Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Christmas Surprise!

We worked so long and hard to surprise my mom with a Christmas that she wouldn't forget for a long time. Here is the long story in a few short words. My dad and I had been talking about our upcoming cruise on the Voyager of the Seas. He mentioned he would still like to possibly go but just wasn't sure about it. At this point, I mentioned oh hey, why don't you surprise mom with the trip for Christmas since we knew if they just talked about it she probably would not agree to it. muhahaha... So after watching prices fall on the balcony rates for this itenrary we saw rates get low enough and probably wouldn't go any lower. So after working some magic, cruise was booked.

This began the long thought process on how to surprise her with it for Christmas. We finally worked it out to a scavenger hunt that led her to her favorite breakfast place, Cracker Barrel where all the kids would be waiting for her. We decorated a poster with the ship name, itenrary, thier room information among other things. We found some caribbean themed things for the table as well. Dad contacted the manager to talk to them about us surprisng mom at a table in the very back as well.

She woke up Monday morning to her first clue by the coffee stuff because we all know how she loves her morning java. Needless to say it sounded like she had fun on the scavenger hunt at the house.

Then we were all waiting on her to show up. It went off well. I think she even had tears in her eyes! Awww...now she gets a month to plan things and think about her wardrobe and get in the cruising state of mind. We already know we are getting pedicures on Saturday afternoon after Ian and I drive in that morning. Can't wait.

Here are a few more pictures of the event.

Friday, December 17, 2010

One more day till Party time!

Tomorrow is our yearly holiday party at work. This year they moved it to a nice hotel in downtown Austin. I have the battery for our new digital camera all charged up so I'm ready to go. I am really excited. We have a room at the hotel as well so we can head over when we are ready and packed up and then we can have a place to go when we are tired out. It's the 20th anniversary of the company too so I am looking forward to the big presentation for that. It should be a night of fun which is what our memories are made for.

I booked our cruise parking this morning as well so we are set for a parking place for the cruise. We are going to stay at my parents the night before so that will save us money on the hotel. We will probably stay the night we get back as well as it's super bowl sunday and my parently usually have a shin dig. Since we normally work on super bowl sunday we never get to go to it anymore so it will be nice.

We are geared up and ready for vacation. It feels like it has been forever since we had a day off and it's only been over a month. I think it's the overtime getting to us. Oh well. I think we have about 6 more weeks from this coming Sunday so not too much longer. We have our wedding anniversary coming up in Jan as well so another thing to celebrate. I can't believe it's been 9 years already. It feels just like yesterday I was in full bridal/wedding mode. Time certainly does fly by the older you get.

We will be putting money down with the future cruise department when we go on this cruise for the Alaska trip in 2012. I am hoping that they will have the itenraries when we go on this trip but they likely won't be out until March/April from what I have been told.

Not much else to say for now.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's just a jump to the left.....

So as many of you know Ian and I are big "Glee" fans and tomorro looks to be a very good episode. They are paying tribute to a cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". I can't wait!

Not too much going on in our life right now. I had my birthday last week, so with some birthday money I received from the parental units, thanks again mom and dad, Ian and I are going to see a movie tomorrow. We meant to go last week but I wanted to have a lazy day at home so we didn't.

We have our final payment coming up too for the cruise. Got the reminder email last week. It definitely makes it feel like it's finally getting closer. We made it to double digits finally last week. I believe there is like 94 more days until we will be packing up the car and heading towards the coast.

Just have to get through the next three months essentially. We can definitely manage to do that. We will probably make our way to a sporting goods store at some point in the next two months. I need to get some fins for my feet for the stingray and reef snorkle trip we are doing in Grand Cayman. This way I don't have to use the ones they provide as I can find some that fit me better.

Not much else is going on with us right now. Just working working working.

That's all for now.


Monday, October 11, 2010

"I don't want to work, I just want to bang on my drum all day"

So, anytime this song plays on the tv for the carnival commericals I can't help but smile. It makes me excited for the upcoming trip. We did find out recently they are putting on blackouts from around the time before turkey day to December 17th at this time. We will see if then extend it or call it off sooner. We managed to get our queue's zeroed out this last week so hopefully they can stay that way.

Either way we have our time off approved for the cruise which is what matters.

The only thing that bites is we likely won't be able to go to my brothers wedding. =( due to the black outs. We will see.

