Passengers disembark P&O’s Azura
in Ft. Lauderdale on December 20, 2010.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Post-Cruise Depression.  Chances are you’ve heard the term before, and while it is usually said in jest, Post Cruise Depression (PCD) can be a very real after-effect of an enjoyable vacation.
It starts with disembarkation day.  You know what’s coming: in a few short hours, you’ll have to leave your floating paradise and your new-found friends behind.  At this time of year, it also means many of us will leave the tropics and return to the cool, dark northern climates we ran away from in the first place.
Then comes the trip to the airport and flights home.  Nothing snaps you out of relaxation mode faster than the ever-changing enigma that is airport security.  After that, you can look forward to a few memorable hours with your knees up to your chest in economy class while the cabin crew doles out headphones at $3 a pop.
I’m exaggerating, of course, but we each have our own moment of revelation when we begin to recognize that the party’s over.  After disembarking our tremendously enjoyable voyage on Silversea’s Silver Spirit, my own personal PCD kicked in roughly 37,000 feet in the air, somewhere over Winnipeg, as the nice stewardess on our flight home swiped my VISA for $14 in order to have a bite to eat.  Two days earlier, I’d dined on suckling pig and shrimp cocktail. 

Not anymore.
So what can you do to beat post-cruise depression?  Here’s a few of our favorite ways to help you remember your past experiences while still looking forward to the future:
Look at the Brochure & Plan Ahead – The easiest solution in most cases is to simply pick up the brochure and start planning the next one.  Even if you don’t intend to lay down money right away, the act of simply researching your next cruise can be as enjoyable as it is informative.  Don’t limit yourself to one line – look at them all.  Circle the itineraries you like, and the ships you want to sail on.  Pick cabins.  Then, narrow it down to a handful of voyages that fit your time and budgetary constraints.  You’ll be surprised how invigorating this activity can be.
Re-integrate Into Your Routine – A few weeks of being waited on can take their toll in the “real world.”  So try to get back into your normal, shore-side routine.  There’s no one to make your bed or serve you your coffee, so get cracking!
Combine the Best of Both Worlds – While there’s no convenient way to mimic that pleasant swaying feeling as you sleep, try to combine things you enjoyed on your cruise in your daily life.  Did you enjoy having all that fresh fruit for breakfast?  Pop over to the supermarket and grab some!  Just because you’re on land doesn’t mean you have to give certain things up.  
Live Vicariously – sites like The Avid Cruiser, Maritime Matters and ShipParade are all excellent resources to get your “ship fix” through trip reports, photo-tours and extensive blogs.  Work them into your daily website list; you won’t be disappointed.
Lastly, cherish the memories you have made – and look forward to the ones that have yet to be discovered.
 

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