Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
MSC Opera Cruise - March 12, 2005
Submission Date: August 14, 2007
Event Date: March 12, 2005
Cruise Bruise: MdDS
Bruise Location: Caribbean
Home Town: Texas
Cruise Line: MSC Cruises
Ship: MSC Opera
Details: The cruise that just won't end, or Extended 'floating' after a 1 week cruise. A classic case of Mal de Debarquement (illness after leaving the ship).
In March 2005, the beautiful MSC Opera sails from Florida to delightful Caribbean destinations with much excitement, food, and entertainment along the way.
Incredible sunsets over open water give way to evening festivities. Dinner is followed by aperitif and a show; evening performances from magicians to opera are diverse and superb. Evening meals are served with style; seating at window's edge includes intercontinental travelmates with an enthusiastic sense for visiting new places and making new friends.
The invitation to join the Captain's table provides new faces and perspectives. Sharing food together extends age-old customs. The conversation is dynamic and filled with lovely memories. A trulywonderful vacation.
So where in the midst of all this fantasyland did it happen? Was it during the gentle sway of the ship while underway? Or, while observing sunsets off the deck? I'll probably never know for certain. What I do know is as follows:
The cruise included very calm seas and was without event. I did not experience seasickness. In short, for 7 days, I thoroughly enjoyed time aboard as well as the off shore excursions. Therefore, I was dismayed to realize a sensation of floating or rocking after disembarking from the cruise ship.
In truth, I recognized my 'inappropriate' symptoms after only a few days onboard, none of the other passengers I queried thought the ship was rocking as we sailed between islands!
Returned to home, I visited my regular doctor who thought that the symptoms would subside spontaneously within a week or so. Three weeks and several prescriptions later with no change in symptoms, he referred me to ENT.
Extensive testing of my ears and a MRI of the brain returned completely normal results. My ENT diagnosed MdDS and prescribed vestibular therapy. This effort did not provide symptomatic relief. Symptoms (then and now) are definitely made worse by stress; all tasks associated with work are more difficult and require extra time.
Relief of symptoms is immediate when traveling by auto, air or boat. I refuse to let this poorly understood disorder force me to alter my personal and professional activities, but I admit to regular frustration over my inability to multi-task and accomplish routine activities.
Supporting Information & Resources:
Featured or New Cruise Ship Illness
Cruise Bruise Investigations - Cruise Ship Illness
Suggested Reading Cruise Ship Illness