Above, Marigot Bay in St. Lucia
Again, I really don't understand those people who think they wouldn't like a cruise when it's so easy to travel that way!
Aaron & I went with my folks & we've all managed to come back in one piece, still talking & i am still an heir to their estate =) With 3 days at sea & 5 back-to-back days in port we had our share of activities. Here's a few of the highlights:
- hours in the spa lounging in the whirlpools and on the thermal beds
- reading & napping in the shady, breezy comfort of the outside decks
- shows in the theater ranging from comedy to musical-style
- dinner in several different restaurants over the course of the cruise (italian, tex-mex, french, buffet-style, 4-course meals, japanese, steakhouse)
- trivia contests
- casino (though aaron is the best to ask about this - he won the Texas Hold 'Em Tournament on the last day)
- Sleeping very well (ok, i did add that from my point of view)
We went sailing on catamarans while in Barbados and Antigua. We had never done that before & it was a really smooth, relaxing ride (not counting when my mom's camera was visciously snatched by the sea!). There was a definite fill of sun & sea for those 2 days.
Part of the catamaran trip was for snorkeling. The stop in Antigua allowed us to walk into the water off the beach. There really wasn't too much to see, though the further out (& cooler, by the way) you could see a few fish & coral things swaying under water.
In Barbados, we were to see TURTLES!!! That sounded exciting to me, a little different than the usual coral with an occasional fish swimming by. The catamaran for this trip drops their ladder into the water & allows you to snorkle from that point. Sounds easy... walk out & see some turtles. First, it was a MOVING ladder; up & down with the waves, so you had to just jump into the CHILLY water. Putting my head underwater, camera ready on my wrist, i'm looking all over for the turtles. I'd like to see how big they are! I wanna see babies! i want to see whole families!
I saw ONE! ONE TURTLE!!!!!
& then we moved onto the next snorkling sight. I know it sounds good, but this also had different issues. They dropped the ladder again & this time i know what to expect. What i didn't expect was this unbelievably strong current. We weren't given flippers, so you were on your own in trying to move around. Normally, going without flippers isn't THAT big of a hinderance. With the addition of the strong current, it was rough going! But I was determined to see real fish!!! After the disappointment of only spying one turtle, i had to find something to use all my film on while i was underwater!
Though the current was rough, it was rewarding once you finally got to where the fish were. There were all kinds of colorful ones under the water & they were everywhere. I was snap-snap-snapping away...
Then they said there's a shipwreck to see!
BUT... I used all my film on those fish!!!! :(
I know you are all curious how these pics underwater turned out, but that roll hasn't been developed yet. You'll just have to stay there on the edge of your seat waiting.
We managed to do some shopping while we were in port (but not in every port) & packing the luggage back for our trip home proved to be a challenge for some of us. (Good thing Aaron & packed an empty piece of luggage for just that reason!).
The ship docked back in Miami on Sunday the 20th (Happy Birthday, Mom!) & we spent that day in Miami. The weather was very bizarre for Miami. I didn't know it rained there, but on our arrival & departure day there was rain. The day we docked back there, it was cool, rainy & VERY windy. I thought we might have to call in Horatio Cane (CSI:Miami) to evacuate the city for the incoming hurricane!
Aaron said he could have flown home that day, but i wasn't up for a long day of traveling. Sometimes that's worse than taking an extra day. I never found flights suitable for leaving that day (for time or $), hence the extra night in Miami. We flew home the following morning & had no problems with flights. Arriving in Richmond around 2:30, we were home before dinner & able to relax & ready ourselves for going back to work the next day. Oh & did i mention it was FREEZING COLD when we landed??? Snow remnants on the ground??? Talk about a change in attitude/change in latitude!!!
Aaron & i are already thinking about our next trip... Of course, i have one - flying to CA in less than 2 weeks!!!