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Just a lil FYI......I write here for me and me only. I hope to use this space to help me remember the good, the bad and the ugly!!! I may also voice my feelings on a few things here and there, if you don't agree with them, cool and please do feel free to let me know. BUT....(there's always a "but" huh???) be nice these are MY feelings and thoughts and it's MY blog so again be nice!!! Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you will check back often as I'm really trying to make myself post more often. Sometimes just writing things down help to get things off my chest so to say, and it does me feel better.

Friday, July 6, 2012

"May Vacation Cruise"

It's only been approximately 30ish days since my last post!!! So I suppose I lied, even after having a "gentle" reminder from a fabo blogger with one of the cutest baby girls, ever!!! Before I get into the vaca mode, I've often wondered what it would be like to meet a blogger friend in person. Have any of you guys ever met a blogger in real life??? I'd love to take a road trip and meet the bloggers I read about, my sister loves to drive, and I don’t at all, ever!! So my plan is to win the lottery allow my sister to retire a couple of years early and have her drive me to meet my blogger friends!! I have been lucky enough to meet a blogger I have been reading for many years!! It was the coolest thing; she was traveling through my state, fabo time!! Only one issue.....time, is there ever enough of that???? Vacation!!! Dave and I both so needed this trip more than ever!! We have taken many cruises and I know that a lot of people don't really like them, I honestly don't see why!! Our theory on a cruise is it gives us a chance to see places that we may never get to see, as well as places we think we'd love to visit but aren't really sure about. In my book there is no worse vacation other than arriving and realizing this isn't really the type of place we'd enjoy. Such as Jamaica, we often thought wow we'd love to go there!! Um no way, never, ever again, I can promise that!!! It was a beautiful place in certain parts very, very scary in others!! We enjoyed our day in port in Jamaica but won't be returning, we can say that for sure!! OK, off my tangent for now, because Jamaica wasn't even a dang port on this cruise!! Ba ha ha ha!! Vacation for real!! We left out of Charleston, SC a first for us, as we normally cruise out of a Florida port of call. We are very familiar with Charleston as we vacation there every summer and have since about 1998. Everything was extremely smooth from the time the shuttle picked us at our hotel the AM we left!! It was hot and humid as Charleston, SC is known for, so much so that at 10 AM walking out of the hotel the heat catches your breath, hot and humid like!! Little to no delay from start to finish checking in, which truly surprised us considering we had prepared for the worst considering it's a pretty small terminal!! We cruised with Carnival which just happens to be our favorite cruise line and we've cruised on several different lines!! The ship was one of the smaller ones we've been on, which we sort of thought it would be knowing the canal in Charleston can't handle a larger ship. Everything was very clean and newly remodeled exactly as we had read about, sometimes the photos on line appear to be much nicer on line than in person, not the case here!! The weather was calling for horrible rain and thunder storms from the start of our trip through the end, depressing to say the least!! I tried so very hard not to allow that to stress me, as I don't normally mind rain while at home, on vaca a whole an other issue there!! As I said we were in need of a vaca so badly at that point I told Dave, "I don't care if it rains the entire time we are gone, I've down loaded several books to my iPad I'll sit and read and watch the storms!!! Then the day before we return I'll take a trip to the spa and either have a spray tan or use the tanning bed"!! Dave, for some reason didn't truly believe that one, as for the past 29 years of marriage and three years prior to that any mention of rain during vaca sets me wild to say the least!!! I do have to say though I do enjoy watching the thunder and lightning hit the water, after growing up literally steps from the banks of the Delaware River, watching storms hit the water are a favorite past time of mine, as well as people watching!!! Both of which are a trait that I inherited from my father!! I am happy to say that the only horrible weather we encountered was just as we began departing Charleston, the Capt made the 15 minutes to departure announcement and the sky opened and didn't stop for likely three to four hours. Thunder as loud as I've ever heard and lighting striking the water so closely it made one jump slightly!! Carnival on the other hand, I'm sure pre-ordered this exact weather, as it paid off for them in the bars as well as casino!! As our late dinner seating grew closer the rain stopped, the sun came out of those dark skies so brightly and pretty. We never saw another drop of rain the entire trip, couldn't have asked for better weather, sunny very hot days, which just happen to be my very favorite for vacation!!! Since it was only a five day cruise, we only had two ports of call. First was Nassau was our first stop, we had been to the Bahamas’ in the past so we knew what to expect on arrival. Dave being "Dave" still did his research prior to leaving and found several public and private beaches; on all of our cruises we've never taken a cruise line sponsored excursion. We always take "Dave" sponsored excursions, and I have to admit he has been on the money so to say with everything he has ever planned!! With one exception to that, which is an entire post in of itself, to say the least!!?? To his defense, just in case he one days takes me up on my offer to read this, the very excursion I've referring to was not one he researched prior to boarding the ship!! I'll have to blog about that soon, Cindy if it takes me too long to do so, please give me a "gentle" reminder, OK?? Thank!! OK, getting back on track here, Dave ummm how do I say this???? Well, let me just say he truly enjoys seeing our vacation spots from the local’s point of view, maybe??? Or he's just plan cheap and looking for a cheap way around???? Let just say a little of both to protect myself here!!! I do have to admit other than in Jamaica he has never, ever steered us wrong, ever!! So I'm sure are wondering how we go about seeing the locals point of view, we take "mass transit", that's how!!! There have occasions in which we have traveled on a local city bus next to goats, sheep, chickens and even a roaster once!! I'll admit it was truly interesting!!! I love animals and of course you see or read proof of that considering my posts where all I've blogged about are my dogs. Anyway these locals don't exactly see these animals as a "pet", they see it more like "DINNER"!!! I love goats, I don't know why but my entire life I have requested a goat on my Christmas from way back to my first list up to and including