Friday, September 01, 2006

My Vacation Post...

(me on deck)

A couple of weeks ago, I was enjoying a much needed vacation on board Royal Caribbean's "Enchantment of the Seas". I really had a wonderful time... I'm a little sad that it's over, but I
know writing about it will bring back a lot of good memories and may even help me relive it a little bit.

(K. at the Airport-getting excited)

We started off bright and early on August 14th. Our flight into Fort Lauderdale, FL, was very early, so we got up at 5:15 am-yikes!- and off to the airport we went. With all of the security issues around that time, we knew we had better get there early just in case. But, luckily, there were no problems. I was pulled aside briefly, so that someone could go through my bag, but that was short and sweet. Soon, we up and away on our way to sunny FL. :)

We got to Tampa airport, collected our stuff, and took a taxi to Fort Everglades...where our boat was docked. After a brief wait, we were finally allowed onto the boat- WOO HOO :). Our vacation had officially begun :).

The boat was beautiful... they had recently refurbished and remodeled it and it looked in tip-top shape. Plus, it was spotless. My sister's traveling companion, and friend, B., even remarked how there was so much attention on keeping the ship nice- there was always someone keeping the boat in immaculate condition. It was very impressive.

(me & K - by the pool in the Solarium)

Not to mention that the staff on board were exceptionally friendly. They really went out of their way to make you happy. It wasn't unusual to walk down a hallway and have a room attendant, dining room waiter, or someone who worked on the ship greet you. And if you ordered a drink one time, in most cases, that person who waited on you would remember that drink and offer to get you the same one, if you should want. That is quite remarkable, seeing how they see many, many faces throughout the day and for them to remember your face and what you like, really says a lot.

Our dining room staff- Ali, head waiter, and Emile, assist. waiter, were especially wonderful. They were so friendly and so nice. As you can see from this picture, they also enjoyed entertaining us..

("Prince" Ali (Aladdin reference ;) as we nicknamed him- he's cute!)

Anyway, back to the first day, when they first let us on the boat... we took some pictures and then headed up for lunch at the Marketplace Buffet. I really have nothing bad to say about the food. It all was EXCELLENT. :) Everything was fresh and delicious and I especially enjoyed the meals in the dining room at dinner.

(K & me in the Marketplace Buffet...yum, yum, yum! :) )

After we ate, we went to go see if our rooms were ready ( and they were). We set our luggage and bags down and then went to explore the ship a little bit. My younger sister, K., and me decided that we wanted to use the gym, before they had ship drills and the Bon Voyage party on the deck. Along the way, we explored some more, but we did eventually reach the gym and, basically, had it to ourselves at that moment.

The gym was beautiful too. Now, I've been on a few other cruises before and usually the gym is nothing to call home about, but basically, they served their purpose. This one, in contrast, was exceptional. It had a section for classes they held (my sister and her friend, B., took a pilates class) and another section that had weight machines, elliptical machines, and several treadmills. We both were glad to see a nicely equipped gym, b/c even though we were on vacation, we knew would be eating (a lot), and would probably work out each day in effort to burn off some calories.

(Me and K. ready for dinner)

After the gym, we headed to our room to shower and change and get ready for the drills. The drills weren't fun, but I guess they're necessary. And the party on the deck was nice, but the weather was a bit iffy so that was the only damper.

Soon it was dinner time in the "My Fair Lady" dining room... Dinner was good and we met our dining room staff, Ali and Emile, who I mentioned above. After a LONG day, it was nice to have a good dinner with everyone in the dining room. It also was nice to be able to order whatever we wanted from the menu- even multiple appetizers (which I did) or entrees if you should want more than one thing. Plus, there were delectable desserts- who could beat that?! :)

That about sums up the first day. We did go to the show after dinner which, unfortunately, wasn't the best, and even headed to the disco later that night. However, we did manage to turn in fairly early that night, which was good, seeing that the next day would be Key West and we wanted to feel rested and ready for the day.

