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Monday, September 08, 2008

Cruise 2008

Thank you, Jeff, for an amazing time!!
Bad weather may have had its way with us as far as getting this cruise started, but what followed was the calmest, most beautiful weather that we have ever had on a cruise!!
After a two day delay due to hurricane Gustav, we finally made it to our ship, Fantasy, on Wed. When we left Tuesday for our drive to Mobile, we had no water or electricity in our home. It was scary for me to travel through all of the bad weather, but Jeff felt confident that we would be fine...and we were! He wouldn't have taken us through anything that we shouldn't be in. Mobile was full of Louisiana evacuees, so it was hard to find a hotel with available rooms. We did, however, find a beautiful place to stay on the east side of the bay. We decided to go down one day early so we wouldn't have to fight the traffic on the morning we boarded for the ship, plus we wanted to get that 5th night away that was taken from the cruise. We were glad that we did!

Plans were to board the ship at noon on Wed. and sail away at 4:00. We knew that something was amiss when we pulled into the terminal and saw that the ship wasn't there. We were told that it would not be there until after 3:00. The ship was having a difficult time getting back into the channel due to complications with Gustav. We were told to entertain ourselves around Mobile until around 6:00, when we would possibly be able to board! At one time in my life, this would have been too much for me to handle, however, we just took it for what it was and reminded ourselves that we were still on vacation together and had the entire day ahead of us to make the best of...and we did. We walked to a cozy little coffee shop for lunch, then went to see an IMAX movie. Afterwards, we went for coffee, then to the Fort Conde museum. For me, these have turned out to be some of the sweetest memories of our trip!

We arrived back at the port around 5:30, only to be given a memo stating that the ship would not be sailing until around 9:30 that night!! We were also told that we would receive a $90 on board credit to compensate for the money that we had spent while in Mobile. Later, we learned that we would also be receiving a 50% refund on our cruise AND 50% off of our next be taken within the next year..woo hoo! So, we settled into the terminal with everyone else and waited. Since I had all the time in the world, I decided to use it in a productive way...I started calling Carnival to try and find a representative who would work with me on getting an upgrade on our cabin to a balcony suite. I learned that, because of all of the cancellations, that there were suites available! Jeff and I, along with another couple, spent the next few hours calling and talking to different people until, finally, WE GOT IT for a very low price!! Things got more hectic before they got better in the port, but because we were patient with the sweet lady working with us, she gave us VIP passes that allowed us to have a private escort through the line of people and right to the ship's door when it was time to board. It was amazing!!
So, while the day was long and tiring, it was worth it at the end...we had our balcony suite, $90 on board credit, a 50% refund, and 50% off of our next cruise! Finally, we made it on board the Fantasy!!!

We spent the next day lying around in the sun, eating, and enjoying the activities on the ship. The water was calm, and the weather was beautiful..the best we've ever experienced on a cruise. We also had our formal dinner that night. I love how the ship atmosphere feels one way when we go into our room to dress for dinner and feels completely different when we come back out. Suddenly everyone is "dressed", the photographers are taking pictures, and the music has slowed down. Later in the evening, things pick back up, but for a few hours the entire ship calms down for dinner. Oh, and did I mention that I volunteered to be hypnotized with a group? Thankfully, photography was not allowed!!

We arrived in Progresso around 10:00 on the second morning.

Jeff and I got off of the ship to shop at the port for a couple of hours, then returned for lunch and a little rest. Then, we got back off of the ship and took the bus into Progresso. Progresso has the longest pier in the world.....4 miles the local touring company offers free bus rides into town. The bus dropped us off at a market where the locals sold their goods. It was very different from the shopping that we did at the pier..the people here were selling anything they could to make a living off of the tourists. They are very aggressive when trying to sell their things and wouldn't take no for an answer easily! The beach was nice enough, but nothing compared to the clear, blue water in Cozumel. We spent most of our day shopping, walking, and site seeing. One of my favorite things about getting off at the port is getting my first good look at the ship. It's so hard to imagine how big and great it is when you are one it. I love seeing it sitting there...knowing that it is waiting for me to get back home away from home! :)

We had another beautiful day at Sea on Saturday!

We woke up in Mobile Bay on Sunday morning. I was sad to be back, but happy to be able to call the kids and head home to see them.

As always, they had a great time at Mimi's and wanted to stay longer. They loved all of the little prizes we brought them from Mexico and asked lots of questions about our trip. Once again, the best part of our cruise was what we brought home from it...shared memories and a closer bond with each other. Couples who always put the children before their own relationship do not know what they are missing. Jeff and I don't get away without our children very often, but we do allow ourselves to sometimes because we know that we are better as a couple because of it, which makes us stronger parents!
Thanks again, Jeff, for an amazing experience! Also, I want to thank Jeff's parents for taking such great care of our kids while we were gone. It's because of them that we are able to do this!
Oh, and thanks Gustav for the 50% refund and 50% discount on our next cruise, as well as our on board credit and amazing balcony suite!! It was all worth the wait!


Blogger Lisa said...

You two are such a beautiful couple! What a fantastic trip! I just posted about Troy's and my weekend in Eureka Springs and now I'm wanting to get away again...this time on a cruise! I plan to do something like that for maybe our 20th wedding anniversary - maybe our 15th, if we're out of debt by then!
Thanks for sharing the pics and the memories! How great that you get a discount AND a refund!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous jenna said...

I am so happy that you had such a wonderful and safe vacation!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Heather the Mama Duk said...

Sounds like a heavenly trip! You are so right about getting away as just a couple. I look forward to when F&A are old enough for us to do that again like we could when we just had A&C the year or so before F was born.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Musings of a Homeschooling Mom said...

I loved the pictures! It looks like y'all had a great time! It is great that your kids enjoy being with their grandparents so much! I wish mine did!

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

That is one LONG slide into that pool! I would never be brave enough to do that! *lol*

Glad you had a good time!! :D

3:51 PM  
Blogger Paul and Katrina Perea said...

I am so happy to hear that you were still able to go with your hubby and had a great time!

8:55 PM  
Blogger Motherbird said...

Sounds like a fantasy vacation for sure. Glad the storms didn't get in your way. Love the pictures.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Tisha said...

Sounds like a lovely time. I'm glad that it all worked out perfectly for ya'll. :)

12:04 PM  
Blogger sunshineperri said...

I am so happy you had a wonderful time. What great luck also with all the discounts and upgrades!!! You go girl!!!
Jeff and you look so relaxed!!!
Thanks for sharing with us all!!

6:47 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

You guys are the perfect couple! Seriously, you should be the models inside the brand-new frames you buy at the store.

How great that you lucked out with the weather and scoring that suite, not to mention the discounts!

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome!! Looks like you had a great time and the wait is certainly worth the refund, discount and upgrade!!

You and your husband are gorgeous!!

8:05 AM  
Blogger Mama Teaching 2 said...

It brought back memories or a wonderful vacation we had years ago. :) *sigh*

I can't believe you guys lost power here! Crazy! And we are right down the street! LOL!

You guys are beautiful in that last photo! I bet that was a SWEET trip all alone! I agree with you on leaving the children and just being the two that started it all again. :)

2:46 PM  
Blogger Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Sounds WONDERFUL! Looking forward to our cruise in Nov.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Oh my goodness, you look ADORABLE in that hat! Such fun pictures!

11:17 AM  

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