this past Christmas!! No I'm not kidding, I'd tell you to ask my sister who reads my blog here and here but isn't exactly ready to tackle a blog comment so you will just have to take my word for it. A few years back while seeing it from the local’s point of view a nice elderly lady climbs on the bus carrying the cutest lil brown and white baby goat, OMG!!! Did she know that was my dream gift??? Doubtful nor did she care, as I quickly found out!! I told Dave I was going to ask this lil lady in my broken Spanish if I could pet her very cute goat!! He advised me that didn't sound like a very good idea, but never said, "No don't do it; just it's not a good idea". The next stop, much to my happiness the isle seat across from goat lady became empty, I quickly took that seat and "tried" my best to ask this lady if I could pet this goat, and what her name was!! I suppose the fact that the young local male sitting next to me laughing until tears were running down his face should have clued me in, but nope it didn’t, so I thought ok this goat doesn't look mean I'll just put my hand out palm up as one would do with approaching a strange dog for the first time. I don't think I even had my palm fully open before this "nice goat lady" began hitting living day lights out of my hand!!!! What the heck happened?? What did I do!! I jumped from that seat back to my seat, which was only one row back without my feet even hitting the ground, by this point, my loving husband happens to look up from his book and says, "What the hell are you doing"??? I proceed to tell him, do you think he asked was I OK??? Oh hell no he didn't, he stated his favorite statement, and “I told you it wasn't a good idea"!!!! I was pissed to say the least. As if that weren't bad enough this nice young local male who has been laughing till crying the entire time, turns around and says, "dude you missed it your lady just got a beating from her" motioning to "goat lady"!!! Turns out this young man worked at the very resort we were and was heading into work! He and Dave spoke the rest of the trip, well made fun of me we should say!! I finally got the nerve up to ask this nice young man if he had any idea why goat lady tried to beat me to death. After he Dave had another good laugh at my expense, he told me it was likely because she was fearful I was trying to take "dinner"!!!!!!!!! OK, thanks, talk about the wind being knocked out of your sail??? Big time!! After recovering from that statement, I asked our new friend how he learned to speak such clear English. MTV, that's how!!!!! Interesting huh????? So I suppose instead of this post being about our last vaca it's turning into more of an overview of vacas!!!! I have to say we truly have meet some very nice folks on our travels and have learned a lot about the local customs and have gotten to see places that others may not get to see!! We've taken a few company trips with Dave's employer both cruises and resort type of trips. By far Dave and I always have done and see way more than the others who had taken a cruise or resort sponsored excursion. OK, considering it's getting late and that fact that nothing majorly interesting or horrific happened on this cruise I'll close for now and add a few photos and call this a post!!! I promise I'll try to get back very soon with the "Jamaica Story" and maybe a few other trip stories, but I promise it will be worth the wait because here is a small teaser, it involved the local police and I think that barbed wire that goes across the top of a fence is called Constantia wire?? Anyway I'll double check with Dave on that one before the post!! Hope you like these photos, it was hugely relaxing trip which is exactly what we needed and hoped for!!!! There is an interesting point, and if anyone has taken a cruise lately please jump in and give me your insight too!! I felt as if this cruise had a younger group of cruisers???!!! Which is not a bad thing at all, no one was out of control or acting out at all, it just seemed to be a young crowd, or who knows maybe it's the fact that Dave and I are getting old!!!! The other thing that stood out to me was there dress, as I said we have been on many cruises and people dress, and I mean DRESS!!!!! Like gowns for the Capt.’s dinner and there always seems to be a few guys in a tux here and there. We saw one guy in a tux and no gowns what so ever!! There were many "maxi" type dresses both short and long, but the dress was very, very relaxed both day and evening. Fine by me for sure because I am in no way a fancy dressy type person at all, ever!!! Especially while on vacation, the only down side I see to this is, what if one didn't over pack as we did and always do??? We just sort of went with the flow and dressed down the entire trip including the Capt.’s dinner which is always very fancy!!! Also on every other cruise the Capt. comes around during his dinner and stops at each table and speaks for a minute or two, this trip nope never saw the dude!!! It's not a big deal either way to us but there were a first time cruiser who were a bit disappointed because they had spoken with past cruise before and during this trip and were told all about this very fancy smancy dinner and then it doesn't happen. Again wasn't a huge deal breaker for us at all, but I will tell you what did disappoint, no midnight buffet!!!!!!! Yup you read that correctly, very disappointed about that one, not that I truly needed the extra calories or anything but really now!!! They did have the normal grill/pizza place open until like two AM. They did have the midnight buffet one night, the night of the Capt.’s dinner, the very night you really don't need it, due to that meal being such a huge meal. I don't know maybe others felt differently, and I suppose from the looks of the huge lines and the fact that we heard the following morning they sort of ran out of something before one am. That's a bit disappointing I suppose, but it looked beautiful as I remember them being in the past. All the fab ice carvings and fruit and veggies carved into cool looking things, now that's one thing I did miss, now that I think about it!! Anyone been on a cruise lately and notice that they didn't have a midnight buffet every night??? I mean heck we've been a quick three night cruise out of Florida to the Bahamas and they had a midnight buffet every night!!! The other thing we did notice is that there wasn't the over abundance of food that there has been in the past, and maybe that isn't exactly what I mean, because never once did I walk away from a meal and say, "wow that wasn't very good I could eat something else", it wasn't that. We spoke with other past cruisers and they all seemed to feel the same as we did on that front, we all sort of wondered if the poor economy had any effect on it? I am sure there was a huge amount of food waste in the past and who knows maybe they are just being more aware of that and trying not to be so wasteful, who knows!! With that being said, I'd go again anytime, anywhere, it wasn't that it was bad, just different maybe is what I should say about it??!! OK I truly think I'm finished!!!