The other exciting news is our friends Heather and Justin may be going on the cruise with us. We all went to IHOP one night after work for some coffee, breakfast and chit chat. They were asking us about it and the costs, etc and then when they realized it wasn't that bad, they said depending on how big their christmas bonus is they may get to go with us. It would be fun to have someone our own age with us on the cruise. I just hope if they go they like it as much as we do. We will see. Either way Ian and I will be on that ship in 111 days from today. That's what my countdown on royal caribbean's site shows for the timer to embarkation.

I have my birthday a week from wed. We might go to a movie on the Tuesday before at our nice theatre. Then on my actual bday Ian's taking me to dinner at our favorite chinese place at the mall. Yum.

Not much else going on with us. Going to get the oil changed in the car tomorrow. Possibly go to lunch at 620 cafe. and then just relax and maybe watch a movie or two on netflix.

Guess that is all for now.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Countdown timer for the vacation

Removed as this trip is over

What a monday for us

Why is that weekends go by way too fast sometimes. At least we have our monday over with now. We just have to get through 4 more days until it's weekend time again.

We aren't sure how we like the teams so far. Everyone is super nice and it's nice to have some team members from our previous team on it with us. Plus we have our friends Heather and Justin on the team. We just aren't sure we like the management style just yet. They do things different but we expected that to a degree. We just hope that things get better or it's going to be a long few months before vacation is here.

They are definitely trying to have us gel as a team which is nice. Not all team managers/seniors really cared about that before so I definitely like that aspect. Plus they are helping us build some skills for those of us that want to pursue the senior position eventually.

I definitely don't like that they mixed our chat surveys with our email surveys because as my tier takes action dispute emails we tend to get poor surveys because we tend to deny deny deny. so that brings down our survey scores in a bad way.

Not much else going on with us. Looking forward to the next Harry Potter movie coming out next month. So excited to see what they do with it.

I am hoping the time continues to fly by as I am looking forward to vacation time in Jan. It just sucks that we have to wait until the end of Jan. Oh wells. Then hopefully we will do another shift change up in the beg of the new year. I am betting we won't see that until after the year end reviews in Marchish. Who knows.

I guess that is all for now.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rainy Days are here again...

So today we get out of work, which happens to be the last day of being on these two teams. And it's gloomy, and rainy looking out there. It pretty much mirrored my sentiments regarding everything. I was sad to be leaving these two teams but at the same time excited about seeing what is upcoming with the new teams.

Not much planned for our weekend. We need to stay up late and sleep in so we can retrain our bodies for this new shift. That way I'm not falling asleep in my cubicle on Wed. LOL

I do plan on watching some of the new shows that are starting back up this week. Can't wait to see how some of them come back and explain what happened when they left off during the cliffhangers. So many cliff hangers last season too. Especially on the CSI's.

We did end up booking the same company we used in Grand Cayman on our Conquest cruise for the stingrays and snorkel fun at the different reefs. I'm really looking forward to it. Just have four months and a few days left to go.

No nobody's on a countdown here. LOL

I guess that is all for now.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Early Birthday Momma Faas and an update of sorts

First and foremost, I wanted to wish momma faas an early happy birthday. We hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow whatever it is that you.

We apologize in advance as we did not get a birthday card in the mail again. We have been absolutely horrible about it this year. I am going to make that our new year's resolution for next year already. To be better about getting birthday cards in the mail. You heard it here first. =)

We officially start our new shifts a week from this coming Wed. I'm nervous but excited because we have some familiar team members on it but a whole bunch of new.

Speaking of work, we officially have our vacation request approved already for the cruise. We will be off from Sat Jan 29th, and then we won't have to be back until Wed, Feb 16th. So a nice two week long vacation. So excited about it.

We have booked Nachi cocum already for our cozumel day. We will be there on a Tuesday where we usually are there on a Friday. So that will be interesting. A lot fewer ships in port with us so we should have exceptional service.

For Grand Caymen we are going to look into booking the company we used on the Carnival trip in 09'. They were a pretty good company.

Not much else going on with us. Just work work work until we get to our vacation time.

Take care for now.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cruise has been officially booked!!!!

The title says it all! We have offically booked our cruise for Jan of 2011. We had received an email letting us know about the sales they were having for labor day to get rid of inventory so we decided to check out pricing. We found a killer deal on the Jan 30th sailing of the voyager. They had discounts for both being a resident of the state of Texas and for labor day sale. We found an E1 category balcony that just happens to be at the aft of the ship. I am talking the very aft. We will be in one of those beautiful balconies overlooking the butt of the ship. LOL. We found it for only $759 per person. That is over a $100 dollars cheaper than last year, a better category and in one of the prime spots I have been hoping to land since our first cruise. This cruise will be a week later than the week we had talked about taking but they sailings were $25 cheaper than the week we originally wanted to go. I will post the itenerary at the end of this post so you can see where all we are getting to go. We will also be taking the week after the cruise gets back off to relax, get taxes done, and to just regroup.

