Hi, my husband and I are both in our low 30's and upper 20's respectively and are teachers. My husbands school/afterschool schedule keeps him so busy, we rarely get to vacation together so this was a first since our honeymoon.
I had originally planned to just copy and paste my travel journal into this space, but then as I was re-reading it I decided that you all dont REALLY want to read about when I sat on the promenade, when and what I ate, and how many times I actually napped... Besides, that document was six pages long!! Yikes, I guess I was a little long winded about my naps... :)
I first sailed with Princess on October 31, 2010 on the Ruby--Eastern Caribbean. Although we missed Grand Turk due to Hurricane Tomas (thats another story for another day) I came home INSISTING that Jim (DH) and I had to go on a cruise together. And so, as it is my role/duty/obligation as the wife and woman in his life, the pestering began....
Once booked I was ecstatic and begin reading up on the excursions and booked us on the Pirate Ship Encounter for Grand Cayman, a hike for Roatan, Coba Ruins for Cozumel and snorkelling for Princess Cays. Each week as we got closer to the cruise Jim decided he didnt want to do the Pirate Ship, all the excursions (save my hike) and quietly (ha) kept my disappointment to myself! ;)
Okay... back to the stuff that matters...
Due to the SKYROCKETING airfare prices and poor selection in times offered through sites such as expedia etc, we booked our airfare through Princess. I was pleasantly surprised that their fares were equivalent, if not a hair cheaper, than what was offered through online sources. Jim, the constant worry wart, was thrilled that princess would get us to the next port if something were to happen to our flight.
Upon arrival at Fort Lauderdale on Saturday morning we were greeted by uniformed Princess reps who were there to direct us to the bus which would take us to the ship. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard decided to do an inspection on the ship which "apparently" held up our ability to get on the bus... As the delay continued for over an hour the reps became more and more irritable....
When we were finally transferred to the cruise port, we waited in line outside for no more than five minutes and inside we waited for no more than two minutes before being issued our cards and directed towards the gangways.
I keep reminding myself I need to be brief...
The ship was beautiful, much like the Ruby, our room was great and our luggage arrived about an hour or two after we boarded. (2-3 pm) We did have a minor issue with our safe not working (after our things were in it) but both times when we called the front desk someone was there to fix it and after the second attempt, all was well.
We met up with other cruise critic folks (desiro, shawley23, mysticfalcon, and vtlibrarian to name a few) at the Outrigger for sail away and had a marvelous time. In fact, several of us kept running into eachother on the ship and ended up spending quite a bit of time together which was great.
We ended up taking a cab to 7 mile beach (thanks to Adam, DH of desiro, for the suggestion) first thing in the morning. It cost each of us $5 US and we were able to do as we pleased. After about two hours we started to walk back to the ship...i do not recommend this to ANYONE.... again, another story for another day.
We missed Roatan due to high winds so I missed my hike...
At Cozumel we had cancelled our Coba Ruins excursion and were waitlisted for Playa Maya Beach Break with Lunch... At the last minute my husband checked with the shore excursion desk and switched us to the Pasion Island Beach with Lunch. Apparently this is the beach where the Corona commercials are filmed... either way it was a fabulous day. Soft sandy beaches, ergonomic lounges perfectly situated underneath some palm trees, and all the food and drink one could want.
After the excursion we enjoyed some more drinks with a few other couples from the cruise at Fat Tuesdays... got ourselves some really remarkable balloon hats and headed back to the ship.
At Princess Cay, we were able to hang out with a Belgian couple from our section at dinner; Kirby and I on the beach and Sijn and Jim in the water.
Our waiter had to be the fastest most efficient man on the boat. He literally ran from the galley with our food, hardly allowing the junior waiter to do anything but pour water and wine. The food was wonderful, as always, I am quite impressed with the quality and quantity those galleys are able to turn out on a daily basis.
Most days Jim and I ate our breakfast in the Piazza, breakfast sandwiches and yogurt from the international cafe. However, we did get buffet breakfast once or twice and enjoyed that out at the Terrace Pool. The Pub lunch at the Wheelhouse Bar was good as was the lunch offered in the dining room.
We were held up with disembarkation, I am guessing it was to keep the customs lines from getting more ridiculous than they already were... but after an additionally half hour or so in the Casino, we were allowed to disembark.
Okay so I hope this isnt ridiculously long and I hope I havent forgotten to talk about anything major... but please feel free to leave questions!