Urgent Help Needed

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#1
St Helens
45 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hi All,

As you can tell this is my first post. Hello everyone!

I am in desparate need of help. I am due to sail out ths Friday 22nd July on Azura cruise number A117. I am wondering if anybody has previously contacted or indeed if you can can contact P & O for a weather forecast and sailing conditions for the first 3 days of the cruise?

Now for the reason!

Both myself and my wife are not new to cruising, quite the opposite. We have been on around about 10/12 cruises with P & O since about 2004 all in the Med. This is due to the fact my wife is terrified of flying even though she has done it in the past. We got into cruising as she worked for a very successful local cruise company (which was taken over by a well known brand) and got a free cruise in 2003. I thought this was the answer to our prayers to find the perfect holiday, how wrong could I be! She had a panic attack and we 'missed the boat'. She somehow managed to get a free cruise the year after and despite weeks of panic attacks and threatening not to get on the ship she finally did (Oceana for those that are still reading!).

Anyway since then we have been on many cruises relatively trouble free although one year she had a panic attack, we missed the ship and flew out to Barcelona to catch it!

She has always been nervous about sailing but eventually gets on and generally enjoys it. We have a 3 year old daughter now and we went on Ventura last year round about 3rd July I think, however coming home we had 2 rough days at sea which made her feel unsafe and very ill. I have to admit at least 1 day was quite rough and generally I don't suffer but I did. This was apparently due to the bad weather we had last year that forced the weather front down to the Med causing a bad swell.

This now sticks in her mind and she is adamant she is not going as she feels she isn't safe and with having a 3 year old she feels she can't protect her. I have tried all the reassuring tactics known to man but to no avail.

The only chance I have now is trying to find out the weather forecast for the first 3 days sailing out and potentially asking P & O if she can speak to a senior officer or Captain when we get on the ship to reassure her.

Silly I know considering the cruises we have been on but believe me having seen the state she gets herself into and the fact the weather is currently shocking at home, up to now she has no intention of going.

I would be grateful for any thoughts.

Thanks

Alan
#2
West Country, UK
4,151 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Welcome to Cruise Critic Alan. I am sorry your wife is having cold feet about the cruise.

I suggest you go to the Met Office web site (via the BBC) and check out their three or five day forecasts for where you are heading. I don't think P&O will give you any weather forecasts as the situation changes so frequently.

I can only suggest you explain Ventura is a very big, modern ship with every available safety device. The Master is Captain Alastair Clark, who has many years experience and would not put over 3000 passengers in any danger. You could I suppose ask at Reception when you board, but often the senior officers are ashore until just before sailing.

Is there any mild medication that your wife could ask her GP for to ease her panic attacks (I know what it is like as my mother was the same) ?
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#3
St Helens
45 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hi Sharon,

Thank you. However you must have misread my post.

We are travelling on Azura, not Ventura, the Captain is Keith Dowds whom we have had before.

I am not for one minute suggesting we would be in danger as we have both been on Ventura 3 times so she knows how big the ship is.

However fear is irrational and she thinks that the ship could be in danger in bad weather and no matter how much I tell her that we would dock in the nearest port should there be a problem it still isn't working.

With regards to the weather I know that it changes regularly as I have been checking all destinations every hour all weekend!

However I was hoping that P & O may be able to give us an idea how the weather was going to be and in particular the sailing conditions as they must know in advance.

In particular the sailing conditions as they are impossible to interpret to a novice and they must plan in advance.

Sorry if I am sounding harsh but I have has a horrendous weekend.

Thanks

Alan
#4
Nottingham, UK
6,812 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast_...ended_outlook/

Gives the extended forecast.

Tell your wife that hundreds of cruise ship journeys have traversed this area this year already and not one has encountered weather to force them to divert to a port.

These ships are tested in artificial conditions pitch/roll more than you will ever encounter on normal sea conditions.

Not sure if it would help but there is a video on YouTube somewhere showing sea trials of I think Indy of the Seas simulating worse possible conditions and the ship stays true..
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#5
Swindon
1,231 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Why not simply do a cruise that starts in the Mediterranean? The use the excellent continental rail system to get there?

