It’s the last day of our first ever cruise and it went by way too fast. It was lovely and magical and panic inducing and awkward and delicious and funny and strange and wonderful and life changing. It’s exactly what Cody and I needed and I now know for a fact that had we done something like this for our honeymoon or before we had kids? We would have never appreciated it the way we did.

In the Cozumel Port. (Our ship is on the left.)

I’ll probably write about it several times, because honestly too much happened to keep it all in one post and my mother in law is going to want to scrapbook it for us so really I’m doing all of this for posterity. There were highlights (too many to name) lowlights (three I can think of) and all sorts of stuff in between. But while it’s fresh, here’s what we did on our first ever seven day Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Legend.

our boat. she was a good boat.

Day 1 – Get on the boat! Dude, I’m not sure if it’s in the manual that cruise ships are supposed to be tacky, BUT WHOA WITH THE TACKY! It was wonderful! So much hot pink and gold and mirrors and SHIREEN! THERE’S FIBER OPTIC LIGHTS EVERYWHERE! Getting our bearings was a joke and if you want to see crazy? First day buffet on a cruise. *shakes head* If you’ve never been on a cruise and have any type of anxiety issue? Muster Drill is ship speak for “panic inducing.” There has to be a better way of performing muster drills because that was pretty much the worst thing anyone could have done to me on my first day of vacation. I recovered with a nap. It helped tremendously.

cody's offical cruise uniform. (well, life uniform. let's be honest.)

Day 2- ALL DAY ON A BOAT! One of the first things we saw? Dolphins off of our balcony. Cody went to the gym, I went to the “Adults Only” area of the ship. First speedo sighting was immediate. Wow! People are really comfortable with their bodies, I’m both comforted and horrified. We make friends with a couple from Texas named Linda and Larry who have been married for 40 years. They remain our only friends throughout the cruise. I really like Larry because he liked us and he didn’t seem to like much (except for coffee and helicopters.) We nap again. Because obviously.

Day 3- Cozumel! We dock in Cozumel and have to get off on the lowest level of the ship. It’s announced that the gangway will be closing in 15 minutes for an hour so get down there now if we want off the boat! We get to the bottom level and BOOM. Gangway closed. We’re absolutely surrounded by people with no personal space issues and I have a bit of a muster drill moment until some fool starts shouting at everyone to move up then everyone packs in tighter and I’m convinced that I’m never going on a cruise again and I also seriously consider drinking, heavily. The doors finally open and I bust free of ALL THE PEOPLE and Cody and I are headed to a private beach with all we can drink beverages (SO MANY PINA COLADAS!) the most amazing lunch and our own little straw hut. Mexican food in Mexico convinces me that all is right with the world, we swim, we relax, we drink more fruity frozen beverages, we head back to the ship happy, and then we nap.

happy cozumel beach toes.

I swear he had more fun than this.

Cozumel.

Cozumel.

Day 4- Belize! Hey, we’re in Belize. NO BIG DEAL. A catamaran picks us up to go snorkeling, more specifically a catamaran picks us up to take us to the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN to go snorkeling. This is where I aside and say that I DO NOT LIKE THE OPEN OCEAN. But Cody convinces me to try new things so I agree to get tossed off a boat in the middle of the ocean. Once in the ocean I go into full snorkel business mode. SWIMSWIMBREATHESWIMSWIM. I had to consciously tell myself to stop and enjoy what was around me. I got kicked in the head twice, lose Cody and convince myself that I am not meant for snorkeling but snorkel my heart out to prove to Cody that I can do hard things and make the money we spent worthwhile. We get back to the boat and are taken to a private island where my faith is again restored in vacations and the country of Belize. Turns out the water was a little rougher because of a storm so perhaps I shouldn’t write off snorkeling in its entirety just yet.  Belize is really pretty. Tourists on catamarans who are offered unlimited rum punch are not so pretty. We get back to the ship: we nap. (I also fell down a flight of stairs this day, but more on that later.)

our ship from our tender boat in Belize.

getting ready to snorkel in Belize.

Belize.

the dock on our private island in Belize, again, no big deal.

Tiny little private island in Belize.

Day 5 – Roatan, Honduras! WE LIKE HONDURAS! Lots of mountains and a shipwreck and so many flowers and it’s so pretty and everyone is so friendly and we hang out on a beach and swim and snorkel some more. I realize that I like snorkeling as long as it isn’t in rough water and I spend nearly three hours face down in the water making friends with my Honduran fish friends. I’m also slightly smug because I am better at snorkeling than Cody. He says it’s because snorkel masks don’t fit his strong brow bone, I say sure of course that’s why. We don’t get to spend nearly enough time on Roatan but we are smitten. Cody picks out a really cool hand carved souvenir and we head back to the boat to (surprise!) nap. Bad news? I realize I failed to reapply adequate sunscreen to my rear end during my second two hours of snorkeling. Ow is the understatement of the century.  Naps are had by all.

