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Category: Cruise 2012

And now for the fun stuff

And now for the fun stuff

Each night our room staff made cute little towel animals for us.  The first night was well, ummm interesting.  😉  We’re still not sure exactly what it is but if you use your imagination you’ll probably think what we did. 😀

A sting ray.

I’m pretty sure this is a butterfly.

Matt said this was a turkey but I voted him and said it was a Peacock.

A lobster!

I think the last 2 are my personal faves!

A cute monkey!  Awww.

And an adorable doggy.

Also Patrick had the same room servers and apparently since he never opened his curtain they thought it would be funny to put a towel animal behind the curtain.  He randomly discovered it one day and told us about it later.   We all got a kick out of it.


Last Day at Sea

Last Day at Sea

Well today was the last day on our cruise and it was a day at sea as we make our way back to Tampa. There really isn’t much to do on board on the days at sea other than hanging out by the pool so we decided to have a nice lazy day today. We didn’t actually wake up until about 9am and the met up with the fam for breakfast. We found a nice spot outside and sat there for a few hours before we headed back to the room to get changed and head back to the pool. We spent most of the day at the pool but then when the steel drums came out we decided that was our queue to leave, so we headed to the crows nest bar to hang out. They happened to be doing the trivia contest so we grabbed a sheet and quickly realized how little we knew, least we didn’t score the fewest points!

As we were sitting there we started to notice that we were sailing towards an object in the water but we couldn’t make out what it was. As we got closer we decided to head outside for a better look and then we realized it was a boat, or at least part of one.

The Captain came on the intercom and said there was a de-masted ship and we were going to check it out. We got right up next to it and it appeared to be part of a catamaran, there was no sign of anyone though. The Captain said he reported it to the coast guard and that we would be on our way. Later in the day he announced that the boat that the part came from had crashed in the middle of the Atlantic in 2010 and had drifted all the way there. The three people who were on board were also rescued. So in the end just a floating piece of trash really.

After that excitement Kelly headed back to the room for a nap while Patrick and I went to the bar to watch the game. We only lasted a half then we decided it was nap time too. We all met up again for a pre dinner drink and then had our last dinner in the dining room. Dinner has really been a lot of fun because of the staff that has waited on us this trip. Dodi, Daniel, and Ronald are a lot of fun and very nice people. We were all glad that we got to meet them. The highlight of dinner tonight was dessert, baked Alaska. While it was quite good the best part was that Dodi gave us each half of a dessert that must have been meant for 4 at the minimum. It was quite funny to have this giant pile of ice cream and meringue in front of you.

After dinner we came back to the room to pack as we needed to have our bags outside of the room by midnight. I also have an early morning tomorrow as all non US citizens have to meet up at 6:30am for some reason. Awesome! We are now all packed up and just getting ready for bed. We get to leave the boat about 8am and our flight home isn’t till 5pm tomorrow so we’ve got some time to kill in Tampa tomorrow, maybe we’ll find something fun to do, or just play on the Internet all day as we’ve been without it for 7 day, oh the horror!

Costa Maya – last stop

Costa Maya – last stop

Costa Maya Mexico was our last before heading back to Tampa.

We arrived at the port around 7am.  The skies were blue, the water clear but Costa Maya appeared to be deserted.  The port had 2 docks and what appeared to be a few little shops but otherwise there was nothing else to be seen. As Matt, Patrick and I took our little morning stroll around deck 6, this is the only walk around deck, we noticed an ambulance next to the boat.   We all wondered what was going on.  The guys headed up to breakfast and I realized I had forgotten my rings in the room so I ran to grab them.  As I was waiting for the elevator up I heard a couple talking about someone having a heart attack.  I guess that would explain the whitestar call over the PA last night at dinner.

After breakfast we hopped off the boat and headed for the port. The port had a few bars and restaurants as well as souvenir shops.  Since it was only 7:30 local time it wasn’t too busy. Jill and Steve had arranged a beach day at Nohoch Kay, a local beach.  Now we just needed to get out and find a cab.