I know it is too late for this year, but that would seem to be a sensible answer given the difficulties you face.

The only times I've been through the Bay of Biscay (and down to the Med) it has been like a millpond. Not that that means much however.

WD
#6
Warwickshire, UK
2,406 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Hi Alan
This website gives waveheights for the next 180hours.
http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/disp...a=natla_height
Looks not too good at the moment but gets very much calmer in 24hours so you should be OK.
Keep checking it each day.
Brian
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#7
St Helens
45 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by William Dean
Why not simply do a cruise that starts in the Mediterranean? The use the excellent continental rail system to get there?

I know it is too late for this year, but that would seem to be a sensible answer given the difficulties you face.

The only times I've been through the Bay of Biscay (and down to the Med) it has been like a millpond. Not that that means much however.

WD
Thanks WD,

Again if it was only that simple!

My wife doesn't mind trains but hates going in a tunnel so I presume that rules out the Channel Tunnel!

She will fly eventually I am sure.

The Bay of Biscay has always been fine for us, As mentioned earlier we have sailed about 150 nights onboard in total but as they say you always remember the last. It just so happens the last 2 were rough!

Thanks

Alan
#8
Nottingham, UK
6,812 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
The best way is to get her to write down on a piece of paper exactly what she is afraid of happening.. All the specific scenarios.

Then together (or post them on here) go through the following 1) What would cause this to happen, 2) Has this ever happened before, 3) what are the chances of it happening, 4) Is there anything that the crew/cruise line do to prevent this, 5) is there anything that I can do to prevent it from happening.


And if all else fails.. those great Baz Luhrmann lyrics..

"Worry, but know that worrying is about as useful as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum".

Oh and if she hasn't already tried them, try Kalms before you sail. Herbal remedy that really do work..
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Craig.
----------------
COMING UP:
Norwegian Jade - UK circumnavigation - May 22nd 2017
Norwegian Jade - Iceland - Aug 15th 2017
Norwegian Getaway - Baltics - Oct 7th 2017
---------------
COMPLETED CRUISES (29 cruises, 11 ships, 228 nights at sea)
Harmony of the Seas - Sept '16 7nt west med; May/June '16 7nt Maiden Voyage ; May '16 3nt Preview Cherbourg; May '16 4nt Preview Rotterdam
Norwegian Epic - Apr '16 10nt extended West Med; Sept '15 6nt Iberian Penisula; Sept '14 7nt West Med; October '13 13nt westbound transatlantic; Sep '13 7nt west med; October '12 13nt Westbound Transatlantic; Apr/May '12 7nt West Med; May/Jun '11 7nt West Med
Norwegian Escape - Oct/Nov '15 10nt Transatlantic inaugural cruise - Southampton - Miami; Oct '15 TA preview cruise - Southampton CTN; Oct '15 1nt Southampton CTN
Anthem of the Seas - Oct '15 3nt sampler cruise

Allure of the Seas - May '15 5nt West Med
Norwegian Spirit - Mar '15 10nt Canary Islands;
Mar '14 9nt Canary/Morocco
Independence of the Seas - May '14 6nt France/Spain; Dec '10 11nt Canaries
Norwegian Getaway - Jan '14 sampler
Norwegian Breakaway - May 13 7nt Inaugural Transatlantic
Ocean Village 1 - Aug '10 7nt West Med; Jan '08 14nt Central Americas; April '07 17nt Trans Atlantic Barbados-Crete; May '06 14nt West Med; May '05 14nt West Med
Ocean Village 2 - Apr '09 7nt Maiden East Med Pyramids
#9
St Helens
45 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Single Cruiser
The best way is to get her to write down on a piece of paper exactly what she is afraid of happening.. All the specific scenarios.

Then together (or post them on here) go through the following 1) What would cause this to happen,The ship were to sink 2) Has this ever happened before,yes Titanic 3) what are the chances of it happening,It will happen on 22nd! 4) Is there anything that the crew/cruise line do to prevent this, Their job!5) is there anything that I can do to prevent it from happening?Don't go!.


