C – Carnival Cruise Line, Cozumel, Crowds.
Our cruise was a Thurs-Mon sailing on the Carnival Ecstasy out of Galveston, TX. We choose it since it was the only 4 day (as opposed to 7 or 10 day) out of Galveston. Galveston is a 4 hour drive for us, so it saves both airfare and the travel time associated with flying. Carnival is the value brand of cruise ships and, as such, doesn’t compete as much on food, ship decor/age, entertainment, etc as it does on price. It allowed us to have a reasonably priced relaxing 4 day getaway, and, for that purpose, it worked wonderfully. Cruises, by their very nature, have a lot of people in a relatively small space. We generally prefer the opposite.
We sailed Thurs pm and all day Friday. Saturday we docked in Cozumel. We got massages and did the very touristy Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. It was a slow day in Cozumel, as we were the only boat that docked. They normally have 5-7 ships in port, so having only 1 made it a very quiet city. Thus, Margaritaville was almost empty and quite enjoyable. We swam in their roped-off portion of the blue, blue ocean and enjoyed their big inflatable water toys. You are never too old to jump on a water trampoline!
R – Relaxation.
this may be my favorite picture from the cruise…..
Far and away the best part of the vacation was having absolutely nothing on the daily agenda. We are in a busy season of life (is there any other type?) and I wanted a vacation that didn’t require researching locations, restaurants, attractions, hotels, subway maps and the like. Nor did I want to pack and re-pack as we jumped from hotel to hotel. The cruise was perfect in that respect. We unpacked once. Figured out the lay of the ship in 10 minutes. Found the ‘Serenity Deck’ and visited it for hours each at-sea day. I took two naps, you know, because reading on a lounge chair is so tiring and all.
U – Uninterrupted Conversations.
Beyond loving this guy, I really like him too. And I really like getting to have actual conversations without stopping to (a) break up a sibling fight, (b) wipe a kid’s tush, (c) get some food for one or both children, (d) find the missing Barbie shoe, (e) answer the 432 ‘why’ question of the day or (f) attend to some other child related interruption. We got to discuss the books we were reading – he read C.S. Lewis, I read Tina Fey – it made for some random conversations. We got to discuss the wide variety of people we encountered on the boat. We got to just enjoy being together.
I – Ice Cream. Ice Cold Beverages.
The ship had an open 24-hr soft serve machine. We visited it often. Like 3 times a day. Good stuff.
We also enjoyed some cocktails. I skipped the umbrella drinks and sipped on the cheaper (and lower calorie) cocktail of vodka, club soda and lime. It was the first time in many years and maybe even ever that I had alcohol before noon.
Not sure what it says about me, but I had more soft serve than alcohol. :)
S – So Much Food. Swimsuits. Sun Avoiding.
Breakfast and Lunch were usually eaten in the casual, buffet-style restaurant. Breakfast, which I would get and then take down to my lounge chair, was oatmeal with nuts, lots of fruit and sometimes some scrambled eggs. Followed by soft serve. For lunch I ate salads and fruit and pizza/sandwiches/veggie stir-fry. Followed by soft serve.
We ate in the main dining room each night for dinner. I wasn’t overly impressed with the food. I would characterize it as slightly upscale cafeteria food. It tended to sound better on the menu than it actually tasted. There was always a vegetarian option, which was nice, but I much prefer the vegetarian food coming out of my kitchen. On the last night the vegetarian option was a quite tasty Indian Sampler Platter. If only they could have had that the other three nights.
There was, however, a molten chocolate cake on the menu each night and I got it all 4 nights. It was fantastic. If they had a 24-hr molten chocolate cake machine I would have been in serious trouble.
I wore a swimsuit daily, but tried my hardest to stay out of the sun and, when in the sun, slathered sun screen on like it was molten chocolate cake. I was determined not to get sunburned and it worked. There were some seriously sunburned folks on that boat and I’m so glad I wasn’t one of them.
E – Exercise.
There was soft serve and molten chocolate cakes. There was also the small part about wearing swimsuits each day. Thus, we visited the ship’s gym. Getting to workout for 3 days in a row was actually a bit of a luxury. I’m no Savior or anything, but I learned you can run on water. :) Or, run on a treadmill on a boat that is floating in the water. The first day the seas were a bit rough and the running while the boat was rocking was entertaining to say the least.
Our room was on the lowest passenger deck (the crew was below us and I had visions of them having big dance parties like in Titanic or Dirty Dancing, you know, if Dirty Dancing was on a ship), so we had at least 4 flights of stairs each time we left the room. It made for some nice soft-serve burning mini-workouts several times a day.
From my last post, my lie is this one: I drink at least one umbrella drink a day. For some reason, they don’t put umbrellas in club soda + vodka.
Please don’t think less of me, but I did miss my VitaMix as much as my kids. Mainly because my mother-in-law takes far better care of my kids than I do and I knew they were having an absolute blast (No lie – she took them to the park, a bounce-house place, the pet store, out for ice cream, out to eat, she did experiments and art projects, she let them watch their favorite movies, she bought them new Crocs AND she left my house cleaner than when she arrived. No, you cannot have my mother in law). My Vita, however, was sitting unloved in the cabinet and I really missed my green smoothies!
I’m getting my kitchen mojo back and will be back to food posting soon!
Are any of you cruise fans?