Remember how I went on that cruise for my Nanny and I gave her a quilt? And I said I would write-up a blog post about it. And then I didn’t? Yeah. Ooops. Life happened. :D
However, right now, the sun is shining. Kid 1 and Daddy are off to college and work. Kid 2 is sleeping in. The dogs are running like crazy up and down the hall. (Why they insist on doing this IN the house, not outside I will never understand.) I am sitting at my computer with a nice cup of tea. Looking out into my beautiful yard that is white with cotton wood fluff. The sun is shining on the humming-bird feeder and I can see all the pretty spiderwebs across to the New Guinea Impatients. So pretty…
Anyhow. I figured it was time to give you a looksee at my trip. :)
Just as a refresher my Aunt and Uncle wanted to do something wonderful for my Grandma (we call her Nanny) for her 90th birthday. They invited the whole famdamily on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Wahooo! Except for my brother and sister in-law (who is very pregnant) and my only male cousin, we were all able to make it. That could have been a miracle in itself right there. It is really hard to get all of us together. We are spread about the USA and some in Germany even! We had a total of 18 people. Ok. You are up to date. Get a nice cup of coffee or tea. Or perhaps a nice cold drink with a fun little umbrella in it. Grab a seat. I have reserved one just for you. :) This will take a bit. Shall we begin?
We arrived late at night in Ft. Lauderdale the night before we were due to depart on the ship. We (my little family of 4) were the first to arrive from Michigan. After we had gathered our luggage we called the hotel to pick us up. (By the way, most of my vacations have little Hobbit adventures in them. You know, when you plan for something to happen but it just doesn’t turn out that way. Yeah. That happens to us ALL THE TIME. We just go with it!) The hotel was looking up our reservation and couldn’t find it. WHAT! I had 18 of us needing a place to sleep. Seems like the hotel made a mistake and had us booked for the night before. Due to a big race, spring break and a concert that was happening, all the hotels were booked. And I mean ALL. We called around for an hour to all major hotel chains. The closest we could get was 50 miles away with 2 bedrooms. Not going to work! When we had run out of numbers to call we decided to drag our luggage over to the terminal where the rest of the family would be arriving at midnight.
When the West Coast party of 14 arrived, all bedraggled and tired from a full day of traveling, we updated them on the situation. It was rather funny. There were about 6 adults grabbing their cell phones walking around the baggage claim calling all sorts of hotels. The rest of us grabbed all the seats in a little cafe area and caught up. I hadn’t seen my family in over a year. Some of them it had been even longer. We were all tired but it was so good to catch up.
Finally my Uncle got a break! He found a hotel that had rooms for us and we all piled into many taxis (with huge amounts of luggage) and drove through the hot sultry night to the hotel.
All 18 of us lugged our baggage into the open hotel lobby. (Well, Nanny didn’t lug anything. She is 90 you know? We lugged for her.) Did I mention it was hot? So there are now 18 hot, tired and sweaty people in this open air lobby. Waiting eagerly for our rooms. It is sure taking a long time to get us checked in. A really long time. Finally my Auntie comes to tell me that there was a mistake. We called to get a room for tonight. Except, remember how it was after midnight when they started calling? Yea. They thought we wanted a room for the up coming night. Not the one we were currently missing sleep in. No room at the inn. Whaaa. :(
Well, my Uncle and Auntie worked some magic. I think the hotel employee felt really bad to see us all limp there. And us with a 90-year-old birthday girl. :D So they must have checked each room to see if it was open. After about an hour they managed to find us 5 rooms in 2 different hotels. We all split up and managed to grab some sleep. We were so happy to lay down. It didn’t matter that some of us had 3 people to 1 king sized bed. Or that some of us had to sleep on the floor. We were just so happy to be cool and horizontal!
The next day; rested, showered and refreshed; we all piled in to Taxis and headed to the ship. We were on VACATION baby. :) Our cruise ship was the Ruby Princess. She is a marvelous ship. We were lucky enough to all get balcony rooms and most of them could be connected. We were then able to walk from room to room. Visit and be together outside in the warm air. It was fantastic.
I have to say the meals on the Ruby were fantastic. Our waiters were superb. It was such fun each evening to join up as a family and connect. I like to be able to try new foods without the fear of commitment. I know that if I don’t like my food there are 17 other people who might. My family is not shy. Each meal we will taste each others food. And for dessert? Well, you get a bite of your own and then pass it along. I was able to try so many new foods this way. I often joke what we just need one big lazy susan in the middle. :)
Our first stop on the Cruise was Princess’ own beach, the Princess Cays.
White sand. Warm sun. Soft breezes. A perfect way to start your vacation.
We all tried so hard to be good about using sunscreen. A lot of us didn’t succeed. If in future pictures you see odd sunburns, this is where we got them! :) Oh well. It was not such a good area for snorkeling although many of us did go and had fun. The water was a tad chilly. It was so nice just to really feel like we were on vacation.
I have a lot more pictures. I think that I need a new cup of tea to keep going. Since this is a long post I will end it here for now and continue on in Part 2.
To Be Continued…