It was a short ride to our destination.  The beaches were okay but there seemed to be a fair amount of trash around. We settled in under our hut and I walked around and took some pics.  I was oddly attracted to the dilapidation.  The area is still being rebuilt from the destruction caused by a hurricane a few years ago.

Matt "walking" on water.

The staff was very friendly and kept the drinks coming.  Apparently I was the only one that didn’t realize everything was included until later in the day.  Anyway as the day went on the water started to turn beautiful shades of blue and you could see all the little channels between the grass.  The water had tons of grass which we all thought was weird.  Way out you could see the barrier that lead to the ocean.

Around 11am we walked across the road to the restaurant and ordered some food.  We had shrimp tacos, ceviche, and nachos.  The food was very good.  Then Matt, Patrick and I set off down the boardwalk.  We kept seeing signs for free wifi but all the networks were locked.  Come to find out our place also had free wifi. Dammit.  Apparently massages are big business down there because every feet we were getting asked if we would like one.  We finally decided to walk the beach back to our spot.  By this time the water felt considerably warmer so Patrick and I decided to go swimming with Jill.  We could basically walk out to the bouys where the main channel was.  The water was much deeper and super clear.  We only stayed out for a few minutes because we would need to head back to the boat soon.

Our view at lunch.

After we dried off, Jaime (pronounced hi-me) the owner of Nohoch Kay, called us a cab.  We arrived back at port and headed to the boat.  As we were walking back I wanted to take some pics of the rocks by the ocean. By this time the water was crystal clear with shades of turquoise and dark blue.  The colors were spectacular.  At this point Matt is like Kelly look.  Omg!  There is a dolphin enclosure right beside the ocean and people are swimming with the dolphins.  Of course now I am going crazy taking dolphin pics.

We finally get back to the boat and the kids decide to grab some ice cream and wait for the boat to leave.  It was so hot outside and we couldn’t find any shade so we went back inside to cool off.  As we were sitting there Matt spotted something really large in the water.  I grabbed my camera and hauled ass outside to see if I could get a pic and figure out what exactly it was.  No such luck in figuring it out but it was cool.  A few minutes later the boat set sail.

Now we are on our way back to Tampa.   We had a quick stop in Cozumel last night.  Someone was feeling “poorly“ so they were removed from the boat.   Still not sure exactly what that means.   I asked the bartender while we were watching the NC State game but he wasn’t very chatty.


Roatan – Mahogany Bay, Honduras

Roatan – Mahogany Bay, Honduras

……….or not.

Last night the captain came on and said that we would be getting into port at about 5am this morning in Roatan. Kelly and I both woke up around 6:30am and looked out the window and we were still at sea but not moving. After a bit we got up and walked out to the deck to see that we were just off shore and there were two other ships around us. We didnt think much of it and went back to the room. As we got back the phone rang and it was dad who said he talked with someone and there was some problem and we might not make port at all, that’s not good. We decided to just get ready and go to breakfast as planned and go from there. As we were eating the captain came on and said that the winds and current were very bad and that the ship was unable to make it to the port safely, but that another ship, a more powerful one, was going to give it a go and then he would decide. Once we were done eating and checking email he came back on to say that the other ship made it but that conditions were still too bad and we would not be making port today, booooooo! Seems weird to not be able to make it into port on a perfectly sunny day but I guess they have to be safe. This port also requires the boats to back in so that might have contributed to the decision. So since we couldn’t get off the boat we just hung out around the pool today as the captain took us the long slow way to our next port, Costa Maya.

Today was Kelly’s birthday so we celebrated by having a nice dinner at the Pinnacle Grill which became Le Cirque for tonight only. We had an amazing meal there.

Hopefully we are able to make it to port tomorrow and enjoy our day on the beach!



Okay I know its a cheesy title but just go with me.