And if all else fails.. those great Baz Luhrmann lyrics..

"Worry, but know that worrying is about as useful as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum".

Oh and if she hasn't already tried them, try Kalms before you sail. Herbal remedy that really do work..
See above replies.
#10
Wales
629 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by Alan Flett
Sorry But I don't think Rosebaskets post was harsh at all.

I live with this first hand and my wife, although being terrified, does not convey this to our daughter at all, she is totally unaware.

People do not realise what fear is all about. She knows she can beat this but this has only happened in the last couple of weeks when it was too late, usually she is fine(ish).

Thanks

Alan
We are all entitled to an opinion.

Hopefully the replies re the weather will be helpful to you.

Good luck.
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#11
West Country, UK
4,151 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
OK, sorry I got the ship and captain wrong, but my first reply holds true. I don't think P&O will be able to give you a weather report until sailing, when it will be too late.

I agree with other posters that maybe some homeopathic or herbal remedies might help. I am guessing your insurance won't cover if you cancel. Might your wife respond to a little bit of guilt by saying she would be depriving her daughter of her holiday if you don't go ? or is that just going to make it worse ?

Or - just contact P&O anyway and see what they say. They can email the ship and ask your question for you.
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Cruise Photos:
https://photos.google.com/albums
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharonsshiptravels/
Blog: http://sharonp-shipsinmylife.blogspot.com/

Ships sailed on:
Vistafjord, Caronia, QE2, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth Maiden Voyage, Aurora, Arcadia, Oriana, Oceana, Artemis, Ventura, Balmoral, Braemar, Adonia, Discovery, Royal Princess (2013 ship), Nautica, MV Funchal,
Zaandam, Saga Pearl, Anthem of the Seas, Norwegian Escape, Harmony of the Seas. Also Rhine and Dutch river cruises

Ships visited:
Independence of the Seas, Azura, Artania, Prinsendam, Maasdam, Crystal Symphony, Saga Sapphire, Saga Pearl II, Marco Polo



To come:-
Aurora Full World Cruise 2017
Adonia Round Britain 2017
Aurora circumnavigation of South America 2018
Arcadia - USA & Canada Sept 2018


>
#12
Blighty
186 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Another good 'all conditions' site to take a look at is Weather2...

Click here for the link to the Bay of Biscay. It's as good as you'll get from anywhere else; including P&O IMO...

You can plug in other areas at will...

Good luck...
#13
Swindon
1,231 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Alan Flett
Thanks WD,

Again if it was only that simple!

My wife doesn't mind trains but hates going in a tunnel so I presume that rules out the Channel Tunnel!

She will fly eventually I am sure.

The Bay of Biscay has always been fine for us, As mentioned earlier we have sailed about 150 nights onboard in total but as they say you always remember the last. It just so happens the last 2 were rough!

Thanks

Alan
I have some understanding in that my wife's first night at sea was in a force ten rising eleven and that this has remained with her. She has also been in a plane hijack as well as in a plane which took off with one engine on fire trailing flames a la Concorde.

I just thought the train idea was ideal - but clearly the tunnel would be difficult. That's a pity in itself as Eurostar is such a lovely train!

Best of luck.

WD
#14
Gower Peninsula, Wales
2,713 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
It wil be too late for this holiday but your wife needs to explore CBT.

My daughter is a Clinical Psychologist and deals with these sort of phobias daily - your wife can be helped - all you have to do is ask for a referral from your GP.

Good luck.
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Gill
QE - May 2018
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#15
116 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
I think you and are you wife are in a very difficult situation with her phobias and I agree with cruiseluvva that professional help is the only real answer.

I'm sure most of us live with one phobia or another but when it begins to impact on your life in such a big way its time to deal with it seriously.

I have 4 friends who have varying levels of this type of phobia, 2 of which will travel only after completely their rituals but this is their way of coping.............and the other 2 who do not travel beyond our town. They can't even deal with getting help, this has of course had a massive impact on their families.

