In the middle of May we made the long journey to Tampa, Florida to get on our cruise ship. We stopped overnight at Allie's house in Nashville on the way there (and back) which made the trip seem a lot more manageable. Overall the kids did really well and we didn't have any real problems on the road. When we stopped in Atlanta to pick Rachel (my sister in law) up from her fiancee's family's house, we surprised her by taking Jake along! Robin and Larry had gotten him in on the cruise and she had no idea. It took her a few minutes before she realized he was beside her in the car. Priceless.
Parking, picking up Jon and Emily and Ellie from the airport, waiting to get on the ship, and boarding was a long, tedious process, so we were very thankful to finally get in our rooms. Nathan, Orion, Desmond, and I were all squeezed in one room- Desy in a crib and Orion on a crib mattress on the floor. All things considered, we all slept pretty well and the boys even got naps most days.
We went on some shore excursions for the first time this cruise (thank you, Robin, Larry, and Allie, for watching the boys!!)! The first port day we were at Cozumel. Rachel, Jake, Nathan, and I went on an excursion to the Mayan ruins of Tulum. It took a boat ride and a bus to get there, but it was really cool. We had a very wordy tour guide who obviously knew his stuff, but eventually we got restless and wandered off to explore the ruins on our own. We had time to see all the ruins and take a swim in the beautiful water. We were planning on getting some local fish tacos before getting on the bus, but when we got there we found out we were the last ones back and we had to leave immediately! Oops. Anyway, we had a really fun day at Tulum.
The next port was Belize. We were really excited about this one, and for good reason. Jon, Emiley, Allie, Rachel, Jake, Nathan, and I all took a very bumpy bus ride into the rainforest for a zipline and cave adventure! It was really awesome ziplineing over HUGE gorges in the jungle. We got to go in a cave and even zipline out from one part of the cave and back into another. We saw leaf cutter ants and bats... thankfully I didn't see any giant spiders! We got so sweaty and gross, and barely made it back to the boat on time, but it was really fun. We even got to eat a local meal of chicken and rice and beans which was absolutely delicious. Mmm.
The third port day was Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras. We didn't have an excursion planned for that day, so we spent the day shopping and enjoying the beach. We had an amazing experience snorkeling. There was a huge coral reef near the beach, so we saw all kinds of beautiful coral, fish, and other sea creatures. Amazingly enough, I didn't even get injured (if you don't know, the ocean likes to hurt me)! If you've never gone snorkeling you should definitely try it. Awesome.
The kids had a lot of fun on the beach. I'm glad they're not afraid of the water. Of course you have to keep a really close eye on them! I'm really happy none of them got sunburned either.
The last port was Grand Cayman. We had planned to take the boys to a seaturtle farm, but it was pouring down rain so it was canceled. We ended up just wandering/shopping. I did get a beautiful hand-woven basket.
Of course, we also spent a lot of time on the ship, the Carnival Legend. Here we are at tea time! I think most of our time on the boat was spent eating... which was fine by me! We had sit-down meals for breakfast (usually) and dinner which were great, and a buffet for lunch which I wasn't crazy about. Overall good, though! And they had lemonade, ice cream, and hot chocolate machines you could use any time :D
They had a free kids club, so Orion and Ellie went once to play and decorate t-shirts.
The kids especially loved the pool. Orion had a blast just jumping in over and over.
It was a nice ship, and the crew was incredibly nice and helpful. They all loved the kids!
We really had a blast and would do it all again. I love family vacations :)