Last night was pretty rough.  All through dinner the boat was swaying and it only got worse.  I woke up around 3am and it was crazy.  The boat was really rocking.  I looked out the window and it sort of liked like we were passing through a storm.  I didn’t feel bad but I took a few more draminine and went back to sleep.  This morning at breakfast the captain came on the speaker to let us know the weather was awful and at one point we were running 2 hours behind.  The crew had managed to make up some time and by like 8am we were only half an hour behind schedule.  We finally arrived in Belize around 8:30ish and in the process I’m pretty sure we ran aground.

Around 8:30 we headed to the theater to wait for our catamaran. It was close to an hour before we were able to get off the boat to head out for our snorkeling distination.  Before we got off the boat you could tell the water looked amazing but omg!  I never imagined just how beautiful everything would be.

It took about 20 minutes for us to get to the reef for snorkeling.  We passed through a channel lined with mangroves. There were even some houses scattered around. Unfortunately the waters were pretty rough at the reef and the water was cloudy.  Matt and I snorkeled for maybe 20 minutes before heading back to the boat.  While we were in the water I managed to kick some coral, on accident of course, but owie.  It definitely did not feel good.  We saw some pretty fish, a few barracuda, and a large string ray.

Back on the boat we drank some rum punch and waited for the rest of the family to return. I also took like a million pictures.  You just can’t even imagine how gorgeous the waters were.  They were beautiful shades of turquoise. From the top of the catamaran you could see this neon blue strip of water snaking through all the way to the horizon.

When everyone was back on board we headed to our second stop at banister island.  On the way we had a couple of dolphins come up beside the boat and play in the wake. I had a perfect shot of one but I missed it.  Matt handed me the small camera but I couldn’t get the strap on my arm in time. 🙁

We pulled up to banister island and it was like heaven on earth.  There were little thatched roofed huts, beach chairs, a gift shop, restrooms and a restaurant.  Of course this the island had been reenforced but it was perfect.  We grabbed a few beach chairs, set our stuff down and went off to take pictures.  I feel like I could have taken pics for days.  Every where you looked liked like it should be on a post card.  There was even talk of missing the boat and staying forever. 😉   After about an hour or so we had to leave to head back to the port.

Once we were in the port city of Belize City we went to the Wet Lizard for lunch.  The food was really good.  Then we headed to the shops. Yay!  The first thing I noticed was the rows and rows of fake handbags!  Score!  I think I walked in every store looking for the perfect bag. Finally at the last store I knew I had to pick one if I was going to get one because we were running out of time.  I managed to find an amazing Prada bag.  I probably overpaid a little but thats okay.  I love it.  🙂   After I bargained for my bag we hoped on the tender and headed back to the boat.  Everyone was pretty exhausted so we all headed back to our rooms for a nap.

The port at Belize City.
Steve's lunch. He didn't keep the bucket.

As Matt and I were laying down we heard this really loud noise.  It was the boat trying to back up.  I think it took almost half an hour for the boat to finally start moving hence the I think we ran aground.  When I finally woke from my nap we were back at sea.

Tomorrow we will stop in Roatan.


Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico

We woke up this morning and noticed that we could see lights on the horizon which meant our first land sighting since we left Tampa on Sunday. We were due in port today in Cozumel, Mexico at 8am so we knew we must be close. The plan for today was to see the Mayan ruins of Coba. We got ready and met up with everyone for breakfast at 7:30 while we arrived in the Port of San Miguel.

Once we were docked we made our way down to the gangway and waited for them to let us off the ship. After a few minutes of waiting we were off and walking down the pier to meet the boat that would take us to the mainland since Cozumel is an island. The water taxi took us to Playa del Carman where we would get the bus to the ruins. First thing that we noticed was how amazing the water looked. I just wanted to jump in and spend the day there. We will have to come back.

