Our Adventure - Mother and Child
The word adventure brings me back to June 2004. My youngest daughter and I were recovering from some hard times and I decided we needed an adventure. My friends had been on several cruises and had another one planned so I jump on their bandwagon and got the ball rolling. We were added to the group, a deposit was made, registrations were completed, flights and hotel reservations were made. June 26th couldn't come fast enough.
The morning of June 26th our excitement already set in. Our packing for done, I had my coffee, my daughter had her breakfast and we waited for our ride to come whisk us away on our magical journey. This would be the first time my daughter flew and she was so exited. She had her carry on bag with game books, portable CD player with head phones, a small CD carrier, her game boy and a few snacks. She was ready! At the airport we had our luggage tagged, i grabbed myself a Dunks, I needed a fix before we left just in case we didn't see one during our travels. We boarded the plane, stored our stuff in the overhead, buckled in and were off.
We would be traveling to New Orleans for the first part of our adventure, actually staying in a hotel on Bourbon Street. After a few lays overs we arrived, disembarked, found our luggage, met up with our friends and found a taxi service. The driver was funny, pointing out different sights, like the New Orleans Super dome where our beloved Patriots won the Super Bowl, it was an awesome sight. We passed cemeteries where they were buried above ground because the water table is so high. The tombs were quite decorative. It's said that New Orleans is very respectful of those who have passed before them.
We reached the hotel, checked in, had our luggage brought up and changed into cooler clothes. The humidity there was thicker than pea soup. We went outside to check out the sights, listen to the street music and take in the glory of New Orleans. It was busy yet not overly rowdy yet. I decided when that time came I would head back to the hotel with my daughter and get settled in because the best part of our adventure was yet to come. We did a little shopping then head back to the hotel for a snack and bed.
Sunday June 27th found both of us up quite early. If you didn't know, we would just a tad excited. We showered dressed, packed our luggage and headed down to breakfast. Once we ate, we had our luggage brought down, settled the hotel bill and waited while the rest of our gang met up with us and hailed a taxi to bring us to the peer. We all piled in and within twenty minutes we arrived at the docking section, grabbed our luggage and got inline to complete our registration. When that was complete we were directed to the spot where we would be going onto the ship. We had our picture taken first, our luggage was taken and we would find it in our cabin later on that day. After the picture was taken we began the walk up the gang plank and I head, Wow and I thought yesterday was an adventure. The look of sheer wonder on my daughter's face was worth every penny this adventure would cost us.
For the next three days, we ate and ate, drank and drank, swam, relaxed and discovered every inch of that ship. Each morning I would wake up early, grab a book and head up to the lido deck to have my morning coffee, take in the beauty of the Caribbean sun and the breathtaking beauty of the sapphire blue sea. It was simply beautiful. Sit back and read my book. This was the life! Each night we saw a show and found different activities to enjoy. I even dabbled in the casino, went dancing, we had a private get together for our group and had a group picture taken. I believe there were 40 to 50 people in our group. There was a all you could eat chocolate buffet, a fruit buffet with various carved fruit sculptures, an all night smorgasbord, who had the best legs contest for men and a Midnight pool party where everyone who attended received a raffle ticket and 1 lucky winner won a all expenses paid cruise. The lucky winner was someone from our group. That was cool.
On the 4th day, June 30th my daughter woke up in Jamaica on her 10th Birthday. Now, that's a Birthday she won't forget. We had our morning routine down to a science and were ready and waiting when we were docked and allowed to leave the ship to enjoy the sights of Montego Bay Jamaica. We walked around, went to Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, where a mariachi band played and sang Happy Birthday to my daughter. We had lunch, did a little shopping and headed back to the ship. That night, our waiter brought my daughter a cake, the whole dining room sang Happy Birthday and made her join them in a conga line. She had the experience of a life time. To this day she still talks about her adventure.
Our adventure continued as we left the harbor and continued onto Grand Cayman Islands. This place is breathtaking. When we docked we took an underwater submarine ride with a glass bottom. Seeing the tropical fish, coral and other sea life and plants amazed us both. We then took a bus tour and traveled all over the island. We went to a place call Hell, which is a group of short, black, limestone formations, it is roughly the size of half a soccer field. At the end of our tour we had lunch at the Grand Cayman Hard Rock Cafe, visited a few shops and headed back to the ship.
Our next stop would be Cozumel Mexico. A group of 20 decided to go to a Margarita beach party where they had food, drinks, sandy beach, crystal blue water, para sailing and a ride on the banana boat. I, after a few drinks got brave and went para sailing with my friend son. It was scary and fun, my adrenalin was coursing through my veins, heart beating a mile a minute the view was nothing but spectacular. My daughter in the meantime stayed with my friends and swam the entire time. When I got back from para sailing it was time to pack up and head back.
This was our last night on the ship, we would be heading back to New Orleans, taking another flight and leaving our adventure behind. And man, what an adventure it was!