This week was a little rough at work - the kids were really wild, I guess that's what I get for being gone a week, but in the long run it was sure worth the effort. I kept thinking that I would get on during the week and update the blog, but by the time I got home every night (after 6) I was not up to it - sorry!
Anyway, let's go back to the wonderful cruise - and it was wonderful. I know that I said that I would take lots of pictures to share with you - but I didn't! Actually, Dan and I didn't do anything except rest! We did not go on any excursions - we had one scheduled, but it didn't happen, so we just relaxed the entire time. Let's look at day by day with the only pictures I did take - the towel creatures that the cabin steward made each night.
Day one: We left the house about 7:30 to drop the girls off at my mom's house. By the time we had everything unloaded and explained everything it was 8:30 before we were on the road to Tampa, but we didn't have any problems on the road and even stopped from breakfast at McDonald's. We arrived at the port and found the parking garage with no problems. Parking cost $100.00, but that was still less than if we had tried to spend the night in Tampa Saturday night. We parked, unloaded the luggage, walked across the street, and got in line to check in. Actually check in wasn't bad - we were there before the big rush. We had to wait about 1/2 an hour before we could board the ship - which might have been a good thing since Dan forgot his hat in the car and had to walk back over to the parking garage to get it. He didn't have any problems going back through security and he didn't have to wait in line again to come back to the waiting area. When we boarded our cabins were not ready yet (or course not), so we went upstairs to the buffet and snagged a table to wait for Carol and Neil to get there. They were coming by bus from north Florida and we had touched base to let them know we were there and would be waiting for them upstairs. It wasn't long before they arrived also, and the fun began. Of course, the first thing on the agenda was food - and the buffet did not disappoint. We all had a good lunch and then sat around at the table until the cabins were ready. We left each other with the plan of getting together for the "launch".
Dan and I went down to our cabin on deck 6 to unpack our luggage - Dan's luggage was on a cart as we were walking down the hall, so he was able to get his. It was probably another 45 minutes before my suitcase arrived, but it gave each of us time to get things unpacked without being in the other person's way. After we got everything put away we went back upstairs and met Carol and Neil and just stood out on the deck and watched the shore line disappear. We were actually followed out by some dolphin - swimming and jumping along the side of the ship. Dolphin are magnificent creatures and I love to watch them. A good beginning to the cruise.
We had signed up for "Anytime Dining" which meant we could go down to the Dining room anytime after 5:45 for dinner. We were standing in line, ready to go in when they opened the dining room doors. Carol and Neil had changed their dining time to the same as ours and we were able to be seated at a table for just us four. We were lucky and got a wonderful waiter, whom we requested each night of the cruise. He was from Thailand and was quite a "jokester", which was great for Dan and Neil. After dinner we went to the first show - and it was awful! (This is probably the only thing that we were not impressed with on this cruise - the entertainment was just not what we had been used to on other cruises.
After a busy day we went back to the cabin to find our wonderful little "seal" on the bed. Then it was time for bed.
Day two: We woke up to pouring down rain for our first day at sea. This was a day of sailing all day, and we thought that a day of rain might be good. We went upstairs and found Carol and Neil - had a wonderful breakfast upstairs at the buffet (we decided NOT to go down to the dining room for any meal but dinner - just too much food). Anyway, by the time we finished with breakfast the rain had passed and the sun was out. Dan and I just walked around the ship some -looking in the on board shops and even checking out the casino. Then we decided to go back to the cabin and read a little before a nice morning nap. Well, I didn't nap then, but I did start reading one of the two books I brought with us. Then it was back upstairs to eat (are you starting to see a theme here?), walk around some, and back to reading and napping - I did take an afternoon nap.
