Ever since we got home, I have been so very busy. I have had errands galore and cleaning to do. We are still trying to get through the laundry. Yesterday after I picked Ping up from school, we came back here so I could make a few phone calls. Also had to wait on a work man to come out. Today after swimming I did errands. We just got home. Catching up on this blog has been on my mind, so I figured I would do it today!
As most of you know, we went on a Western Caribbean cruise. We flew out on Saturday the 30th of May from Boston to Miami, Florida. We were picked up from our home at 4:00 am. We finally got to the airport after two additional pick ups. It was sort of stressful because Bill got car sick. He was feeling really awful, so by the time we got to Logan, he was a mess. We did the self check in and then waited and waited and waited. Someone finally came along to take our bags, but since one was heavy, they told us to redistribute some weight or pay an extra $50. So we moved a few things out of one case and put them in the other. This didn't thrill Bill since he was so miserable. After doing that, we waited again. Finally after a good 20 minutes, I called someone to come over. We needed our bags to be taken so we could keep moving! Finally they put them on the belt and we took off to the x-ray machine. Just as we removed our sneakers and threw our stuff onto the belt, Bill started to throw up. It was awful. He recovered as fast as he could and we walked through. Then one of the people at Logan opened our bags and started to take stuff out. Don't ask me why as we know better, but we packed too many toiletries into our carry on luggage. Talk about stupid. So the gentleman took Ping's untangle spray, took our sunscreen, my face cleanser and moisturizer, Bill's shaving cream and a few other things. We then dashed off to the gate. We were the second to last person to get on. I have never been late like that to a flight before. I was grateful we made it. Bill basically was non-existent for the rest of the way as he was now suffering with a pounding headache. Not exactly the way you want to start your vacation. When we landed it was so cute, Ping said "Is that our plane's best friends?" as she pointed to the planes at the other gates.
We got to Florida and took a bus to the ship. They let us right on, which was great. We had lunch and then we were able to check into our stateroom. We sailed on the Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas ship. It carries 6,000 people. Our stateroom was fine, but certainly not big. I didn't expect it to be as we have cruised before. Ping was so excited to finally be on the "big giant boat." We unpacked, walked around and had dinner. It was a long and exhausting day.
On Sunday, we had a cruising day. All we did was attend activities on the ship. That was nice. Cruising allows you to familiarize yourself with the ship and just relax by the pool, ect.
On Monday, we visited Labadee, Haiti. It's Royal Caribbean's private area on Haiti. Beautiful and perfectly safe. We did a snorkel shore excursion that day. The weather was hot, hot and hot. It was gorgeous there, but the sun just melts you. The water was a gorgeous color. We took a boat out to our destination, got suited up and jumped in. Ping hung on to Bill, so he wasn't able to really enjoy all there was to see. I have decided I am not a snorkeler. I can't stand getting water in my mask. At one point I got my mouth tube below the water, so I swallowed a ton of sea water. I then started to gag. At that point I realized that snorkeling is not for me. I tried it six years ago and threw up because my body absorbed too much sea water. So it's time for me to throw in the towel when it comes to that. It was still great to be swimming in the ocean.
Once we got back to the dock, we decided to get back on the ship. We were tired from the exciting day and hungry to boot. We had dinner and then took Ping to the Adventure Ocean center. She was in a 3-5 age group called Aquanauts. She loved it. Adventure Ocean is wonderful. I can't say enough about it. It's all activities centered around the age of your child. You can drop your child off for the day or for 10 minutes. It is totally up to you. Every 15 minutes they do something new and different. It's not like they watch your child play. They entertain your child with a ton of activities. It's wonderful. Ping begged to go all the time.
On Tuesday, we went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We did a bus tour through the town and then went to Dunn's River Falls. Dunn's River Falls is beautiful. We walked all the way down to the beach and then everyone held each others hand and attempted to climb up the falls. Well I gave up after one step. The terrain was very rocky and it wasn't going to work for my Lymphedema or for Ping's safety. So I got out of line and the three of us walked back up the way we had come down. It was a long and difficult climb. I felt awful that I wasn't able to do it, but it was pretty dangerous and I couldn't get my footing.
