Tuesday, March 20, 2007

On the road again...

Ian managed to get the time off so we can go to CO this year. I am so happy and excited. We got our plane tickets booked last night so it makes it feel even more real. We are going to be meeting up with Ian's parents in Las Vegas, NV where we will stay through to Monday. From there we will be heading to Flagstaff, AZ for an overnight stay there. Then on to Durango from Tues through to Thursday. We are doing the narrow gauge train trip to Silverton. So excited about this. We were supposed to do this last year, but since we had to miss out on the trip, we didn't get to. Then on Thursday we will head on to Lake City. We will be there until Tuesday the 5th when we have to catch our plane back to reality. As you can tell, I'm really excited. It should be an enriching experience!

As for other news, we are taking the pictures to be framed on Friday. I am looking forward to seeing the finished project and hanging them on our walls. We are going to get some really nice frames for the animation pieces Ian bought as well. We are going to frame those two pieces ourselves though. That is all our news for now.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

In the coming weeks......

Ian and I are going to be busy bee's in the coming weeks. We are taking our art to get framed this coming weekend. We went up to Deck the Walls at our local mall on Friday to look at their frame options/matting options/glass options, etc and to get a price quote and they have been the best deal we have found. They told us it will take around a week for the three pieces to be framed so I'm really excited about that. They told us we caught them on a slow point in the year. So they might be done by the time my parents, Misty and Hayden come up the following weekend. I am really looking forward to visiting with them. They have only been up to our place once since we moved here so it should be nice. I told them to bring their swim suits since the weather might be nice enough out for us to use the pools. They are looking for some sort of ring float for the little man. Speaking of, I haven't posted any of the new pics my sister sent me so I will add those at the very end of this blog. He is getting so big, and he has the biggest laugh. So cute!

Then the first weekend in April, I am going to accompany our grandma to visit my sister's family in Oklahoma since she can't do that drive by herself. Plus I have been wanting to see her for a while now. It's been since Christmas since we have seen any of our families. That is way to long. Hopefully we will get to see Ian's folks soon as well but it might not be until we catch up with them on vacation.

Speaking of which, I am really looking forward to this vacation. And I hate to say it, I'm more excited about this one than I was of the cruise. I guess because when we go to Colorado I already know what to expect, and I enjoy every minute I get there. It also is a pretty non stress week, where you get to sit out on a lovely deck, in the sunshine, with the gentle breeze blowing, a good book to read, or a great conversation to be had. Plus, I am going to get to see some new parts of our country that I have yet to see. Hopefully tomorrow, Ian will know something as far as time off goes. He tried to put in for the time off, but since the new schedules aren't out yet, it would only let you put in up till the end of March, which is when the current schedules are through. He is going to talk to his manager tomorrow about all of this. Cross your fingers for us.

Up next pictures of Hayden.

He is such a cutie!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sad news and some Good news

As I'm sure most of you know by now the OK move is canceled for now. They do not feel the need for the growth as of right now and will keep evaluating the situation and when the growth warrants it, they will move the teams. We are bummed about it but everything happens for a reason, right?

Now on to the good news. The art we won in the auctions at Sea came via UPS today. Now we just need to find a good framer in the area to get our beautiful pieces of art framed. Once that is done, we already have the spots on the wall picked out and will hang them. I can't wait for everyone to finally see what we have been raving about. That is all our news for now.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Departure morning

We had to be out of our room by 7 am so we had the alarm set for 6:10. We headed up for breakfast and watched as we docked into Galveston. It was much cooler than we were expecting, but I think it's just we were spoiled by the warm weather and the breeze. I am going to post some tips in the next blog for anyone thinking of a cruise. The only complaint we had was we went to the purser's desk three different times trying to get our sail pass card worked out. We had set it up on a Discover card with every intention to pull it to ours on the last day at sea. Every time we explained it, we were told they would work on it. The purser's had a difficult time trying to figure out what it was exactly we wanted them to do. So on the morning of departure, we go up to the purser's desk because we never received our final copy. She showed us the charges and it still wasn't fixed. So, we weren't too happy about that because we were told on all occasions the main purser(whatever he's called) would be able to do it. I never would have set it up the way we did if I would have known that. Oh well...Lesson learned!

My top tips and what we will do on our next cruise!

1) only buy one soda package and that's if you drink at least 3-4 soda's a day. You get tea/lemonade/ coffee and water for free. We bought two and half the time Ian would just drink off of mine and you get free refills.