We were not expecting to book this early as we normally wait until November or December with our christmas bonus but we couldnt pass up the killer deal and the aft balcony is the only one in inventory. Luckily since we did a future cruise booking on our last voyage we got a discount on the deposit and only had to pay $250. Plus we will start off the trip with $200.00 on board credit to spend. We have already discussed booking Portofino's again. So that will help out in that regards. We will also probably hit up johnny rockets again a few times as we loved the burgers/fries and onion rings there. We might get off the ship with a really cheap onboard statement for a change. We have definitely decided no art auctions this year as we still havent hung and framed all the pieces from last year. We are thinking about getting that done with our income tax refund. Taking all the pieces to michaels and having them do it as we liked their work better than hobby lobby.

I guess that is about it for now. Now to posting the ports of call for this week as they are different than the other one.

Day Port *** Arrive Depart Activity

30-Jan Galveston, Texas 5:00 PM

31-Jan Cruising

01-Feb Cozumel, Mexico 7:00 AM 4:00 PM Docked

02-Feb George Town, Grand Cayman 10:00 AM 6:00 PM Tendered

03-Feb Falmouth, Jamaica 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked

04-Feb Cruising

05-Feb Cruising

06-Feb Galveston, Texas 7:00 AM

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New shifts are officially out

Hey guys and gals still reading me! We have been enjoying our nice long weekend. My sister and two nieces came over. They are so much fun to be around as they are at that age now where it's easier and easier to communicate.

Although I would say my sister has her hands full. They both ask lots of questions and have very intuitive minds. Kamrynn is a trip as you never know what is going to come out of her mouth next. She's very loving too. I got hugs galore and she even told me that she loves me. That just made my day.

Now on to the big news. I was so excited when I found out what shift I got as it was my number two choice and then I got the disappointing news of Ian getting something totally different. Something that we couldn't even carpool into work for because he got 3pm - midnight. I got the same shift we are on currently with the same team manager which made me super excited. So of course I went to bed with this at the front of my mind. How are we going to make this work. Do I try and find a similar shift to his, do we see if there are two openings on an overnight shift as those are usually empty.

Then this morning I wake up to a wonderful email that made my decision and life a little easier. One of the tier 3 reps that was on the same shift as Ian was needing to find someone that was off by 5 as she is 26 weeks pregnant and needing to switch with another tier 3 rep. So I immediately wrote her back letting her know if she had not had any volunteers yet, I would love to help. So to make a long story short, we ended up going up to work around 2:30ish and we both made the request via the tool. From what I understand it's as good as done. I wont feel completely relaxed until I hear the official words from my current team manager. However I can pretty much count on it.

So starting sometime in Sept around the 20-something we will be officially on a Wed - Sunday shift from 3pm - midnight.

Thats pretty much all I have for now.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

......and then it was August

Sorry for my delays in posting. It seems work has kept me busier than I would like. By the time I get home for the day, it's eat dinner, relax, and crash. Only to wake up the next morning and start it all over again.

At least it's the weekend. We have shift bids underway and should be finding out our schedule in the next week or two. Keep your fingers crossed that we get one of our top five choices. It would be nice to get our top one as we would have regular weekends off again for a change. We have a nice long weekend coming up. We took off wed, thursday of not this week but next week off. Jess and the kids are possibly coming over on Sunday and then staying till tuesday. We plan on hitting the pool, BBQing, and just relaxing on our long weekend. Then the following week I have about 4 training classes I want to say for getting me prepared for the next tier eventually. Ian has one himself.

Then sometime around Sept 20ish we move to our new schedules when we move locations in Austin. They are having a bigger building done for us with more amenities. woot.

Also can I just say, really looking forward to two weeks off in Jan. It will be so nice. We are taking one week for the cruise and then the following week to relax after and do things around the house that might need to get done, like income taxes. We like getting it in the mail first thing.

We have a possibly wedding to go to as well in November. My brother is possibly getting married this month. Hopefully he will have more details for us soon regards to that. hint hint if you read this still bro.I'm excited for him and really like his fiance so that is a plus. She's really sweet and good for him.

