Friday, May 10, 2013

Cruise {Part 1}

We just spent an amazing week cruising the Caribbean. Everything was perfect, the excursions, the entertainment on board, shopping, food, you name it. We had a wonderful time and can't wait to go again. Good thing the planning is already in the works for 2015 :)

We boarded our ship Sunday afternoon and immediately I was overwhelmed. I was thinking, how am I ever going to find my way around this huge ship?
It wasn't as hard as I thought and we quickly got the hang of things. You just don't realize how big the ship actual is until you're on it.
Well except the bedroom, that's not very big! But it was big enough to sleep in and other than that we were never in our room.
We went to our room to check it out, walked all around the ship and grabbed out first of many plates of food from the Red Sail buffet.
We stood on the top deck and watched as we drifted further and further from Miami.
Then I think we may have passed out from exhaustion (we had an overnight flight with barely any sleep) I don't remember. But that night we attended the "Welcome Aboard Show" which highlighted the best attractions on the ship like the stage shows, Hasbro game show and the hilarious comedians.
 Amber Palace where the shows were.
After that show we went to the Punchliner Comedy Club to see Kim Harrison and I think she was the funniest comedian we saw all week!

Monday we were out to sea all day. We started off in the Amber Palace for our first game of Bingo,
followed by a "Fun Ashore, Fun Aboard" presentation where we learned more about each port and the fun things to do there. After that was the "Fun Finds Shopping Show" where we learned all about the fun places to shop at each port. I was gonna skip that show but I am glad I didn't. I was one out of maybe 5 people who won a raffle prize. I got a Del Sol (changes color in the sun) tote and shirt, a Cariloha shirt, a Cozumel straw hat and a bottle of hot sauce. A little something from each of the popular port shops! Then we spent sometime in the casino,
 I actual found my favorite slot later on and won $120. Every little bit counts!
ate some yummy food and then went to the first stage show, Motor City which featured the motown songs from the 60's, 70's and 80's. It was awesome! That night we went in the jacuzzi on the top deck in the front of the boat but the water wasn't very warm and when we got out we froze because it was so windy.
 Our first towel animal :)
Tuesday we docked in Cozumel, Mexico. Right away we went into Diamonds International just to "look" since we heard such great things from the "Fun Finds Shopping Show". That's where Josh bought me my Anniversary band with 10 diamonds for 10 years. I love it, it's perfect!
We left it there to be sized and decided to head for Chankanaab where we spent most of the day.
We had a couple hours before our Sea Lion Swim so we decided to snorkel for a bit. The fish were swarming us, guess they thought we had food.
 This is where we snorkled right off shore.
After we snorkeled awhile we went to the sea lion show and then it was time to play with the cute little sea lions! We got to interact with a mommy sea lion named Clara.
She was so sweet. She gave us kisses.
And we gave her kisses.
 I LOVE this picture. They told Josh to kiss her and he looked at her like "you gotta be kidding me" as she was puckering up!
We played ball with her.
She clapped and yelled and showed us her tricks.
Then we got to pet her and give her bell rubs.
She just layed there taking it all in.
After that we got in the water and played with her some more. We got to watch her swim super fast and learned more about sea lions. It was fun. We had already swam with dolphins the last time we were in Cozumel so I was so excited to interact with the sea lions this time. We ate lunch there at Chankanaab and then went back to the port to shop some more.
 The Mariachis came to sing us a song while we ate.
 And I had to laugh at all the guys I saw wearing Speedos.
The majority of our shopping took place in Cozumel, the rest of the ports ended up having the same stores so we had pretty much seen it all.
Back on ship Josh couldn't wait for the ship to take off because he wanted to see if anyone would be late and start running toward the boat as we took off. We never saw it happen. Guess everyone obeyed the rules. After we passed out (our daily ritual after arriving back on the boat) we ate dinner, enjoyed the first Hasbro, the game show and then saw Johnny Millwater at the Punchliner Comedy Club. Another funny guy.
 Our second towel friend.
Did I mention the ship offers 24 hour pizza and ice cream? I think I ate 20 ice cream cones that week and Josh ate pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner! We only did room service and ate in the dining room once, the rest of the time we ate at Red Sail, the buffet. Oh, and Guy's Burger Joint. We ate there too and it was super yummy!

Alright, on to Wednesday...the water surrounding Belize is very shallow so we had to anchor pretty far out (20 min tender ride). Once onshore we found our tour guy and loaded up in the bus for a ride to the caves to do some tubing. Along the way we were able to see a lot of Belize and it seems to be a very poor country. There was trash everywhere and very poor living conditions. I guess that's why our daily Fun Times (on board daily info. pamphlet) warned us to "stay in main tourist areas, not to carry large amounts of cash or jewelry and be aware of your surroundings." But definitely the most "ghetto" of the ports we went to. Once we arrived to our destination and got our tubes and head light we began the hike to the caves. Had I known we had to hike a mile when it was 90 degrees and probably 80%+ humidity I would have brought some water. I almost passed out. It was so hot and sticky and carrying the tube made it worse. But when we finally made it and got in the cold refreshing water it was worth it. 
We went down the river for about 30 minutes most of the time in pitch black caves.
It was pretty cool but it's one of those things that I did once and don't need to do it again.
By the time we were done we we starving. So we headed to their headquarters for some lunch. They told us we would be eating the best chicken tamales we've ever had and I was so excited because I love tamales. Well apparently their idea of a tamale is different than mine but they basically just shoved a piece of chicken (bone and all) in the masa and called it good. So like the 2nd bite I got a piece of bone or something hard and I was done. I'm a little picky I guess but I ate chips and M&Ms instead. I'll stay away from Belize tamales in the future :)

After our daily nap and dinner we watched the second stage show, Latin Nights and that was the best show on the cruise. Its amazing the props, back drops, costumes and all they can do on a ship. It was awesome! So awesome in fact we went to the later show also to see it again.

 Not too sure what this little guy is.
Roatan, Grand Cayman and our final day at sea coming soon!