I hope that you can help your wife to overcome her distress and you do manage to get away and have a great time........keep reminding her of the all the good times you've had on holiday and maybe she can try to keep that to the front of her mind. Good luck to you.
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#16
5,775 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I'm sorry OP but not for you - for your wife. A phobia is an irrational fear and whether it is right or wrong doesn't matter. It's there and a panic attack may seem silly to the person not having it but to the person who is having it you think you are dying or worse - you wish you were dying. I used to have panic attacks and to this day I resent the people who tried to force me to do something I didn't want to do. You can't reason with someone having a panic attack - it's irrational. And it could make it worse forcing them or lying to them about it. If that was me I'd say if your holiday is so important to you then go by yourself but if I'm more important than stay home with your family and find things to do until she gets medication and treatment to get through it. And you don't need to flame me because it's my opinion and that's just the way it is.
#17
St Helens
45 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by patseacruiser
I'm sorry OP but not for you - for your wife. A phobia is an irrational fear and whether it is right or wrong doesn't matter. It's there and a panic attack may seem silly to the person not having it but to the person who is having it you think you are dying or worse - you wish you were dying. I used to have panic attacks and to this day I resent the people who tried to force me to do something I didn't want to do. You can't reason with someone having a panic attack - it's irrational. And it could make it worse forcing them or lying to them about it. If that was me I'd say if your holiday is so important to you then go by yourself but if I'm more important than stay home with your family and find things to do until she gets medication and treatment to get through it. And you don't need to flame me because it's my opinion and that's just the way it is.
I'm not after sympathy at all. I know exactly what she is going through and would never force her to do anything she didn't want to and especially lie to her!

I have lived with it since 1997 when we went on our first holiday together and although I never understood it then I have looked into it and helped her in any way she wanted me to.

My wife and daughter are the most important people in my life and I would never do anything to hurt or put them through stress.

As I stated earlier she will not take medication due to her seeing the devastating effects it can have on peoples lives. She knows it is mind over matter and when she is ready for help I will be there for her.

I am just concerned obviously that my daughter doesn't pick up on all of this as I don't want it to ruin her life like it has for my wife.

I am not 'flaming' anybody, everbody has an opinion to which they are entitled to.

I come on here to try to get helpful information for my wife, I never usually post on forums as it is not my thing. I am grateful to everybody for their advice.

I agree that I may have seemed a little short especially to Catherine Janaway (I'm sorry I thought the tone of your E mail was different than you probably meant it) but this is a very stressful time for me too. However I know it is far worse for my wife and she is my main concern at the minute and I am doing everything I can to help her as I know she would enjoy it once she has got the sea days out of the way.

Once again thank you all for your help. Although I seem that I don't appreciate it I certainly do.

Alan
#18
Leeds
208 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Hello.... I haven't read all of the posts. I hope you manage to go on holiday and your wife overcomes her fears. I'm sure you could contact P&O and ask to go on the bridge and see how everything works. It may help her next time.

Have a great holiday were ever your travels take you.
#19
Between Bath & Bristol, England
3,301 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
''I'm not after sympathy at all. I know exactly what she is going through and would never force her to do anything she didn't want to and especially lie to her!''

So what will you do if the weather forecast is rough for your sailaway?

I think all this stress is hardly worth doing the cruise for and ofcourse your daughter will pick up on it, how can she not when mum is having a panic attack/crying etc at the checkin hall - on the cruises you missed, especially as she gets older.

Why put yourself and her through it? I would travel in the UK for a few years, and seek help for the phobias in the meantime . Just my opinion, and you asking for opinions.
with respect
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#20
416 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I agree with the posters who said its probably better to not go cruiseing in the meantime whilst she gets some professional help - Sorry not being harsh...

Its not going to be a pleasure for any of you and in particular your daughter seeing mummy in a total state of panic a lot of the time...

What I didnt understand though was the bit about medication, where she said it ruins people's lives...She doesnt have to go on it for long periods, a small amount to help take the edge of and enable her to go on a cruise will work wonders..Lots of people do this for their cruise and never touch it again...

You seem to be doing all you can to help but ultimately she has to help herself...

Good luck...xx