Yay, the government works again! Which means I should have written a post yesterday, but I couldn’t write. I was too depressed. I’m still a bit down, but I’m fighting my way back. You see, yesterday, this happened. My girlfriend, my family, and I, 43 people in total, were all scheduled to be on the Disney Magic’s first voyage after a major renovation. We’ve been planning this trip for over a year, and working really hard the last few weeks to make sure that everything was in order for our time away from work, home, etc. It was a pretty big deal. This was to be my fifth Disney cruise, but my first with my entire family since 2010. Needless to say, we were all extremely excited. Ugh.
I got a call from our travel agent (you basically have to have a travel agent for a group that size) at around 11am yesterday morning—less than 36 hours before my scheduled flight to Miami, 72 hours from when I was supposed to be getting onto the boat—and told that the cruise was cancelled. It was heartbreaking. Imagine that you’re running a marathon, and when you come to the last quarter mile, giving it everything you’ve got, pushing as hard as you can to score your best time, your best performance, knowing you’re about to finally get the long-awaited break you deserve…someone moves the finish line another 5 miles down the road. I was totally floored. Disney is offering a refund and a free cruise, but MAJOR restrictions apply, and it’s not an even swap by a long shot. Also, it isn’t the money or the hassle that hurts so much as the emotional trauma of intense letdown after being so excited for something for so long.
It may seem like a #firstworldproblem, this being a cruise and all, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. With the growing class divide in America, huge family vacations like this one have become little islands of sanity to millions of lower income families who can’t just up and go wherever whenever, who work nonstop to support themselves and their loved ones, usually at multiple jobs. To have an escape like this torn away when it’s so close is nothing short of heartbreaking. I don’t have kids, but I have a nephew, and younger siblings, and younger cousins, all of whom were counting down the days to their big Disney trip, certainly the biggest trip any of us would go on all year, and the biggest some of them would have gone on for several years.
We’ve rescheduled for a month from now, but on a lesser trip. Disney owns a private island in the Bahamas, and our original cruise would have gone there twice, the draw of that particular voyage. The new cruise (the only one we could book with such a large group) doesn’t go there at all. I love Disney—I have all my life—and I love Disney cruises, but I’ve never been so disappointed in the mouse.