Thursday, September 06, 2007

I think I'm a Mermaid.

J and I had such a wonderful vacation! We absolutely love cruising. It was nice that our time didn't seem to fly by either. The week seemed very relaxing and luxurious.

We arrived at the Miami Seaport Saturday afternoon. We'd only had about 3 hours of sleep because of our crazy flight schedule. The embarkation process was, well, a process as usual. I guess it could have been worse. But when you're there you're just ready to be on that ship and sailing. It did provide some interesting people watching. There was the middle aged Asian lady who had a mullet. There was also an older man (I'm guessing 60) who apparently couldn't grow a mullet and opted for the teeniest pony tail I'd ever seen in the back, and a slight spiked comb-over. It was interesting. Hmmm, oh then there was the 50-year-old man who dressed in Hollister clothing. That was a sight. There was a great girl who was the epitome of tacky tourist who gave me great entertainment. Oh, the list could go on.

The Carnival Triumph set sail late afternoon and watched Miami disappear from the 10th deck. The weather was lovely, the drinks were good, and we were ready for the week. Well, after the stinking boat drill anyway. Ugh, I hate the boat drill. I get so clasuterphobic!

(Our ship, the Carnival Triumph)
Sunday morning we were in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, a private island. The scenery was amazing, soft white sands, clear water with a beautiful turquiose sheen and changed to teal and sapphire the further you looked out, and so many bright and vibrant tropical flowers. We spent the entire day on the island (hiking, lying in hammocks, walking the beach, snorkeling, climbing the jetties) before taking a tender back to our anchored ship. We hit the afternoon sushi bar, had dinner, and enjoyed the nighttime comedian.

(Relaxing in a beach hut in Half Moon Cay)
(Me standing on top of the jetties)
(J and I on the jetties)
(A view of the beach at Half Moon Cay)
Monday was a day-at-sea. We lathered in sunscreen and took some books to the top of the ship to catch some rays. We of course found our usual-a spot where I can lay in the sun, and J could lay in the shade. However, I didn't lay in the sun nearly as much as I usually do. The Caribbean sun in August was sweltering. You should see the tan we both have despite wearing sunscreen 70 and hats. We spent the day lazily enjoying the ship and eating, eating, eating. The ice cream machine is such a curse I tell you!

Tuesday we arrived at Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, USVI. We walked around the shops and then took a taxi downtown. We walked along the waterfront, visited more shops, and found the cute little place where we purchased Mack's pirate outfit. St. Thomas is such a fun place. The biggest downfall is that you can't walk along and enjoy yourself without dozens of people bombarding you to take their tour, taxi, excursion, etc. That part is frustrating.
(Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas USVI)
(The Harbour)
We returned to the Seaport and boarded the Island Girl Ferry to head for St. John. It was such a lovely ride. We crossed the Pillsbury Channel, we passed French Cap Key and could see St. Croix, we saw Tortola, BWI in the distance and the ferrys that were going to and from the island.
(J and I on the Island Girl Ferry) (French Cap Key)
(The only alligator we saw in the Caribbean)
We arrived at St. John and went to Trunk Bay Beach to snorkel. It's a beautiful beach in a National Park and is also on the top ten list of places to snorkel. There was an underwater trail designed by the park service that helped to identify the different fish and sea life you were seeing. The beach was very quaint and such a nice place to relax.
(The small island we snorkeled around at Trunk Bay Beach in St. John)(The rare onehornbuttfish)
(J and I after snorkeling)
(J after snorkeling)
Wednesday when we woke up, we were in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Wow! What an amazing place! There is Old San Juan and New San Juan. The city is full of history yet also very modern. It's a good sized city, and then there is the beach and the waterfront are with the Seaport. It has so much to offer. We got a map and decided to explore the city ourself on foot. We visited forts, For San Cristobol and El Cañuelo which has the Spanish Lighthouse. We visited the San Juan Cathedral and the San Juan Drug Company which is a pretty neat little store. We checked out tons of the other shops too. Then, we stocked up on Puerto Rican Rum before returning to the ship. The good thing about Puerto Rican Rum is that there is no customs limits!
(For San Cristobol)
(View of El Cañuelo and the Spanish Lighthouse from Fort San Cristobol) (At the top!) (La Escuela en San Juan)
(Rocky Beach below the Fort)
(Pretty San Juan Street. It's like Rainbow Row in Charleston, SC)(Intersection of San Juan)
(J sitting outside of the San Juan Center)
(We went al the way to San Juan for J to find his old friend Jack.)
Midmorning on Thursday we were in Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos, BWI). We stood upon the decks and watched the island come closer into view. We got some pictures of the lighthouse, which is great for us because we have a thing with lighthouses. Once there we shopped around the port area, snorkeled at Governer's Beach, and lied in the hammocks for a bit. However, most of the day was spent kicked back and chilling in Margaritaville. I hate that we didn't get to explore the whole island, but we still had a fabulous time.
(The airport in Grand Turk. So glad I'm not flying in and out of there!)

