#body {margin-top:10px;}
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cruise and Repeat.

Considering that it's the last day of this month, and we've already had our first frost, I figured it might be productive for me to make an attempt to blog for the first time this October.  I'm tempted to begin my Paris posts, as they are the longest overdue, but on this crispy Sunday afternoon, I find myself longing for the open sea and warm sand. 

On a very early Thursday morning in September, Molly and I departed the Nashville International Airport for Charlotte, and then for Ft. Lauderdale.  Molly's benevolent "uncle" secured us seats in First Class, and we didn't waste any time getting, well, wasted.  Ok, not really...  But we sure did start our morning with twin screwdrivers and the gourmet trail mix, not offered to those chumps sitting in Coach. 

We arrived to the cruise ship port about two hours before we were set to board, but we were thrilled when Royal Caribbean allowed us to board early.  After a quick lunch, we were stationed by the pool, and the boat hadn't even set off yet.  Molly and I scoped out our fellow cruisers, and we were delighted to see a herd of thirty-something men crowded around the poolside bar.  Several hours later, we were called to our designated Muster Deck for a safety demonstration, and met Rusty and Ben, two of the herd from earlier.  Some witty banter later, Molly and I found our cruise ship companions for the trip, along with the necessary gate key to the rest of the Bachelor party.  The next four days were quite adventurous...

Dubbed M&M by R&B

The next morning, Molly and I were early birds, up at 7 a.m. to watch the boat port into Key West.  Molly's friend, Rob, met us at port and gave us the keys to his truck so we could pay a visit to the Southernmost Point of the United States.  We were shocked to see so many wild chickens...crossing the road. 

Key West at 7 a.m.

About an hour later, we returned to the port, and followed Rob aboard his boat, as he was taking us out to sea for the day to kayak, snorkel, and dolphin watch with his excursion company.  We spent the morning kayaking through the Mangrove Islands, with the occasional snake sighting in the reeds.  The kayaking tour was one of my favorite things about this vacation, and I really can't wait to do it again.  After kayaking, we donned snorkel gear and spent a couple of hours underwater, swimming with the creatures of the sea.  Our trip back to shore included a fast-pace dolphin chase, and we were rewarded with a few sightings.

 Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas

Molly and I only had a couple of our hours left in Key West before our ship set back out to sea.  We booked it to the Ernest Hemingway Home, and found ourselves acquainted with a quiet Cuban bungalow and its polydactled feline inhabitants.  Bidding adieu to Key West, we boarded the boat for a late lunch and a nap poolside. 

We greeted our evening with the Captain's champagne reception, followed by a formal dinner, and a lame cruise ship game show and even lamer karaoke.  Luckily, we ran into the "herd" in the piano bar, and then danced the night away in the Viking Crown Lounge until the wee hours of the morning.  We saw the sunrise while in the hot tub, and met some new friends in the process.  It's funny how time doesn't really apply when you're on a cruise ship. 

Molly & MA ready for formal night
MA and Greg
Molly & Eric try escargot
Pat, Eric, MA & Molly

Kindly, our cruise ship didn't port into Cozumel, Mexico until 10 a.m.  Molly and I had reservations at the exclusive, upscale resort, Nachi Cocom.  After a short cab ride, we were situated at our private hut with a margarita in hand.  The view of our exotic locale was characteristic of scenery I'd once only seen in postcards.  The water was turquoise and the wind was blowing softly...it was pure heaven.  Molly and I relaxed for hours, pausing intermittently for a swim in the ocean, or for lunch delivered to our chairs, or for a drink at the pool bar.  At one point, when we'd napped in hammocks, Molly was so inebriated with happiness, that she rolled right out of the hammock, with her feet still entangled.  All I could do was cackle from my hammock, too tickled to help her.  Thank goodness two gay men sauntered by, found amusement in her predicament, and picked her up by her wrists and ankles, swinging her just like her hammock.  Molly and I were all too sad to leave Nachi Cocom, and didn't do so without homemade vanilla and coconut ice cream.

That evening, we had a few hours to nap and get ready for dinner.  The ship had set out to rough waters, and I could feel the boat rolling back and forth as I applied my makeup.  By the time I was ready, I told Molly that I felt sick and I was going to go to the top deck for air.  I met back up with her for dinner, but pushed my Italian meal around on my plate, and finally retired to the room early for Dramamine and bedtime.  It was such a night killer to be seasick, but thankfully, it was the only time on the boat that I felt that way. 

On Sunday, we spent the entire day poolside, relishing our last day at sea.  The day was sprinkled with nice distractions, like the Parade of Flags, the belly-buster contest, and a stint at the rock climbing wall.  Molly and I, along with our new friends, watched the shade form over the pool as the day came to a close.  After dinner, we rounded out the evening with a really bad "farewell show" and then danced in the lounge until morning, hoping to prolong our trip as long as possible. 

Our friends from our dinner table

 Our new friend, Sasha
Rusty & Ben
Eric & Nic
We don't really remember their names, but they were hi-larious

Compliments of our room attendant, Harry...Howard...

Molly and I were genuinely sad to board an airplane back to Nashville, but flying First Class sure does help.  Since we got back, I've been itching to cruise and repeat.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed a cruise vacation, and lovingly refer to this trip as one of the best vacations of my life. 


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]