This was a particularly good cruise -- I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Turns out my mom's rich cousin is also my godmother, and we got along wonderfully. (We're both, apparently, incapable of not getting happy drunk when together and provided with unlimited free booze.) I showed no restraint in anything on this cruise, which has led to about six pounds I'll have to take back off, but it could have been SO much worse. I also spent more money than I had planned, but on the whole, a good time.
We started off in Miami, on a chill and overcast day:
And proceeded to sea, where the next day it cleared up and turned bright and delightful, warm with fine breezes. The first stop was San Juan, where it was definitely sultry - cool in the shade, and blazingly hot in the sun! Here's our ship in port:
I had realized the first day that the only thing I forgot to bring was my real camera, so I dealt with my phone, which actually takes pretty good pictures, although the zoom is chancy. I considered buying a new one (I need a new small one anyway), but I didn't care for what they had, and figured I could get one just as good for as good a deal at CostCo.
Mom and I went off ship at San Juan to look around, but she really has slowed down (going to be 80 in March), and after a few blocks, she was really tired. We went back to the ship.
Then the next stop was St. Martin (or Sint Maarten, depending on your preference). Again, we didn't have any plans; we got off and did a little shopping, I picked up the Old Man Guavaberry liquor I love (and while you could only buy it in St. Martin before, apparently now they've started selling in select locations along the East Coast of the US), and then back to the ship for relaxation and more free booze.
Why was the booze free, you ask? (Okay, maybe you didn't.) This cruise was offering premium liquor packages where you could order anything (up to a certain price) and it was already all taken care of in the cruise price. We upgraded the first day to this from just the normal drinks package, and so spent the week trying things we'd never tried before as well as old favorites.
I do love St. Marten; it's a beautiful island and I could sit up there on deck and watch the magnificent frigate birds flying all day long (and in fact nearly did just that).
After St. Martin was St. Thomas, where we landed in a different spot than last time - this time I didn't see the rocks swarming with iguanas, but it was a nice little shopping area. We walked a little, where it was again hot and sunny but the breeze was nice.
We didn't eat here, but I loved the name of the restaurant:
Leaving St. Thomas:
Sunrise at sea:
I did take a lot of pictures, but some are a bit blurry. I really wish I'd remembered the camera. The nights were lovely, the shopping was fun, but it was really nice just spending time with my family. I never really spent a lot of time with them when I was younger, and I was shocked to find out that neither Mom's brother Bob nor her cousin Fran had EVER met my father -- I mean, I saw my grandparents every year, and I got to know my uncle long ago, but I guess Dad really wasn't into any of that "family" stuff. (Of course, I've found that out spending time with my older brother!) They're fun people to hang with. We had some great talks -- and sure, they're "mundanes," but we shared some interests (Uncle Bob is a lefty) and I had a great time.
Spent today doing laundry and cleaning house some, as well as clearing off the Tivo. Realized while on board ship that what they should have done with Glee was put them all on a cruise ship. Three new shows a week, plenty of room for angst, and honestly, the cruise ships are where Broadway dreams go to die. (Not that their casts aren't talented -- and this was a good one -- but it's at best fourth-tier; you want Hollywood or Broadway, then maybe aspire to Off-Broadway, then maybe Vegas or the tour circuits, but... there are always the cruise lines.) And heck, it's reboots two shows with one swing. The Glee Boat!
I was also rather surprised that Criminal Minds killed off Gideon for good. After eight years, and the interview with Mandy Patinkin I saw a couple of months ago, I thought there had been some forgiveness there. I didn't expect him to come BACK, but it seemed mean to kill off the character like that. (Although the boy they cast as young Gideon for the flashbacks played the part remarkably well -- he had all of Patinkin's mannerisms and inflections down pat, although his voice wasn't the right pitch. Better than the guy playing young Rossi!)
Tomorrow is back to work.