Friday, January 8, 2010

I Love It When We're Cruisin Together!

As promised, a recap of our cruise. We had a wonderful, relaxing time. There were several disappointments, but nothing that was under the cruise's control -- it was all weather related.

Here is Chris, reading the itinerary for the first day/night on the boat before we boarded.

When you board the ship, they give you a complimentary glass of (gross) champagne. I get excited for anything that is free -- and you will too when you go on a cruise, as we soon found out that once you board, almost nothing is free!
We ate our first meal on board at Azura main dining room. It was so weird to get to order fancy 3-course meals without having to pay at the end, or tip!

Chris got the mushroom risotto, it was really good and I don't even like mushrooms!

And, of course for dessert he got chocolate mousse!
We're still docked in Miami -- we were on the ship by 11:30 am and it didn't disembark until 4:00 or 4:30, so we had a lot of time to get acclimated to the ship.

The mandatory drill where you don your lovely life preserver.

As soon as we were able to drop our stuff in our cabin, and were done with the mandatory drill, we headed to the deck for a bucket o beer!

Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh, we could get used to this cruising thing -- especially if the alcohol were included in the cost!

That night we ate dinner at the other main dining room, Tsar's Palace -- it was equally tasty!

Who doesn't love dessert with every meal?!

We played some shuffle board, which was really fun!

The next morning we played BINGO, which is really quite expensive if you actually want to have a chance at winning. We took the cheap route, which was still $30! That drink Chris is holding was the best pina colada ever!

Then we arrived in Roatan, Honduras! There was a beautiful view from the ship. I didn't realize until we began the trip, that Roatan is one of three islands off the coast of Honduras.

Unfortunately, I don't have any other pics of Roatan yet, because they are on our water-proof disposable cameras that haven't been used up yet. But, we did some great kayaking in Roatan. We were supposed to go snorkeling here too, but just as we were getting our gear together, the weather took a horrible turn and the sea became too violent for snorkeling. I was majorly bummed.
Nothing a HUGE pina colada won't fix!
The next day we went to Belize City, Belize. There was more disappointment here, as we were supposed to go on a rainforest trek and go cave tubing, but the caves were flooded. So, we took a sketchy cab ride to go see a howler monkey sanctuary instead.

Leaf cutter ant trail.

Howler monkey! We got to feed them and hear their very eerie howl! It was a neat experience.

Belize River, which was huge and wound around like crazy.

I guess you can't really see it in this picture, but there were tons of huge pelicans in the water there.

Then our cab driver took us to this beach (we asked him to take us to a beach). But, this was a private beach that was $10/person to go onto -- we decided to just have a drink instead and then head back to the ship.

That night there was a chocoholic buffet on the cruise.
It looked better than it tasted. I must say, the food on the ship was really delicious, but their desserts just weren't up to my standards.

The next day we went to Costa Maya, Mexico which is on the Yucatan peninsula. We went on an excursion to see the Mayan Ruins of Chacchoban.

This is the Venus Temple as seen from the highway.
Here I am sitting on the stairs of what was once Mayan houses.

I believe this is the Venus temple.

The Sun Temple.
The Moon Temple.

Chris in front of a really cool tree. All of the ruins used to be covered in dirt and trees until the archeologists uncovered them.

The water here was absolutely gorgeous, and there were some pretty little tide pools along the shore that we peeked in.
That's our ship right above Chris' head.

Nothing like drinking a Dos Equis on the coast of Mexico!

That night we went on a bar crawl on the ship. It was actually a lot of fun! One of the stops along the pub crawl was to the karaoke bar on the ship. Above is the whole pub crawl group -- they had us sing "I've Got Friends in Low Places", which was funny because our new friends, Tara and Dave, and us were just talking about how we disliked country music.

After the pub crawl we went back for some more karaoke action -- Chris and Dave singing "With or Without You".

Tara and me singing "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.

For New Year's Eve, Tara and Dave reserved us all a table at one of the specialty restaurants called Le Bistro -- it was French cuisine. You just have to pay a cover charge, and then you can order however much food you want. Chris and I tried escargot for the first time! It was actually pretty good!


Plus, as a bonus, they sent out some delicious truffles that were not on the menu!
We went to a couple shows, did some dancing, and then went out on the deck to do the countdown to the new year!
Happy 2010!

Then we got down with our bad selves, and boogied!

Chris and Dave tried to jimmy the ice cream machine, which is usually open, and wasn't open late enough for us on New Year's Eve! We just wanted some damn ice cream!

When they freshen up your room, they turn your towels into animals.

Due to weather, they cancelled our stop at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas all together! That was another disappointment -- stupid rainy season! So, we had another relaxing day at sea:

Cuba! That might be all we ever get to see of Cuba!

On the last night we ate dinner at Tsar's Palace with Tara and Dave. There was a beautiful sunset behind us!

We went to see the finale show, Cirque Bijou, and then there was a farewell show by the staff.

It was a great cruise. We made wonderful memories, relaxed, and met some wonderful Canadian friends that we hope to visit this Summer in Toronto! I think there are more cruises in our future!

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