Sunday, November 19, 2006

CRUISE

Here is the synopsis:

Friday 11/10 and Sat 11/11: Go crazy!!--i.e. change oil on Tahoe, go to bank, pick up #1 from school, drive to Brigham City to pick up sister and nephew, drive back, notice Tahoe is acting funny, DH takes Tahoe back to oil place where they find they didn't fasten a hose back on and it was a miracle I drove 200 miles without dying, pack, shop, pack, wash, pack, say good-bye, pick up friends, pick up other friends, drive to airport, check in, wait, get on plane, wait, fly to NYC (JFK), wait, eat, wait, get on plane, wait, fly to Ft. Lauderdale (FL), get luggage, wait, eat, wait, talk, wait, get on private shuttle, drive towards Miami, stop for gas, go to Miami, get dropped off at marina, get luggage out, send luggage with boat guys, wait in long line for security, wait in long line to register, wait in long line to get on the boat, go eat, find our cabin, sleep, watch TV, wait for our luggage, sleep, get luggage, unpack, get ready for dinner, go to dinner, go back to cabin and sleep very, very, very soundly all night long. ~sigh~

Sunday 11/12: Sleep in late. Nice. Very nice! Enjoy our balcony (so glad we upgraded!!), the TV, and the soft pillows. Get dressed and we go to breakfast. Then we sit out on the deck in the nice sun, starting our tans and read books. I read the Ensign (conference edition) and then start "Tuesdays with Morrie". DH starts reading something....hmmm...it's by the author of "The Bourne Identity" books...Anyways, we enjoy a nice relaxing morning and then we eat lunch. Then we nap? Probably. We slept so much those first few days! Later that night is formal night for dinner --I take forever to get ready. Just because I can! My hair took forever, but it looked good. :) Afterward, I think we slept again... :)

Monday 11/13: Woke up bright and early and rarin' to go! It was COZUMEL for our first shore stop. DH and others haggled with locals on the marina for good Scuba Diving prices. The other 6 of us (friends we did almost everything with the entire week) rented jeeps and drove out to a great beach. We snorkeled, swam, and then tried to find a light house on the terrible map we had. No luck. Drove back to town anticipating some shopping before we had to pick up DH and another husband and drove past them --lucky! Picked them up, found a great place to eat some yummy Mexican food, then drove out to the Aztec Ruins. POURED rain on us for 20 minutes on our way out there. Never saw such "fat" rain! Get to the ruins and realized we forgot the bug spray on the ship. GOT EATEN ALIVE. Cool ruins, but not worth the mosquitos. One jeep went back to town, and the rest of us drove back out to the cool beach for snorkeling and swimming --saw a baby sting ray. Drove back to return the jeep and shopped for a little while...returned to the boat for dinner and went to bed early. Lovin' all this sleeping stuff....

Tuesday 11/14: Day at Sea. Slept in, read books --started "The Secret Life of Bees", DH started "Flags of our Fathers". Ate, relaxed, slept, played games with friends, read, relaxed, ate dinner, (by the way, for those of you that haven't been on a cruise before, dinner is at the same time each night, and we usually sit with the same people. It's fancy-shmancy, and the menu is nice and the waiters are great and it's high class service in a high class dining room. Nice. I love this part --I mean, no cooking? no buffet? Treated like a queen? Yeah, and that happens in my regular life, when? Exactly.. :) ) and then watched a show? Can't remember. I know we watched 2 shows --one of magicians, and another of a comedian and a juggler. Both so-so. No big dealio.

Wednesday 11/15: Grand Caymen!! DH goes Scuba Diving again --I go with 2 friends (same as before, just not all of us) to see the stingrays! They shuttled us out to the marina, we got in a great boat (with a bathroom! Amen, for this pregnant woman!), they took us out to the sandbars and coral reef where we got out into chest deep water and swam with the stingrays. LOVED IT. LOVED IT! I held one, they brushed by me (very soft) and it was totally surreal. Of course, we were all a little nervous (Steve Irwin, anyone?), but it was incredible. After that, they took us to the coral reef for snorkeling. Very good! Not incredible fish --but incredible coral! All shades and just divine --was having a blast until I started contracting. Had my friend (former lifeguard) help me swim back to the boat and I was done (sadly. I consider myself a very experienced snorkeler, so to end early was a bummer). But it was cool. Once back in the city, we met DH at Jimmy Buffet's Margartiaville for lunch --good food, but never saw so many drunk people in my life! At 1PM! Holy crap. Before DH got there, we got hit on my one guy that was so sloshed, I thought he would fall over. He wanted to buy us shots --luckily, my pregnancy was a major deterrent to him. Go figure. After some shopping, we headed back to the boat. We showered, slept, read, etc. and then went to dinner and a show. Fun stuff! And then another good night's sleep. ~sigh~ Still can't think about it without remembering how much uninterrupted sleep!

