I've just returned from the best vacation we've taken in two years; not including my excursions to Portugal of course ... as those are "work" and not as relaxing, no matter how much fun they are. In fact, I enjoyed this better than our Disneyland trip which was our last big adventure.
I must admit, I was not all that excited to go on a cruise, but thought it would be nice to be away with the family. Boy was I wrong! Not only was this one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever had, it was also a very active one with many wonderful experiences.
There was not a lot of wine involved, although between my brother and I, we ordered a white and red with dinner every night to share with our wives. But I also got to finally try the infamous Mojito and they are much to my liking as well as a few LI Iced Teas. Sadly there was little in the way of Port on board and I was not really in the mood for the Graham's Six Grapes, having a hankering for ANY Vintage Port. We did manage to polish off a freshly decanted bottle of 1996 Dow's Quinta do Bomfim over the course of a few evenings, at an on-board wine bar called VINTAGES, well-stocked with CA wines and a few from So. America too.
The real fun though was had on the various beaches in Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Teaching my daughter (a good swimmer for her age) to snorkel in the coral reefs was a blast and going out on family explorations swimming amongst stingrays, playing with dolphins and a plethora of exotic fish and creatures with both families was a great time especially for our little ones.
Other highlights: an invite to tour the Bridge of the ship and an even more fun time being invited to dine at the Captain's table which was an honor and a pleasure. Also, some of the comedy, music and ice capades shows in the evenings were much better than I had imagined they'd be. All in all, this was a great family vacation filled with plenty of time to relax and enough activities < on board and off > to keep us very much active and entertained. I even snuck in a handful of workouts in the lavish health club to try to negate the onslaught of the calories which are inevitable on a ship.
So for those that like me have thought that cruising would be a dull way to spend a week, check your expectations at the dock and enjoy. There was so much to see and do, this was one of the very few times that I was actually sad to be leaving at the end of the week, instead of being excited to get back home!
It was also the first time since before the launch of FTLOP that I have gone an entire week with no internet/emails. My wife had bet me that I'd never last the entire week, but after a couple of days ... the thought never even entered my mind. ; ) Well, now I'm paying the price, as I've separated the wheat from the chaff, but there are still over 200 emails that require action/responses. YIKES! But as they say in Jamaica: "No problem, maan."
Next launch: No, not another cruise ... July's Newsletter is just a week from launch!