We sailed out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon from Port Canaveral.
A wonderful person named Antje the “Make a Wish Hostess” made sure that our trip is going to be enjoyable beyond our dreams from the beginning to the end. She presented Amin with a beautiful basket, full of fruits on our arrival, waiting for us at the cabin.
Amin certainly was walking on clouds, perhaps I should say water? He was very alert, interested in everything, and anxious to try to experience all the wonders on the ship. He got a bit overstimulated after we had our lunch, but returning to our cabin to change our clothes helped him to recuperate and get more energy.
I was more nervous about how he will react to all the people, the loud music, and all the other stimuli he was exposed to, but as time went by I realized he is coping just fine, and I am the one who needs to relax and enjoy the time with my kids.
We attended the party when the ship was pulling out to the sea. The mood was elevated and very happy. He participated in all the dancing activities,and enjoyed himself fully.
I decided that I am not going to worry what could or will happen, I am just going to enjoy the moment, and if any situation arise, I will deal with it than. I am still keeping that policy since it worked for me so well on the boat. For many years I deprived myself of so much fun and enjoyment, because I was always stressing out what could or will happen. Things did go wrong in the past regardless I was stressing out or not, and I am sure this might even apply to the future as well. The bottom line is only preparation makes a difference. Usually I was prepared to combat many possible difficulties with Amin, and good preparation, and some foresight that I developed over the years, helped me to decrease the severity of problems.
The first day was great, the first night with a nice dinner at the Royal Palace restaurant was absolutely fantastic. We all got dressed, and enjoyed a great meal. As usual, the kids got the royal treatment, and adults too.
Drenka, and Sofia was great fulfilling these two “monsters” requests, and they even did it with a smile. While we enjoyed dinner, our wonderful stateroom host Healine opened their beds and left some chocolate there for the kids. I have to tell you that Healine was just a wonderful human being. She had the medical alert on her paper regarding Amin, so she inquired about him. After I talked to her about Amin’s condition she went out of her way to make our stay comfortable. Even when we were just leaving the room and she was at the hallways, she made sure we know where to go, she constantly updated us about all the activities, what might be interesting for the kids. Also, she made sure that my work is much less with the kids while we stayed there. Amin and Safiyya just loved her, and they both loved Sofia and Drenka as well.
We had a wonderful restful night, Amin slept trough the night without any problems, and early morning he was ready to tackle Nassau, Bahamas.
That morning my worry instinct kicked in again, but it took me a few seconds to get rid of it, especially when we looked out the window, and saw the beautiful shore. The verdict was made, after breakfast we are getting off the boat, and going to explore the island. Needless to say, all three of us had a blast. Amin interacted with locals, like they were always his neighbors, Safiyya wanted to buy everything in sight, and I was holding onto them very tight so I do not loose neither of them. Amin loved the music, and I had a hard time to pull him away from the live band. He always liked the island music, and I used that as a reinforcer many time while I was teaching him.
After a full day of exploration, we returned to our boat, to have more fun in the pool and on the aqua-duck. If any of you wonder if I put Amin in this water-slide.. Oh yes, I did. Safiyya had to go by herself, but she wanted to be on it so much that she forgot about being scared riding it alone. I was probably more scared for her than she was concerned about being alone in the raft. I was riding with Amin. He seemed a bit concerned at first, but from early age, he was used to trying out new things, and me being right behind him was some comfort for him too. So we went to the first ride, it was awesome, and he did not want to get out of the raft at the end. So we went on again, and again, and again. Even at night-time, 10 pm we were regular visitors there. Those were the good times, because the line was very short, and our wait time was reduced to few minutes only. I must say I am so happy that my kids love the trill just like me.
So our second night was a success as well. We had our dinner at the Animator’s Palate, and we all enjoyed the show and a wonderful food. After the dinner we went to the 14th deck to play a little golf, and yes we visited aqua-duck again, and again. WE got back to our room late, very tired but the kids had a big smile on their face. In the cabin Amin had a gift from Antje again, presenting him and his family with the ticket to Castaway Cay.
After a very quick shower both kids were fast a sleep, smiling and happy. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God, and all the people who were involved making my children so happy.
Amin had another great night sleep, but got up bright and early to get some breakfast, and to go out onto Castaway cay Island.
This day was going to be very busy for us, because after the island adventure we have to return a few hrs early to attend a special party that was arranged for the “Make a Wish” kids.
On the island we went to the water-bike first. Little that we knew, that our bike’s navigational system did not work. When finally the lifeguards realized that we are out there just floating around, they came to rescue us and towed us back to the bay. The kids loved the speed, and wanted more, but we had to work our own speed up later on. After this adventure we went to feed the sting rays. This activity was really exciting and hard too. Amin loved the sting rays, touched them feed them, but Safiyya was absolutely terrified. As you can imagine, one kid is pulling me into the deep water, and under the water to catch the stingrays, and the other puling me out of the water screaming and being terrified. By the end of the 90 minutes they both wee pulling me into the deep water chasing the sting rays. I was very tired by than, yet grateful seeing my little ASD son being so happy, so open and very verbal. We eat some lunch at the island, and after that we went to the beach to swim. By that time everyone was really tired, and we had to head back for the special party.
(Continue in part 3)