vacation, cruising, WORRIED suggestions???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by BethM, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. BethM

    BethM New Member

    My wonderful Mom is taking me on a cruise to Alaska. We will both fly to Seattle and meet at the airport there, as we are leaving from different places. We fly on Thursday, sail on Friday, will return the following Friday.

    As great as this is, I've never cruised before. I'm nervous, about things like the movement of the ship, and such a huge new experience. I'm not a great traveler. Flying usually wipes me out for a day or two.

    Mom also has fibro, and has some problems with walking much distance, so our shore excursions are all of a gentle nature without a lot of walking. Suits me, too.

    This is such a terrific opportunity for me, as I doubt I'd have the funds to do this on my own, or the courage! Mom has cruised a few times, so she will be a good resource, too.

    Am I overly worried?

    Any suggestions for cruising with fibro?

    Thanks,
    Beth.
  2. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    oh you are so lucky I hope you have a great time.

    I get motion sickness just traveling in a car 30 miles...LOL
    I take a cheap version of Dramamine and it works great for me (I have FMS) of course every on is different.

    You could call you physician or pharmacist and ask if it is OK with you medicines. If they say it is OK you might try one and see how it makes you feel if they say it is OK.

    I have an aunt who travels all of the time and swears that sucking on a lemon helps her motion sickness.

    Good luck and have fun,

    Karen
  3. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    I have cruised 4 times and my Mother has cruised about 18 times, with another coming up next January.

    mustlovedogs gave you some wonderful information. Make sure you take ALL of your meds, IN THE BOTTLES they are prescribed in.

    I have not been to Alaska but Mother has. I did get to cruise on the Royal Carribean, "Mariner of the Seas", which is a huge ship with a shopping mall and ice rink. I went there this past November and another one this past April. Like you, thanks to my Mother; God Bless Her.

    Have a wonderful time; enjoy and most of all, take your time. There have been days that we just stayed on the ship and enjoyed the meals but we had been to the islands on a prior cruise so we didn't miss anything.

    May I ask what cruise line/ship you will be taking?

    You're VERY fortunate,

    BlueSky555
  4. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Hi, thanks for the good advice!

    We're going on Holland America line, one of their 'smaller' ships, only about 1400 passengers.

    Dramamine and Benadryl are both antihistamines, but are different chemicals. Both of them put me to sleep! I hope I will be ok on the ship, with the motion. Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes not. With the stabilizers, should be ok!

    Thanks for the advise about not seeing the ship's doctor! I will do my best to avoid his/her office! Don't need any more bills than absolutely necessary.

    Ok, gotta go figure out what to pack.

    Hugs,
    Beth.

  5. kriskwon

    kriskwon New Member

    I'm so happy for you!! I too, have taken 5 cruises within the past 3 years (all when I had Fibro). I was trying to think if I could give you any tips to keep the flares down:

    Usually the mattresses are very hard. Ask for an "egg crate" - i think that's what you call them. I asked all 5 times and each time I was obliged. The first night I was so uncomfortable, my hips were killing me!!!

    Bring your own pillow. I got one of those space bags (not the vacuum kind) to bring mine. I also broght my stuffed doggie that I sleep with.

    It's easy to get cought up in the fun, but try to stay on your medicane schedule as close as possible.

    When you board the ship, you ususally won't get your luggage for a few hours. Goos thing to keep in mind.

    Bring a fanny pack. I don't know about you, but I can wear a purse for a little while - but not as long as an excursion usually takes.

    If you have a small electic blanket, ring that too. It's very cold there and will be a godsend if you have a flare.45rr (my kitty typed that !!).

    Usually the next day I'm pretty wiped, but that's what "RELAX" means right!! It will be easier because your mom will be understaning. The first trip I had to do everything - the next ones, I really enjoyed myself at mu own pace and I had few problems. Oh yeah, the stairs can be a killer!!!

    One more thing, this is a perfect chance to take a stroll around the ship (if it's not too cold!) at your own pace.

    Hope all this helps. If you tell them at the Pursers Desk that you are both "handicapped", they should make your final boarding a lot easier, but mention it right away.

    -Penny
  6. kriskwon

    kriskwon New Member

    I just saw that your taking Holland - that's a VERY NICE cruise line.
  7. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Penny, good suggestions, thanks. I think we have a wheelchair arranged for Mom for boarding, but I better double check that.

    I can't wear a fanny pack, as it hurts my low back, but I do have a Healthy Back Bag I bought from LL Bean that is easy to carry. I have a small daypack, but not sure where it went. I will try not to carry too much, but I need to carry meds, water, id, a brush, lip balm, etc, etc.

    Might bring my heating pad, as I cannot sleep if I'm cold. Good idea.

    Mom and I have agreed to take things at our pace, so we don't wear ourselves out. We are good traveling companions.

    Kriskron, glad to hear Holland is GOOD line!

    thanks,
    Beth.
  8. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Have fun! Don't put too much pressure on yourself to do tons of stuff, because they always have a million things to do, and its easy to feel like you're 'wasting' the vacation if you don't participate. But take it EASY, and enjoy it! :)

    And my rule is.. i've been on three cruises. I've gotten sick three times. ;) So if you DO get sick.. just don't stress about it. I've learned to accept that i will probably have one bad day per vacation, but if i know that in advance, it doesn't dissapoint me as much when it happens, and i always end up having a very nice time on the other days that i'm feeling better.

    I've always wanted to do an Alaska cruise! I've only done Carribean ones before, so be sure to tell us all about it when you get back.
  9. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear Beth:

    Our family just had a wonderful Disney Cruise/reunion in Florida and the Eastern Caribbean. It was great. I was a bit nervous prior to the trip as well. It worked out just fine. I am still in a bad RA flare, and was worried about medications, etc. I have also cruised to Alaska (16 years ago).

