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Old 05-24-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
RoyalVizier
I'm sorry... I'm a gutless flip-flopper
No wonder I never get my wife flowers... they're so complicated
My favorite spot is right in front of Italy
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Orlando
Posts: 931

Smile "Cruise Therapy: An Infusion of Magic" Pre-Trip Report for June 20th *COMPLETED*


Cruise Therapy: An Infusion of Magic
June 20th Eastern Caribbean DCL Cruise
Tortola * St. Thomas * Castaway Cay

Infuse – transitive verb
Pronunciation: \in-ˈfyüz\
Meaning: 1 a: to cause to be permeated with something that alters usually for the better.


We have never needed an escape from reality like we do right now. Never has a twelve-month span of time wrought such stress and exhaustion like the last twelve months have exhausted my family and myself. After 32 years of life, this one stands out over the rest.

Hi all. My name is Ward (also known as RoyalVizier, also known as RV) and I have not properly Dis’d in about two years. That’s because I haven’t properly vacationed in that amount of time. My Dis cycles tend to ebb and flo with my vacation plans, and this family has seen no vacation plans in quite some time. So, sad to say that my Dis habits have diminished. But that is about to change because...

I’M GOING ON A DISNEY CRUISE LINE VACATION!!

June 20th Eastern Caribbean special itinerary with stops at Tortola, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay! We. Are. BESIDEOURSELVESWITHEXCITEMENT! This will be our fourth DCL cruise. The events and the decisions leading up to this cruise are different from years past. I’m in a different place than I’ve been before. My family is in a different place then we’ve been before. Here’s a brief (Brief. HA! That's a laugh) rundown so that you will understand my mindset going into this vacation:

In April of 2008 my wife was laid off from her job, which she’d held for seven years. She liked her job, was able to work from home everyday in a home office set up, the pay kept us comfortable, and she was very, very good and what she did. Then one April day she went out to get the mail and found her severance package waiting for her in the box. How’s that for a surprise? So after a phone call to the office she found out that she and many thousands of other people around the country were no longer employed with that company. Seems there was some sort of mix-up and some of the severance packages went out in the mail before in person notifications could be made. Oops. They say that loosing a job is a major life event, very similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Now, having witnessed the process first hand I have to agree. There is a mourning process of shock and pain and anger and grief and it must be worked through, and unfortunately it isn’t something that you recover from quickly. So… April ’08 was when someone flushed, and our lives began to swirl, swirl, swirl around and around the rim.

So that brings us to June of 2008, and my wife is firmly embedded in the grieving process and we are trying our hardest to deal with life, with a drastically different financial situation, and the general aftermath of the layoff, when suddenly we have to start the grieving process all over again in a different respect. Phone calls in the middle of the night are one of those things that can stop your heart. Something about hearing your ring tone from the depths of your purse or the dresser top at 2am makes your heart lunge into your throat. Even a Caribbean steel drum snippet sounds like the knell of doom in the wee hours. There are an infinite number of paths that life could shove you down in the two seconds it takes to utter “Hello?” through the curious fear threatening to choke you. You hope that the path quickly dead-ends in someone saying, “Sorry, wrong number” or heck, even some heavy breathing would be nice. So when I was pulled from sleep to the sound of my wife’s phone ringing downstairs the trepidation came fast. By the time we had both woken up and realized what the sound was, the ringing had stopped, and when she was halfway down the stairs to retrieve her phone the tone had sounded meaning a voicemail was waiting. The call was from her mother. Her dad had suffered a heart attack in their Kentucky home and had passed away shortly after arriving at the Emergency Room. Thus a new breed of grieving began, and by 5am that morning my wife and I were standing at the rental car counter at the airport to begin the drive up there to be with her mother.

After that impromptu trip to Kentucky and the settling of affairs, my wife and I convinced her mother to come to Florida and live with us. So we introduced her and her dog to our household in July of 2008, which brought a totally different dynamic of life to our house. Now, I had absolutely no issue with my Mother in Law coming to live with us, but the act of adding another human being and another dog to a household of three existing human beings and three existing dogs just changes things. Two more mouths to feed, two more emotions to take into consideration, two more bodies to fight for space over, and a million other little things… so the stress mounted amidst the grief of parental and occupational loss within a short span of each other.

So August of 2008 brought Cheri and job. Four months of job hunting and resume submitting had returned nothing, until one phone call finally brought opportunity. She was hired as an Office Manager for a new office of a well-established aeronautics corporation, which was a blessing for sure, but an extraordinarily mixed blessing for the six months that followed are easily the strangest of her employed life. Now, I could go on and on about her job with this company, but I should spare you (as if any of you are still reading at this point anyway. What is this? A DCL trip report of the depressing autobiography of RV?). In the tightest nutshell possible: they hired her to be the Office Manager, told her to do whatever she could to get this office off the ground, ended up unable to get anything approved through the proper channels, was moved to the reception desk, was told by upper management that they didn’t really understand why she was ever hired because there is no such thing as an “Office Manager” position at that office, she was told that there was really no work for her to do, was told by the person that hired her that he “had no idea” why he hired her, couldn’t explain it to anyone… so there she sat for six months while they struggled to keep her busy, struggled to throw meaningless busywork her way only to be told in January that they’d held off as long as they could and they laid her off. So the grief wheel keeps on turnin’…