It was "formal" night in the dining room, which for Dan means he doesn't wear jeans - we are just NOT into getting all dressed up to eat. Most people on board this cruise did not get all dressed up - although we did have some in tuxes, but I don't remember seeing any ladies in long gowns. I have a "dressy" top that I take to wear with black slacks, but no dresses or really fancy clothes (that's one of those differences between the first cruises we went on and now). After dinner we tried the show again - this one wasn't too bad as it was an outsider that sang Motown. He was pretty good and put on a nice show. Then it was back to the cabin for a little reading before turning the light out - where we were greeted with out creature of the night-----------
Day Three: We woke up to wonderful warm weather and sunny blue skies. We were heading to our first port - the Grand Caymans Islands. By the time we had finished breakfast we had docked and were cleared for disembarkation. This was a tender port, but since we didn't have an excursion booked we were able to wait a little later and there was not problems getting off the ship and onto a tender. We went ashore and did a little shopping - really just walking through the shops and looking. I don't think we were on shore more than an hour total before Dan was ready to head back to the ship. We went back to our cabin and sat on our balcony and watched the people on shore, looked at the beautiful water and even read some. We met Carol and Neil for lunch and then decided we needed to take another nap from all of our exercise that morning! We just spent the afternoon in the cabin, reading and napping. Just relaxing.
Once again, we were down for dinner when the doors opened and had a wonderful dinner, but decided NOT to go to the show - it was the "house" singers and dancers and we just didn't want to sit though another disappointing show. We just sorta hung out for a while before heading back to the cabin to be greeted by ------------------------
Day four: The day went pretty much the same as yesterday other than we were in Honduras - we did not have to tender at this port, but the only place we could go was the private shopping area that they had set up and a beach area. Well, Dan is NOT a beach person, so after walking around the 'town' it was back to the ship for us.
Well, as you can tell from the first three days - we were just tearing things up - NOT! - and nothing changed the next three days! In fact it got even slower!
Day Five: This was suppose to be the day of our one excursion - in Belize we were going to go to some Mayan ruins and I was looking forward to seeing them. However, we got a letter in our cabin on the night of the fourth that said the cruise line could not come to an agreement with the tender operators in Belize and they had cancelled that port and we were going to Costa Maya, Mexico instead. Now, I don't know if I told you before, but Dan and I had decided that we were NOT doing anything in Mexico - we just don't feel like it is safe anymore. So, we did not book anything else and we were refunded our money for the excursion.
Day Five was in Cozumel Mexico and Day Six was in Costa Maya. Nothing changed in our schedule - in fact, by this time I had read everything I had brought and was working on the book that Dan brought ( a western - not my type of book, but at this point I'll read anything).
This was our creature on night five (maybe this was my favorite) a crab and
Our last day was another day at sea and it was really rough - a lot of people on board got a little sea sick, but Dan and I are both lucky - we just don't get sea sick. We spent the day walking around, in the casino - I actually WON some money - I put in $10.00 and walked out with $28.95. First time that has EVER happened! Dan didn't win any and in fact lost $20.00 - so I guess in the long run we still came out ahead by $8.95. We only play penny slots, but it is fun and as long as you don't get carried away it's fine.
This was our last towel "creature", but I don't guess a flower is really a "creature" but it was nice on the bed.
The final morning was easy - we had packed the night before and were going to carry our own luggage off, so we would be able to disembark earlier than others. We were upstairs to eat our last breakfast with Carol and Neil by 7:30. By 9:00 they called for us to disembark - we hugged Carol and Neil goodbye and headed off ship. By 9:30 we were in the car, and on the road headed back to Lake Placid. We stopped at Walmart in Arcadia for things like OJ and bread for my lunch. We were home by noon and loaded the car. Then we went and picked up the pups before coming home to unpack and do the laundry. As you can tell, we didn't do a lot on this cruise, but we were able to relax and spend time together and with our friends. That was the nice thing - PLUS we got a check for $75.00 when we left - after our refund for our excursion we didn't go on we actually had money left on our on board account - that was another first. Dan says we would take more cruises if they would pay us.
I enjoyed the week - it was just too short (isn't it always?). Hopefully I'll be able to stay up to date now - I hope that you all have had a good couple of weeks and that you enjoyed my cruise creatures. Oh - in case your wondering, the first picture was taken out our balcony on the last night at sea - a beautiful full moon on the ocean. Thought you might enjoy it.
Well, that's it for this week - I'll talk to you next Sunday!