2) When setting up your sail pass card(this is where all the charges are made to that is linked with a credit card or a cash amount) either use the credit card you intend on settling the balance with for the reason mentioned above, or set up a cash based one because you can add extra cash at any given time.

3) I was worried about taking our good high spf sunblock to Xcaret because I was told they search through your bags and confiscate it and give you the biodegradable stuff(that does not work well). They apparently aren't strict on this because we saw people using the good regular stuff.

Those are my tips for now. When I think of more I will post more to this.

This concludes our trip report for now. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the vacation. I will be sending out the more of the pictures to everyone so they can see all of them.

Final day at Sea

We woke up Friday Morning a little later than we had been. We were a little sad to know this would be our last full day on our beautiful ship. We ate breakfast at the windjammer and went back to our to look at the schedule and figure out what we wanted to do and what we would pass on. We decided to go to the casino and do a little bit of gambling. I won about $50 on a nickel machine. When we finished in there it was about time for lunch so we hit the solarium pool area to get a grilled panini sandwich for Ian and I had a strawberry filled crepe for lunch. Yummy!!! We then went on down to the centrum area for the grand final art auction. We fell in love with the blind bid prize. We got three beautiful pieces and one animation one that Ian liked of Speed Racer signed by the voices. We got to learn a lot about some of the greats like Picasso/ Rembrandt/ Max, etc. It has definitely made me have a greater appreciation of art. After the art auction we went back to the room to pack up our stuff since we would have to leave our bags outside our room between 7pm and midnight. After that we went to the ballroom fever show. Then grabbed a bite to eat in the windjammer for dinner. Then it was back to room to go over the room once more before setting our luggage out. We crashed about 10 pm.

I forgot to post our other towel animals we received each night so I will post those now.

The Rabbit on the last night
Hanging Monkey

Cool dog

Costa Maya

We were late pulling into Costa Maya this morning because we were having high waves 5-7.5 foot waves and near gale force winds. The captain was going to take us back to Cozumel but decided to try for it. We ended up making it and had the port to ourselves today. The Carnival ship was going to try as well but by then it was too late and we were having gale force winds. It was like being in a hurricane. We had a beach day reserved at Tequila Beach club but because we were a little red from the day before we decided not to go. We got of the ship and walked to the port area where they have it set up like a resort with a swim up pool bar, restaurants, and shops that were duty free. We bought two big bottles of pure vanilla and some tequila that Ian likes. We walked back to the ship and it was tough because we were walking into the wind now. It took us more than three times as long to back on the ship because of this. We got back into our room and dropped off the stuff they allowed us to bring back to the room. We went to grab a bite for lunch and then to lay down to take an afternoon nap. We had an art collecting seminar we wanted to go to but we ended up sleeping until 5:30ish and missed it. We must have needed the nap though. When we woke up we were already on our way back towards Galveston. We went to the show tonight but they ended up having to switch tonights show with what would have been Friday's because the water was too rough for the dancers to perform safely. We crashed by 10:30 tonight. Pictures of Costa Maya next.

As we were docked at the pier

Looking towards the port resort area from the pier
Swim up pool bar

The aft of our ship with a good view of the rock climbing wall

Cozumel Mexico

We were up by 5:45 this morning to get ready for our first port day in beautiful Cozumel Mexico. We had booked an excursion to Xcaret Marine/Archaeological Park. We headed up for breakfast in the windjammer once again. After scarfing down food, we got a big bottle of water and headed for where we were to meet for our excursion. By 7:20 we were being walked off the ship to the ferry that was to take us over to Playa del Carmen for our tour to begin. Once we got over there, our guide was waiting for us. There were only about 20 of us booked for this excursion so it was a small group. After a bus ride to the park, we had our wristbands on and could go enjoy the park. Ian and I found a nice shady spot under a palapa. After applying a generous amount of sunscreen we headed into the water to see what the snorkeling was like. OMG! The water was so warm and clear it was unreal. We could see the rocks at the bottom and you couldn't even touch the bottom. It was a real treat for me too because we would be snorkeling and you could hear the dolphins talking under the water. Very cool! I am going to post pics now from that because there is nothing else to really say about it.

Ian happy to finally see pretty water
Some fish near some rocks
Tammy enjoying the nice water
Taken from the water of the water

entrance to Xcaret Park

Waiting on the ferry back to Cozumel from Playa Del Carmen

The Aft of our ship

This night we skipped going to the show because we were so tired from the day. We ended up crashing around 8:30 pm tonight.