So now we’re in January of 2009. Severance packages and unemployment have been keeping us afloat, but the difference between both in a couple working and bringing in a paycheck and just myself working was, for us, astronomical. Finances were a huge worry, a huge stress point, and the cause for more than many sleepless nights. The uncertainty of each passing day overshadowed everything. All the fun, all the joy, was constantly bathed in a dimness that frightened us endlessly and sucked my wife into a pit of despair. So life went on…

April of 2009. To keep her unemployment going, my wife applied for no less than two jobs a week, and this time around it was as if her contacts and resumes were falling into a black hole. She would mail her resume, submit her resume online, and then… nothing. No phone calls. No emails. No follow-up. No nothing for the last four months. She hasn’t heard a peep about anything. And then at this time, my own job came into jeopardy. We’d heard rumors of possibly lay-offs. You know, the rumors and the chatter and the talk that would sweep the office, but I never let myself worry too much. Then, as the threat seemed to solidify, me and the peers in my department were told that we were “safe”, that the threat would be focused elsewhere, so I never really let myself get too awfully worried. Then the day came. We knew it was happening. Men and women in suits were present, and they were carrying folders and file boxes and they set up shop in one of the offices. People went in there, and they came out only to be escorted out of the building via a side door. It was troubling, and my heart went out to the people I saw them come tap on the shoulder and take away, but I still didn’t let myself get too worried for my own personal safety. Until they came and took one of my friends. The woman that sits right across from me. Then the fear struck fast, like an icicle right in the gut. My hand went to my mouth. My eyes closed. My heart rate doubled, and the same emotions of hearing a ring tone at 2am surfaced and burned my very soul. I wasn’t ready for life to shove me down another path. I was perfectly content on this one. I knew the way. I knew the landmarks. With my wife’s situation and our home/family situation as it was, I couldn’t travel down that darker path myself. It all flashed before me as I watched the dementors (a tribute to my fellow Harry Potter fans) come for another one. My friend that sits two desks away.

Ultimately, I was spared. Come end of day, I’d lost five close friends and heard of about 25 others across the office that lost their jobs that day. It was a gash. A gaping red gash across my work life and the work life of all of my peers. When you work somewhere long enough as I have (almost eight years) it’s not just a job, but it’s a family, and I dearly love all of whom I work with day in and day out. So even though it was over, for the next several days there was somberness and a silence. The office was so quiet. There was a hush. Everything I did from that day on: look at an email that had those people’s names on it, walk by their cubicles, have someone ask about them… it was yet another form of grieving.

Which brings me to today and to talk of the cruise. Unbelievable, there IS talk of DCL in this DCL trip report! My wife still doesn’t have a job. She hasn’t heard a peep from any of her resume submissions since she was laid off in January for the second time. My mother in law and her dog are well settled in. The unemployment checks are still coming and I’m still employed but there is a stress ever present. There is a stress so thick living within our walls. It’s black and it’s thick, and our lives need a serious infusion of magic. So my wife and I started reminiscing about the last cruise we took back in March of ’07. We looked at our past cruise photos and placed ourselves there. It was a 7 night Eastern cruise on DCL, and we actually took her mom and dad with us to give them the best (and only) vacation experience of their lives. If you’re curious you can read the trip report from that cruise here: Sharing the Magic with the Unmagic'd.

So we started pondering, and wondering, and evaluating finances, and praying, and agonizing, and we came to a hard realization. We realized that sometimes the need for escape from reality greatly outweighs the need to be financially responsible. This cruise is a huge splurge for us at this time in our lives, but we have some savings, and quite honestly, I worried just a bit about what would happen if I didn’t whisk my wife away from the harsh light of her everyday chaos into a vacation dream that knew nothing of “real life”. So the other day we talked it over, and over, and over… for hours, discussing all aspects of the decision and we booked it. We just did it. Once the final button was pushed on DisneyCruise.com, there was silence. We were shocked. We were uncertain. But ultimately, we knew that it was the right choice for us. And with each passing day since then, we’ve become surer and surer, and the excitement has mounted, and already the troubles of reality seem a little bit easier to handle. Cruise planning has taken over which, for us, is a HUGE part of the cruise experience. So the need to make lists and the research about the ports of call and the daydreaming is pushing reality into the corners where they’re present, but they’re covered more in shadow.

So we’re very much looking forward to our infusion of magic on the Disney Magic. We need it. Our lives need it. Two years without a “real” vacation is a long time for us. Driving up to Kentucky because of tragedy does not count. So there you have it… a drama-filled year in the life of me. If you’ve actually read this whole thing and your eyeballs are still firmly fastened inside of your sockets… kudos to you! If not, then I promise you that the actual trip report will be 500 times more riveting, because there has been no magic in my life for the last year. The magic is ahead of us waiting in the Caribbean.

Up Next: The Plans
__________________
Past Trips:
April 2003 - 4 Night Bahamian Cruise Aboard the Disney Wonder
May 20th, 2006 - 7 Night Western Cruise Aboard the Disney Magic - Read the Villainous trip report!
March 17th, 2007 - 7 Night Eastern Cruise Aboard the Disney Magic -Read the trip report!
June 20th, 2009 - 7 Night Eastern Cruise Aboard the Disney Magic - The Trip Report is underway!
November 28th, 2010 - 4 Night Cruise Aboard the Disney Wonder
February 12, 2011 - 7 Night Eastern Cruise Aboard the Disney Magic

Upcoming Trips:

???

Last edited by RoyalVizier; 06-19-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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