorry for waking most of you up but for your safety we would like for all of you to please report to an open area for the time being. Thank you." "Mom, is this typical?" "No; this can't be good."
And this is how my vacation began aboard the infamous Carnival Splendor. What started out as the last vacation I could spend as a senior with my family ended as a total disaster for everyone on board. And disaster may be an understatement...
We had one good night on board. We had heat, light, running water, and fun and adventure. Since it was a family vacation I spent it playing ping pong with my brother, hanging out on the deck with my sister, and eating dinner with my parents. When we went to bed that night we were all eager to enjoy the rest of our remaining days cruising to Mexico. That dream was ended at 6 a.m. the next morning. We were urgently rushed outside due to the amount of smoke filtering through the halls and our rooms and we remained outside for the next couple hours. We were told that the falty engine would be fixed in an hour, then in another hour, then by that afternoon, then by that night, then by that next morning, then by the next day, and finally we were told that there was no hope. Then came the decision process. Were we to be towed into Mexico where we would be shipped back into the U.S. through vans or would we be towed into a U.S harbor? Finally they decided on San Diego, California. We got three tug boats hooked up and off we went. We finally landed Thursday around noon and we were on a plane headed home around six.
That's the waterdowned version. What I didn't include is the complete boredom and pure grossness experienced. For starters, we didn't have running water until Wednesday. This meant no flushing toilets and no showers. When we did get water back, it wasn't warm so showers were miserable. We also didn't have electricity. For light we used our cell phones and ipods and even left our doors wide open to change and such. Privacy was not on the top of our list. No electricity also meant no way to prepare food. Which leads us to Poptarts and Spam like the media so popularly displayed. All of our sandwiches were prepared with this processed meat and breakfasts were Poptarts and other non-perishables left out. It took me at least 4 months to eat another sandwich. No electricity also meant that the stabilizers were out. The ship rocked like crazy and people got motion sickness fast. However, in comes the no water dilemma and there's no where to... you know what. The stench on that boat was pretty sour. Mix that in with the boredom of nothing to do and it's hard to believe no one went insane.
While I would never wish this cruise on anyone, it did teach me some important lessons. First off, never be the person that is extremely rude and annoying. People WILL remember you and when it comes time for food you definitely won't be at the front of the line. Second, always make your own fun or join in on others. My mom and I decided to join line dancing with some ladies from Texas I believe and it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be! Also, technically speaking, always be prepared. Bring extra snacks and supplies (like flashlights) because you never know when you'll need them. And take advantage of everything offered. Water bottles started to run out at the end but luckily my mom had been prepared and snagged as many as she could. But when it comes down to it, never regret. Yes, the cruise sucked but we got a free one out of it and our money back. Can't beat that!
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