Well, we are finally back home after a long day of traveling yesterday. Our flight was delayed 2 hours, so we didn't arrive until after 1am. Boy, did sleeping in our own bed feel nice! Unfortunately, the ground feels like it is still moving after so many days on a boat, though.
We had quite an adventure on and off the boat. We spent most of our money on pictures, drinks, and cigars on the boat. ( I know...cigars...gotta try something different once in a while) Such fun! The cigar bar was our favorite quiet place on the ship to talk and meet other people. We had to leave the ship before we got too attached or had to take out a second mortgage on the house. : ) There were also some great stage shows as well as a couple of good rounds of trivia that kept us busy while on the ship. Amazingly, we didn't use the hot tubs and only dipped in the pool while sun bathing for a couple of hours. There's so much to do...no time for sitting around.
Our first port was Grand Cayman. Joan, Kevin, Tim, Jenn, Danny, and I went snorkeling while Grandma and Kathy went 100 feet down in a submarine. We all saw some wonderfully colorful fish and the snorkeling boat even took us over a shipwreck. Very cool experience and extremely peaceful. I could have done it all day, if the water was a little warmer. Can't wait to see the pictures from the underwater camera. We spent some time shopping in Grand Cayman as well, and Danny bought me a gorgeous Ammolite pendant and earrings. Ammolite is a fossil mined in Canada and is very rare. It has several colors in the stone and looks different depending on the lighting.http://www.korite.com/ammolite.html
We spent the next port day in Jamaica. Joan and Kevin went on a tour of a spice factory and pottery shop. Grandma and Kathy toured Jamaica with a tour guide and did a little shopping. Jenn, Tim, Danny and I went on a muddy, dune buggy ride. It was a BLAST! You couldn't even tell what color our shirts were originally when we were finished. We also jumped off of a 15 foot cliff into the ocean when we were done. There are some muddy pictures below, but this is only half way through the course. After we cleaned up on the ship and had lunch, we also ventured out to a beach and did some shopping near the pier. I just love the people of Jamaica. So laid back and happy. Irie, Mon.
The last day at sea was very warm, and we finally laid out and dipped in the pool for a couple of hours. We never did use the ship's hot tubs. We had a pretty relaxing last day on the ship and had to spend some time creatively packing. We only had carry on luggage and had them packed pretty full when we arrived. Good thing our purchases were small items...
Overall, it was a great vacation and good times with friends and family. I was so proud of Grandma, considering she had never been out of the country before. She just went with the flow and experienced quite a bit of the culture and met several new people in and out of the ship.
We are cruisin' again in February on the same ship. At least we have a lay of the land now.
We missed the kids horribly and it sounds like they were getting a little mopey missing us the last couple of days. Thank goodness for such WONDERFUL grandparents to watch over them when we were gone. They played, fed the kitties,and made Christmas cookies with Grandma and Grandpa Peterson. They did a lot of crafts, drawing, and painting with Grandpa David and Sandra. We are so thankful that the kids had the chance to experience time with the grandparents and experience a good spoiling too.