Ok, it should actually be my first name too. I am so bad about putting things off.
I've had a lot of people asking about the cruise hubby and I took, so I thought if I did a blog post, it could cover everybody.
We left from Port Canaveral on the 12th, in the afternoon on Monarch of the Seas. Huge boat. Surprisingly awe inspiring. I found out later that she is actually one of the smaller boats in the Royal Caribbean line.
We left in the afternoon, and sailed through the night to Cococay, Bahamas, an island that Royal Caribbean owns. Hubby and I thought it would be hoaky, but it was awesome. We decided at the end of the cruise that we would have liked to spend more time there. One side of the island was busy; you could sign up to go snorkeling, rent jet skis, play on bouncy things in the water. We took a nature walk by ourselves and ended up on the other end of the island, which was totally deserted. That was the side we liked most.
One thing we felt bad about, was walking on hermit crabs. When we went on the nature trail, it took us a few moments to realize the forest floor was moving, with little tiny hermit crabs. It ended up being an especially long hike because we were watching every step we took to avoid the crabs. On the deserted end of the island, Hubby found a pile of shells he thought somebody had gathered. Instead, it was a group of crabs that had gotten together for breeding, I thought.
These are all little crabs, most of them about the size of your thumbnail.
We left Cococay, and headed towards Nassua. While we were sailing, the RC staff made sure you had plenty to do. There were at least a dozen bars and lounges on the ship. There was a three story theater inside, a shopping mall with Ben N Jerrys, Starbucks, two jewellry stores, a general store, a duty free store. There was a casino, a piano bar, a climbing rock wall, 2 pools and two hot tubs. There was food available somewhere all the time. Literally, you could get pizza at 4 am. There was a regular buffet that ran about 15 hours a day, as well as several specialty restaurants. We went to a restaurant called Vincents for a couple nights, and I ate some of the best food I'd ever had. Lobster Bisque, Filet Mignon, Raspberrry Panna Cotta. Absolutely mouth watering!!! (Yes, I did gain a few pounds.)
When we arrived at Nassua, I had scheduled us to go snorkeling with Manta Rays. It was thrilling. They were debarbed of course, and very used to human contact. Such an unusual texture though.
After hiking up through the town, sampling conch fritters, we rented a taxi to take us to one of the forts and a place called the Queens Staircase. Below is a view of hubby standing at one of the cannons, with our ship in the background. On the right side is a view from the same hill of Paradise Island and Resort, which is very high end and built not too long ago. It looked very cool, but it was like a hundred bucks per person just to walk on the island. Maybe we'll do that next time. It was especially beautiful at night, but none of my pictures came out very well.
We sailed through the night Thursday night, and got back to Florida Friday morning. We spent a day in florida, looking at where I used to live years ago. We stayed at Melbourne beach, on the coast. The water was so much different from the Bahamas. Cold and a little violent.
It was turtle nesting time, but the only turtle we saw was one that had died on the beach. She didn't have any injuries or anything, so I assumed she starved to death trying to get to the beach to lay her eggs. Very sad.
Overall, the trip was absolutely phenomenal. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Next time, though, I will know to keep more money at hand when we go, (for the endless people that needed tips) and I will not fly Delta. The worst part of the trip was trying to get home, with delays, mechanical issues, etc, that put us a day late.
Hope everybody is inspired to do something crazy. A cruise was not something I ever really planned to do, but I decided to do it exactly because of that. I'm not generally a sun person, but I had a wonderful time.