Next Adventure

December 04, 2007 0 Comments A+ a-

I just got home from a trip that kicked my ass! I spent the last five days getting up at 3:45 in the morning for 5:00 a.m. departures from the hotel to the airport. Add in some wintry weather mix in Chicago, a couple of mechanical delays, and my days were loooooo-ong. I have eaten so much Advil the last couple of days!

Saturday, Norm and I are leaving for Orlando--get this--on a real airline ticket. No standby for us this time!! We'll have a rental car and hotel for the night--we are staying at Patrick Air Force Base lodging-- then we drive to Port Canaveral. We leave on Sunday for a seven night cruise on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas . I'm really looking forward to this, mostly because Norm can't finagle his schedule like I can to take more time off, and he can sure use some down time. He works long days at the Pentagon, and needs time where he can unplug and unwind.

I actually typed the word unplug above like I meant it! Make no mistake, we'll have a laptop in the stateroom, he'll check his work e-mail at least twice a day the first three days, then it may dwindle to once a day..but, he will still be working a little. But, he'll be able to sleep in, take naps, watch the world go by from the balcony--really de-stress the way he likes. I plan on gettin' him likkered up, too! ;)

And, while I love hanging out in some fab European city--London, Paris, Rome-- or my new favorite place, Buenos Aires--a cruise is just a great vacation! People think you are "all cooped up" on a ship, but that is so far from the truth! Your stateroom isn't huge (unless you book the Royal Suite with its' baby grand piano) but it is big enough for what you want to do. (Go for the balcony, you'll never cruise without it again!)

The ship we'll be on has an ice skating rink, rock climbing wall (that puts you at 200 feet above the ocean when you are at the top!) rollerblading, casino, golf sims, shopping, specialty restaurants, a spa, and a fitness facility that has you overlooking the ocean as you work out.

I started packing today and already have too much stuff going with me! I'm one of those travelers that likes to have my stuff with me, whatever it is. The rule is, if I pack it, I have to carry it. No problem...thanks to the airport Skycaps!

We're going to Coco Cay, St. Thomas and St. Martin. I prefer a less port intensive cruise... with more "sea" days. There is plenty to do or not do on the ship to keep one busy or not busy. When we get to St. Thomas, I am hoping to do a daysail/snorkel excursion like we did in Hawaii. I'd like to dive,but it has been so long since Norm dove, he won't go without a refresher course. It's been six years since I dove last...but, let's just say I am more willing to dance on the wild side. I don't think I have forgotten much of any of it. (By the way, we are talking about a 40 foot dive....nothing huge, with other people around.)

In Philipsburg, St. Martin, I am undecided as to what to do. Last time I was there, my sister Donna and I went to Orient Beach. We found out when we were there that it was clothing optional (By the way, most people on the clothing optional beach should have opted for clothes. Seriously!) Anyway, I went topless and it was great to have the girls out in the sunshine....

I think that St. Martin would be a fun place to go shop and have lunch and then head back to the ship--in my not so humble opinion--if you only have a partial day to play there, most of the Caribbean islands are much the same.

The first port of call is Coco Cay, which is Royal Caribbean's private island. This is basically a beach day, with snorkeling, jetski's, swimming, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and pretty drinks with umbrellas in them. May go there or may stay on the ship--who knows.

Whatever we do, I know it will be relaxing for Norm. Even if we do nothing but hang out on the balcony of the our stateroom and spend time together without the pressures of a clock or calendar, it will be great. Okay, and some shopping, too!