Monday, March 26, 2012

Ships Ahoy

Now that the ground has stopped moving and I can finally sit and look at a computer without holding on for dear life, I am back, y'all.

Cruise, check.

I thought I would like being at sea much more than I did. I mean, I love lying around doing nothing. Combine that with my other loves - sunshine, the ocean, endless food and drink - and being trapped at sea should have been heaven. But mostly I was eager to get back to steadier footing and more space than a 12-deck boat.

By the end I was practically on top of the ship with binoculars looking for land - Ahoy! - and prepared to kiss the ground when we arrived back in Tampa.

I know. Gross.

That said, it was great little vacation. The food was excellent and plentiful (my two favorites), and I ended up thoroughly enjoying going to the dining room each night for a little date. And it was like five nights of dates - you get kinda dressed up, are served a lovely dinner and it's all followed by coffee and dessert. Since I rarely have coffee or dessert after meals, I was all, 'This is so luxurious!'

The last night the staff was so sad to see me go they sang me a little song.

The first day was rough seas (arrrrgggh, mateys!) and I spent it about half sea sick and ready to barf. Which is odd considering the two excursions we took were both on catamarans, and I loved bouncing through the water on them. I guess the difference is seeing what is happening on a catamaran and suddenly feeling it happen while you're eating or whatever on the ship.

Going in I thought the excursions would be my least favorite part and they turned out to my favorite. We sailed across waves so blue and so green it looked Photoshopped.

Even the Mexican Navy was excited about it.

But hands down the most incredible experience was snorkeling on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

I was paddling around in the water following our guide kinda like, 'Yo, when do we snorkel,' and Ray goes, 'Look down.' I shoved my masked face into the water and underneath was a world like nothing I'd ever seen. Crazy colored and shaped tropical fish, outdone only by the vast coral and strange marine plants and animals. I swear I've never swam so fast as to get away from some of the coral in the water, which was staggeringly beautiful but also completely terrifying.

Eek, that is alive! (Said through the watery muzzle of a snorkel.)

I want to go to Mexico/the Mayan Riviera just to snorkel. But I'll take a plane rather than a ship next time.

We got back late last Saturday night and Ray and I did the Heart Mini Sunday morning. Did anyone else notice it was Earthquaking on Columbia Parkway?! No?

Yeah, that's the other thing about the cruise. I had a four day vertigo "vacation" post-cruise, which included a lot of clinging to stable objects and white knuckling hand railings. Eww, hand railings. You can imagine how dry my hands are from all the Purell.

Overall, I'd give cruising a B. Solid value, interesting experience, excursions are a plus, good food and plenty of open, endless sunsets and stars to stare at. But I don't think I'll be getting on another cruise ship any time soon. And if I do cruise again, I'm thinking a 3 or 4 night getaway. The days at sea, eh, I can do without them.

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