Travel

Our Royal Caribbean Cruise Vacation

Forgive me, as I try to recall our Royal Caribbean Cruise from memory. The Deluxe Drink package I’m sure has done a number on my memory. Read on…

First and foremost, this trip would not have been possible without the hard work of my lovely “Now Partner”, Sheri. She worked her ass off to win this trip and for that I am grateful.

This being my first cruise, I had no idea what to expect. Only what a gleaned from Sheri, as this was her second (or third). So needless to say, I was ready for any and everything.

After what seemed like endless lines and security checks, baggage checks and pat downs, we finally embarked on Adventure of the Seas. What a treat that was. The first thing we did was grab a drink, deck chairs, and rest. Our room wasn’t going to be ready until 1pm so we had about an hour to kill. Once the room was ready we navigated our way to it and ran into our Stateroom attendant. He seemed like a nice enough guy. His name was Vinceroy, we didn’t see him much but he looked after us pretty well when we were out and about.

So Hazy

This is where my memory becomes a little hazy (thanks Deluxe Drink Package). I believe the first thing I did, after entering the room was take a picture of the balcony. What a sight that was. Visible from the balcony was a waterway for boats and small watercraft (more about this later).

Room with a view
Room With a View

The remainder of the day was spent lounging in chairs either on the 11th or 12 decks. And the Buffet, can’t forget about the buffet. Our table of choice was usually at the stern, where we could see the remnants of the Sunset and the wake left by the ship’s propellers.


Update: It’s been roughly 3 weeks since I started this blog post. I should have finished it then because my memory is even worse. But I’ll do the best I can.

Our first full day at sea was spent cruising. This was probably my favourite part of the trip, because the Captain is in no hurry, but at the same time, still has a schedule to keep. I estimate he was cruising at around 12-14 knots during the day. At night who, knows…we were sleeping. I must say, sleep for me was pretty easy. The odd time I would wake up in the middle of night, and nothing was cooler than stepping out onto the balcony and seeing nothing but pitch black and hearing the waves created by the ship’s bow.

Day 2

Day 2 we arrived at Grand Cayman and docked sometime around 7am. On this day we had no excursion planned. This was intentional. During our planning we decided we wanted one day to just laze around on the beach. We read good reviews on 7 Mile Beach so this where we spent our day. Since we arrived before 10am, we were the first ones there. But it got busy a couple of hours later. Really busy. All good though, we had our chairs and prime real estate. We had a couple of drinks, swam a little and went for a walk.
Oh and the Sting Ray, can’t for about the String Ray. This brave little fish made a point of coming up for air behind us, not once but twice. And a little too close for our comfort. Though it was pretty cool to witness that.

The Buffet

This is where I talk about the Buffet. The dinner buffet and “washie washie eh eh”. This was the lady at the entrance of the Buffet that made an annoying little song of washing your hands before you entered the Buffet. Because I guess if you don’t tell people to wash their hands, they won’t do it.
The Buffet was pretty dope. All kinds of every kind of food you can imagine. And seemingly themed, according to which island we had just visited. The Cozumel theme was probably my favorite, as we didn’t get to sample any of their food during our excursion.

Cozumel

Cozumel was the third and last Port of Call. This excursion consisted of horse backing riding through a fake jungle, looking at Mayan replicas for some reason. I’m sure our guide Tony explained why they were mostly replicas but I didn’t hear it. My head was too full of all the blood that rushed to it, due to this being my first time on a horse. I wish I could say it was more of a pleasant first time, but horses mostly terrify me. They’re pretty large and strong. Though these seemed very well trained and mostly even tempered.
At least I can say I rode a horse…

Don’t I look comfortable?

Our second Port of Call was Costa Maya. This excursion also consisted of a tour through Mayan ruins, but these were more genuine and interesting. The bus ride was long, but our guide, whose name I can’t recall was quite knowledgeable and entertaining. They really do a good job with their tours. I suspect because it’s their only industry and they rely on it. Poor reviews would definitely sink their business.

Our last day at sea we spent roasting in the sun by the pool, with all the people that waited until the last day of cruising to do the same. This was a great time though. We drank a lot. Day drinking is weird though. You’re half in the bag by 4pm and if you stop drinking, it’s sleepy time.

The Inbetween

There was stuff that happened in between the excursions, like the Ice Skating show we took in, the 4 man singing group whose name I also can’t recall, and all the sunrises and sunsets we took in.
A note on the sunsets and sunrises though. On our 3rd or 4th day on the ship, we stumbled upon this viewing window on the 5th deck where you can watch the Captain and his crew do what they do to navigate that monster of a ship through the Ocean (but don’t tap on the glass). It was then that we also discovered the helipad on the 4th deck. This is where we saw some of the most epic sunrises and sunsets.
I hope the images I’ve included do a good job of portraying them. If not, they’re still in my head and always will be I suspect. It was great to view an unobstructed Sun in all it’s glory.

The Captain

I would be remiss to leave out the captain and his daily announcements. Every time he came over the ship’s PA system, he sounded like he was lying in bed rolling his eyes at having to do his announcements and so bored. I feel like I mastered an impression of him. Writing about it doesn’t really do it justice. But it was one of the more memorable aspects of the trip.

During the planning, we decided to give ourselves a full day in Florida on the return. So we decided to rent a car and drive to Miami, a 20 minute trip roughly. But I’ll save this for another post. Stay tuned…

If you ever get the chance to go on a Cruise, specifically a Royal Caribbean Cruise, do. It was definitely the best vacation I’ve ever been on. And not because it was free. I want nothing more than to schedule another cruise. As soon as realistically possible.

The Waterway

I’ll try not go into too much detail here. I referenced it at the beggining of this tale.
After arriving back at the Terminal I stepped out onto the balcony, as we had docked and were preparing to disembark. Let’s just say, if you’re ever near the Port Everglades Terminal in Florida, don’t even think about going for a swim. They have to dump the waste somewhere, and I guess this is where they do it, gross.

This has been my longest post thus far. I know I’ve left a lot out (sorry). It could have been much longer, had I finished it when I started it. Oh well, I’ll try harder next time.

Until then…