Sam and I had never been cruising before and had heard that the rooms are tiny with tiny windows and yuck. We opted to spend a bit more for a balcony room, and are SO glad we did. The room was a great size, the bathroom had a pretty tiny shower, but great hot water, so no complaints!
We left out of New Orleans, on the Mississippi River which was really cool! The cruise ship had to turn 180 degrees around to leave, and the tips of the boat seemed like they might touch the edge of the river, it was awesome to watch.
This was the walkway down the middle of the ship. It felt like we were inside of a mall. There were stores and restaurants and bars. And considering this was all on a floating SHIP... we were blown away by the size of the boat.
Here's Sam, Dave, and Steffi as the ship pulled away from the port and began to turn around in the Mississippi River.
We spent the entire next day heading to Cozumel, Mexico. So we hit up the mini golf and explored the ship for the day. That's Dave and Steffi, they kicked our butts.
Obviously, I'm a much better dancer than I am a mini golfer.
That night was our first formal night on the cruise. It was optional, but we came prepared with our fancy clothes!
After dinner, we came back to our room to find this little guy on our bed! Isn't he cute!?
The next morning we woke up in Cozumel. Our group opted out of doing any of the excursions that the ship provided. Instead, we found a local cab and asked him to take us to a free beach, that was far away from the tourist traps. He took us to the best place ever, free beach, cheap beer, and amazing chips and salsa.
Oh yea, and pina colada's the size of a fish bowl!
Sam and I borrowed our friend's snorkling gear to check out the fish and coral reefs. And lucky for us, our camera is waterproof, so we were able to capture our sexy fish lips :)
And some lobsters! The long black line through the bottom right of the photo is his long tentacle thing...not sure that's what it's really called.
Whoops, little bit out of order here.
Back on the ship that night, we relaxed on our balcony and watched the sunset as we pulled away from Mexico, heading towards Grand Cayman.
On the island we found a portion of the world famous "7 Mile Beach" that was free and open to the public. So we rented some umbrellas, bought a case of beverages and enjoyed the warm water and white sand.
The boys snorkeled, but there wasn't much to see except the sand. That's the 3 boys with snorkels on...and a stranger floating on the left.
Back on the ship that night, heading for Jamaica!
We again opted out of doing any of the cruise excursions on Jamaica. We instead bartered with a cab driver for a tour of the island. Sadly, I cannot remember his name, but we had a wonderful day cruise the island looking at old churches, visiting the rain forest, and eating local Caribbean Jerk Jamaican BBQ.
This was our transportation for the day.
In Jamaica, they produce and bottle Red Stripe, so of course we had a few of those while looking over the rain forest.
We saw lots of these!
Sadly, we didn't spend much time on the beach, but we did stop off to dip our toes in the water before heading back to the ship.
Can you spot the little man on the anchor!?
After leaving Jamaica, we still had 2 full days at sea until we were back in New Orleans. We arrived in port early in the morning and were greeted by rolling fog on top of the River. It was quite a pretty sight.
Over all, it was a great trip, great friends, great new friends, tons of food, and warm beaches. Can't ask for more than that. Sam and I were hesitant about taking a cruise, we've heard lots of stories of sea sickness, small rooms, bad food, etc. I'm glad we took the risk and didn't experience any of that! However, I'm not sure that cruising will be something that we'll do again, at least not for a while, with only a few hours spent on shore, I felt like I was stuck on a boat rather than exploring a new country. Next time we vacation in the Caribbean, we'll be staying on an island :)
And thank the good Lord that we weren't on the Carnival cruise that has been stranded at sea this past week. That would have been terrible!
Have you visited the Caribbean? Where would you suggest we go next? And what's your ideal method of traveling? Resorts, cruising, hostels??