Cancelled Cruise Distress Syndrome

While I have been very blessed that my family and I have stayed safe from the Coronavirus, I must come clean about an affliction that I started coming down with a few months ago. After searching the Internet for the cause of my curious symptoms, I now learned that I, along with thousands of others (and maybe even you), have contracted a severe case of CCDS – Cancelled Cruise Distress Syndrome. Yes, that’s right –  the dreaded CCDS.

Courtesy of Yan Krukov

For those who may be hearing about CCDS for the first time, I am here to assure you that there are a number of available treatments for it. And even though it is an extremely painful condition, we know that it is not lethal. But please do take precautions, because CCDS has been known to be contagious.  It seems that some of my symptoms (which I will share below) have spread to my friends and family, despite there having been no physical contact between us.

My first symptom of CCDS – which is also the most common one – was confusion. Researchers have discovered that CCDS sufferers find themselves in an initial state of confusion when they first learn that their booked cruise had been canceled. Most patients say that they learned about the cancellation online. The patients explained that the confusion rapidly set in when they began to check other sites to confirm what they already know to be true.  My confusion state was mixed with an overwhelming sense of denial, which also seems to be a common experience among many patients.  After many rounds of “this can’t be true” and “but my cruise is not until the end of…” the patient will silently (or not so silently) accept the inevitable and begin the process of rebooking or requesting refunds. I experienced this twice – once in September, and once again in early November.

The next symptom is a unique form of carpal tunnel. Researchers at several major hospitals have described this as a sort of involuntary tapping of the patient’s dominant hand. According to some sources, this motion is akin to pressing the button on a slot machine. The patient’s uncomfortable twitching has been found to subside after a visit to their favorite land-based casino. While further research is necessary to reach a final conclusion, this has been found to be effective in 87.2% of cases. These numbers are especially prevalent among patients who have acquired a “hand pay” at these casinos.

Courtesy of Enric Cruz Lopez

Slot players aren’t the only ones suffering from CCDS. Many patients report having lost the ability to quickly count to 21 or discern between the colors black and red. In extreme cases, patients’ spouses have reported that their loved ones would often yell “Hit me!” in the middle of the night and give them a swift slap. This is all very concerning, of course. As with the slot-playing patients, these symptoms decreased dramatically after a visit to a land-based casino

However, some patients do not have the luxury of traveling to a land-based casino to quell their symptoms. Studies suggest that patients afflicted with CCDS found a 92% short-term reduction in symptoms by playing the lottery. Again, further research is still needed in this area, but the situation is hopeful.

CCDS causes disappointment in patients as well as their friends and family. Afflicted patients can often be seen scouring the Internet for pictures of cruise ports that they will “eventually” visit and combing through the online menus on the website of their booked cruise. Doctors say that this is perfectly normal and that it is part of the healing process. Friends and family should encourage this behavior and remind them that their predicament is only temporary, that these measures have been put in place to keep everyone safe. Consistent positive reinforcement has shown remarkable progress in patients who are suffering.                           

 There is hope for CCDS sufferers! Studies have shown that those with CCDS can be cured by simply rebooking their cruise. While doctors note that there have been reports of mild lingering symptoms, the adrenaline response to the rebooking process has been shown to rapidly decrease the time between the patient experiencing their first symptom to being completely cured.

 As a fellow sufferer, please know that I understand. I know that the new cruises that I have booked will be filled with masks, social distancing, and enhanced safety protocols. I know that this is to ensure the health and safety of all the guests and staff members…. But most of all, I know that this too shall pass. All we need is patience and some Vitamin Sea.



When Stace is not in the casino trying to finally get her first hand pay, you will find her at work as a Housing Counselor or in class, pursing her doctorate in strategic leadership. She is a music trivia ringer, having spent 30 years as a morning radio personality, and mom to 17 and glam-ma to 28 and counting (yes, really!). Her favorite ports (so far) are St Maarten and Ketchikan.

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