Post-Cruise Blues – The hardest thing about a cruise is coming home – and the first time can be the worst.

Monday Mantra

Too bad. So sad…Too bad. So sad…Too bad. So sad…

Post-Cruise Blues

The hardest thing about a cruise is coming home – and the first time can be the worst

As we celebrate this magical time of year, I ask each of you to briefly pause and send kind and encouraging thoughts to my friend Peggy as she struggles to overcome a period of deep distress and anguish.

Peggy has just returned from her first cruise — an 11-day Caribbean sailing aboard Viking Star — and is having a hell of a time re-adjusting to the real world.

A day after our return, I received several emails from my distraught friend:

-“Saw pesto farro salad at the grocery. Bought it, ate it. It’s just not the same as on the boat.”

            -“Just put in a Lean Cuisine—how sad!!!!!!”

            -“It’s freezing out!! I’ll never whine about melting in Barbados again.”

            -“Having a little red wine to go with the laundry but I wish CJ was here to whip me up a Cosmo.”

Sometimes I think Cruise Lines International Association (a trade association that essentially promotes the cruise industry) should put me on its payroll considering the number of friends I’ve introduced to cruising over the decades. But Peggy was a special case.

Unlike most of my friends who were slightly intrigued by cruising but never took the plunge until I kicked their sorry butts up the gangway, Peggy was convinced she’d fall off the ship, immediately contract norovirus, or, at best, be stranded in her cabin battling seasickness for the entire voyage. Little did I know how quickly she’d be seduced by the glories of cruising and how completely her pre-cruise jitters would dissolve. For Pete’s sake, about midway through, she started to point and snicker each time she noticed someone wearing a seasick patch behind the ear.

(Bad karma, girlfriend! “There but for the grace of God go I” and all that.)

Judi Cuervo and PeggyIt’s difficult to identify the moment Peggy fully embraced the cruise experience, but it certainly began at the embarkation lunch buffet when our wine glasses were consistently filled by a handsome attendant who Peggy discreetly snapped a photo of and whose image — with the caption “My future husband” — currently appears on her Facebook page. The buffet’s preview of the delectable dishes that would be served to her for the next 11 days further delighted her, as did the cabin with its lovely verandah, in-room coffeemaker, great water pressure, comfy beds, fine linens, and thunderously powerful toilet flush.

Peggy fell in love with cruising. Deeply and completely.

And now, as we celebrate what should be the most joyous season of the year, Peggy finds herself having to make her own bed, pour her own wine, mix her own Cosmos, and yes, ladies and gentlemen, dine on frozen dinners.

It’s only the hardest hearts that wouldn’t be touched by that.

— Judi Cuervo

Sign up for weekly cruise news, fun contests, and exclusive offers delivered right to your inbox!

Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.