We had two 30 minutes stops at local stores and then we went back to the ship. It was a crazy shore excursion. Some people kept coming back to the bus late and a woman on the tour was having a very loud fit about it!!!! Once back at the ship, we showered and then had dinner. After dinner we dropped Ping off to see her "best friends" and then we went to a show.
The next day we went to Cayman Island. We had to tender in as the boat can't dock there. There were four Carnival cruises and us. It was a busy port! We had a shore excursion at 10:00 am but when we got to land, they said it had been changed to 11:00 am. We were all a little annoyed by that. The three of us ran off to a few shops and then went back to the excursion. We got on a bus that took us to Boatswain's Turtle Farm. It was wonderful. It's a turtle refuge. The only one in the world of this size. We got to hold the turtles and watch the huge ones swimming around. We then got back on the bus and went to the town of Hell. It was small. We just went in the little gift shop. We then took the bus to a boat and that took us out to Stingray City. Ping passed out on the way there. She didn't want to get off the boat, so she stayed with our dinner mates while we jumped into the water and held the stingrays. They were awesome. What a treat. We were almost an hour late getting back to the ship but because we were on a shore excursion through Royal Caribbean, they were told that we were delayed so that the ship wouldn't leave. There were at least 50 of us that were late. So when we got to the dock, we tendered back to the ship immediately.
Once back we showered and had dinner. We then dropped Ping off again at Adventure Ocean and caught a show.
On Thursday we went to Cozumel. We were supposed to go to Coco Cay, Bahamas due to the Swine Flu issues in Mexico, but they resumed travel there. We were thrilled. We booked a shore excursion that took us to Discovery Cove. We took a taxi to the place, changed into our bathing suits and walked down a few steps into the water to stand on a grate. Then a dolphin trainer would have our dolphin "Louis" dance with us or let us kiss him, etc. It was wonderful to be that close to a dolphin. I smiled the entire time. Unfortunately, Bill lost the two key rings to our lockers, so the trainer had to dive in and find them. I felt awful about that. Bill tied it to his safety vest, but they fell off anyway. Once they were found, we were escorted to the building where we watched a DVD of our special time and then we were led to the gift shop where we could see the photos taken while we were there. They came out great!
We took a taxi back to the ship around 2:00 pm and once changed, we took Ping to see her friends. Bill and I went back out and did a little shooping. We had not shopped the entire week really. We needed to get a few souvenirs. We were so exhausted from the swimming and the intense heat, that when we got back to the ship, all we could do is sit on the bed. Bill went to get Ping and we then got ready for dinner.
Dinner was always great. We sat with one other couple who had a little eight year old girl. It was Mike, Stephanie and their daughter Alexis who was a sweetie. They didn't sit with us nightly because they tried two other restaurants on the ship, but we did sit together most nights. We got along perfectly. The live in Connecticut. Since we had gotten to know them so well, we let Ping stay with Alexis on the boat while we swam with the stingrays. I was at the back of the boat in the water so I could see Ping the entire time. Stephanie also decided to stay on the boat after she realized she wasn't in the swimming mood. A lot of people were not comfortable swimming with stingrays all around them. A lot of kids freaked out as did a lot of women. I was fine. I thought it was cool. I had one go swim in front of me, another in back of me and one near my feet all at the same time. They were so soft!!!! Anyway, dinner was fabulous because the food was great and the company was wonderful.
On Friday, we had a cruising day. I was grateful. I was beat from the entire week and we had a lot of packing to do. We had breakfast and then did a little bit of packing. Had lunch and then took Ping to see her friends and we packed a little more. We were done by dinner time. Ping passed out at dinner, so Bill decided to go to the room and I decided to go downstairs for something. When I got back to the room, the two were in their swimming gear. Ping woke back up and was dying to swim. However, the pool was closed and so she went to see her friends and Bill joined me at the last show!
