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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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. (!!)
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.
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.)