Thursday 11/16: Jamaica!! Scariest place I've been so far. Our friend was offered drugs 4 times --once while IN THE TAXI (and not by the Taxi driver, either) at the stop light. 6 of the 8 of us (friends) decided to do Dunn's River Falls. We got a shuttle with an incredible girl named Natalie to be our guide. She was so amazing --beautiful, intelligent, very kind, and fun to talk to. She's never left Jamaica her entire life, and she works hard for very little. I'll never forget her. Anyways, we shuttled from the marina to the river park --then we pay to get in. They take you all the way down the hills to the beach where the enormous waterfalls drop right into the ocean. However, they are on limestone and are terraced falls --so they are very easy to walk up. And that's what we did (with 100 bazillion other people). We climbed UP the waterfalls! It took about an hour, and it was incredible! I was afraid I might slip and fall or maybe get hurt, but I was totally safe and the guides made sure I was being careful --along with DH, of course. After we "walked" the falls, we shopped and WHOA! Jamaicans are pushy. I thought it was difficult in Mexico (Cabo San Lucas is a toughy), but at least they know when to stop. It was so hard to say no to the Jamaicans and I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the language barrier --or lack thereof.
After shopping, we went back to the boat, ate lunch, and then went back out to a local beach and just swam and relaxed on the nice white sand. It was a beautiful day and the water was incredibly turquoise green. Beautiful. Next was cleaning up and getting ready for the final Formal Night. Fun. :) Then it was back to our cabin for the night. Another nice night of blissful sleep...

Friday 11/17: Slept late. Breakfast, and then DH played golf on the simulator and I finished my book. Good books! Then we played video games (no joke) on our friends' play station in their cabin with it projected on the wall (they totally brought their projection screen!). Then it was lunch, and the "reason" for the cruise. DH's company Firstline took about 450 of us on this cruise and we had the awards ceremony and final meeting for the summer sales force for 3 hours in one of the large "lounges". Since DH is leaving the company at the end of the month, it was actually kind of boring for us, but it wasn't bad. Just long. :) But I've been to 7 of these types of end of the year meetings, so I was used to it. Afterwards was dinner and then we packed, packed, packed. Luggage had to be out of our rooms for pick up by midnight. Then we slept and slept.

Saturday 11/18: The next morning, we showered and took the rest of our stuff with us to breakfast. Afterwards, we found a nice empty lounge and played card games with some friends until it was time to get off the boat. Then it was this: stood in long lines to get luggage, found luggage, stood in long lines to go through customs, waited on the curb for shuttle, shuttle came, drove us to Ft. Lauderdale, we were too early to start check in to our flight, waited, waited, called the kids, checked email, waited, checked our luggage, went to gate, saw a Chilli's and ate a nice, slow lunch, played more card games, waited, started listening to the BYU vs. New Mexico game, found out our flight was delayed, waited, got on the plane, waited, flew to NYC (JFK) and arrived 15 minutes before our connecting flight was to leave. AHHH!! Ran (almost) to the next flight --grateful it was JetBlue, just like our previous flight, so they would know about the 30 of us trying to get on the plane to SLC --made the flight, prayed our luggage did too, and settled in for the long haul. Slept mostly, but was very uncomfortable. Arrived in SLC 20 minutes early, got our luggage, friend's husband picked us all up, drove and dropped off friends, and other friends, and then drove home. Arrived around 1:20AM, quietly came in, and fell into bed exhausted.

It was great. I really, really, really needed it --the relaxation, the sleep, the food, the service, the adventures, etc. were completely worth the time away from the kids. Of course, I came back happier and I missed the kiddies by the end, so I was very happy to be home, too.

Gotta love a cruise...
P.S. I'll post pictures later when I get the chance, or remember, or care, or whatever...

4 comments:

Jan said...

Okay, I don't think I can talk to you for a long time. Not until I go on a cruise, anyway. . . .(turning bright green right now).

Cheryl said...

Do not be jealous. Save your money, plan the time and just do it. You'd be surprised how affordable they can be (especially for us Mormons that do not drink or gamble--seriously, that is how the cruise industry makes it's money).

Jan said...

Key word here being "money"--remember being students? :)

Cheryl said...

Ha, ha! And see, we didn't go on a cruise until after we graduated. Just think how rich you will be when he's done...? :)