Well, we are now 0-2 in our attempts to visit the lovely city of Charleston, South Carolina. In 2011 (our Southern Comfort trip), we spent four nights in Hilton Head and had every intention of doing a day trip there, but decided the four-hour round trip was not worth it. Driving north from Hilton Head to the Outer Banks on that same trip, we journeyed through through the outskirts of the city but did not have time to go into the historic area.
Now, on this cruise, we are foiled once again. Starting yesterday afternoon, Regatta entered a massive storm cell in this region of the Atlantic stretching from northern Florida to Virginia, with some areas getting winds above 50 knots and waves greater than 30 feet. Our mildly bouncing Saturday turned into a very rough night. The evening show was canceled and most people retreated to their cabins, us included. My balance is not good and I don’t want to risk a fall, so we had a room service dinner. Although we both felt fine, we knew that sleeping would be difficult with all of the motion, so Steve ran to the boutique and bought some Dramamine for its other effect (a mild sleep aid). Regatta bounced and pitched and rolled all night, but we did sleep. Our muscles got a workout making sure we stayed in the bed :-).
Early this morning, the Captain informed everyone that our scheduled stop today in Charleston was no longer possible because he had to deviate course and go very slowly to avoid possible injuries and damage to the ship. This is quite understandable given the conditions, so I guess we’ll have to make an effort to go to Charleston directly someday and spend time there. We may eat the $135 we spent booking a carriage ride, but at least the restaurant reservation (Slightly North of Broad) was canceled easily. As I’m writing this, we somehow made it to the Baristas on Deck five, where we are watching 20-25 foot seas under a lovely partly cloudy sky as we head south away from the storm; some waves reach as high as the windows on this deck.
We disembark Tuesday in Miami, so we may have two more days at sea or they might opt for a stop in Nassau (one of our least favorite ports) or possibly Port Canaveral.
Oh, one other interesting thing that happened – we were sitting outside at Waves grill yesterday afternoon before we hit the main storm area. The ship cruised through a few isolated rain showers and the temperature was nice, although the winds were pretty high. Suddenly, the wind started howling and rapidly increased in frequency until our ears popped! It was a microburst, right above the pool deck! And I also need to add a funny story – the bad seas began in earnest while we were playing trivia in the Regatta lounge, forward on Deck 5. We decided to stay afterwards and participate in that eternal cruise ship tradition, Bingo. Tom, the assistant cruise director and one of the entertainers, was calling the numbers. He kept fanning his face with bingo cards and finally asked Hailey, another entertainer who was assisting during the game, to take over for him. Tom ran behind the curtains of the stage and emerged a little while later, looking a bit like Kermit the Frog. Many of the staff are not immune to bad seas and their effects.
More later as we wind down the cruise.