I dreaded it. Yes, it was my seventh time on board one of the floating palaces known as Costa Cruise lines for the Holistic Holiday at Sea. Yes, I knew the ‘big boat’ left the dock and rocked and rolled its way around the Caribbean. Yes, I am plagued by seasickness…even at the thought of the ship leaving the dock. Yikes! Am I nuts to do this again?
As usual, Sandy Pukel had enticed me with the prospect of lots of cool classes to teach and lots of other cool teachers to hang out with. Not to mention that he attracts some of the nicest, looniest (in the nicest way…) people on his cruises. But the topper was the chance to teach side by side with Dr. Neal Barnard, president and founder of Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. Neal and I are friends, dare I say colleagues, but to teach together was my dream gig. I was a goner…seasick or not, I was going.
I worked with my homeopathic family doctor to come up with a remedy for my maladies at sea. Turns out, it’s called ‘Motion Sickness;’ I am not kidding. Taken every two hours, the package said it battled symptoms of nausea, dizziness and vomiting associated with motion sickness (hence the name of the product, I guess). I was game. I’d try anything as long as I could make this trip without hanging over the side of the ship.
It worked…better than any other thing I have ever tried…better than ginger, ume plums in my navel (not kidding…) or those hideous little bracelets. I was in heaven. I could concentrate on my classes and my friends and have a grand old time.
Neal and I chose our topic based on a new interest of his…the Three Sisters, referring to the Native American crops of corn, beans and squash. Combining lecture and cooking class, Neal and I introduced a large audience to this fabulous concept of growing, harvesting and eating. A model of sustainability, this ‘companion growing’ is an idea with ancient roots in this country and infinite possibilities for the future.
All in all, I would say the cruise was a success. I saw all my old friends and added some new ones to my ever-growing circle of people I love. I danced with Marilu Henner, learning the steps to ‘All That Jazz,’ from ‘Chicago’ with about 100 other cruisers. Let me just say that you have not lived until you have watched very serious macrobiotic teachers throw inhibitions to the wind and roll their shoulders and swivel their hips with Marilu!
And I ate in peace, with no sick stomach, no dread of the aromas in my cooking classes, no wishing I would fall overboard just to make the ship stop moving. I would call that a success…on so many levels.
You really have to take this cruise…I know I will be back next year, ‘Motion Sickness’ in hand.