Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Somewhere…out on the sea

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We went on our first cruise about 19 years ago.  And every since then I have been hooked.  It is my favorite vacation.  We get a room with a great view, get to see some beautiful beaches & water, and all the food we CAN and really SHOULD NOT eat!!!!!  Best vacation ever!!!  We went on one in January and since I am a blogger now…I can blog about it.   :)  (I have albums full of pictures from our previous trips…I am all about having lots of pictures so I can relive the memories over and over again)

We   ARE   “those” cruise people who…

1. pack snacks in the suitcase, there are some things you cannot get on the ship…like snack size candy bars, small individual bags of cheez-its, and Lance peanut butter cheese crackers.  Sometimes they don’t feed you on the excursions.  anyone who knows me…knows I go nowhere without food.  It comes in handy.

2. pack light…we wear the same clothes more than once…not dress clothes but shorts and tank tops

3. eat early…no 8:00 pm dinners for us… we would starve to death…we always eat early around 5:45 pm

4. take our own snorkels and masks…we do see that they clean them and sometimes give the cheap snorkels as souvenirs but we are not taking any chances.

5. clean the room before we leave it, I always throw the covers up over the bed, pick up all clothes (dirty and clean) and straighten the room…our room stewards love us

We   ARE   NOT   “those” cruise people who…

1. carry 12 packs of water or drinks or coolers with their luggage (if I can hide it…I will take it but I draw the line at beverages)

2. take 2 suitcases per person and a carry on (we can get all our stuff in 2 suitcases and he carries his camera case)

3. are rude to the staff.  they are people and deserve respect and kindness. it irritates me to no end when people think they are better than others. I love to see their faces when they ask me if they can get me anything and I say “no, but can I get anything for you”?  the look on their face is priceless and they are grateful!! I even made our absolute awesome head waiter stop for a second, told him to breath, and he laughed and sat down for a few seconds and caught his breath.  Our dining room crew was the hardest working crew.  They were even helping out other tables that were not theirs.

4. try to get ahead of people in line…HELLO!! we have been waiting just as long as you have…try a little patience!!!! We are all on VACATION!

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We went on the Carnival Dream and were very happy with the ship.  The ship was very clean, the service was great, and there was a great variety of food and it was delicious. Our room was very nice and spacious.  I personally do not have to have a balcony but my sweet honey thinks it is a must.  And what my sweet honey wants…he gets, within reason.  It is really nice to be able to walk out on the balcony and either see the island we are stopped at or just look out over the miles and miles of blue water.

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Again, I personally do not have to have a bath tub but…I LOVE having a bath tub and usually having a balcony means getting a tub.  Makes me very happy!!!  It even had jets which was like having my own personal hot tub.

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Our first stop was Cozumel.  The weather was really great.  Hot and sunny.  We rode a boat to a place called Passion Island.  We sat on a beautiful beach and actually relaxed.  It was wonderful.

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My sweet honey likes to take pictures so we do a lot of that.  It is kindly hard not to when the backgrounds are so great. Here is my bathing suit disclaimer…   I am almost 50 and have learned that… it is what it is… and I might as well just deal with it. I did diet before this trip and it worked for about 2 days…that is how long it took to gain it back… oh the great and endless variety of yummy food!! 

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The beach was really beautiful.  White sand, green trees, and blue water as far as we could see.  The people who took care of the beach were very nice.  The facilities were good and the food they prepared for us was delicious. We passengers were the only other people on the beach so that made it even nicer.  We had our own chairs and umbrellas if we wanted them.    I had to use the facilities and was “greeted” by a really nice man.  He said “welcome, senorita…my house is your house”.  And he proceeded to escort me to the bathroom and open the door.  I was so relieved when he did not feel the need to escort me in.  It was just a little creepy but I am sure he meant well.  They were all friendly.  One guy told me I had beautiful ankles…that needed a beautiful anklet. (which he just happened to be selling) :)

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After taking so many cruises my honey and I have become “cruise nerds”.  Which means we take all the tourist pictures.  If there is a prop…we will take a picture.  I think they are fun and I love to look back on them and remember just how much fun we had!!

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Go Gators!!!!  okay it is probably a crocodile…but in my heart it’s a Gator!!

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This bar was playing one of my sweet honey’s favorite songs…”Red Solo Cup”.  Of course we sang along…loudly. And these are the biggest dang crocs I have ever seen!!!

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Like I said…cruise nerds…and proud of it!!!!!

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This is in Rotan.  It was sort of cloudy and misted rain but it was still beautiful and we made the best of it.

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I found a “slightly used” boat for us to re-do and then we can cruise any time we want to!!!

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This is the day we went to Belize. It was kindly cold and I had to wrap up while we boated to the island.