    Some advice. Buy any medications that you think you might need. Dramamine and whatever works for you. Ships now (even smaller ones) are equipped with stabilizers so you do not "feel" the motion of the ship as much as you used to. Depending upon where your cabin is, there are a few things that you can do to minimize the rolling feeling, if the seas are rough. The closer you are to the center of the ship, the less motion you will experience. Also, do not stay inside if you can help it. While it might be nice to curl up in bed, if you are feeling seasick, it can make it worse. The old trick of looking at the horizon really does work...it resets your equilibrium.

    When I cruised from Alaska to Seattle in 1990, the ship was small, about 1500 people, and they only had a pool inside, on the 2nd level...that was a weird experience...swimming laps while the water sloshed around. I would not recommend it. But outside pools are much better.

    As others have said, when you get to a port, and nearly everyone gets off, you can have the ship to yourselves. I did some very active shore excursions, but I was young then! In Ketchikan we took a float plane trip (just 6 on the plane) to Misty Fiords National Park. One of the highlights of the trip. In Juneau, we did a whitewater river rafting trip on the Mendenhall Glacier. In Skagway we took a helicopter trip to a glacier and were able to walk around on it for 30 minutes. It was incredible. The cruise lines really go out of there way to make these types of shore excursions possible for nearly everyone. We had older people, handicapped people, children, etc on nearly all the trips.

    Oh, enjoy the food, but do not eat anything that you are not used to eating, as it could really play havoc with your cruise enjoyment level. Gingerale is good to keep your stomach settled. I also always travel with Tums, even though I do not use them much at home.

    Oh, if your cabin does not have a bathtub, make sure you know where the adult jacuzzi is located. You might even have a gym or spa onboard that has a jacuzzi. Make sure you find out about the hours. Also, you might want to locate the medical cabin, and talk with someone there if you have any special needs/requirements or concerns.

    Cruise lines are very interested in making sure that your trip is a great experience for you and they will do just about anything that you ask of them. You will also get to know your cabin steward/stewardess very well. Ask them questions, get advice from them, as they usually know just about everything. Also, I have found that your table staff also knows a great deal about what is going on aboard ship. They can tell you what is worthwhile and what is okay to miss.

    Oh, take twice as much film (if you use SLR camera) half as much luggage, three times as much cash, and get ready to have a great time.

    Ingrid
  10. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    I used bracelets with no drug in them .They work on your acupuncture point .On the inside of your wrist.I bought them at CVS.They work GREAT.

    Have fun
    Sue
  11. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    The great thing about cruises is you can control how much activity you get and when. You also can tell your waiter the first day if you have dietary restrictions and they're very good about that. They make sure you have great meals even with any restrictions you have. I'm really stuck on cruising for vacations now, because they're so relaxing, and fun with the evening live entertainment. You'll have a blast!

    I also asked for a mattress pad, and got the eggshell pad from their infirmary--it worked great. The first cruise I was on after getting FM, I didn't know to ask, and was in excrutiating pain from their ultra firm mattress. It's harder than hotel mattresses even.

    Another thing I do is pack herbs that are good for if you start to get sick, just in case. I haven't needed them yet on cruises. I pack oil of oregano, olive leaf extract and a mix of herbs that include echinachea, astragalus, etc.
    When I travelled to Asia years ago, I got a terrible flu that was going around and took those herbs to control it. Others went to a dr. and got antibiotics and I got well as quickly as they did, with less expence. I was really popping them big time for awhile!

    IMHO, cruising is the ideal vacation for someone with Fibro.
  12. jeduanboneis

    jeduanboneis New Member

    I have been on 3 cruises and when I have vacation $, I will go again. Two on a cruise ship and one on a Windjammer. I wouldn't recommend the Windjammer as it wasn't as luxurious.

    My husband and I were married during a cruise.We went to the southernmost tip of Key West and were married by a minister that my husband had found previously. There were alot of honeymooners on the ship, but they had spent major bucks letting the cruiseline plan their wedding. It was wonderful !!!!!

    There is no other way to travel for me than to cruise. My next time I will go with Holland, as I understand they are the best at this point

    My first cruise was to the Carribean and I was kinda scared to go. But when we came home, I cried for three weeks.

    The staff is very accomodating so be sure to ask for whatever you need. I always have a tendency to become constipated (sorry) so I make sure to bring something to help. Take as many meds as you think you will need and then some more.

    You will think you are in heaven and they will treat you like a queen.

    Jeanne
  13. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Getting the paperwork done has been stressful. (immigration forms, boarding passes, etc.) Mostly I guess because I'm doing it all for Mom and myself and have never done it before. whew. I will be able to relax when I get to the airport tomorrow...

    Two of you now have mentioned the hard beds. Definitely something to be aware of. I am spoiled by my sleep number bed anyway.

    I'm NOT packing formal wear! They'll have to accept my navy blue pants set with a fancy blouse. That's just me, though. I don't do 'dress up' with stockings and heels and all that. Just not my style or comfort level.

    Someone mentioned a camera. Yikes, forgot about that! I think I will go find digital disposable cameras, maybe with a zoom lens, because our big camera mystifies me.

    I am feeling way too stressed with all this. (breathe, breathe...)

    When I get back, if I can figure it out, I'll post some pictures!

    hugs to all!

    Beth.
  14. jeduanboneis

    jeduanboneis New Member

    Please try to take it easy and realize that this is one of the best situations that you will have and remember for your whole life.

    We have enough to be anxious about with our issues and this trip is a REALLY GOOD THING.

    Nobody has said that there was really anything that they didn't like.

    This is a wonderful chance of a lifetime. Enjoy !!!!

    Jeanne