This Christmas my family and I went on a week long cruise to the Caribbean. I was looking forward to relaxing and getting some vitamin D after a few suntan-less months in NYC. Christmas tends to be a lot of work in my family with putting up decorations, fighting the crowds of people shopping for presents, and shopping for all of the ingredients for the dishes to be prepared for the special day. My family knows it's a lot of work for two short days (we celebrate on Christmas Eve and Christmas), so my parents were the ones to suggest we just go on a cruise, and I certainly did not argue against it.
My family and I have been on a lot of cruises in our day, so instead of lounging around the whole time, we decided be a little more active and book excursions at each of ports. In Key West we went on a jet skiing tour around the island, in Grand Cayman we went to stingray city to see and feed the sting rays and then we wentsnorkeling, and in Jamaica we climbed Dunn's River Falls.
Kevin and I flew to Ft.Lauderdale on the Saturday before Christmas. Even though the cruise ship didn't depart until Sunday, we wanted to play it safe. We stayed at the Westin, had dinner at The W hotel, and went to the movies to see This Is 40 (which is hilarious and I highly
recommend seeing by the way). We got to sleep in on Sunday, get a workout in, and have a sit-down breakfast all before taxiing to the port.
As soon as we got on port of the Carnival Freedom, the party had begun. We were greeted with champagne and my parents and brother already had a table on deck with fruity drinks. Sunday was a short sailing day because on Monday we spent the day in the Key West. I have jet skied in Cabo before and I didn't like it that much because the water was so choppy, but I had a blast on our jet sky tour in the Key West. The air was warm and the water was smooth. I didn't exactly like that we had to stick together as a group and ride behind each other in a single file line, but luckily it didn't prevent us from being able to go fairly fast (we got up to 49 MPH on the jet ski) and I enjoyed hearing facts about the island from the tour guide.
On Tuesday we spent a day at sea before reaching the Cayman Island on Wednesday. GrandCaymanwas my favorite port. It is a beautiful island. For our tour, we took a boat to Sting Ray City to swim with and feed the sting rays. It was my first time getting up close and personal with a sting ray and it was a lot of fun. Normally I would be too scared to get close to a sting ray, but with the guide there handling them, they seemed like gentle, almost harmless, creatures. After hanging out with the sting rays, we drove out for about two minutes to some coral reef to snorkeling. Snorkeling is my favorite thing to do in the ocean, and the reef that the tour guide took us to snorkel happened to be wonderful. I am always in awe when I see all of the bright colored fish in different sizes. The ocean ecosystem is pretty spectacular.
Thursday was our last port in Jamaica, and we hiked up the Dunn's River waterfall. We had a good time, but of all the tours, the unanimous consensus was that this was our least favorite of all the tours. Not only was the fall crawling with people, the people were also very pushy about us buying things. It was so bad that people didn't even want to leave the boat to go wander around or check out the shops. We had lunch at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville after the tour which was nice, but we were anxious to get back to the boat and get away from the island after. I do not think I will be going back anytime soon, which is a shame, because they could use all tourists they can get.
Friday was our final day to relax and catch some sun before getting back to the Ft. Lauderdale port. I caught some rays, went down the water slide on the ship a few times, and consumed a fair share of frozen drinks 🙂 I felt relaxed and was finally able to stop thinking about work, but towards the end of the trip I
felt ready to get back to reality (and home to my kitten, Pants!!). Overall, this was a great Christmas, and I'm happy I got to spend it on a cruise ship in the ocean with my family. I hope everyone had a happy holiday!