Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cruisin it Up!

Nathan and I were so excited to go on our 2nd vacation this year - a cruise! We've been wanting to do one since we got married and it finally worked out. Now don't be thinking we've hit the big time or anything, we did one modest family beach vacation and this was your basic cruise. Both were pretty affordable and nothing luxurious but still lots of fun!

To make it even better, we were able to go with a group of our best friends! We sat down together early in the year, found a date and stuck with it as best we could. It worked out for all but one couple which is pretty good, 4/5 were able to make it. I would highly recommend going on a cruise with friends, it just adds to the fun. We commented a few times that it may be a little boring with just our spouses, ha!

We didn't take the kids. Kaleigh stayed w/ Nana and Papa so she wouldn't miss school. We stopped on the way down and met up with my parents to take the twins and Emory stayed in New Orleans with my brother and sister in law. They all had a blast, I think, which was an answer to prayer.

We went on a 5 day cruise, the Carnvial Elation, out of New Orleans. We had a little time that morning to explore the city before leaving at 4. 

After the boat left and we got the safety drill out of the way, we jumped right into things!
One of the first things we did was a little gameshow. They had two rounds of trivia and we had a friend in each of the rounds! Ben won the first one and Sara lost to a Trivia Guru in the second but still got a medal.

 We were pleasantly surprised by the rooms - they were more spacious than I expected. We got a window which I highly recommend too. The room attendant was excellent. He knew our names right off and we loved the twice daily turn down service and of course the little towel animals!

The food was definitely a highlight. I loved seeing the menu selections every night and being treated like royalty by our wait staff. Being able to order as much as you want is such a treat too. We were very pleasantly surprised by the food. I love being able to try new things.

We ended that evening with a volleyball game on the top deck of the ship. It was a nice friendly competition that carried over the next couple of days.

Our days were filled with relaxing on the deck reading, eating wonderful food, seeing some authentic Mexico and buying some cheap homemade goods, napping, dance classes, and eating.

Our evenings were eating, dressing up, watching comedy and karaoke, seeing the shows, dancing or watching people dance, taking pictures, and just having fun doing things we wouldn't normally get to do!

"Single Ladies" Beyonce Dance Class!
Two other highlights were the excursion at Cozumel where we went on a catamaran, snorkeling and to a private beach with slides and other water activities. It started off terrible - rainy and cold. It got a little better but rained quite a bit while we were snorkeling. It was still really neat though. The weather cleared up by the time we got to the beach and the water was nice and warm so we had a good time. It was very memorable.

The other highlight was dressing up for fun with our friends. This is where traveling with a group really gets fun! It has been a while since I laughed as much as I did this night. We ate and got a kick out of the looks we got, then had a blast taking pictures with the photographers on the ship! I love having friends who don't mind being goofy!

It was a great vacation - I am already dreaming of the next one, especially with this coollld weather, brr!

I will be putting lots more pictures on facebook too!