While each day this week has crawled along I have still managed to be surprised that it's Thursday night. How does that happen? It's been a busy one trying to get things back in order. Still an open apartment, but a few more contacts on it. Dropped the boxes at the post office today, so that's one more big thing off of my list... too bad I forgot to toss the Christmas cards in the car too.
So, the trip. First I'll say that it was quite relaxing. We had excellent travels, superior stateroom and wait staff, and the most awesome folks at our table for dinner. RC usually does a good job matching me up at a dinner table, but this one took the cake - so much so that we were even looking for each other at shows and hanging out after dinner. We did meet some other really nice folks while on board too. Loved the Christmas tree decorated along the promenade too. A good time indeed.
Let's start out at the top, headed to mom's on Tgiving then back up the mountain to fetch the Beff so we could get to Dulles for the night. We flew out on Friday and spent the day/night in FLL with some shopping and then heading to the Panthers/Lightning game. One purchase was two cute little stuffed siberian husky puppies that we dubbed Lily and Honey, our mascots for the trip. Good start, right? Onto the ship Saturday and here was the one glitch/negative. I guess the coast guard was doing some inspections, long story short, it resulted in a HUGE snaking line in the parking lot at the pier and a lot of unhappy people. There was no diamond line outside, needless to say, quite displeasing!
We hit a few standard fares onboard like art auctions, the ice show, other shows (including a DBK comedian that was bleeting at people for leaving when he ran 20 minutes into the late dinner time, a magician, a Temptations tribute band, and a comedian/singer/impersonator named Finis who was phenominal). The newlywed-type show is another regular occurrence that is a must attend and this one left me shocked. Man, the two younger couples demonstrated clearly the sad state of dating for young people. *shakes head*
We started with two days at sea and then into St Maarten, the only stop on this cruise that I had been to before, where we went on one of Bernard's Tours. Sure, they're popular and get great reviews on Cruise Critic, but I was still expecting we'd be with Bernard, so I was slightly disappointed. We did stop at Orient beach and YES, I have the photos to prove that the girls saw the sun (briefly). I came home with a bottle of guavaberry rum in tow from there, I'll need to experiment at some point.
The next day we were in St Kitts, which was nice, but seemed a little less 'built up' and designed for tourism than St Maarten. We had a most awesome tour with Thenford Grey, which made up for me being bummed the day before. Thenford really was pretty awesome. We did see some monkeys, but not drunken ones, the fortress and botanical gardens, and then to a beautiful little beach where we were to snorkel, but no one else on the tour wanted to stay at the beach. Now, Thenford was more than happy to return for just us, but we just didn't want to leave our things sitting on the beach and be the only ones there from the group we were with all day, so we headed back.
That night we headed up to hang out with our table mates at the midnight buffet on deck, and spent some time sitting on the balcony enjoying the multitude of stars that were everywhere - including a shooting one. We still had two more days in port coming up behind it.. so the tired was soon to start setting in. Next up was Puerto Rico. I was nervous about this stop as a friend had been there and truly hated it. I thought it was pretty decent. We didn't have a tour, we just wandered near the port a bit and did some shopping and sight seeing, but it was good. Beff left with a new tanzanite ring and I left with a beauti-mus ruby ring! I wanted to buy towels at Cariloha, as if you do so in the store they'll ship them home for you for free, but alas they didn't have the black in stock right now and the other colors just weren't doing it for me and my bathroom decor. So, I'll be waiting and emailing the store directly in a few weeks, thanks to the guy who gave me his card there.
Last port day was Labadee, a private area in Haiti. It was nice, but I definitely like Cococay way more. It was just a bit too busy and commercially by comparison. We shared the visit w/ Enchantment, as she was also in port. We did manage to put on the snorkel equipment here, but there wasn't too much to see along the beach.
At last one more day at sea and a feeble attempt to get a little more sun. I got some, but not much. I guess it's for the best but it's nice to not be neon white. We did an early as possible flight, so we were glad to get off the ship smoothly and back into Dulles. Made the drive, getting home with 20 minutes to spare to go get the girls. Definitely had travel blessings around us all the way. It's good be home, for sure. It's even better to not be jealous of the people I saw there holding hands etc, and to be able to come home and do that myself. Neiner neiner world.