A cruise? Me? Never thought I would be into it.
I'm usually a travel-on-foot-(at risk of seasickness) discover a-place-spontaneously-kind of traveler. But it was my husband's 40th birthday, and I surprised him. Eight days (sans kids) in the Southern Caribbean!
We land in Puerto Rico (after a red-eye. Remind me to lay off the red eyes--sleeping on the plane never works for me.) But I'm happy to the exit the plane and smell a slight hint of cinnamon and tang of a spicy chile. Feels good to be back in a Latin American country--see the familiar airport signs in Spanish--to be reminded of my adventures in S. America.
After a little snafu (long wait time for our ride,) we make it to the dock. We don't have time to visit old town Puerto Rico (next time for sure.) Check-in is seamless. And as we board, the sheer size of the ship strikes us first. Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas was the biggest ship on the ocean a few years back (now dwarfed by Oasis of the Seas twice its size :0) It absolutely unbelievable that anything SO HUGE can float!
We love our stateroom--small, but just right with a big porthole window. James, our steward is wonderful (and leaves us folded, animal towels every night that we adore) We tour the ship--astounding by its beauty and completeness. On deck, the pools are gorgeous (all 3!) jacuzzis, gym, rockwall, water slides, and even a mini inline skate track. We hit our first meal--so much food! We make a pack right there to actually eat healthy (it can be done on a cruise, we found out) and workout everyday.
We have the late dining. A table of six--two other couples (and all three of us girls, vegetarian!) Lannie and Cory are from Pennsylvania and Eva and David, Holland. We have a blast eating, joking, and truly enjoying are table-mates every night. Adrian is our waiter for the week. His grace, humor, and charm are obvious right away. He'll do anything for us :) Birthday celebration for Dan. A few nights, all the servers/chefs come down into the three-leveled dining room to dance/sing and show us their stuff! (3,500 passengers about 1,500 employees that represent over 75 countries around the world.) For dinner, we have amazing soups & appetizers, luscious fruit--and all kinds of delicious entries (pan-friend tofu/bok choy & Indian for me. Yum.) Desserts are perfect. Tiramisu. Key lime. Sorbet.
We make friends quickly with the coffee bar--that's along the "boardwalk" on Deck 5. Shops. Cafes. Music. Chai latte everyday, plus a few spirited hot chocolates for us at night (and pizza and sandwich snacks in the afternoon.)
So much to do every night. Pooslide parties (for just about ANY occasion) Talented musicians (acoustic, Latin/salsa, a rockin' piano bar) shows, poker (for Dan,) and we even got crazy and took a tango lesson. Arrribbba! The Transderm anti-motion sickness patch has dilated my eyes (possible side effect,) so I can't read (blurry.) But it's kinda nice. There's so much to do. We even partake in a seaweed massage. So relaxing, and so much fun to have on this floating paradise.
Like we do many for every night afterward, Dan and I hit the deck our first night onboard. It's warm and breezy. Lit up, the ship resembles a galaxy of stars. Walking along,arm-in-arm, the ocean is smooth, the night black. And all seems perfectly right in the world.