Did you miss me? After a week of taking in the sea air and sun, I am BACK! For those not yet privy to the info, hubby and I were off on a Disney Cruise for out 25th wedding anniversary. We had a blast! And fortunately, I think it also gave me a few topics to milk, errr, share with you all now that I have returned.

First things first though… If you wish to be tortured by pictures of our trip – click here! As of today, I still haven’t uploaded all of them. I’m at 250+ right now at the website and adding more daily. Gotta love those Sony Disc Cameras! Booyah! (Since I took over 2 disks worth of pics, should amount to over 500 photos when I am done. Bwahahahahaha) Oh, and no, I am not in any of the pictures, except maybe one as a reflection. I know a lot of people feel they must put themselves in pictures to prove they were there, but personally, why would I want to taint the subject of the photo with my presence? I know I was there — I took the darn things! Heh heh.

As to this week’s topic… Sanitize me!

You may or may not recall when there was a big scare some time ago where a whole ship full of people on a cruise ship became violently ill from a nasty bug of some sort. This created a scare amongst travelers and the companies making their living from their vacation habits. Personally, it made sense to me that if someone was sick and you have them in an enclosed zone (such as a ship) and the sick person is milling and interacting with others that the chances of giving the sickness to someone else is highly likely. Heck, just look at any office environment, throw in a stubborn worker with a cold, who just won’t go home, and watch the fun begin.

Anyway, ever since we booked our cruise a year ago, I never even thought about the scare or what it would mean to my travel experience. Well, as I found out the moment we hit Port Canaveral, Disney certainly had!

First thing we were asked upon reaching the desk to get our World Pass cards and get in line to board the Disney Magic was “Have you either of you been feeling ill or had any diarrhea in the last day?” If the answer was “yes” you were taken to see the doc and immediately isolated. (At least I believe that was the procedure, I didn’t see anyone admit to it!)

Second thing was that as you went past the Mickey Mouse ears leading to the gangway, Disney personnel were on hand to pass over a sanitation wipe so you could thoroughly clean your hands before laying a finger on the ship.

Rachel, the cruise director, admonished everyone to please wash their hands frequently, using soap and warm water. And before you could enter any of the ship’s restaurants, there were plenty of attendants at the entrance to give you a wipe or let you use some of that cleaning clear goo stuff. No wipe hands, no eat. πŸ˜›

Each time we docked at a port of call, the dispensers and crew were there on your return to get you sanitized before you went aboard. Cleaning crews could be spotted all over the place at all hours as rails, floors, and restrooms were kept totally immaculate and wiped down. And your personal room attendant (who not only cleaned, but straightened, and came back at night to turn down the bed and leave cute little animals made of a blanket or towel for your entertainment!!!) kept the place spotless.

The wipes were such a prevalent thing that even the entertainers used the concept in their shows. The Ventriloquist made jokes about the wipes (and the jet engine toilets, but that’s another matter). The juggler, who asked for volunteers from the audience, came to a complete stop as he was about to hand out his sticks to the two kids, then voila, popped out a bucket of wipes out of the back for them to use before they could get cooties on his stuff. Too darn funny really.

In no time we were used to having to do the little extra thing. By the end of the cruise, we expected it. When we left, we began to miss doing it!

I understand why it was done, but I sure never expected it. And it made for a fascinating tidbit on the trip.

The whole time though I wanted to come up with some clever line I could use on the people handing out the wipes. The only thing I could come up with was “Wipe Me” – and somehow that just didn’t seem right. At the airport, however, one of our dinner companions from the ship gave me the perfect line. Wish he’d mentioned it sooner.

So…Sanitize ME!

Tags: Cruise; Gloria Oliver; Sanitation