Month: September 2013

Cruisin’ the Caribbean

Does anyone else feel like the last month has come and gone in the blink of an eye??? August was crazy busy with school starting, and September has also gone by so fast.  I am sorry I have been so inconsistent with my posts lately.  There was so much going on with work, and to be honest, I was having a bit of “writer’s block.”  I could not seem to come up with anything to post about at all. There are so many topics floating around in my head, but I couldn’t seem to get them on paper… er… typed up, lol…  I have definitely missed it and things should somewhat be calming down around here, so I hopefully I can post more.

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Our ship: Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

Anyway, one of the things that has kept me busy was getting ready for our cruise! In August, we celebrated our 5th anniversary, but we didn’t do a whole lot at the time since we knew we were taking this trip.  And let me tell you, I might be a cruise addict now.  I had never been on a cruise before (my husband went on one as a kid but doesn’t remember much about it so it was like new for him too) and I had never been out of the U.S. either, so needless to say, I was VERY excited about this trip!  Plus, we were going with our best friends, Matt and Justine! Our ship was Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, and it did not disappoint! I still can’t get over how they can fit all of that stuff into one boat! And the food! Oh, the food!

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Lemon Meringue Tart

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Lamb (they knew the way to this Greek girl’s heart– lamb was on the menu twice)

They say you gain an average of 1 pound per day, which means I probably gained about 7 lbs, but it was worth it!  Unless you go to one of the specialty restaurants, all of your food is free (well, not free, I mean you do have to pay for the actual cruise which includes the food haha!), but this also includes room service, which we definitely took advantage of.  We also had a wonderful waiter, Antonio, who was from India, and a great room attendant, Ricardo. I was amazed that our waiter knew our names after the first night, and we had to check his name tag 2-3 times before we got his name down.

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Antonio (front right), our waiter, and Wong (back right), our assistant waiter

One of the things that I most enjoyed about the cruise was the ports.  Since I had never been outside the U.S., I was very excited to get to visit 4 different countries in one week!  We stopped at Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica, Grand Caymen, and Cozumel, Mexico.  Labadee is Royal Caribbean’s private island, and it was absolutely beautiful! We pretty much laid on the beach that whole day.  At Falmouth, Jamaica, we did an excursion which took us on a tour of an old plantation and we had high tea while there.

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High Tea in Jamaica

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High Tea in Jamaica

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View from the plantation (600 ft. above sea level)

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One of the doors to the main house at the plantation

We really enjoyed the tour, but the ride to and from was a little scary! They are crazy drivers!  Also, it was very eye-opening and depressing to see the living conditions of most of the people as we rode through town.  I forget how blessed I am sometimes.  The next stop was at Grand Caymen, where we did a snorkeling excursion.  We got to see a sunken ship and a really cool reef near Grand Caymen— we even saw a shark! That was probably my favorite excursion!  Seeing all the aquatic wildlife in person was very fascinating.

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Ready to snorkel

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Justine and Matt are ready too haha

After the excursion, we walked around to some of the shops and got lunch at Margaritaville. For the last port, we stopped at Cozumel, Mexico.  On that day, our friends went on an excursion, so Jeff and I had the day to ourselves. Per the recommendation of our travel agent, we got a taxi and went to Chankanaab Park.  IMG_1070There were a lot of things you could do, include swim with dolphins, snorkel, and kayak, but we just laid on the beach for a while and walked around the nature trails.  After that, we got another taxi that took us downtown so we could shop.

We also enjoyed 2 days at sea (the first and last days of our cruise) which I also really enjoyed as it gave us time to explore the ship and all the amenities it had to offer, though we did spend most of our time laying by the pool soaking up some Vitamin D!  We also saw several shows.

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Formal Night

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Formal Night

The shows on the ship were incredible, especially the Freedom Ice show, which is an ice-skating show performed right on the ship!  I don’t know how those skaters can do all those tricks on a moving a ship! Another thing we really loved on the ship was our cruise director.  He was absolutely hysterical! Some other cruisers have uploaded videos of him on youtube, so if you want a peek at how crazy he is, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyv75ICunIE.

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This gameshow was hysterical!

I probably could go on and on for days about how awesome our cruise was, but I won’t!  I will just say that if you are interested in booking a cruise, I would highly recommend you use Royal Caribbean.  Also, we had a fabulous travel agent through AAA, Christina Hawkins.  She was so helpful in all of the planning and details and questions I had!  We are going to Disney World and Universal Studios at Christmas, and she is helping us plan that trip as well!

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Blessed to call these two “friends”

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My husband and me ❤

Are you planning a vacation soon or have taken one recently? If so, where are you going?  I’d love to hear about it!