Our ship in Roatan as seen from the magical beach chair.

Roatan, Honduras. SO PRETTY.

on a chairlift over the ocean in Honduras. NO BIG DEAL.

Day 6 – Grand Cayman! Our expectations are pretty high after such a lovely day in Honduras, we load up on a bus that drives on the wrong side of the road (for us anyway) and head to another catamaran to be taken out to the open ocean and dumped in again. First stop? Stingray sandbar. THIS NEEDS TO BE ON EVERYONE’S LIFE LIST. Standing in the middle of the ocean in perfectly clear, perfectly warm and perfectly blue water on perfectly white soft sand as enormous stingrays come up and nuzzle you? Amazing. We were then taken a few thousand feet further out where we were dumped off the boat and allowed to snorkel in the most spectacularly clear, warm water with the most amazing coral gardens and fish. I am officially a snorkeler. When we get back to port we drink coconut water from a coconut, eat Caribbean meat patties and eat our body weight in gelato. Kiss kiss Grand Cayman, it’s been real. We don’t nap today because apparently it only takes 6 days on a real vacation to catch up on sleep. (!!)

Stingray Sandbar in Grand Cayman

swimming with stingrays WHAT?

we had no lime for our coconut.

Day 7 – Today (yesterday.)  Headed back to Tampa. It’s really almost over. It has been AMAZING. I’m so thankful that we were able to finally do this and truly appreciate it. That guy I married, gosh he’s a good one (he’s also coming back with two hickies, WHOOPS AND YAY!) There’s no one else I’d rather troll buffets at midnight or suffer muster drills with. We’re both coming back a little pinker in places, but the bags under our eyes have faded and we both miss our girls horribly.

happily exhausted.

Tomorrow (today) we wake up in Tampa with phone and data service. We’ll board a plane back to Indianapolis and we’ll be snuggled up with our babies before bedtime. We’re happier and even more in love than we were a week ago, and that’s good news for everyone (except my backside, but really, more on that later.)

Comments

  1. I love that you and Cody had the opportunity and means to do this. I’m rooting for you two. And not just because Cody is a spitting image of my husband. Wink.

    Casey Reply:

    @Redneck Mommy, The special drink on the cruise was called the Juicy Brucey.

  2. I’m so glad you two had such a nice time. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t jealous! Welcome back!

    Casey Reply:

    @Charlane, I’m a little jealous of myself, I can’t believe it really happened.

  3. Melissa V says:

    looks like you had a great time :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Melissa V, We really, really did.

  4. omg, yay! looks like you guys had so much fun!!

    Casey Reply:

    @sherry lane, SO MUCH FUN YAY!

  5. We didn’t do much of a honeymoon (just two days near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water), but went on an Alaskan cruise two years later, just after we learned Lindsay was pregnant. It was the last hurrah, and it was great. I’d love to again sometime, this time with a wife who doesn’t have morning sickness.

    Casey Reply:

    @neal, Yeah, a cruise with a pregnant wife could either be magical or miserable.

  6. So glad you two had a wonderfu time! I thought of you often and hoped all was well. Welcome home!

    Casey Reply:

    @Amy, It was all SO SO WELL and so so wonderful.

  7. You guys look like you had so much fun (except maybe on that ride up in the air – you don’t look happy there). And moisturise, moisturise, moisturise your sunburn.

    Casey Reply:

    @Michelle, Well, here’s the story. Cody makes stupid faces in photos, so we always try to out stupid face each other without the other one knowing.
    Our marriage is awesome.

  8. Wow, what an incredible vacation!! I think I took that cruise in high school with my family… but then again, I doubt I enjoyed myself as much as you did. Mostly because I was plotting ways to kill my little brother.

    Welcome back to reality!! Hope it isn’t too harsh with you :)

    Casey Reply:

    @ClassyFabSarah, Thankfully my reality is pretty darn sweet to come back to. :)

  9. Cort & I took a meager honeymoon in hopes that we would go away somewhere later in our marriage. 7 years and 2 kids later and we are still waiting, but this post makes me hopeful for something lovely some day!

    welcome home!