Chickie said...

I've met a few bloggy peeps and loved it! It was cool meeting someone in the flesh for the first time and feeling like you've known them forever. I've always said too if I win the lotto that I'm going on a tour to meet bloggers!

Never been on a cruise but it's on our "to do" list.

Yes! Do tell about the excursion that didn't go quite as planned! :) I bet at the very least it's a nice memory now.

cindy said...

Yup, have met bloggers. Some of them have become my close friends. And there are also those I've met on cruises that have become bloggers thanks to my bloggy influence. =D A few of these blogging friends and I have half-joked about booking a "bloggers' cruise" together.

I've done a few cruises, and like you said, it's a great way to get a sampling of places you may want to get back to later to get more exclusive time at. (I also enjoyed Jamaica as a quick visit, I wouldn't want to stay there, either. Scary when your tour goes by villagers in rusty lean-tos holding machetes.) HOWEVER, after giving Carnival a few tries, I'm over it. I find it too crowded, the clientele tend to be younger and drunker, the food quality was not great altho the quantity was abundant. I was all set to give up on cruising until...the Paul Guaguin Cruise of 2010. I've linked my blog posts about it if you're interested; I did a day-by-day of our week-long cruise aboard this 5-star luxury cruiseline along French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Tahiti, etc.). After that it opened me up to our next major vacation, which was a Europe cruise hitting Italy, the Greek Isles, etc. but which turned out being such a disappointing vacation that I don't think I ever blogged a thing about it. I wanted it to have never happened. The only thing redeeming about that trip was meeting some nice Canadians that I'm still in touch with today.

Okay, I'll stop now; this comment is becoming its own blog post. =P