(K & me- in Key West having FUN)

We only spent half a day at Key West, but I still enjoyed it. Basically, our boat was docked in an area directed to the tourist crowd with little shops and the such. My sister, K, and myself split up from my other sister, C., and her friend, B. to explore the shops and snap a few pictures. It was a lot of fun, but it was HOT! Just walking around leisurely, I was sweating... just a little bit. K. asked me, while we ducked in a store for a break from the sun (& the a/c ),why the back of my shirt was wet- and I had to laugh... Well, she's one of those who never seems to break a sweat.

We got back to the boat around 12:30 (the boat left that area at 1:30 to sail on to Cozumel, Mexico), had lunch, and then tried to plan what we were going to do the rest of the afternoon.

(Me on formal night)

We made the plan to go to the pool for a little while, head to the gym, and then get ready for formal night. That night there was a Captain's Cocktail, pictures, and dinner... and we had to fancy ourselves up just a bit. I think that was probably my favorite night... I don't get to dress up all that much, it was nice having the chance to do that.

Later on, we headed to the disco. I like to dance, ok- I admit it, but I usually prefer to people watch at those types of places. However, K., loves to dance and I wanted her to have fun, so we got on the dance floor pretty frequently with C. and B. And, yes, it was fun. Me and K ended up staying pretty late or early (I think til 2:30 am!).

(me and K getting our drink ON)

Wednesday, we docked in Cozumel pretty early. What was nice was that the boat docked right at shore. We didn't need tenders to take us to and fro the port. We decided to have breakfast, go do a little shopping since, again, the area we docked was in an area of lots of little shops, come back to the boat and have lunch, and then go take a taxi to a public beach.

Shopping was fun. It was hot, of course, but it was nice to be off the ship and get a taste of Cozumel. I do have to say the shop owners were a little insistent on everyone coming in and viewing their merchandise up for sale. My sisters and I were able to abstain from buying things we, ultimately, didn't need. But B. bought her share and then some- probably enough to make up for the rest of us. :) She found a little glass box, bought some alcohol, bought a sarong, among other things. She spent a lot, but seemed pretty pleased with her purchases.

(Me., B., & K at the beautiful beach in Cozumel-ugh, bathing suit shot :()

We returned to the boat to eat and after lunch, we headed to the beach as planned. The beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was SO clear and blue and it was just awesome. It probably was my favorite of the ports we docked at. We spent couple hours there, swam, read, and just relaxed in the Mexico sun. My sister, K., even got a massage right on the beach. Anyway, when we felt we had enough sun we headed back.

For the most part, we seemed to do the same thing each evening ... worked out at the gym in the evening before dinner, showered, changed and got ready for dinner, had dinner, saw the evening show, and danced the night away in the disco. But it seemed to work out well and I think we liked the routine we had.

Thursday we were docked in Belize City, Belize. Belize is not what I expected. The area we were in was a somewhat poor area, but it was still an interesting place. We took a taxi to one of the man-made beaches there. Our taxi driver, Sherman, was extremely friendly and even gave us a mini tour and talk about the city. The drive there and back cost us $20... per person! and it was only a few miles away... but that should tell you about the state of the city there.

(C, the beautiful beach babe in Belize)

After the brief ride, we got to the beach. Honestly, it wasn't really a typical beach, but it was decent. We headed to an area of the beach where they had little chairs and tiki tree/umbrellas set up. It was actually kind of cute- it was warm (ok, hot!), and the water was warm, so it ended up being pretty relaxing.

When we were approaching the area, we noticed that in the middle of the water sat a water trampoline. Me, C, and B. decided to swim out to it and see if we could use up some energy bouncing on this thing. Of course, nothing is as easy as you might think. We reached the trampoline and realized that it was not going to be so simple to get up on it. First, the sides were kind of high to climb over. Second, it also was slippery-hey, it was in the water, after all. And, to further complicate and increase the challenge, there was no ladder! But, we figured we were up for the challenge... or so we thought.

C. was the first to take the challenge. She tried and tried with all her might, and even with a boost from B., was unable to boost herself onto the contraption. I'm sure this probably was pretty amusing to the bystanders situated around this area. C. is extremely fair skinned- she should be called "Snow White"- and it must have been funny to see her trying so hard to pull herself up with her little white butt up in the air. Yes, there was a little laughter at the sight of this all... and, heck, we had to laugh ourselves. But after C., tried, unsuccessfully, to make this slippery climb, me and B. decided to bow out. Speaking for myself, I know I would have made even more of a spectacle of myself than C. , so I didn't really even really want to give it a real go.

