Oh my goodness, today we are wrapping up our vacation. The 2nd half of our vacation was planned to be more sitting and relaxing and had less planned accordingly. By this time we were in full on vacation mode happy to plop ourselves into a beach chair, read, relax, nap and repeat.
So Day 5 was our first full day at sea. We grabbed chairs on the sports deck by the water slides and flow rider after breakfast in the WindJammer buffet. We knew we wanted to try out the flow rider and water slides!
The water slides are a new addition to the ship and are cantilevered over the edge of the ship so see that clear tube...yep it's just a straight shot view of the ocean FAR below. It was SO fun and fast.
Next up was the flow rider, we have one at our local pool but it's often FULL of young teenage boys so I have no interest in making a fool of myself in front of them. The great thing about a cruise is they are SO helpful AND everyone is trying. There were older people and younger people all giving it a whirl and cheering each other on.
I got up on my knees for a bit...
Before my wipe out ;)! We tried it several times and it was so fun! If you have a chance, give it a try but I warn you to wear a one piece there were some wardrobe malfunctions #notus. I wore a tank top over my bikini one day while riding.
The rest of the day we lounged, lunched, read, napped and then moved over to the adults only pool for some hot tub time and laying out in the peace and quiet. I think we snuck in a soft serve ice cream cone in as well. It's all you can eat everyday so I had to control myself to only have one a day...
Day 6 was Curacao...
It's part of the ABC islands along with Aruba and Bonaire and just off the coast of South America. We were far south folks! It's Dutch and the architecture mimics that. We didn't have much planned for this island. We face timed the kids and found out Solon was sick so I was in a bit of a funk that morning #momguilt so we went shopping a little bit and then went back to the ship for lunch.
We headed to Mambo Beach (recommended to us), a short taxi ride away. I loved talking to the taxi drivers, most were quite friendly. There were some other beaches further away that I might have gone to instead but this one was fine too. We had to pay $3 each to get on the beach so that was different but we didn't pay for our beach chairs that were all lined up. It is a partially manmade beach so there we no waves because it was protected by an out-lying reef which you can see. It rained for about 10 minutes (you can see it coming in the picture) but otherwise it was sunny and hot. Scott said it felt like you were sitting in an oven. It was intense!
Funny story...we both were just enjoying the view and wouldn't you know a nearly nude woman walks out from the ocean and both of us looked at each other and said, are we at the right beach? HA!
Pretty much my recurring view...
We headed back to the ship for happy hour before I lost $20 at roulette (none of our birthdays were lucky :( ), headed to dinner and some shows. There is no shortage of evening entertainment every.single.night. Everyday we got a daily compass outlining things to do and there was stuff every hour all day/night long.
Day 7 was Aruba...
We were excited for our last planned excursion horse back riding over to the beach. We both have rode horses before but it had been ages and we knew it would be a fun way to see the island. We rode through the desert terrain to the other side of the island and the views were magnificent. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and our horses were very well trained.
After a great morning riding we headed back for lunch on the ship...
...the view isn't bad and there was no shortage of food #cruisedetox.
After lunch we grabbed some souvenirs at the flea market and then headed to Eagle Beach by taxi. We paid $20 for 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella for the afternoon after we walked the beach for a bit.
We said to goodbye to the sand and the ocean before hopping a bus/taxi back with 8 other people from the cruise...we were going to ride the bus but this taxi said he would take each of us for $2 person so all 10 of us waiting hopped in. The funny things you do on vacation! The taxi driver recited poetry to the lady in front of us, bless her.
We finished the day in the hot tub watching the sun set before getting ready for dinner and evening festivities.
Day 8 was our last day aboard...cue the tears! At this point we were soaking in every last moment and just enjoyed sitting, took a few spins on the water slide and flow rider, read, got ice cream, had lunch and relaxed. It was great!
That night we had our last dinner in the dining room and said good-bye to our waiters Kennedy and YanYan. You really get to know them and their stories are so fascinating. Kennedy was from India and his wife and kids live there, he mails his check to them and sees them every 9 months. He has been doing this job for over 19 years.
YanYan our assistant watier was new to the job and from China. She was still working on her english but is so eager to learn. She kept asking why I had so much joy. I said I was on vacation but on the last night I wrote her a note explaining where my joy comes from. She watched her first television that week and was hoping to buy her first bathing suit ;). I love meeting people and hearing their stories.
Last but not least, we had a table for two but this DARLING couple next to us was so sweet and we became fast friends. They have been married for 62 years and were originally from Cuba, left before Castro took power, and have been living in Puerto Rico. They were so fun and we laughed every night with them, they even offered to take us to the airport but they forgot they had a baby shower to attend ;).
We rounded out the night with a little show on the promenade and finale show in the theatre. We then head back to pack our bags because they have to be in the hall by 11pm for them to get off the ship.
We got up the next morning, had breakfast and then hung out on the pool deck until it was time to get off. We spent the rest of the day traveling back home to our munchkins.
We had two very excited little people greet us with big hugs at the airport and then talk non-stop while we waited for our bags. We were quite happy to be home but so thankful for a very relaxing time away. We both said we hope not to wait until 20 years to do another big trip...we shall see!
Labels: anniversary, cruise, travel, vacation