Traveling is challenging for anyone on any kind of special diet or medical challenges. Something that I have discovered is that on Princess Cruise ships, they do an outstanding job of attending to special diets. A Bible verse that inspires me states, “Ask and it will be given unto you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to you children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11 God opens up doors and closes others as I apply His word to my life and ask for His guidance and direction.
I am gluten, grain, dairy, soy, legumes and I-can’t-always-remember-free. I have cleared my home out of known allergens. I also am sensitive to perfumes and scents as well as dust, mold and mildew. This is much harder to manage when I travel. On a cruise ship, the stewards do an excellent job on keeping scents out of our cabin.
About three years ago, an auto accident in which I was rear ended, resulted in pain from my right shoulder down my arm and prevented me from playing my guitar and violin. I was ordered by my doctor to go and rest. How could I do that? I have a farm to run, animals to care for, goats to milk, a garden to weed, music ministry I feel responsible for, and a myriad of other things to do and get done. In order for me to heal, It became clear I had to do something different. I prayed and asked God for a way to really go and rest. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ESV Matthew 11:28-30 It sometimes feels as if my family and farm cannot make it without me supervising everything to make sure it all gets done in the right amount of time and in the right season. There is also the proverbial shoe waiting to be dropped. I feel like I need to do everything within my power to prevent or avoid said shoe from dropping. This is exhausting and I am still working on letting go and letting God handle His job.
We found a “drop and go” cruise to Hawaii that left from a near by city and provided 15 days of rest and relaxation. This was just the thing we both needed. It was affordable for us and God provided the timing of an extra paycheck that was the exact amount needed for us to go. Even with booking it two weeks before we left, Princess accommodated my dietary needs. My doctor advised me to walk up and down the stairs. He said I could “go and look at the Midnight Buffet, but don’t eat it.” As it turned out, we were too tired to stay up that late after going dancing and enjoying other activities on board. By following his advise, I was able to maintain my weight and have plenty of fun. Especially as I got to learn to play the ukulele on this first cruise!
Filling out the medical diet form and choosing Traditional Dining provided me with excellent food choices prepared the way I needed them to be. While I did bring some food bars and protein bars just in case, the Maitre’d has always been outstanding in keeping me informed and still providing me with choices. It is fun to have dessert be a surprise every night and have it be something I could enjoy without fear of a reaction.
Our first cruise was such a good experience that we have since then gone to Mexico, through the Panama Canal on a repositioning cruise which began in Fort Lauderdale and ended for us in Los Angeles. This spring we were able to go on a repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona, Spain. It was exciting to me to be able to go to Cartagena, Columbia one year and then to Cartagena, Spain the next. They are really one of the most cost effective ways to see the world once section at a time. If I could go back and add one thing to my homeschooling years, I would add cruising. There are so many “hands on” educational opportunities! Geography, Astronomy, Cultures, Languages, manners and history as well as art, cooking demonstrations and my personal favorite, music!
My advise for cruising is to ask for what you need for your diet, walk and attend active classes, enjoy Traditional Dining and have fun! Most of all, know that God loves you and cares about the needs in your life and wants to provide what you need. I’m continually reminded that He doesn’t always give me what I want but He always gives me what I need.