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Archive for March, 2012

Cruise!

Hey – I went on a cruise!

One of Brad’s best friends got married on a cruise ship  and we went along for the trip.  I wrote this really long letter for my family and then thought maybe you guys would want to hear about it too.

 We were on the Carnival Glory out of Miami – left the 4th got back the 11th and did what is considered a western Caribbean itinerary.  I took close to 500 pictures – if you want to check them out they are here, but be warned – they aren’t labeled and there is an entire page of boring, unfocused or too dark wedding photos 😉 

Day 0 – Saturday the 3rd
We flew into Miami on Saturday afternoon, had an uneventful night and went to bed early to be ready for an early morning on Sunday.

Day 1 – Sunday the 4th – Miami
Because we were attending a wedding on the ship we had to be at the port, dressed for the wedding, by 10am for VIP boarding. We were hustled through by some drill sergeant like wedding coordinators, who, once they were assured that all wedding attendees were on the ship, whisked the bride off and left us to our own devices till the wedding. We explored the ship, had some drinks, had lunch at the buffet and enjoyed the sun on the Lido Deck. Then it was off to the “Green Room” for the short but really nice wedding ceremony. After that was a reception with some awesome hors d’oeuvres (I think I ate an entire plate of prosciutto with melon) and a really yummy cake. All of a sudden it was 3pm and the non-sailing guests had to leave, and the rest of us finally got to check out our rooms.

Brad and I had gone all out and gotten a balcony room and it was amazing! Unlike the interior cabins, we actually had room to move around, even a couch and coffee table, plus the balcony had 2 lounge chairs and a little table.  We had everyone come to our cabin for a little setting sail party and watched the mansions of Miami slide past as the Glory pulled out to sea. Then it was off to the onboard steak house for a wedding celebration dinner followed by karaoke, comedy club and then crashing into bed after a whirlwind of a day.

Day 2 – Monday the 5th – Fun Day at Sea (or so Carnival says)

Bright and early at 8am, our friend Marc showed up to see if we wanted breakfast. It was during breakfast, staring at a plate of mushy scrabbled eggs that it dawned on me that the reason that I felt so horrible was only partially from everything I had drank the night before. I had figured that since I get sick in just about every other moving vehicle, that boats would be no exception. But the first night, after setting sail, I had felt only some slight wooziness that dissipated as the evening went on, and I was excited to think that I wasn’t going to suffer from sea sickness. Unfortunately, it seems we were experiencing some windy weather and the boat was rocking and pitching a lot, and I felt horribly nauseous. I went back to bed. After a little more sleep, I realized that I felt 80% okay if I was laying down, so I packed up my beach bag and went to go lay in a deck chair and read books in the sun on the main deck.

The big excitement on the ship that afternoon was when we suddenly slowed down and started turning. Apparently the crew had spotted a vessel that appeared to be in distress and was not responding to radio contact. We reached them just as we found out that the crew had already been evacuated (you can read about it here: http://www.newstimes.com/business/press-releases/article/Amver-Cruise-Ship-Rescues-2-Sailors-3396496.php

I made it to dinner that night, but since the dinning room is it the back of the boat the motion of the ship was more pronounced and I didn’t have much fun. To my surprise, I found out I wasn’t the only sick one – the groom’s sister had only left her cabin for about 10 minutes all day and I was the only one feeling sick that hadn’t thrown up. Yay me? Since we had the late seating for dinner it was almost 10 pm by the time we were done and I gave up and took my seasick self to bed. 

Day 3 – Tuesday the 6th – Cozumel, Mexico

Thankfully, when I woke up on Tuesday morning, we were pulling into dock at Cozumel. I sat on the balcony and watched the Royal Caribbean boats Mariner of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas and the Carnival Triumph dock next to us. Brad and I didn’t have a plan for the day, but Marc had found a beach resort called Mr. Sanchos that had all you could eat and drink for one price, so we went along with him, and that turned out to be a great time. We lounged on the beach, played in the ocean, ate our weight in some really great, fresh Mexican food and had some tasty frozen drinks. After that it was nap time back on the boat, dinner and then one of my favorite discoveries of the trip – Movies Under the Stars. The ship has a large video screen on the main deck by the pool, and every night they show 2 movies. So, I curled up on a deck chair, wrapped myself in my bathrobe (it was so windy and cold!) and watched While you were Sleeping as we sailed to Costa Maya. 

Day 4 – Wednesday the 7th – Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya is weird. It was built to be an alternative port to Belize to deal with congestion and there is basically nothing there that wasn’t built for cruise ships. We had the worst weather of the cruise that day – very, very windy and a lot of water based excursions were canceled. Fortunately for Brad and I, we were headed out on a land based excursion to see the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben. At Chacchoben there are some ruins that you can climb on (but not very far up) and our guide was really good and informative. That night, the water was so rough that only about half of our group made it to dinner. I only made it through the appetizer and 2 bites into my entrée before I decided that I rather be in bed, too, though I did get up later to go watch the movie 😉

Day 5 – Thursday the 8th – Isla Roaton, Honduras

Roatan was my favorite port – it was so beautiful! We arranged for a little bus with a tour guide to take our whole group on a tour of the island – we did some sightseeing, toured a botanical garden, got to play with monkeys and parrots and went to the beach. And when the ship pulled out of port that night the wind and waves were finally calmer and I felt great for the rest of the cruise! 

Day 6 – Friday the 9th – Grand Cayman

In Grand Cayman there is no dock for cruise ships, so we had to take tender boats ashore, which was a fun little boat ride. It was hot – sweating in the shade hot, so I was really glad that we had booked a water excursion for that morning. Our excursion was snuba diving – like scuba diving, but with the air tank on a small raft on the surface and a 30 foot hose connecting you to it. It was so much fun – we saw tons of fish (even barracudas!) some lobster, swam over a ship wreck, and it was over way too soon! After that we all went to the beach, which was beautiful but still really, really hot.

Day 7 – Saturday the 10th – Fun Day at Sea

This was actually just as Carnival says – a fun day at sea. I sat in the sun for 5 hours and finished an entire book. I ate 6 different times – room service breakfast, buffet breakfast, dessert buffet, taco bar, sushi and dinner in the main dining room! Then it was time to pack up our suitcases and get ready for the return to Miami. 

Day 8 – Sunday the 11th – Miami

I couldn’t sleep and got up around 5:30 and went out on the balcony and you could already see Miami in the distance. We arrived at the port before the sun was up and had a quick breakfast before heading off of the ship. Because we had a late flight (5:40pm) we had booked one last excursion for that morning in Miami – a tour in the Everglades. We were off the ship and on a bus by 8:30am and on an airboat in the Everglades an hour later. The boat ride and tour were a lot of fun – we saw lots of alligators, even a mom and her babies, turtles and tons of different kinds of birds. After an hour of zipping around the Everglades on an airboat, they dropped us at the airport for 5 hours of waiting for our massively overbooked flight, that then boarded and took off late, but finally got us back to Detroit :

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