Waiting to pickup our rental in Miami
Before we left Saturday morning we left the hotel and walked around for a bit
At the port waiting for everyone else
Right after we set sail. Ryan enjoying his ice cream cone.
Sunday -Day at sea
Once we left Miami our phones didn't work so it was really hard to do things together and find each other unless we planned them ahead of time. Next cruise we're bringing walkie talkies. We ran into Toni and Evan that morning so we hung out with them. We went to the steakhouse and watched a cooking demonstration. We got to sample mushroom cappuccino, baby leaf spinach & fresh mushrooms, broiled supreme of free range chicken, and tiramisu. We even got those recipes. We watched an ice carving demonstration, laid out and played some mini golf. I took a hip hop class and my brother happened to be walking by and joined in on the fun. Dinner was at 6:00 and it was our first formal night. We enjoyed this time together as a family and got to catch up and find out what everyone else did. They sat us at a long table the night before, but after my mom spoke to the Maitre d they switched us to a round table the rest of the time. We went to some Family friendly comedy then went to the library where we did a sabbath day appropriate-general conference quiz on the 12 apostles. Tara and Erin did some karaoke too.
We departed the ship at 9:30 for our adventure tour. We did xrails to jade caverns. We drove a 2-person, fully automatic (no power steering xrail buggy 5 miles into the heart of Cozumel's jungle to Jade caverns. We started at an animal refuge where we got instructions and were able to hold a parrot, eagle, and baby alligator There were 12 of us in our group and Ryan drove. We got covered in dirt, then mud as we rode into a huge puddle. The caverns were pretty with bats everywhere, and the water a pretty jade color. We swam for a minute and Ryan even jumped from a cliff into the water. Our clothes and suits got completely stained and my shirt still won't come clean after a few washes. It was a lot of fun and our guides were very entertaining. We got a lot of weird looks getting back onto the ship because we looked awful, haha. After we got back on board, cleaned up, and went to dinner we went to the family friendly comedy again then the boys went to watch the NCAA Basketball Championship game at the Theatre and the girls played games in the library.
We met in the lounge at 9:00 to tender ashore. My whole family did the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Tour. We took a 2 hour bus ride 2 miles from the Guatemala border. The tour guides told us all about their country. It was nice to be able to see it all first hand. It's about the size of Massachusetts We explored the Mayan site which was incredible! It was so stinkin hot though, we were all dying. Before we started our trek we stopped at the bathroom. One stall wasn't working, so to hurry the line up Tara grabbed the plunger and fixed the toilet. It was awesome. We climbed up the largest temple, El Castillo, which has been excavated and partially restored. It was really high but beautiful to look out over the country. Afterwards the bus took us to San Ignacio and we had a Belizean lunch which was chicken, potato salad, rice and banana. Fun fact, the country does not have Pepsi only Coke. The tour guide wanted to ask us we had an unBELIZEable time...haha. The tour was 7 hours and the last tender to the ship was 5:15, but we didn't get back to the dock until almost 6:00. We were the last group to tender and hid our heads in shame as everyone stared out their windows at us. Side note: we are very glad we booked all of our excursions through Carnival otherwise they wouldn't have waited for us and it would've been our responsibility to get back on time. We heard a few stories from people that had missed their excursions because they didn't get off in time or missed the ship. That would've been terrible.
This was my favorite day. Ryan and I did the Dolphin Swim & Snorkel at Anthony's Key Resort. We took a bus to the Institute for Marine Science at AKR then took a small boat over to the Dolphin area. We saw Tara and Johnny just before they took off for their scuba lesson. We did a beach encounter with a dolphin and trainer where we got to pet and get pictures with the dolphin. Ours was Fiona. Then we got our snorkel gear and got to swim with 20 dolphins for about 30 minutes. It was amazing! The resort was beautiful. Definitely a great vacation spot.
Thursday- Grand Cayman
We had to tender this day too. Ryan, Dad, and I did the Cayman Parasail & Beach Escape. Since my dad was doing it alone we got separated and he was in a different group then us :( It was pretty windy and the water was pretty choppy. They ended up cancelling the group right after us because of the weather. This place had the clearest water. It was a lot of fun and so quiet and peaceful once you got in the air. Once we were done their were two couples left and I got a little sick from all the rocking on the boat. We had another excursion so we had to skip the beach escape and just headed straight back to the dock. On the way there we bought a coconut that I had been telling Ryan I wanted the whole trip. It was yummy. We met up with Toni, Evan, Tara, and Johnny for the Deluxe Stingray city Sandbar. We rode a bus into town, then got on a boat and took a 30-minute ride to the famous Stingray Sandbar. We got snorkel gear then headed out into the shallow water. Unfortunately, it was really choppy and hard to stand up. We were all scared we were going to step on the stingray. There were hundreds of them. It was pretty creepy and they were so slimy! Everyone else fed them with squid but I stayed back. We got tons of pictures with an underwater camera, but I don't have the film yet. Since we were in the sun all day we got pretty fried, we're still peeling today. We had another elegant dinner that night and went to the comedy show again.
Friday- Day at sea
We had the best waiter, Ari, from Indonesia. He was so nice and funny. Each night they would play music and dance and sing and try to get everyone to participate. Thursday night they played Gangham Style and he had Rayban's and an afro wig and put it on Ryan. They transferred it around the table, it was so fun. He taught us how to fold napkins into a mouse then would move it to scare us. My dad did this to him and got him good. He came back a minute later with a cup and pretended to spill it all over, but it was empty. It was funny. We just relaxed on Friday. Poor Ryan was so sunburned he just stayed in bed. We went to the comedy show then The Gender Showdown where we all got to participate and played guys vs girls games. We all got medals and Toni got a bottle of champagne Earlier that week Erin had been approached to play Madonna in a show that night. It was fun to watch her, we had front row seats.
Saturday- Back home
We left the ship at 6:30 AM since we all had planes to catch. It was a very smooth process and we ended up having a few hours to kill at the airport. I flew back with Toni, Evan, Mom, Dad, Erin & Travis and Ryan flew with Johnny & Tara. My dad had to change his ticket since he flew in from Chicago and that's how it had to work out. Our plane left a few minutes before his and he ended up getting delayed 2 hours because of thunderstorms so he missed his next flight. When they finally got to Dallas his flight was delayed 3 different times because of mechanical problems so he didn't end up getting to SLC until almost 1 AM. Devin and Raquel picked me up from the airport and took me to Ryan's parents house to get Hannah. It was so great to see her! I think she grew a few pounds in just that week. Brianna's farewell was the next day and it was really nice to spend a day with all of Ryan's family. We drove home the next day.
It's always great to be home, but we had such a great time on the cruise. This was Ryan, Erin, and Evan's first cruise, now Ryan wants to go again next year. It was nice to unplug and get away. The food was amazing! I think we all gained about 10 pounds. What a reality to come home and have to clean up and cook again, boo. We were spoiled. Thanks Mom & Dad, we love you!