Recently, a Carnival Cruise line ship on its way to Mexico from Texas suffered an engine fire and lost power. Guests on board were subjected to sleeping on the decks and going to the bathroom in bags because the minimal electricity that was available after the fire was used to operate elevators and heat up whatever food hadn’t rotted. I can honestly say I would never want to go on a vacation where there isn’t enough energy to operate toilets. Those poor passengers had to deal with what might as well have been stone-age era conditions for five days. No escape. No thanks. While I know these types of incidents are very rare, after the cruise fiasco off the coast of Italy last year, it seems that cruises (especially Carnival Cruise Lines) need to get it together before I board a ship.
I’m no stranger to unexpected vacation turns, however. I have been stranded in the middle of the Andes Mountains not once, but twice, on the same vacation. I had to hitchhike my way out of the mountains with a Chilean family that was kind enough to take me off the side of the road. I feel for those people on the cruise ship. I was stranded for a total of about five hours in the Andes and thought I was going to lose it. I couldn’t imagine being stuck on a dark, smelly, hot ship for five days. These are risks you take when leaving home, however, and those people on the ship were reimbursed fully for their suffering. I’m still waiting on my reimbursement from the bus companies that left me in the middle of nowhere after they broke down and the bus driver was detained for smuggling, respectively (South America, ladies and gentlemen). All I had with me other than clothes was a pear and bag of ham-flavored chips, and something tells me I’ll be waiting for a while for that money.
So not every vacation goes as well as planned, but that’s just life; that shouldn’t stop you from getting off the couch and going somewhere. There are great deals out there on vacations that won’t break the bank. I went on CheapCarribean.com and bought a luxury all-inclusive vacation to Jamaica for two with airfare for the cost of a flight to Europe. The Caribbean has wonderful vacation spots just a few hours’ flight from Boston, including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Aruba, and has all-inclusive resorts at every price point. All I know is, seasonal depression is a huge prompt for getting out of town for a few days.