Sickness, Salvation, and Splendor – Part 5, Martinique

That gut feeling.

Instead of waking up, feeling like a million bucks, I woke up feeling like I owed it. What did I do to deserve this? My head was bumping, my guts were bubbling, and nausea was ever-present. On top of that my shoulders and arms were very sore and throbbing as well. Good grief, what a day to feel like this. Martinique was one of the islands I wanted to see the most. I also put the most money into this port for an excursion. I forced myself out of bed and out onto the balcony. There was a knock on the door from room service who were bringing my banana toast and tea. I let them in and then went back to my post on the balcony. I made a few apologies that morning about not being out past 10. It turned out they went ahead with the 80s party as planned and it bummed me.

Sitting on the balcony it was mostly cloudy and Martinique didn’t look as impressive as a result. All ports, especially islands need to be sunlit in the mornings. As we drew closer to the port city of Fort-de-france, I heard and then saw a helicopter. It made several low passes around the ship, some lower than others. It was neat to see and it seemed pretty obvious that Carnival Splendor’s arrival was a fairly big deal.

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As we neared port, I had a decision to make. Go forward with the all-day catamaran tour as planned or bail and take it easy. I must have gone back and forth ten times and decided to try to suck it up for the catamaran. So many cool people were going and if they jumped off a cliff, I would have as well. I got myself together the best I could, filled my guts with medicine and proceeded to meet with the rest in the theater where they would get pre-clearance to leave in a large group. After collecting my ticket, I sat down with some others and had conversation for a while before we were called. I still felt like crap and was uneasy with the idea of being on the catamaran. Not only for the way I felt, but fear of being in the sun too long again, for a second day in a row. A few months prior, I had miscalculated the order of the ports, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gone on a catamaran two days in a row in the first place. Getting back to being in the theater, it wasn’t too long before we were called to leave the ship and head to our chartered boats. I walked with much trepidation down the freshly painted, really cool, psychedelic-looking pier and onto shore. There were a few TV crews and people taking photos of the ship and people wandering the pier. I made my way past the welcome sign, a vendor tent and then met with my group next to the catamaran I was to board. When the time came to step on the boat though, I just didn’t have it in me (or maybe it was what was in me). I just couldn’t do it. Being far from the sanctity of the ship was just not something I wanted, on top of being out in the sun for another long period of time. I apologized and a few others gave me hugs before I turned around and made my way back up the dock. It sucked to bail, but in the end, it was the smart thing to do. The money I put into it, was not worth the risk.

After a bathroom break, I decided to try to walk around Fort-de-France for a little while. It was at least doing something and I could take some cool photos of the place. I could get my t-shirt, magnet, and I asked some of the friends I made to get a Biere Lorraine bottle cap for me since I would probably not be drinking. Stopping inside a local shop for the tee and magnet I felt nauseous again. After the lady in front of me took the longest amount of time possible to buy a fragrance, I paid for my stuff, almost forgetting my credit card as I tried to leave. In the courtyard outside, I took my second Zofran of the day with some water. It helped me for a good while and I was able to walk around a little longer, taking photos of the very, very, colorful city and it’s many Citroens, Peugeots, and Renaults. French cars are always interesting.

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After walking around a good bit of time (longer than I had anticipated). I decided to walk back to the ship and get some lunch. The upset stomach couldn’t keep me away from the Tandoor buffet, but this was mostly because it had rice as one of the main dishes. I mixed in a little bit of chicken so it wouldn’t be so bland and ate lunch slowly before returning to my cabin. Dizziness was becoming a little bit of an issue and all I wanted to do was sleep. Then again, I didn’t necessarily feel like sleeping either. I laid down for a while and tried. Every time I closed my eyes, 5 minutes later, I’d be wide awake again. I kept on top of my medicine, and took my temperature constantly, which had risen over 99 at one point, but thankfully remained mostly normal. So since I couldn’t sleep and was there by myself I did the natural thing and bought a block of wi-fi time from Carnival so I could kill time on the internet. I paid something I can’t remember for 240 minutes of wi-fi and perched myself on the balcony so I could at least enjoy the sights and sounds. Thank goodness for the balcony. For a good while, I looked on all the social media outlets and sent some messages back and forth on Facebook with those back home, specifically my mom. I regretted telling her how I felt because by nature she’s my mom and will worry, but it was good to reason with her about how I felt and what I should do. Mother knows best. I concluded I had sun poisoning and just tried to take it easy. I had been already running low on Zofran when I took some earlier that day. I wondered if I should visit the ship’s doctor but feared the consequences like whether or not they would lock me in the cabin (not likely). Kim had told me that visits could be expensive and I’d have to pay for the medicines and fees. I looked over my trip insurance contract for illness coverage, but it was a sea of gray considering I was on medication when I boarded. In the end I decided to ride it out and see how I felt in the morning.

The afternoon on my balcony rolled by and sail-away was approaching. About an hour before sailing a band started playing. They started marching from the vender tents down the water’s edge and then turned around. They then marched all the way down the pier and stopped next to the ship where they played for a long time while guests continued to board. The music was fantastic and it kept going and going. I forced myself from the confines of the cabin and rushed to the outside promenade on deck 3 where I could see and hear them better. I remained there, focusing more on the entertainment than the way I felt. After a while I still felt like crap, so I headed back to the cabin for sail away. The band was still playing for a short while after I returned but once the time rolled around, they too departed. We shortly after departed Martinique, bound for Grenada. This was the first time I heard the ship’s horn.

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A while later, I wandered up to the lido cafeteria to have a light dinner. I didn’t feel like joining anyone that night in the dining room and just wanted to take it easy. Truth be told, dinner in the cafe was almost preferable considering the slow service in the dining room, but paled in the social aspect. While trying to enjoy the dinner, I noticed an occasional crew/staff member trying to rush through theirs and I felt bad, knowing how hard some of these people work.

I retired back to the cabin for the night. Carnival offers free movies and some on-demand ($). Lets Be Cops was listed and I immediately purchased it for a nice night of just hanging out in the cabin, trying to recuperate. I took a shower and then turned on the movie but was instantly disappointed. All sound, no picture. I tried to load the movie a few times and it just didn’t take. I called guest services to see if somebody could do something about it and they said somebody would check on it shortly. About twenty minutes later, a technician showed up to have a look. “They say your TV is not working?” he asked. “Uh, it works, but the movie only has sound, no picture” I replied. He took a couple of minutes to look into it. Step 1, per usual was to unplug the TV then plug it back in and try again. Of course this didn’t fix it. He told me that he’d need to check the movie cache and that he’d call me with an update in a little while. Bummed, I laid down and watched some cheesy TV shows instead. About another twenty minutes passed and the tech called. “Sorry, but when the movie was loaded, it was done so in the wrong format.” “Ah, so that explains it.” He had contacted guest services already and they refunded the charge for the movie I couldn’t watch.

I gave up on TV and didn’t want to burn anymore internet time so bedtime came early. Hopefully I would wake up feeling much better for Grenada.

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