2011 Anniversary Cruise Trip...

After two days at sea, we woke up ready to get off the ship for a little while and we finally got up early enough to have a good breakfast in the dining room. Much better selection and quality than buffet breakfast. We then took a quick trip around the upper decks to see what Montego Bay looked like

the harbor at montego bay

and went back to gather our snorkel gear and head for the gangway to catch our Catamaran Sail and Snorkel excursion.  

setting sail

enjoying the wind in my hair

windy hubby

First, that description is somewhat of an exaggeration. While it is true that we boarded a catamaran and they raised the sail, I would hardly call it sailing. We ended up going just about spitting distance from the ship. The snorkeling wasn’t great but it was pretty good, certainly better than some other places we’ve been. And hubby’s underwater photography skills are getting better all the time.  


this would be the boat that nearly ran me over because i had my head down and wasn't paying attention

Unfortunately, the actual snorkeling time was very limited. Honestly, I don’t think we were in the water thirty minutes. After calling us back to the boat, we pulled over to Margaritaville where we were given another thirty minutes to play on the slide and water trampolines and such. And then we took the five minute “sail” back to the ship.

margaritaville slide

spitting distance from the ship

The slide was fun but not necessarily worth giving up so much snorkeling time. Hubby took the following video going down it and waiting at the bottom for me to fly out of it.

on our way back to the ship

hubby and the elation

Since we were already wet and in our swimwear, we dropped off the snorkel gear and headed up to the pool. We played on the slide a bit and soaked in the hot tub for a while before eating lunch.  

hubby approaching the ship's slide

slide, hubby, slide


the good life

And that’s when the sickness started. This is our sixth cruise and I’ve never been sick. Today I spent eleven straight hours hugging the commode. Hubby only left me a couple times to grab me some bread, see the “sail away,” and to get a bite of dinner at the buffet since I wasn’t going to make it to the dining room. Good thing we had a good time this morning… at least I can’t say it was a totally not fun day.  

pulling away from montego bay



Thankfully, I woke up feeling better this morning. I was able to eat a nice breakfast and keep it down. We went to the dining room early enough so that we could take some time to make sure that I would be alright and then we bundled up our snorkeling gear again and took a tender to the shore.

pirate ship in the harbor


We walked around the port of Grand Cayman for a short while and then met up with the group for the Barrier Reef Snorkel. They loaded us on a school bus and took us to some neighborhood canal about ten minutes away. There, we loaded onto a boat for a fifteen minute ride out to the reef. I was pleased to find what was probably the healthiest looking reef we’ve seen outside Hawaii. There were a few times we ended up in areas that were far too shallow for my comfort and hubby got a small bite by a piece of coral but it was still a great snorkel.  

under the sea

We suddenly found ourselves right smack in the middle of school of 500 or so fish.  It was pretty cool to be among such a dense population.

hubby goin' deep

We were in the water for at least an hour and I was actually very surprised because we were the only two out there for the last twenty minutes. I guess the others weren’t quite the snorkeling enthusiasts that we are but I was afraid that the captain of the boat was going to call us back since everyone else was obviously ready to go. When we did finally get called in, I was ready. The motion of the water had started to get into my head again and I certainly didn’t want a repeat of yesterday. The boat ride back didn’t feel great but I didn’t feel like I was going to be sick either. The bus ride back to the ship was a debacle all its own. The school bus that had brought us to the boat was replaced with an extended van when we returned. Hubby and I got in with several people still behind us and it was already full. There were three seats on the left and one seat on the right. We kind of looked around like “where the heck are we all supposed to fit?” The driver looked in and showed us the little “seat” the folded down in the aisle of each row. I put down mine, sat down, and sank to the left. Even with the jump seats, there was barely enough room for our group. Two people huddled together on the seat next to the driver. The whole way back, I did my best to keep my feet out from under my “seat” with its obviously over-extended hinge. I joked with the guy behind me that he might want to do the same because he would surely lose his feet at the ankles if the hinge gave up. Seriously, we were tighter than a can of sardines and our little jump seats had us sitting inches off the floor with our knees tucked under our necks.  And because of my over-extended hinge, I was practically laying in the lap of the guy to my left the whole way.  We all got some serious laughter out of the situation. But enough about that… Back on the ship, we took a long shower and ate a satisfying lunch before relaxing the afternoon away. The evening began with a reception for past guests, which we followed with a stop at the Salvador Dali exhibit. I adore Dali. There was no real show tonight. Instead, they made the marriage show – a typical cruise ship version of the Newlywed Show where they bring up a newlywed, middlywed (25yrs), and oldlywed (50yrs) couple to play – the main show of the evening as a single seating event after our dinner. Granted, I always love seeing this game but it’s generally more of a day-at-sea, afternoon entertainment thing, not a replacement for the nightly main show.  When we got back to our cabin to call it a night, we were shocked to find a strange man in our bed!!!

towel animal du jour: strange man in our bed!

this totally cracked me up. i've never seen one like this.



This morning, we managed to sleep in just enough but still get up in time for breakfast in the dining room. Since there were no ruins available to us and we’ve been to Cozumel enough to know that it’s safe, we took our time getting off the ship. We were docked at a new dock with a new little shopping village so we strolled through it and then made our way out to the street. We walked a couple miles before turning back around because I was tired of the ground swaying so much – I promised to stop at the desk when we got back on the ship to buy something for seasickness.

too far apart for size perspective; the elation and the royal caribbean oasis

the carnival elation and inspiration

pretty red tree

mexican iguana

then there were two

keeping an eye on me

hubby cooling down after the hot walk

bluetiful! looking toward the dock we've parked at on previous cruises.

bluer than blue. looking at the new dock and shops.

It was an enjoyable stroll together but it was very hot and we were happy to get back to the ship and hit up the frozen yogurt machines. That, naturally, led to an ice cream coma that lasted the rest of the afternoon. It was nearly 18:00 when we finally got out to grab a small snack for lunch and then passed the next two hours until dinner. Happily, Meclizine is a miracle drug and for the first time in two days my head is no longer swimming to the point of nausea. Tonight’s main show was a single seating of their newest show, which they’ve been hyping all week, “Win”. I… didn’t get it. It was a vaudeville compilation of game show and sports skits with singing and dancing. The singing, even from the female vocalist, was terrible. The whole thing was just a mess and I really wished that we had chosen to go to the first AO comedy act from the new comedians instead (again, with the having to choose, Carnival). Hubby and I both agreed that it was the worst show we’ve seen on a cruise ship. When that was finally over, we headed up to catch the second AO comedy show. The comedian was Carl Rimi and, again, I didn’t get it. His character is the cool-tough guy, swaggering around stage. If he had any prepared material, we didn’t hear it. His whole act consisted of standing up there and heckling the crowd. He kept saying that he was tired from a long day of travel and that he would tell jokes tomorrow. We’ll see, I guess, but tonight I was not impressed.  

mirror pic

towel animal du jour: monkey