A few Sundays ago (the 27th of July to be exact), Marty and I boarded a 6AM flight to Orlando, Florida. A week prior, we had purchased a last minute Carnival cruise to enjoy as a ‘babymoon’ before Baby Boden joins us in the fall. We knew we only had a certain time frame to work with (due to Marty heading back to school in August) so we figured a cruise would be the perfect, relaxing, five-day getaway we were looking for!
We landed in Orlando around 11AM and purchased a round-trip shuttle ticket to the cruise port. After an hour drive in the crowded, hot shuttle, we arrived at the cruise port! Not too much longer until we’d be kicking back on the cruise ship…
…or so we thought…
After making our way through the passport line and up to the check-in counter we were asked to provide our “letter.” Letter? What letter? The agent informed us that I needed a doctors letter to board the cruise. She then escorted us over to another lady who informed us to take a seat to the side of the counter. We were – under no circumstances – allowed to board without that letter.
My heart immediately began to rush as I knew I wouldn’t be able to get ahold of my doctor on a Sunday afternoon. I called the offices and couldn’t get through to anyone. I called a nearby hospital where I once had an appointment – nothing. I continued to search my mind for an idea of how to produce this letter but it seemed like a lost cause.
While I’m frantically dialing numbers and searching through the Internet Whitepages to find my OB’s personal number, it occurred to me that I could have a family friend write the letter. Granted, the man I had in mind wasn’t my doctor but he knows me well enough to know that I take good care of myself. I quickly called his wife, briefly explained the dilemma and she passed the phone along to him. Please let this work.
I’m sure he could hear the desperation in my voice and he agreed to fax a letter of wellness to the cruise director. Whoo-hoo! This was going to work out after all!
For what seemed like the longest fifteen minutes of our lives, Marty and I waited for confirmation that the fax had been received. The cruise director approached us with a piece of paper in her hand. This is it, this is it…
“I’m sorry but we are unable to allow Mrs. Boden to board the ship…”
Marty and I looked at each other.
“…your doctor has clearly stated that you are twenty-five weeks pregnant. We are unable to allow anyone past twenty-four weeks.”
I tried to plea with her, but it was useless. We wouldn’t be going on our ‘babymoon’ cruise.
After signing some paperwork we were escorted outside and told to call a taxi. I was able to maintain my composure until I called my mom…then the tears began to flow. I’m talking the ‘ugly’ cry in this public space. Nice.
By the time the taxi arrived I managed to pull myself together but I just couldn’t hide my disappointment. As we began to sort out a new plan, I was in awe of Marty’s calm and cool demeanor. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t as upset as I was!? He explained to me that, in the grand scheme of our lives, this was just a little bump in the road. What a privilege it is to even have the opportunity to cruise; I needed to put the situation into perspective. Talk about a humbling conversation.
Ultimately, we decided the best plan would be to fly back to Columbus and spend the week together. A stay-cation. We could go camping one night, go on long walks into downtown Columbus, eat Jeni’s ice cream, spend the afternoon at my aunt’s pool, go to a movie, eat half-price sushi; we would just spend quality time with one another. Something (I’m embarrassed to admit) we hadn’t done in months.
We had a game plan but now we had to work out the details of getting back to Columbus. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule our flights for the following afternoon without any penalties! Thank you Delta! The remainder of our Sunday was spent in Orlando, Florida. We booked a cheap hotel, went for Mexican food and then got up the next morning and went to Cracker Barrel before our flight home (I hadn’t been there in 10+ years! Nomnomnom.)
Looking back at our experience, I have say that the entire fiasco really united us. A ‘babymoon’ getaway was something we’d been looking forward to and, although we were disappointed, we faced it together. Marty was right: not being able to go on a cruise isn’t the end of the world. We may have lost some money but we (all three of us 🙂 ) are safe and enjoyed a little adventure with one another. Talk about a story for the baby book…