Later on we decided that the beach owner/staff must have put that there for their own personal enjoyment/entertainment- just to observe and laugh at the swimmers who ventured to climb this thing. But, surprisingly, others did manage to get on top of it later on. However, turns out the trampoline was a bit under inflated and didn't exactly bounce- which probably only proves our original theory, lol :) .

Anyway, we stayed there for a couple hours and then headed back to the ship. At this time, it was nearly 3, so we grabbed a quick bite at the buffet and then went to the pool for a bit. Later on we hit the gym (of course), showered and had dinner, and then also hit the disco as well.

The last day was a day "at sea", but it was nice. We relaxed most of the day... but also tried to make the most of it all too. We did a lot of the same things that we had done the past days on the boat. We swam, ate, worked out, hit a bingo game, packed, and various other things... Basically, we tried to cram in everything we wanted to do before it was time to draw the trip to a close. And I think we did manage to do just about everything we had hoped to. It ended well.

(me, C., and B. up at the disco, ready to party!)

Saturday came so quickly and before we knew it we were dis-embarking the ship. Sadly, Our trip was over and we soon were flying back into NYC to return to each or our own realities.

(Me, C., & K enjoying our last dinner in the dining room)

It was a very enjoyable vacation and one I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in taking a great cruise. Royal Caribbean did an outstanding job and I know that I will definitely look to them the next time I plan to cruise. I think most everyone would really love this vacation.

So that sums everything up, for the most part. And though I am a bit sad that it's over, at the same time, it's ALWAYS nice to come home. :)


Blogger BetterCell said...

That taxi driver in Belize ripped you off. You probably would have had a better time going alone and "Falling in Love" on the ship.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and the pictures look awesome!

And I'm guessing you did a great job managing the "D" simply because there were no stories of it causing you too many troubles.


I would love to go on a cruise someday!

Thanks for sharing - take care!

5:40 PM  
Blogger mytime79 said...

Andrea, sounds like an awesome trip. I'm so glad that you had a great time. Now I want to go on a cruise :) :)

I was really glad to read that post and to see that D didn't interfere too much or it sounds like you didn't let it interfere and ruin your trip. KUDOS!

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

I am steeping in jealousy right now, Andrea.

Love the pictures! And, judging by your lack of pump comments, I'm assuming that your pump held up well this trip...wonderful!

Great to have you back! :)

12:54 AM  
Blogger NYMOM said...

It looks like you had a fabulous time on that vacation.

BTW, you look great in those pictures...

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed yourself at least.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

BC... well, that was the only available taxi company near our port. And if they can get $20 per person, that's what they will charge. yeah, we may have been ripped off, but guess there is nothing we can do about it now!

Scott.. I did have a great time and I'm really glad that my pctures came out so well :)

My Diabetes wasn't in control-see my post prior to this one- but I know any change in schedule or routine would impact things. And I vowed not to let it worry me or ruin my vacation...

You should definitely look into going on a cruise- it's nice b/c you get lodging, food, and entertainment included in the price.

Thanks for your comment! :)

My Time...

Like I mentioned to Scott, taking a cruise is definitely a good option for vacations. I don't see how anyone can not like it... Great food, Great places to visit, Great scenery and much more! It's awesome.

I wouldn't say my diabetes control was perfect, but I didn't want to let it get to me or interfere wih me having a great vacation... and, luckily, this time I had no pump failures (thank God!)

Anyway, I've missed reading your posts- hope I will see more posts from you soon :)

Tiff~ you got to go! :) You'd love it :)...

Yeah, no pump failures this time... so that was a huge relief. Though I did check it every 5 minutes (ok, maybe an exaggeration) to make sure it was running ok.

Hope you are well :)

Thanks, NYmom... :) I'm not crazy about some of the pictures... but I wanted to post them anyway, b/c I do feel like it gives people a better idea of how things went than I could probably describe. Anyway, thanks for the kind words- I guess it's like they say, we are really our own worst critic.

Now to start planning my next cruise... lol :) (j/k- I wish!)

9:51 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home