1st full day at Sea

We woke up around 6:30 this morning because we slept so well that night with the rocking of the boat. I miss that now! We went to breakfast at the Windjammer Buffet and it was really good for a buffet. I had a lot of fresh fruit and salads this week. I think we might be some of the only people that come off a cruise ship losing weight. Back to the story at hand. We went to the Discover shopping show that morning at 10 to learn about the ins and outs of shopping in our ports of call. They did some give aways and Ian actually won something. He got some maraca's, a shot glass, a small bottle of tequila and some hot sauce. It was really informative and it helped us out on Costa Maya day. We went to grab some lunch in the windjammer once again, choosing to have salad and some fresh fruit for lunch. After that we headed down to the centrum where they would be having the champagne art auction. You register, and they give you a bid card along with three tabs for you to post on pieces of art that you would like to see come up on the auction block. Ian found this Bugs Bunny in a New York Yankee's uniform, so he put a sticker on that one. He was the only one interested in it so he won it without having to bid high on it. Then from there we went to play some bingo. I did not like the price for Bingo but figured we could play one game just to see how it is. After Bingo we went back to the room to rest a little since we had been going non stop since we got up. We went for dinner and then the show afterwards, was Dancing through the movies. The Royal Caribbean shows they put on are wonderful. By this time it was close to ten pm and we were both pretty tired. We still had to get our bag together for our first port day of Cozumel, Mexico and our excursion was to meet early in the theater so we went back to our room for bed. We had a beautiful towel Swan waiting for us tonight.

Cruise Day 1

I woke up on Monday March 26th at 5:15 am in excitement! I could not go back to sleep but did not want to wake Ian up. I must have went back to sleep because next thing I knew it was time to go eat breakfast over at IHOP. We came back to the room and packed up the stuff we had gotten out to use, and waiting on 10:45 to roll around because that was the time we were to meet downstairs for the shuttle. After a lot of anticipation, we got on the shuttle and we were on our way to the cruise terminal. They really do a good job on this. We were through the check in procedure in under 10 minutes. After an anticipated ride up the escalator and a walk down the gangway, we were officially on the Splendour of the Seas. There were several things we wanted to do once we got on the ship. We wanted to find out where things were that we were really interested in, as well as setting up the soda package for both of us. We could not get back to our rooms until around 1ish. This is when I got several pictures of the centrum and a few other areas.

Food carvings

Outside Pool Deck area

Once we were finally able to get back to our room, we found it easily. We were in stateroom #2560 with an ocean view. We loved waking up in the morning and being able to see the ocean.
When we arrived in our room, the champagne and chocolate covered strawberries were awaiting us the I ordered as a surprise for Ian. They were fantastic.

After snacking on the surprise we went to the centrum area because they were doing raffles for room upgrades, half price excursions, etc. Shane who we would get to know very well at the art auctions, was running this event. He is from Australia and what a good looking man he was.

We didn't win anything, but we had fun. When this ended it was time to go back to our stateroom to gather up our life jackets for the muster drill. Ugh. It went fast so that was ok. Then it was time for a quick trip back to the room to drop off the life jackets and up to the pool deck for the sail away party. So much fun!!!! I had my first Miami Vice drink that was heavenly and Ian finally looked like he was on vacation!

Here is me toasting to our vacation.

Ian looking relaxed

For the Welcome show we had a really funny comedian David Orion. That pretty much sums up our first day at sea.

Coming up: Our first full day at sea!

Trip Report Day 1

This will be known as travel day! We left Round Rock around 9:30 AM. We had little to no traffic and made it to Galveston by 1:30ish. We got checking into the hotel and we were bumped up to a King Suite. We had a balcony with a view of the Rainforest Cafe which was neat. At night they have a volcano that erupts every 30 minutes or so. We walked around the hotel to check it out some, and parked the truck over on the side where our room was. We also spoke with the bellman about setting up our shuttle time. We got booked for the first shuttle which would leave the next morning around 11:30 AM. We came back up to the room and relaxed on the balcony. We decided to go eat at the Rainforest Cafe for dinner around 4:30 pm. That was a neat place to eat, but it is expensive. You are paying for the atmosphere but we decided since we were on vacation, why not. We went back to our room after dinner while waiting to hear fromt her est of the group. We heard from Emily around 7ish. She came up to our room and we chatted for a bit. Shortly after she got here, her phone rang and it was the group wanting to meet up. We decided to walk along the sea wall and ended back at the Rainforest Cafe so they could eat, and Ian and I just had a few drinks. We had a pretty fun time talking about the cruise we would be going on the next day. We came back to the hotel around 10 and went our separate ways for now. They all ended up getting on the first shuttle as well so we would see them in the morning.

Next up Day 1 of the cruise!