A short walk through the town and we were at the bus. “Someone” had to go to the bathroom so everyone else in the group got on the bus first and when we finally got on there were not two seats together, so Kelly was in the back, and I was up front. The guide Carlos started going through his spiel and told us about the Mayans. The ride to the site was almost two hours and it was broken up by a quick stop to get our lunch, a sandwich and such that I didn’t eat, and a bathroom stop at a gift shop. Kelly bought a “souvenir” but there wasn’t much of anything there that looked interesting.

Once we finally got to the site it became apparent that this was going to be rushed. We had to leave the site at 2pm (ship time) in order to get back in time for the 5pm departure and it was already 1pm, so we would only have two hours there. I wasn’t too worried about this but then the other guide Tony started talking and kept going and going and going. We started to walk around some while he was still talking just so we could actually see the ruins. After about a half an hour he was finally done and we started to move, slowly. The ruins were really interesting to see and hear about but I had my sites set on getting to the top of the Nohock Mul, the largest temple there.

About 1:30 we finally made it to the Nohock Mul and I handed my bag to Kelly to start my climb, her and Patrick chickened out. There are 120 steps to the top and it is quite steep and very uneven so I decided just to go fast and not stop. I basically crawled up to the top, but I made it.

It was the highest point that I could see all around. It looked to be the only thing taller than the trees as far as you could see. After taking a few pictures I turned around to see that Dad had made it up to the top too.

We took a couple more pictures then had to kind of rushed back down to we could get back to the bus. We celebrated making it back down as it was much harder than going up, the rope there to help was useless.

We then started the 1.5km walk back to the bus. I was hot before the climb but after I was absolutely drenched in sweat, it wasn’t a pleasant walk back. The bus ride back was uneventful, but I was nice and cool and that’s all that mattered.

We got back to Playa del Carmen at 3:45 and were quickly lead to the water taxi that was waiting to take us back to the dock in Cozumel. The water was quite rough and we bobbed all over the place the whole way, enough for someone to lose their lunch. I thought the guy next to me was going to fall over on me as apparently he couldn’t stay awake at all and was bobbing along with the boat. We made it back just in time and were back in the ship by 4:30, just!

Once back on board we made a beeline to find food and find it fast. Burgers were in order so we scarfed them down on the back deck as we pulled away from the dock. Next thing on order were some drinks which we enjoyed as we started on our way to Belize. Once we finished them we headed back to our cabin for a nap, but I was just so disgusting from the day that I had to shower first. Best shower ever! Then I napped.

Got up and met up for dinner and we are now just relaxing in the cabin. The water is quite rough tonight so we are rocking quite a bit. Hopefully it wont bother Kelly. Tomorrow we’ll be in Belize where we are going to take a catamaran to a barrier reef to go snorkeling in the morning. We then have the afternoon to do whatever we want. Probably explore the port area some. Hopefully a much more relaxing day, today wore us all out!

I’ll take a shot please? – day 1 at sea

I’ll take a shot please? – day 1 at sea

Haha.  It’s not what you are thinking.

I woke up around 7am and the boat was really rocking.  I grabbed a coke and went back to slept.  Matt and I were not meeting Patrick, his brother, for breakfast until after 9. I finally got up a little after 9 and decided to hop in the shower before breakfast.  Let me just say shaving in the shower on a rocking boat is no easy feat but I managed.  After my shower I knew I wasn’t feeling well.  I hoped a little fresh air would help.  I told Matt I didn’t feel well and he also suggested fresh air.   We were headed out the door went I decided to go straight to the bathroom.  I sat there for a few minutes but nothing happened.  Matt told me to go get fresh air and I practically ran down the hallway and up the stairs to the deck.  A few minutes later Matt and Patrick met me outside.

The guys stood with me for a few minutes before I said I thouht we could head to breakfast.  We went to sit on the Lido deck and Matt grabbed me a Ginger ale.  I sipped that while they got food.  They weren’t back long before I ran to the bathrom to throw up.   At this point I figured it wouldn’t get better so I asked Matt if we could go to the medic.  The three of us took off to deck 4.

