Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Cruise

We left for our 7 day cruise on April 8th and it was amazing! We had such a relaxing time, and it was exactly what we both needed. Our boat left on Sunday afternoon from Galveston port and returned the following Sunday morning. We decided to save some money and have an interior room without any windows to the outside. We decided that if we go on any other cruises, we will continue to have the interior room. When you turn the lights out it is pitch black; you have no idea what time of day it is--awesome!
Our first two days on the cruise were spent traveling. What was really amazing is there was always something going on somewhere on the boat. We received a schedule the night before to plan what we wanted to do. We decided to take it easy. On the traveling days, we typically found a spot on the upper deck and read/took naps. Although we did take breaks for lunch. We had heard from other about the amazing food on cruises, but were still blown away by the meals. Some of the meals we had included roast duck, crab cakes, lobster tail, and mahi mahi. And there was desert after every meal! The ship also had cafes that were open 24 hours in case you needed a snack in between meals...we were always too full to indulge in this.
Our first port was Roatan, Honduras. We signed up for a snorkeling excursion. This was a first time event for both of us. We were taken to a private beach cove to get ready for snorkeling and to relax on after snorkeling. We found out that the coastal area of Honduras, Belize, and Mexico is the second largest reef behind the one in Australia. It was quite a wonderful experience.
The next day we stopped in Belize where we went zip lining through the canopy. I was excited about this, but also a little nervous as I'm not a big fan of heights. However, once I completed the first line, I was hooked! We went down 5 lines and also did 2 short free falls. We both loved this experience and have decided that zip lining is a must for future vacations. After the excursion we received a Belize meal of chicken and rice and beans cooked in coconut milk. We were told that Belize has good hot sauce. Travis tried one with his meal that he loved. He bought a bottle of this hot sauce, as well as another one called Comatose...he has not tried this one yet.
Our last stop was Cozumel, Mexico. We decided to take it easy this day and just do a little shopping. We found a few good buys. I bought two sundresses (of course I can't wear them yet because it's still in the 40's in Illinois). Travis found a great deal on an onyx chess set. I also bought a few bottles of Mexican vanilla. We then had lunch at a great Mexican restaurant. It was called Pancho's Backyard and all of the seating was in an outdoor pavilion. The food was absolutely amazing! This place had some of the best guacamole. We returned to the boat around 1:00 and proceeded to take a 3 hour nap in our amazingly dark state room.
Each night after dinner we attended the show put on in the theater. They had a range of performers: one night we watched a magician; a couple of comedians; singers and dancers. On one night we went to the ice rink (yes, the boat had an ice rink). We watched a pretty good ice show.
We had a great room attendant who would leave us a different towel animal almost every night. My favorite was the monkey.
We came back refreshed and with a little more color...or in my case a few more freckles. It was a little difficult to get back into the swing of things at home. This was the most time I have ever taken off from this job, but I came back to everything in place. (By the way, this Monday is my last medical school interview day!) We had such a wonderful time and are hooked on the cruise vacation option!

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