The next morning we got up early. You have to leave your luggage out the night before by 11:00 pm. We showered and then headed to one of the lounges. You then wait for your color to be called. We were light blue number 2. When you are called, you head to the terminal and get your luggage. You then go outside and get on a bus to take you to the airport. It's quite the ordeal. Once at the airport, we were told to go all the way to the E terminal. Once there, we were told we had to go back and check in. Nobody was giving us good information. Once we checked in, we were told our 12:20 pm flight was now 2:00 as the plane wasn't there yet. So we walked the 70 miles to the terminal. Okay, so it's not 70 miles, but with a 3 year old and heavy luggage, it sure seems like it!
We then were told that we had to wait till 3:30 because there were nasty thunderstorms and they couldn't take off safely. Well if the plane had been there on time, we could have. So the storms cleared up and we are told to board quickly as the co-pilot is running out of "flight" hours. So we all run onto the plane and sit there for at least 30 minutes. My phone rings and it's a cancellation of my flight. I laugh and hang up. It was no joke. Not more than 5 minutes later, the captain gets on the speaker and tells us that he had been arguing with management, but they have canceled our flight because the flight hours ran out. Everyone was so angry. I wasn't angry, just tired and hot and annoyed.
So we file off the plane and practically run to get over to the redirecting desk where we stand for over an hour. They put us on a 6:15 plane. However, there is no seat number. We do not have a boarding pass. So we walk to another gate. Let me tell you, I have seen the entire Miami International Airport at this point. The walk between gates was awful. Anyway, we get there and I literally stand in line for nearly 3 hours. I am not budging. An American Airlines person stands at the desk and tells us he has 90 people that he needs to get on the 6:15 pm flight and it's not going to happen as there are no spare seats. He is lucky he is still alive. We were all so angry. One poor woman had her dog boarded at 11:00 am on the other freaking plane and didn't know where he was. I would have been a mess. Her three kids were so upset. Anyway, he finally tells us to go to yet another gate where we get boarding passes to get on a plane to NEW YORK! We get on and wait for one hour for it to taxi out. It starts to thunder again. All I could do was pray to the heavens that we could leave. I was going to cry if we had to get out of this aircraft!!!!! Well it did finally take off and we went to NY. Once in NY we went to another gate and got on a small American Eagle plan that was brought in just to take us to Boston. We all cheered once we took off. Once we got to Boston, we found our luggage that had gone on that 6:15 pm flight. I was thrilled. We found the van to take us home and we got in around 3:00 am. What an utterly exhausting and aggravating day. I have to say that Ping was so beautifully behaved through out it all. I was really shocked. She had every right to fall apart but didn't. She did, but only when we woke her. She was exhausted and she wanted to be carried, but we were too loaded down with luggage, so we couldn't!!!!!!
It's good to be home!!!!!!!
Ping with the backpack on her head!
View up from Royal Promenade.
Ping before heading out to drill.
Introducing Adventure Ocean staff.
Introducing the ice skaters.
Our room. The bunk was put down once. Kept up the rest of the week since she thought it was a place to play.
Night view from balcony.
Daddy and Ping swimming.
Ping ready for dinner.
First towel animal. Elephant.
Port of call.
Coming back from snorkeling.
Another view of ship.
Christopher Columbus statue in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Bill at dinner.
Pirates in the dining room.
Our little pirate.
Carnival ship heading our way.
Boatswain's Turtle Farm.
Mama holding turtle.
Ping the turtle.
Ping the turtle.
Limestone in Hell.
Bill's family member.
Racing with other boat to get back to ship.
Ping before dinner.
Dining room staff singing.
Dolphins in water, but you can't see them.
Heading to dinner.
Rock climbing wall.
Us with Mike, Alexis and Stephanie.
Mama holding stingray.
Mama holding stingray.
Ping in luggage.