The nurse was really nice but she said that to get a shot I would have to see a doctor and it would cost around $100.00.  Ouch!  I knew I wasn’t that sick so I settled on the nurse and zofran.  I took the zofran and prayed it would work quickly.  I guess it did work but I threw up once more.  After that I actually started to feel better.  By lunch I managed to eat some fruit.  The rest of the afternoon I laid out on the deck reading.

I am really glad I decided to go to the nurse early. I can imagine how much worse I would have felt had I not gone.  Not to mention I would have been miserable on today’s excursion, but more on that later.

I’m actually a little surprised I got sea sick. I’ve been on boats in the ocean and been fine.  Today we took a water taxi  from Cozuemel to Playa del Carmen and that sucker was really rocking and I was fine.  Crazy right?  Matt was very surprised I was felt fine.

So that’s how our first day at sea was.  We will have another full day on Saturday but a got a few extra zofran and I will continue to take my draminine.


Quote of the day – Steve:  I’ll have the rack of Lamb with a side of beef Wellington.

All Aboard!

All Aboard!


We are now aboard the ship, ms Ryndam, and heading towards Cozumel. We got up at about 8am this morning and got ready, then met mom and dad for breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we finished packing up and got a shuttle to the port. After going through security and checking in we boarded the ship and went and found our room, #689. The room wasn’t quite ready yet, but other than the “piss” smell in the hallway everything looked great.

State was playing today at 12:15 and it was now 12:30. My goal in life for that moment was to find a tv so that I could watch the game. After wandering around, and asking, we found a bar with a tv and the game was on, score! So we sat down to watch the game and have a beer. Georgetown lead for most of the first half but State made a little run and took the lead at the half.

Now that it was halftime we needed to find food! We were all starving! We went up to the Lido restaurant and grabbed a sandwich. I checked twitter and State was on a very good run. I couldn’t bring my self to stop the mojo by going to watch, so I just kept checking twitter for updates. When things got close again and there was about 10 minutes left we went back to the bar to watch. After an agonizing hour of my life State actually pulled it out and we are going to the Sweet Sixteen!!!! Now I just hope I’ll be able to watch the next game!

Once I stopped shaking from the game we went back to the room to find our bags had been delivered so we unpacked and chilled out for a bit. We had to do our emergency drill and go to our designated life boat area. Other than letting us know that we will be the youngest able people on the life boat this drill was quite worthless. Hopefully if there is an emergency we will be able to dodge all the walkers and wheelchairs and get to the life raft first!

Hello Tampa!

Hello Tampa!

Saturday morning Matt and I got up and began preparing for our day. I started off cleaning the bathroom and Matt vaccumed downstairs. Then I headed to my Mani/pedi. I mean isnt that a great way to start vacation? I thought so to! 😉

It turned out the kiddos also needed more food so I made a quick trip to Petsmart beforing heading home. Matt had finished the last minute packing by the time I got back. Now let me just say Matt is a little neurotic about packing so I normally let him have it. I get the stuff I need ready and he makes sure it gets packed.

We arrived at the airport around 3:00pm and headed to AJ’s Tavern for a beer and bball before heading to our gate. The fight to Tampa was pretty unproductive. Matt watched an episode of Top Great while I read a new book on my kindle. Right outside of Tampa we went around stone huge storm clouds. Then we saw a gorgeous sunset from the plane.

We arrived in Tampa around 7:45. Matt’s parents and brother picked us up and we headed to dinner. They had all driven down earlier in the day.

Matt’s dad Steve made reservations at Charley’s Steakhouse and oh wow! You know how most restaurants will bring out dessert trays? Well our waiter brings out a steak tray! With no streaks under 10 ounces, Jill and I decided to split one. Ten ounces no, 7 completely doable. Needless to say dinner was delicious.

Before we knew it it was almost 11:00 so we headed to our hotel.

*we have some pics from the day but I’m not sure how to upload them right now. I am currently posting from my phone and tablet but pics will follow.