    Casey Reply:

    @Katie, Hang in there! Especially with little kids around it goes really fast.

  10. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

    My husband went with me on a business trip in July to Jekyll Island…our first beach vacation alone since 2004 before we had #1. Yeah. It was phenomenal and we were so in tune with each other when we came back. Best thing ever. And now we’re hoping to plan a weekend away at least twice a year for just that reason.

    Casey Reply:

    @Carrie, Yes. Trips with your spouse, even one night away makes all the difference in the world.

  11. My first cruise was my honeymoon and it was miserable. My second cruise was last year and it wasn’t nearly as miserable, though I realized that cruises really aren’t my thing. I’m more of a “fly to the foreign country and stay there for 6 days” guy.

    I’m glad your first experience was a good one – now you just have to save up for the Disney cruise so you can bring the girls (and come to Orlando)!

    Casey Reply:

    @Avitable, I’m a be with my husband kind of person. Even if it’s the Quality Inn in Toledo.

  12. Hubby and I went on a cruise in March, two of our stops were the same as yours, Honduras & Grand Cayman. I got burnt to a crisp in Roatan!!!! :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Shash, Perhaps it’s the Island. The Bermuda Triangle of sunscreen.
    Caribbean triangle of sunscreen?
    They were honestly the best stops on our cruise, I’m glad you got to see them too!

  13. Nap = Code Word for Heh.

    Glad you two had a fantastic time. Would love something similar for our 10th, cuz we need some NAPS around here. And I mean Naps – like the sleeping ones.

    Casey Reply:

    @QuatroMama, WE REALLY DID TAKE SLEEPING NAPS EVERYDAY.

    After we “napped” of course.

  14. I was in Cozumel in May and made friends with snorkeling. I, too, burned my butt and shoulders beyond what is medically responsible. Having a sunburned butt is pretty much one of the weirdest, dumbest we humans can experience.

    That aside, I’M SO GLAD you had an amazing time! Carnival ships are completely cheesy, but totally relaxing once you realize just how nappable their beds feel.

    Casey Reply:

    @Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing], Sitting on a ship toilet with a burned butt? Awful.
    And yes! The comfortable cheese, amazing.

  15. Cruises are ridiculous. Fun and weird and crazy. I’m so glad you guys had a great time! And you are SO RIGHT that the appreciation for this kind of thing multiplies 1000x after kids. We went to Italy right before we had Maggie and man, if we did it NOW? It would be a WHOLE different experience, I’m sure.

    Also: yay for NAPS!

    Casey Reply:

    @Jen, Cody wants to go to Italy. I’m all “How about Little Italy? SO MUCH CHEAPER!”

  16. We went to Grand Cayman on our honeymoon. Loved it! We also did the Stingray City thing, but unfortunately it was a choppy day and I had forgotten my Dramamine. I was able to enjoy the stingrays, because I had already barfed in the ocean by that time, but I missed out on snorkeling (our excursion did 2 snorkeling stops and then the stingrays).

    I am curious about your tattoos. What do they say?

    Casey Reply:

    @Anna, I was SO AFRAID of being sick, thankfully I never was. Sucks that it had to happen on your honeymoon in the middle of the stingrays.
    Have you ever seen Ghost? Our tattoos are like their ‘ditto’

  17. I sense a theme. ;)
    Glad you guys had a great time!! xoxo

    Casey Reply:

    @Karen Sugarpants, NAPS FOR ALL.

  18. We took our first cruise for our 10 year anniversary in 2010. Loved.it. Glad you guys had a great time!

    Casey Reply:

    @Stacey, It’s a good thing for 10 years. Not 10 days.
    Right?

  19. I’m so glad you had your man and your fiber optics. Also, never leave me again.

    Casey Reply:

    @Just Shireen, I’m totally bringing you with me next time, Cody said he wouldn’t mind at all.
    I mean, he would if I told him.

  20. Looks amazing

    Casey Reply:

    @Amanda Jillian, It really was. Magical and amazing.

  21. We went on the same cruise five yrs ago. With little kids. So, I am green with envy! (Roatan was our fave too!)

  22. You are adorable. I would love to cruise but my motion sickness is off the charts. Can’t even sit on a swing, so no vacations ON the ocean for us. However, near an ocean? Pretty sure I can do that.

  23. Next time stay an extra day in Tampa! We have so much to do here :-)

  24. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who sees the importance of naps on vacation! The sleeping kind too.

  25. Mostly stopping by to say hello since it’s been awhile. Glad you had fun. A cruise is on our Someday List. (How did I miss that you got ink?)

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