Playing Catch-up: May, a Cruise!

On April 30th, we set out for Austin, TX where we got to meet two-month-old Harvey James and see the Congdons (lots of pictures to come in the next post, so hold your horses). The very next morning, we drove down to Galveston where we embarked on our celebration cruise! (We were celebrating Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, Michael’s graduation, Matching, starting a new life chapter, and probably several birthdays and Christmases. 😉 )

We discovered that we like cruises, and they are great if you want a week of relaxation– but maybe not if your goal in traveling is to experience other places, cultures, and history. The ports are basically humongous souvenir shops; if you want to do more than buy trinkets you have to go on an excursion, and the quality of those can be hit or miss, plus they only last a few hours. BUT there is plenty to do on-board: enjoy the sunshine; eat good food; see great entertainment; and if you’re like us, whup some butts in trivia tournaments several times a day. 🙂 We loved Royal Caribbean and would recommend the line to anyone.

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Waiting in the (very long) line to embark.

After a day by the pool, enjoying the equatorial sun a little too much (i.e. I got a really bad sunburn) we arrived at our first port: Cozumel, Mexico. It was my favorite. Not only did I get to break out my very rusty Spanish, but we also chose to do an excursion here– to some Mayan ruins and then to the beach. We had an excellent tour guide who didn’t mind my broken Spanish and loved talking with Michael about ancient Mayan medicine. The ruins we visited used to be a temple for the Mayan goddess of the moon and fertility, Ix Chel, and functioned as a fertility retreat center for Mayan women. Some would go there when they were having trouble conceiving; others would stay there for the duration of their pregnancy. The island is basically a jungle and yet it’s an ecological oddity: there are few bugs, dangerous snakes, or other threats that a pregnant woman on the mainland might want to avoid.

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There are iguanas, though. Big ones.

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This was an archway you were supposed to walk under if you wanted to conceive. I didn't get too close. ;)

This was an archway you were supposed to walk under if you wanted to conceive. I didn’t get too close. 😉

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Ceiba (the Mayan tree of life) roots

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After the ruins, we headed to the beach.

We got some Mexican Coke (COCA COLA, I mean) and Coke Light. It's a million times better than Diet Coke.

We got some Mexican Coca Cola and Coke Light for the trip. It’s a million times better than Diet Coke.

Happy place

Happy place

Here is a picture of me holding iguanas, at the exact moment their owner told us that pictures cost $5.

Here is a picture of me holding iguanas, at the exact moment their owner told us that pictures cost $5.

Then we went swimming. It was salty and glorious.

After escaping Iguana Guy, we went swimming. It was salty and glorious.

A Corona ad to go with my Coke Light ad from earlier. ;)

A Corona ad to go with my Coke Light ad from earlier. 😉

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I wanted to stay in Cozumel, but we had to back. :) This is our ship!

I wanted to stay in Cozumel, but we had to go back. 🙂 This is our ship!

The time not spent in ports went somewhat like this:

Me, excited for the sudoku challenge.

Me, excited for the sudoku challenge.

Michael, excited about his coffee.

Michael, excited about his coffee.

Me, happy because I won the sudoku challenge.

Me, happy because I won the sudoku challenge.

Michael, sad because he did not.

Michael, sad because he did not.

(We didn’t take as many pictures during trivia challenges because we were too busy dominating, but Michael was obviously the breadwinner in that category.)

The next port was Grand Cayman. We didn't go on an excursion, and there wasn't much to see near the port (except the beautiful water, and my handsome husband).

The next port was Grand Cayman. We didn’t go on an excursion, and there wasn’t much to see near the port (except the beautiful water, and my handsome husband).

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But the ferry ride over was nice.

But the ferry ride over was nice.

Next up: Jamaica.

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We docked in Falmouth.

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We ventured out past the port gates, where we were accosted (in the best and most fun way) by local merchants. We got some souvenirs and I had a single braid put in my hair, haggling over its cost the whole time.

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I liked Jamaica. I think I’d like it better farther away from a port. 😛

With all the ports visited, we had stretches of unfilled time to explore the ship some more. Besides having excellent shows every night (we saw an Elvis impersonator, Saturday Night Fever, aerial acrobats, two comedians, and more), there was also rock climbing, soccer, movies on the deck at night, etc. Basically, if you’re bored on a cruise ship, you’re doing it wrong.

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But our FAVORITE part was the food. Approximately 20 dates over delicious meals: Perfection.

Verdict: Cruising. We’d do it again.

P.S. Happy Independence Day!

 

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3 thoughts on “Playing Catch-up: May, a Cruise!

  1. Looks like such a lovely vacation celebrating many very exciting life events! I love that you guys went rock climbing and the meal pictures are pretty great too 🙂

    Like

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