We had planned this anniversary for 3 years. My husband re-proposed to me on our 17Th anniversary on top of the Eiffel Tower in Vegas. Originally we had planned to renew our vows in Vegas, however, after our cruise last year, we decided that if we took another cruise it would be more affordable for everyone. We had a larger group at first, but then the numbers dwindled to a grand total of 7 of us. We booked at the Best Western Port/Cruise terminal. This was a great location as there were multiple restaurants and shops right next door to the hotel. There was a sports bar, McDonald'ss, liquor store, Big Lots, and Sally's Beauty supply to name a few. The price for the hotel was very reasonable for the area (around $100 a night). The hotel also offers a complimentary breakfast buffet that we all took advantage of. They have a shuttle to the port as well. We didn't use it because we had our car. Also, the last shuttle departed at 11:30, and we weren't planning on arriving that early. I think they also will let you park your car there for $10 a night.
We had dinner at the Sports Bar (decent) and got a good nights sleep. Had the buffet in the morning, did a little shopping, got a late check-out. We headed to the port around 12:45-1:00. We didn't want to leave too early because I had learned of the delays at the port. We got through the boarding in about 30 minutes total. We were on board around 1:45. This was the newest ship that our family had been on and we absolutely loved it. Once onboadrd, we went to our cabin and unpacked quickly. We then headed to the bar for some drinks and to kill some time before the Drill. I was a bit surprised (and happy) when we were taken directly to our Muster Station instead of going to the lounge and then the Muster Station. After the drill, we went to my sister and best friends cabin and watchesail awayay. This was our first balcony cabin, so we wanted to use it. It was then time to get ready for dinner. We had late seating in the Posh Dining Room. The dining room was beautiful, but I wasn't thrilled with our table. We were off to the side with only a few other tables and booths. I just kind of felt isolated. However, as always, we did have great service all week. There were a few nights that I had difficuyly finding a main entree, but I always managed to find something. One night, there were several entrees that I would have like to tried.
On Monday, we arrived in Key West. This was our second time there, so we rented an electric car for the 6 of us (Mom stayeon boardrd). It cost us $145 for about 3 hours, but it was worth it. For the most part, we just rode around and shopped. Ate aWendy'sys because we didn't want to spend a lot of money on lunch when we could eat on the ship and not have to pay.
Tuesday was a sea day, so we slept in and relaxed for most of the day. My sister, best friend and I went to the pool for several hours, had a few drinks and then went to our cabins. My husband and I got picked up at our cabin by our Wedding Coordinator and she took us to four locations for us to pick the site for the Vow Renewal. We decided on thSwing timeme Club because it was just beautiful with the overhead "draping" that turned different colors. We had decided to have the ceremony at 5:00, but the Captain wasn'availablele until 5:30, which was fine. It was elegant evening, so we started getting ready a little earlier so that we could have pictures made before dinner. Dinner was great, we all had lobster. Afterwards, we went to our cabins and changed clothes and then headed to the showroom for the 10:30 show. The show was o.k., I have definitely seen better. After the show, we went to see thcomedianen, he was funny and it was a good show. Some of the adults headed to the casino afterward. Hubby and I played slots with not much luck. I must say that this is the biggest casino that we have seen on a ship so far.
Wednesday was our 20th anniversary, and also GranCaymanen. We went to GranCaymanen last year, so we just wanted to go to the beach and hang out for a few hours. We headed back to the ship at around 1:45, we all needed to get back to get ready for the ceremony. The coordinator (can't remember her name for the life of me!) picked me up around 5:15. We arrived at Swingtime, and I waited outside while someone got my son to walk me down the aisle. It was a beautiful ceremony, a day that I will never forget. The Captain performed the ceremony, then we had a champagne toast, cake, and the photographer got lots of pictures, and then took us to one of the upper decks and took pictures. My favorite is the one with the Whale Tail in the background. We were exhausted after dinner, and went to bed pretty early, because Jamaica was the next day and we all had to be up early for excursions.
On Thursday, my husband, daughter, mom and I went to Mystic Mountain to do the bobsled. My mom only bought the chairlift to the top, and waited for our very short bobsled ride. The chairlift was great, I could have stayed on it all day, very relaxing. It was about a 15 minute ride to the top. At the top is a bar and grill, gift shop, merchants selling crafts,the bobsled and an infinity pool and slide. There is also a bongo drum player and dancers. My daughter danced with the dancers and my husband played with the bongo player. We then went back to the bottom, waited for the bus to take us to the shopping and dining area right outside of the port. We had lunch, I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be with authentic Jamaican food. We got bacon boardrd and into our cabin to discover that our t.v. wasn't working. To make a long story short, we made a total of three calls to guest services, along with a trip to Guest Services. This was our only complaint of the cruise. Guest services finally sent a maintenance man in around 11:00, but they said thTVtv needed to be replaced and they couldn't do that until 8 A.M. Around 9 A.M. the maintenance man arrived and switched out thTVtv. This was our second elegant evening, so again, we decided to get ready early. We had dinner and then went to the 11:30 comedian. We were not impressed with this one.
Friday was our last sea day :( We slept in again. My daughter and I had a 10:30 top to toe treatment at the spa. We got 75 minutes oSwedishsh massage, including foot, ankle and scalp, a facial and eye treatment and exfoliation. I highly recommend this treatment. After our spa visit, we met with the photographer and picked out pictures. The pictures are wonderful, but they are $30 per 8x10!! This price is different from the regular price because it is on a higher quality film and paper. The color is more brilliant. They are beautiful pictures. My sister, best friend and I went to the pool again. Then mom, daughter and I went to the It's in the Bag game. It's kind of a scavenger hunt in reverse. You gather all kinds of crazy stuff and if it's called and you have it, you get a point. We ended up getting 14, but the winners had 26 and 27! We then got ready for dinner, a little casino time, went to dinner and then got ready for the Ticket to Ride Show. We LOVED this show. We knew most of the songs, unlike the other show. Then it was time to get our bags in the hallway by our door :( ,
Disembarkation went well, we were in our car by 10:30. It was an excellent cruise, and the Freedom is beautiful We would not hesitate to cruise on her again. This was my best friends first cruise, and I was hoping that it would be a great cruise for all of us, and it was.