Sunday, July 5th: Spent Saturday night at Embassy Suites by the airport. It was great to stay there. Had a nightmare with Budget rental cars. Didn't have the right size car, took forever, etc. All 8 of us and our luggage were in a minivan and a small Chevy. We survived. We drove on Sunday out to Port Canaveral. Make sure to have receipt for gas when returning. Lady there screamed at us and shuttle driver was cranky. Loved the sign in the canal - Warning: Stay away from Alligator. That is an invitation for boys to go alligator hunting!
Embarkation was easy - maybe 20 minutes total at 1:00. Rooms were ready when we got on ship. We had to shift one room's dining time. We had three balconies and an inside room that was booked later. We wandered around the ship, met Edna our steward. She was great. We had all our luggage by 6 pm and she opened up the partitions between our three balcony rooms. Note: don't pack diet Cokes in a bag that gets thrown around. Had to dry clean some of my daughter's clothes. After touring ship, we dressed for dinner. We went to the Welcome Aboard show. There were a pair of amazing dance/acrobats and a funny comedian from Pasadena - Don Friesen. We want to go back and see him again. The cruise director Richard informed us of other stuff happening throughout the week. Went to 8:30 dinner. Had a beautiful table in a balcony overlooking restaurant. Alicia was our waitress and Juan her assistant. Both were delightful. Had prime rib and two desserts - one a meringue with strawberries! Then they brought me cake and sang to me for my birthday. Three of our party went to Portofino's for the Mystery dinner show. They said the food was awesome but the show was lame. We watched the Parade at 11 from the interior window overlooking the promenade. That was fun. We then wandered around more, checking out night clubs. In bed around 12:30 am.
Monday, July 6th - At Sea
My daughter was up at 7 for her SCUBA class. My friend went to gym. We got up around 8:45. My friend and I went and got Ice Skating show tickets for Wednesday. We met DH for breakfast. After breakfast we wandered the sports deck, watching the rock climbing, flowrider, basketball, miniature golf, etc. Shelby was then on break so we got food with her at the Cafe Promenade. Boys showed up later for more food. We got food and then headed back to the room for lunch and a nap. We had a formal dinner that night and then went to the Broadway Marquis. Show.
Tuesday in Labadee, Haiti
Boys went to try the Flowrider this am. I taped them off the TV. Tendered over to Haiti. It is a private beach club owned by RCCI. We walked across to the far side, found a spot and dove into the water. It was so warm. DH and kids went snorkeling, my friend and I floated in the water on rafts. At lunch time we wandered over to the dining cabanas where we served a BBQ lunch. We walked though a Haitian artist colony. It was horrible. They surrounded us, grabbed us, wanted us to look at their wares. They were so desperate. I returned to beach. We floated around some more, then walked out to the Dragon's Breath point. Swam some more, then headed back to ship. We had naps, snacks, then went to the El Gaucho show. That was a comedy and music show by a south armerican cowboy. We then went to dinner. It was Venetian night and had some great Italian food. There was a Dancing in the Streets party in the Promenade that we watched. Then onto bed.
Wednesday, July 8th: Jamaica
Got up at had breakfast at the Windjammer. We exited the ship to our excursions. Three of us did the Chukka Canopy tour - a zipline adventure. We loved it. We took a bus with 21 others with a driver named Joe. He was funny and informative. We stopped at the Chukka compound for a pit stop, then headed up the hill. It was a very thin road, but added to the adventure. We got to the top, got fitted for the equipment, had a quick lesson, then hiked down to the first zipline. It was about a quarter mile hike down hill through the trees. We then Zipped our way through the forest. It was so fun. After about 8 lines, we hiked out through a valley with beautiful flowers. We then returned to the Chukka compound to have jerk chicken and see the pictures.
The others did the Chukka River tubing and loved it. It was very relaxing. We stopped to shop for about 20 minutes, We all came back, had food and naps. The soft serve ice cream station, Sprinkles, is great for a cool afternoon snack. We dressed for dinner and then went to the Ice Show before dinner. It is amazing how much they could do on a small ice rink! It was great. We had a pacific rim themed dinner. Our server, Alicia, is delightful. We then went to the Love and Marriage show. It was just ok.
Thursday, July 9th - Grand Cayman
This was DD's dive day, so she was up early. We got up and had breakfast in the dining room. Nice, liked it better than windjammer. We then got ready to go to the beach. We loaded up and headed to the tender boat. We then walked along the main street about a mile and found a beach access sign. We had this little beach all to ourselves. DH and boys snorkeled and saw lots of fish. My friend and I sat at the water's edge and hunted for shells. The kids ended up heading down to 7 mile beach. DH decided to snorkel along coast back towards ship, while Laura and I walked. The Burger King had a water entrance! DH came out of water at a marina where we saw 5 foot Tarpins We then got milkshakes and walked back. Tendered back to ship.
Came back and showered and napped. Had snacks too. Dinner was great as usual. We went to Once Upon a Time show. Do not miss this - it was the best production. Then to bed.
Such a wonderful day! The guys went spearfishing with a guy I found on the Internet. They didn't get anything, but had the fun and adventure! DS got seasick out there. The water was beautiful but with big swells. It is harder than they imagined - free diving down 40 feet and hitting fish. We girls took a taxi to Playa Uvas which is on the beach in the Chankanaab Marine reserve. For $7, we got a lounge and a free drink. They had floats they you could use, restrooms, bar and food. I could have stayed for days. It was beautiful relaxing and only a few of us there. The guys joined us after their trip. We stayed until 4:30, then headed back to ship. We showered, snacked and napped. Some went to the illusion show, but said isn't wasn't very good. I am glad I slept through it. We had dinner at 8:30, then watched part of the Quest show. Went to bed - all that sun wore us out!
Saturday at Sea-
Today we relaxed and went to those places we hadn't been yet on the ship. We had breakfast and lunch in the dining room. I really recommend that. I enjoyed it much better than the buffet. We went ice skating, took another nap and began packing - boo hoo. We went to the Farewell Show - do not miss this! So funny. Then on to dinner and back to our rooms for bed and getting bags out. We will miss our server Alicia!
Sunday - Disembarkation
We were to get off around 7:15, and we did at 7:30. It was fast and we were out of the terminal by 8 or 8:15. Went to get our cars at Budget. I have learned that full size cars really don't hold much luggage. It was a squeeze. We went over to the Manatee Park and then to Ron Jon's surf shop. Walked down to Cocoa beach before heading to airport.
Great trip, great ship, great company!