Disappointment is a part of life. The older I get, the better I understand this truth. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.
I accepted an invitation to go on the maiden voyage of the new cruise line, Fathom. I was THRILLED to get in on the ground floor (or should I say main deck) of an amazing adventure for a new brand that combines a cruise vacation to the Dominican Republic with service to the local community.
This “soft launch” of Fathom was scheduled for April 10 – April 17, 2016. My friend Tricia and I took an American Airlines red-eye from Los Angeles International airport to Miami International airport. Neither of us are fans of red eye flights but we wanted to insure that no delays would keep us from the noon boarding time. We actually arrived at the dock about 11:45. The atmosphere was electrifying; cruisers and Fathom staff were EXCITED to get this cruise on its way. Nothing could hold us back from having the time of our lives…or so we thought.
Disappointment #1: Not being able to board the ship as scheduled
Fathom’s President, Tara Russell, stood on a high platform with the backdrop of our ship, the Adonia, to welcome us and let us know there were a couple of delays on boarding the ship on time.
But not to worry– things were moving smoothly and we should be able to get on soon. In the meantime, we have lots of snacks and beverages for you to enjoy while you wait. Take all you want. Listen to the DJ. I’ll be back with more news in an hour or so.
My reaction: No big deal. Events sometimes are late. Thanks for the yummy snacks. And besides, Tricia and I can get to know some of our fellow cruisers, like Merna Gill and Leanna Garrison. Merna and Leanna have been friends for about 30 years (just like Tricia and I) and were going to enjoy a girls’ trip (just like Tricia and I). We learned about Merna’s passion for helping Cuban students to learn English and get a start in the United States.
Disappointment #2: Still not able to board
Tara again addressed us from her perch to say the delay would take longer than expected. But hey, this trip is all about adventure and the unexpected, right? So instead of having us continue to wait in the terminal lobby, Fathom scheduled an unexpected adventure for us. We could choose to hop on a double-decker red bus and see the sights of Miami or hop on a tour bus to experience The Everglades. Tricia and I opted for the Everglades.My reaction: Hey, I’ve never been to the Everglades before and how cool to have someone else pay for the chance see them. On the way, our bus guide shared lots of fun facts about the area. We got to ride in an airboat, see lots of alligators plus other native wildlife and plants, and watch an alligator show. I didn’t even mind that I was wearing my clothes and make-up from the day before. However, I will admit, the hum of the boat almost put me to sleep. Darn those red eye flights.
Disappointment #3: No sailing on Sunday
We returned to Fathom’s terminal around 6:00 PM but the Adonia wasn’t there. She had been moved so that the necessary fixes mandated by the U.S. Coast Guard could be performed. A Fathom representative on our bus broke the news that we wouldn’t be sailing today and that Fathom would be putting us all up in a hotel for the night and would take care of our dinner too. We were all to meet in the hotel lobby at 9:00 AM the next morning for an update. We are so sorry that this happened. Night. Night. We passengers retrieved our luggage, got on a new bus and headed to our Holiday Inn in Hialeah Gardens.
My reaction: No problem. We have a nice place to stay and rest and tomorrow we will board the ship. So what that we are a day late in leaving. The ship can make up the lost time on the way back. Tricia and I met two lovely couples on the bus on the way home from the Everglades: Mike and Judy Pippin from Golden, Colorado and Mike and Maryjean Miller from Victorville, California. Judy is a long time employee for Princess Cruises, another Carnival Corporation entity like Fathom. Maryjean and Mike are owners of their Cruise Planners franchise. We enjoyed a nice buffet meal together, talked about how we happened on the Fathom cruise and shared our thoughts about the “trip” so far. I love meeting new people who are on the same adventure.
Disappointment #4: No 9:00 AM update meeting
Tricia and I set our alarm for 7:00 AM in order to have time to get ready, eat breakfast with the Millers and the Pippins and be at the meeting on time. When I got up, I noticed a letter in our door which said the 9:00 AM meeting was now going to happen at 11:00 AM. And, enjoy your breakfast. But then there was really nothing to update at 11:00, so we were told to come back at 1:00 PM to learn more.
But when 1:00 came and still no word, we ate lunch at the hotel, on Fathom. That’s when I got my first negative thought: we just might not be sailing today.
Disappointment #5: The Cruise is Cancelled
Apparently “the minor problem with the Coast Guard that you are going to laugh about when you find out it was the reason that caused our small delay” wasn’t a minor problem at all. (video courtesy of Vicki Winters of The Vicki Winters Show)
My reaction: Bummer. All the optimism in the world sometimes can’t keep a disappointment from becoming permanent. I’m really not going on Fathom’s maiden voyage. I’m really not going to continue my new friendships. I’m really not going to be able to help the people in the Dominican Republic. I came a really long way to have to turn around and go back home.
Tricia and I boarded our return flight at noon on Tuesday and were back in Los Angeles by 4:00 PM. All we had to show for our adventure was a view at a beautiful ship, a quick introduction to Miami, new amazing friends and a promise for a do-over.
My reaction: Well, I had never been to Miami before. I hope I can stay in touch with my new friends. And I can look forward to being a part of the Fathom adventure in the future (which will happen in May).
Disappointment is a part of life but it should never define a life. How you react to the disappointment is the real key. I’ll choose optimism for a better opportunity every time. How about you?