DW and I had so much fun on our Mommy-Daddy trip this year.
We knew we wanted to plan something, but we just couldn’t seem to make the time to sit down and decide what we wanted to do and plan it. It was the middle of July and we still had no reservations or plan, so we just booked another cruise at the last minute.
A cruise is easy for a lot of reasons, but the best part to me, is the fact that you loose all cell service. There’s no checking facebook and instagram on your phone (me) and no checking your work email or getting work calls (DW). :)
Options were limited because we wanted the cruise to include a weekend (less days off work for DW & my mom who was keeping the kids), we wanted 4 nights and it had to be the end of July. After looking around, our best option was out of Miami again. It’s quite a drive down, but with me playing DJ and singing along, it flies by. Of course, that probably depends on which one of us you ask. ;)
We dropped the kids off at my parents’ at bedtime on Wednesday night. We needed to leave around 6:30 Thursday morning and it was easier that way.
We arrived at the cruise terminals right at lunch time and got right through check-in and on the boat. After I saw this picture, I laughed because I look so tired and like I NEEDED a vacation! We did! :)
We loved the location of our room. It was down the hall just enough to be away from the noise, but close to the elevator/stairs and we were only three decks down from the pool deck.
We did the “my time” dining, and had dinner around 7:00. Every night we ended up in the same general area in a window seat for two. I can’t say the same for breakfast – we had to sit with people every morning, but dinners worked out great!
On Friday, we made it to the Bahamas and spent the day at Royal Caribbean’s private island, CoCo Cay. We booked the swimming with stingrays excursion and after a few hours on the beach, we caught the shuttle boat over to Sting Ray City. There’s nothing like that clear water! There was construction going on at one island, and it was just crazy to see bulldozers and construction equipment in the middle of the ocean.
We held stingrays and snorkeled around a little to find some star fish. The whole thing was really commercialized, though. I’m pretty sure they just scattered a few star fish around for you to find, because there was not much else to see, but maybe the low tide had something to do with that. ??The highlight was holding the stingrays and we checked that off.
After the boat ride back over, we got some lunch on the island. We were just there in April on the big family cruise, and this time it was much less crowded. We made the most of our time there, and were on the last boat tendered over to the ship. We had the best day enjoying some frozen Coco-Locos, floating out in the ocean, and laying in beach chairs.
The shows after dinner, were also really good this time. We went to three of the four and all were good. One night it was the classic cruise, off-Broadway type show with good song selections. Another night was a comedian who had just written a show for NBC and who also had been on Comedy Central and several other big things that I can’t remember. He was so funny, and clean. The next night was a fantastic impressionist – he was so good and it was just a neat show. He came out as at least a dozen different people including Johnny Cash, Ozzy Osbourne and ZZ Top.
Our second morning on the ship, we woke up at sea. Sea days are not our favorite, but this one was really good. We ended up getting one of the hammocks on the back of the ship and had the best time laying out and relaxing.
Every night after dinner, we’d go up to the pool deck and lay in the hammocks or chairs. The boat was moving so slow the entire time, and the water was so calm, it was always so nice up there. The stars were beautiful, too.
The tide was high, so the water was pretty deep and a little cloudy- we could see fine, but it made it hard to get pictures. The coral reef off key west is one of the world’s top 10 largest reefs, and I think I read it’s the only one in the continental US. Going in with those facts, I was expecting it to be a little different. We did get to see lots of different fish, but I was hoping for some brightly colored and really tall coral, but we didn’t see any of that. I’m not sure if it was the location of where we were on the reef or what. Still neat to say we’ve snorkeled part of it, though.
After the snorkel trip, we got back on the boat to change and then spend the rest of the day in Key West.
I really one day, want to do an excursion where you can swim with sea turtles – we’ve never been anywhere so far, that we’ve seen one, so I was happy to see this guy at the aquarium.
I did start re-thinking the whole swim with them thing, though, since there was sign there that said they will bite, and to keep your hands out of the water.
We had key lime pie on a stick,
By the afternoon, we were SO HOT. I seriously thought I was going to have a heat stroke. We got back on the boat and went straight for some cold water…and I took an elevator selfie in case the heat got me and it was our last picture together. Ok, so maybe I tend to err on the side of dramatic, but I’m not kidding- it was THAT.HOT.
Thankfully, we got cooled off and made it to dinner that night.
The next morning we were up with the roosters and first in line for breakfast in the dining room. Our phones had gotten service when we’d pulled into port and DW’s started ringing within 15 minutes. Ahhh, back to reality. ;)
We had such a great time this trip. Any time away together is fantastic, and to be able to get to completely unplug from everything was so refreshing. Of course none of it would be possible if our kids didn’t have such wonderful grandparents who make leaving our kids easier. Grammy & Pop had our little darlings until Sunday and then passed them off to Pappy & Nie-Nie who had them until we got home Monday afternoon. I wish everybody had parents and in-laws like mine, and I especially hope my kids all say the same about me & DW someday.