To my kids’ everlasting dismay, I have sworn off cruise ships.  All cruise ships.  Period.

“Little” cruise ships (is there even such a thing?), huge cruise ships, cruise ships BrightSide claims are “so large you’ll never even feel them move” – all are a Big. Fat. No.  Not happening.  No way, no how.

And you’d think I was killing my kids slowly with this.

Seriously, T-man takes this as some sort of personal affront.  (What do you mean, you won’t go?  But this ship goes to the Caribbean.  And this one is Disney!)  It seems beyond his comprehension that it might be an experience so singularly and consistently uncomfortable that volunteering to do it again for seven days is akin to checking into an ice hotel.

Side note:  What on earth is an ice hotel about?  Fluffy coats, warm blankets, yada yada yada – looks like hell via freezer burn to me.

It might sound like I’m being a prima donna about the cruise ship thing.  Like I’m refusing to tolerate a bit of discomfort so my kids can experience something new and amazing.  Except it’s less “a bit of discomfort” and more “upchuck factor of fifty, 24 hours a day.”

You see, like the helicopters, cruise ships are a twice run experiment for me.  Another example of Trying To Be Open Minded About The Possibility Of A Better Experience The Second Time Around.  And, much like the helicopters, the cruise ship crashed and burned the second time, too.  (Not literally, of course.)

Here’s what normal people seem to experience when they board a cruise ship:  amazement at the decor, awe at the fact a structure that huge can be kept afloat, and appreciation for delicious food and evening entertainment.  They love the pools and port calls, sightseeing and the chance to unwind for an entire week.  It is a floating nirvana.

Now, this is what I experienced on my two cruise ship (ahem) adventures:  a fleeting sense of how beautiful everything was, down to the tiniest detail.  Shock at the ship’s size (This thing has how many decks?!) and a very real fear that I’d get lost in its bowels.  Battling claustrophobia every time I used our bathroom, and the unnerving sensation of being in a 50,000 ton water bed each night.  Plus there was the pervasive sensation of being perched on the brink of vomiting every single minute.

One particularly memorable evening, BrightSide and I joined some friends for dinner.  It was a gorgeous restaurant, and since one of the guys was a mussels aficionado he ordered an appetizer for the table.  A determined angel was whispering in one ear, “Be a sport and take a few.  It’s good to try new things.” while a slightly green angel moaned into the other, “Uhhh…that smell…uhhhh…”

BrightSide asked what was wrong since I wasn’t eating (a sure sign that something is truly amiss).  He looked like I’d told him the sky was brown when I explained that I felt seasick.  BrightSide quietly commented that he didn’t understand, he couldn’t even feel the ship moving, to which I replied by pointing at the chandeliers gently swaying above us.  Ugh.

Apparently I have a nervous system designed to signal distress calls at even the slightest disturbance to my balance.  This strikes me as ironic since I find such peace around the water, but I learned a while ago to just roll with the idiosyncrasies.  Life is simpler that way.

So here we are, my feet firmly planted in the No Cruise Ships column while T-man and Bear bounce madly in the Yes.  For a while I felt bad about this.  Like I was letting them down.  Then I realized if this is the worst childhood disappointment they face…well, let’s just say life hasn’t exactly handed them lemons.

Power to the Land Lubbers!