(Relaxing in the pool in Margaritaville)

(Governer's Beach, Grand Turk, Turk and Caicos, BWI)(Wasting away again in Margaritaville)
Friday was our last day and was spent at sea. We enjoyed lying around in the sun listening to the calypso band. They played some great cover songs but with the island twist to it. I loved it. We also did a bit of miniature golfing, water sliding (ok, that was just me), and shopping on board. Oh, and I tried the best rum cake ever. I mean EVER! I think I could have been over any legal limit of blood alcohol content after a few piece. Oops! Another favorite place of mine on the ship, the Californal Wine Bar.
(Me with my love, the wine bar)
Our ship was pretty wonderful. It's the largest one we've cruised on thus far. The food, of course, was excellent. We ate ice cream after every meal. Mine was the fat free frozen yogurt so I decided it took more calories to eat it then I actually consumed. That's a fair assessment, don't you think? We enjoyed all the shows on board. There were several sing and dancing shows with the Carnival singers and dancers. There were also two comedians and a pretty awesome magic show. Not just pulling a rabbit out of a hat either. Plus it was cordinated with lights, songs, and dancers and was very dramatic and entertaining. We also enjoyed some time in the casinos. Overall, we broke even which is all we hoped for. We might have actually left with a little profit. Note to self: do not allow husband to gamble after consuming a bottle of wine at dinner. Speaking of dinner, we had the best time getting dressed up every night and our two servers were very fun and entertaining. The food was magnificent! (I think I've said that once or twice, but it really was!) There was lobster tail, prime rib, filet mingon, beef wellington, stuffed quail, duck breast, sauteed scallops and prawns, delice of the ocean, etc. I had smoked salmon and bagels for breakfast and sushi every afternoon. It was delightful. I think we cruise for the yummy food, but seeing all of the new places is just a bonus!

(the waterslide on the Triumph. It was three decks tall and rather speedy!)(A formal picture taken by a ship photographer.)
(One of the casual portraits taken by a ship photographer.)(On the grand staircase in the Capital)


Angelarae said...

Oooooh, that sounds like such a wonderful vacation! I've never been on a cruise before, and you definitely make me want to give it a shot! [I wonder if I can convince DH....]
Mmm, all the food sounds great, I agree, I'd do it just for the food! haha

Alicia said...

AWWWWWWW!!!! I love the pictures! It looks like it was a well deserved amazing trip! Glad your back!

JayJenny said...

Looks like you guys shared an amazing vacation together! Thanks for sharing with all of us!!

Rusti said...

I am soooo sooo jealous!! Our cruise isn't until February - but I might start picking your brain... as we depart from Miami, go to San Juan, St. Thomas & St. Maarten... so I might be asking you Q's about "what should we see" and "what not to miss" and "hey - that trip to St John snorkeling... was that an excursion offered by the cruise line or did you do that on your own?" we want to snorkel - and that place sounds beautiful!! :) I'm so glad you had a great time!! I'm extremely jealous though, and even more excited for our cruise than I was before!! :) YAY!

brittny said...

I've been waiting for this post! I'm so glad to see pictures and get a recap! We're looking at going on a cruise next year and now you've got me on!

Swistle said...

What GREAT pictures! You guys are so cute!