Some of the highlights of our trip:
|Salsa, Salsa, and Margaritas|
|Ours is the larger ship on the left.|
Grand Cayman - Wow! I haven't seen such beautiful beaches since Jamaica. Because the port is fairly shallow, we had to be "tendered" in to shore. This port must see a lot of activity as there are permanent tenders that are used and they're really big: 300 people on each one. That's considerably larger than the ones that we're used to using. There were 5 ships in this port while we were there. Our excursion was later in the morning, so we could get a nice breakfast first and let the crush of people wanting to get ashore go ahead of us. We, then, had to catch a bus that took us to the boat that took us to the sandbar where we were able to pet stingrays and enjoy the waters off Grand Cayman. While we had a good time and I'm glad we went, I wouldn't do it again. It literally took all day for this excursion that was supposed to last 2 1/2 hours. Tendering into shore, the bus ride that took 30 minutes each way, the boat ride that took 1 1/2 hours each way, and then about 40 minutes in the water. [Note: the bus ride from the port to the boat was awesome! Our bus was running late because we were waiting for some people so, to catch up, the driver drove like an Indy driver laying on the horn the whole time. We were darting in and out of traffic and swerving around corners. Then, on the last part of the drive, we saw iguanas everywhere: big ones, small ones, green ones. And chickens running all over the place. It was awesome.]
|Swimming with the Rays at Grand Cayman|
|Very up close and personal|
|Lovely sand bar and warm water|
Again, I wouldn't want to do it again but it was a fun experience to do once -- and the water wasn't as salty as I expected it to be either.
Onboard the ship - there were a lot of fun experiences on the ship: some fun comedians and entertainers, really nice pool area and great food every single day, lovely couple at our dinner table (originally from Russia, now living in Ohio), but the one that was particular fun and discovered with only two nights left in the cruise was the entertainer in the Pig & Whistle. The Pig & Whistle was the English pub and every evening was a entertainment called Adult Day Care at Night. It was a mixture of karaoke and jokes with a whole lot of naughty song lyrics and just plain fun. We had planned to turn in early our last night, but got really good seats in the pub so we stayed 'til the end.
|Lots of people trying to pet the Rays|
The departure experience has vastly improved! We were able to stay in our stateroom until 8:00, at which time we went for breakfast in the Windjammer and, then, sat out on the pool deck until about 9:30. Our departure time was scheduled for 9:50 and we had to simply make our way to the assigned waiting lounge on the ship where we waited for less than 10 minutes before being allowed to leave. We found our luggage immediately, got through expedited customs (a really wonderful process in New Orleans), picked up the iron, and we were escorted by a friendly porter out of the long line waiting for cabs around to where he could get us one quickly. With so much time saved, I had the cab run to Southern Candymakers so I could get some pralines before leaving town! Our longest wait was at the airport because everything else had gone so smoothly we arrived way early for our flight.
Can't say that I liked coming back to the cold and snow, but having Stacy, Jack, and Anna pick us up at the airport was fun and.....we're only going to be here until Wednesday when we fly off to Vegas!