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There was a nice little beach and we walked around and took some pictures.

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We had fun on the catamaran to Rotan and they served us lunch.  The only place I would actually consume food  while wearing a bathing suit and not covering up is on a catamaran with people I will never see again!!!!

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My sweet honey swimming in the Caribbean.  The weather was sunny enough for us to get to swim and snorkel.

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I am not a big “shopper”.  I actually love all the cheap necklaces and hand made stuff.  And I am not good at trying to get the price down…I’m on vacation and that is too much work.  I don’t go for the name brand knock-offs either.  I just like to bring back some “prizes” for my favorite people.


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I had to take this picture of my sweet honey carrying his “loot”.  He had 3 people ask him if he carried all his money in this case.  It is actually his camera case.  Since his hobby is photography and he only uses the best cameras that statement was almost true. :)   It was definitely the most important piece of luggage we had with us.

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We even got some action shots of us snorkeling.  I have proof that I actually went swimming.  I don’t like the cold water unless the sun is really HOT HOT HOT, and we had a sunny day and the water was really nice.  I tried to take a picture of my honey under water but I am not great with a camera above the water…much less under the water.  He loves to snorkel and is really good at it.  We usually don’t use the snorkels in deep water because we like to dive down deep.  It was really deep here and we even saw a huge drop off where the water went to about 400 feet deep.  I swam out over the drop off and could not help but think of giant, ugly, large-sharp-teethed, sea creatures coming up out of the depths with mouths wide open ready to eat me.  I have seen too many movies.

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More silly shots.  The Queen takes the queen.  I really do know how to move the chess pieces but have no idea about strategy.  My big brother tried to teach me but I just could not wrap my head around it.  I am more of a checkers kind of girl.  :)

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We usually don’t get many opportunities to dress up except for church.  So we went all out and  “dressed-up” every night for dinner.  But our most popular choice of clothing were our bathing suits.  That made it easy to pack light.

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My sweet honey usually sees me in boots, jeans and dirty shirts.  So I made a point to try and look nice for him because…well because he deserves it and is worth the effort.  By effort I mean I “dooed” my hair, even used hair spray… not a usual for me.  I put on extra makeup and even lip stick…okay let’s not get crazy, it was lip gloss but still not a usual for me. I must say that we made quite a good looking pair.

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I love these kinds of things… I am all about a “funny”.

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I would know that butt anywhere.   There he goes to snorkel the 2nd largest reef in the world.  I watched from the catamaran…water was okay but it was really cloudy and misting rain.

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This is the reef.  It was really cool to see this so far out.  The black parts were actually part of the reef sticking up out of the water. This was in Costa Maya.

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A few shots around the ship.  There is a story behind this tattoo.  A few years ago he got one of those henna tattoos at a beach in Cozumel.  It was the Gator logo and the guy free-handed it looking at a hat.  The next day the tattoo started swelling up and getting red.  My sweet honey actually had to go to the Dr. on the ship who gave him some medicine for the inflammation and an ointment.  The whole thing bubbled up and got really ugly.  We had to keep it covered and he still has a scar.  So this time we got the kid Gator tattoo you put on with water. :)  It only lasted 2 days but at least he did not have a reaction to this one. Just another memory we can laugh about now…but not then.

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On the days were could eat breakfast or lunch on the ship we had the absolute greatest view.  We would always scope out a seat by the window.

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One of our family mottos is “Work hard…Play hard”.  And that is what we do.  We do an excursion at every port we sail into. This means we have to get up early some mornings on our “vacation”.  Sometimes we get up so early we don’t have time to eat that scrumptious buffet breakfast.  My sweet honey has many times gone and brought back food for me.  I am spoiled rotten, no I prefer the term well-loved… and I admit it.  I am getting so much better at it because I know how much it means to my sweet honey.  There is always that reward when we get back to the ship…he gets his nap-time and I get my me-time  There are times that my sweet honey would do 2 excursions in a day if I would let him.  I have to put my foot down sometimes…but I do it very gently and ladylike. 

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We do enjoy a cruise. We have never been on a “bad” cruise.  We have revisited many places and still enjoy it like it was the first time. It is something we look forward to doing each and every time whether it is a family cruise or just a me and my sweet honey cruise.  We always go the end of January.   In all those years, this is the first time we have had bad weather…not too bad of a track record.

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There is just something about being near the water.  Really any water gives me this feeling but it is really hard to beat the salty blue waters against those white sandy beaches.  I am a complete beach bum.  I love everything about it.  It is relaxing and fills me with peace.  It is the best way to recharge our batteries and nothing does it like the beach. I would highly recommend it to everyone…but not during hurricane season :)

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