Vacation Details - 12/12/04
We're back from vacation! It was wonderful. Salem did wonderful on the drive. We left at 11. She slept til we got to Houston and then we got stuck in traffic. It was horrible. She did fine though watching Barney and The Wiggles. Not one meltdown. At 7 we were still in Houston and I had to call Harly and tell them I would be late and they were stuck in traffic too! So I felt better!
We checked into the hotel and hurried to the Rain Forrest Cafe to meet an online friend. We had a wonderful albeit short time with them. My pics didn't turn out well. It turns out my digital camera was dying! UGH!
The cruise was awesome. Embarkation was quick - we got our luggage a good 3 hours quicker than when we were on Royal Carribean. The cabins were wider too rather than long and narrow. It gave the illusion that they were MUCH better. Korie and I had a minor battle when she tried to claim 3 out of 6 drawers and half the closet. But we worked past it.
Korie - spent most of her time with the teen center. She had a blast doing scavenger hunts and crafts and of course a boy liked her. She got to stay out til 1 am with the the teen center and their leader except one night we went out. She did have dinner with us every night.
Salem - did wonderful. She bounced all over the ship and charmed everyone she met. She only had one meltdown all week and it was in the room. She fell in love with the maitre d and blew him kisses all week at dinner. She learned several things this week. She had her picture taken so much by us and the cruise photographers that by mid week she was saying "cheese" and scrunching up her face. Too funny! She has a thing for ducks (we go visit the ducks often) and I guess she thinks ducks when she sees water. She must have asked us a million times where da ducks??? Too funny!!! She did have one accident on Friday our last day at sea. Brian was sitting in the hot tub, I was dangling my feet in and she decided to get out and she fell down the stairs onto tile. She had a bump the size of a cherry tomato between her eyes. Poor baby.
The cruise ship was AMAZING. Beautiful and much roomier than the RC one we were one. They had this MASSIVE theatre size if not bigger TV outside by one of the pools. During the day they showed cartoons, videos, movies and then every night they had a new DVD releases and did Movie Under the Stars and provided dry seat cushions and wool blankets and popcorn. Very nice. I watched iRobot and Spiderman II under the stars.
Brian gambled some but didn't have any luck so gave up. He played golf in the golf simulator and he and Korie did putt putt. They have a very cute but small putt putt course.
The shops were pricey as usual and I didn't get to have a massage cause they wanted $150 (they were $99 on RC). I went to one magic show and 1 comedian on my nights off. That stuff bored Salem silly so I didn't go much.
We took turns with Salem. One day I had her for nap and then the next day I put her to bed and we traded like that.
Dinner was fantastic. Brian had everything from Lobster to Primerib to Tenderloin and more. I was VERY good. They had a diabetic menu prepared for me with scrumptious sugar free desserts. Breakfast was always buffet style and lunch depended on if we were in port or not.
Belize - Major disappointment. No public beaches within hours of where we tendered in. We were literally seized by locals begging for money or to sell us something. VERY overwhelming. We did get a cab and drive around the city. I truly don't understand the appeal of this place with a cruise. There wasn't much to do.
Costa Maya - AWESOME. We took a cab to Mahjual (sp?). The beach was free (amazing) and fantastic. We played and lazed around for hours before going shopping.
Grand Cayman - Beautiful despite the obvious devastation they are still rebuilding some. The beach was phenomenal and the water calm. Then Brian and Korie went snorkeling and to Stingray City. Korie was terrified of the stingrays and got in once and quickly got out. But they loved snorkeling. Salem and I walked around Grand Cayman. It was very nice and it was calming not to have to say no thankyou to hundreds of peddlers but it was VERY expensive. We did buy Rum cakes of course! :) Not that I can have any. I didn't like tendering in here or Belize. It was a pain. I much prefer the pier. I had a hard time getting on the tender with Salem asleep in her stroller.
Cozumel - Wonderful like last time. We went back to the same beach (Mr. Sanchos). It was more crowded and the water not as calm as Cayman but beautiful. Brian and Korie and my sister and her kids went jet skiing and snorkeling. Salem played in the sand. After a few hours we went to town and to Senior Frogs. Of course Brian was less involved in the congo lines and free shots since Korie was there but the place is a riot. We all loved it. Then we did some major shopping while Brian and Salem went to the ship.
Downside - Korie was a tad spoiled. When she asked for stuff we couldn't afford and we said no she pouted and when she asked if she could stay out later than 1 Brian said no and she argued with him. They had a major private discussion (this was Monday) but it didn't ruin her week. The first two days were just a pain cause she didn't want to come check in like we told her to and she wanted to use her cruise card the way her friends did to buy whatever she wanted (we took that option off her card).
There were quite a few elderly couples. Many were wonderful. But many were downright obnoxious to most of the families with kids. One lady stopped right in front of my stroller. Thus I hit her heel. I apologized profusely until she yelled at me that I needed to watch where I was going with that damn stroller. I told her she needed to be aware that there were people around her and not stop unexpectedly. She said a cruise wasn't a place for kids and strollers. I said obviously they aren't a place for old people who don't remember what it's like to have kids. At that point Brian pulled me away. Then my mom's friend got into it with a couple who was yelling at April and Evin (niece and nephew) for running around the pool. She basically asked them if they were born old or did they forget what it was like to be kids?
Many of the elderly felt like they owned the pools even though there were two adult only pools and many would get off elevators where kids came on. It was ridiculous. Kids were hyper and excited but I saw very few brats. They need to book on an adult only cruise if they detest kids so much. It was a daily occurence so it did get VERY old.
Our wait staff was awesome and while our cabin steward was professional and did his job we missed the steward on RC who spoiled us rotten by making towel art for Salem and bringing her treats etc.
My camera broke. I honestly don't know what happened. It simply won't stay on. It's not batteries. I tried new batteries and a different card. So I have 6 disposable cameras being developed! UGH!
Disembarkation was horrible. Much worse and I can only guess it was because the ship was huge with almost a 1000 more passengers than RC. We hit traffic again in Houston but made it home an hour quicker. Salem slept most of the way.
It's almost anticlimatic being home! But I am glad to be home. But it's back to reality!October 11, 2006 - 2006-10-11
Back from Vacation - 2006-07-18
July 3, 2006 - 2006-07-04
Parenting is Hard - 2006-06-30
Update June 23, 2006 - 2006-06-23