Thursday, October 20, 2005
CRUISIN' ON THE MEDITERREAN SEA?
It's that time of the year again when my friend Amy and I planned our last vacation. Last year we booked on the Royal Carribean - Adventures of the Sea - a seven day cruise to the islands. We put a deposit down in October and the balance was paid by Feb. 1st. We looked forward to the fast approaching sail date - April 24, 2005. We flew from BWI to San Juan and picked up our ship there. We sailed to a different island each day, got off the ship and shopped, shopped and shopped more! St. Thomas, St. Maartens, Barbados, St. Lucia, and I know I'm forgetting one or more, but the deals available on jewelry are astounding. I fell in love with the "blue diamonds". Never have seen anything prettier. So, I bought the ring and a pendant. Also bought a diamond bubble ring. Amy found a gorgeous ring too! She wears hers every day. It was a wonderful time.
A cruise is really well worth the money. The ship is like being in a city. The promenade was full of shops and places to eat. You could attend shows each night. The food was unbelievable. You were assigned tables in the dining room and could sit with the same people for breakfast and dinner if you so desired. Or if you were like us, we slept in late and ate elsewhere. There was always a place to eat. Any time of the day you could find food or room service.
I am totally sold on cruises. I really feel that you get everything you could possibly want at your finger tips. The shows that are preformed on the ships are so good. The musicians and actors are excellent and multi-talented. If you want to gamble a few bucks you can do that too in the casino. Of course, you have to be in international waters to do the gambling on the ship. If you want to dance all night you can do that too. There are a number of bars and different kinds of music. Whatever you want to do, a cruise can accommodate you. Do keep in mind that if you have little ones, they have many activities for them too. I'm not sure about infants, but school age children are encouraged to join in the fun. Each day is a different activity. There were over 600 children on the last cruise and honestly, I really didn't see that many kids. Let's not forget that Adventures of the Sea held over 3,000 people. Now, that's a lot of people. There were 60 (couples) newlyweds on the ship too. So you know that the ship was a rockin!
There were two or three pools on the ship. They had the family pool or you could go to the beautiful solarium area where there were quiet cozy areas to relax or jump in the hot tubs or be served your favorite tropical drink. That's where I liked to go. There were trees in huge pots and lots of shaded areas too. But if you wanted to sit in the sun you could do that too.
The weather in April was hot as HELL! I thought that by going at that time of the year we would have had gorgeous weather. Well, we were told that it had been unseasonably hot there. And oh boy, it was hot - hot - hot!!! Very tropical. And if you are going through menopause like me, you hate the heat! If you are young like Amy, you love the heat. Oh well, something for everyone!
At this time we are looking into cruising the Mediterrean. We're thinking that Europe would be a great place to go. It is a little more expensive, actually doubled the cost of going to the islands. So in the next few weeks I think we will make a decision. What to do!
Also, I forgot to add that if you like to indulge in a bit of alcohol, or love coke like we do, then expect to pay the tab. Pretty much everything else is covered with the cruise. You can buy a special plan for either of those two beverages. If you don't think it worth it, think again. Cokes on the ship or off of the ship are about $4.00 a can. We we shocked. But we drank a lot of coke!
I hope that you all will seriously consider doing a cruise one day. It will be a vacation that you will never forget. They treat you like royalty. And who doesn't like to be treated like that? Each night when you go back to your room to settle in, the, the, the, I can't think of his title, but he comes in your room, turns your sheets back, leaves the next days brochure, and makes a cute little animal out of your towels and leaves it on your bed or pillow. We decided to leave him something. We dressed up some pillows, with clothes, shoes, a hat and sunglasses. He loved it. He got us though. He made a monkey, out of towels, and hung it up on a hanger in the middle of the cabin. So when you walked in, all you could see was something hanging in the center of the room. It scared the crap out of both of us.
Honestly, I laughed so much and had so much fun. If you are worried about taking your little ones, you can always go on a Disney Cruise. I have heard that they are really great for the kids. And if you and your hubby are celebrating a special occasion and can get away for a week, leave the little dumplin's with grandmom/grandad. You'll have fun and so will the kids!
I hope you have enjoyed hearing about all of this. If any of you have cruised to the islands or wherever, I'd love to hear what you have to say about your excursion.