Other than that, just doing our usual thing. Work, work work....and then on weekends yard work, hit the pool, play some games, and veg.

Speaking of which...we have a cool new theatre here in town. We are probably going to go again for Ian's birthday as when it's your bday you get in for free. It's called Gold Class Cinemas. They have recliner chairs, blankets, etc..it's like being in first class for theatres. Just google it and you will find it I'm sure. Food is really good as well. Can't wait to go back again.

I think I have rambled long enough tonight. Sorry if I didn't make any sense as it's 10:45 pm CST right now and I've been up since 5:30 AM for work. Going to bed.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Holy cow...it's May already...

Good morning out there to anyone still following this blog. It had been awhile since I last wrote a post so I figured I should probably write something. A lot has been going on in our world lately.

First, I got another mini promotion. I am now a tier 3 agent which means more responsibilities but I also got a nice little raise. Which let's face it in these tough economic times is really nice. I am now basically a mini senior. I help with coaching and mentoring along with dealing with a lot more complicated issues. It's been going well so far. One week I was ranked number 7 out of all of the tier three agents. Which is pretty damned good. My next goal will be to make it to the top five but we shall see.

Next up we took the Sunday before Memorial day off so my sister, BIL and two nieces are going to come stay with us from that sat to memorial day. They guys will hit the gun range on Sunday while Jess and I take the kids to the park and the swimming pool. Hopefully it's nice weather. Otherwise we will have to think of something fun to do inside.

Then in June I will be off on our annual girls trip with my mom, two sisters and Nan. It should be fun. We are just going to San Antonio but we are staying on the River Walk and planning on relaxing. Can't wait.

This brings me to my next part....I will be sending an email out as not everyone still reads my blog. We got some unfortunate news. The ship we sailed on last year, Voyager of the Seas will no longer be sailing out of Galveston after this coming winter season. Once it heads back to Europe in April of 2011 we will no longer have this fantastic ship so close to our home port. =(

So if you want to experience such a fantastic ship I strongly encourge to think about going with us in Jan. For those that don't remember the ports it's in the post below this one..It sets sail on Jan 23rd and it's a 7 night cruise to Roatan, Honduras-----Belize ----- and Cozumel.

We won't be booking our cabin until November or December as we will have to wait for our bonus to be able to pay it all at once. Which I know some of you might be hesitant to book until we do for sure. But I can gurantee you that Ian and I will be on that sailing.We are not changing our minds as we want to sail on the magnicifant ship one last time as the crew, the amenities, and our overall experience this year were just so out of this world. We are going back regardless. We will book the following years alaskan trip while on this one as well.

So those of you that need to pay a deposit now, and then pay it off over time...now is the time to get on the list.

I believe cruise411.com is currently having a sell for the next two days. You can get 50% reduced deposit and $100 per cabin for onboard spending.

Ian and I will be signing up for the scuba lessons on this cruise. So that is something else to think about as you will do your main dive at one of the three ports. If we get a choice we will probably do it in Roatan, Honduras. As we really want to check out something new for Cozumel. It's kind of like Discovery Cove but in Mexico. I am going to be checking out how they get their dolphins among other things before I agree to it because if they are linked to any of the harmful ones, no way jose.

Thats about it for now. I will be sending this out in email as well as some of my family no longer read my blog or they just forget to check because I'm a slacker at posting. lol.


Monday, February 8, 2010


I know I just posted about doing the transatlantic and while we would love to do that, after adding in the cost of going airfare plus the price of extra baggage because let's face it, no one could cruise for two weeks with just one bag, it's a little higher in price than what we really want to spend. So, we have decided that we will do the iternary that is very similar to the one we just did. However in the place of Costa Maya, they have put in belize. So it would be two days at sea, Roatan, Belize and then Cozumel. Then we would take a second week off work to just relax at home. This way it's cheaper too because we can just drive to the port. We will probably book the same week as we did on this last one because the weather was wonderful, although we all know that it could be different next year.

While we are on this cruise we will be booking the alaskan one though so that wont change.

Here is the itenerary for the new one.

23-Jan Galveston, Texas 5:00 PM

24-Jan Cruising

25-Jan Cruising

26-Jan Roatan, Honduras 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked

27-Jan Belize City, Belize 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Tendered

28-Jan Cozumel, Mexico 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked

29-Jan Cruising

30-Jan Galveston, Texas 7:00 AM

The pricing is already out currently for this itenerary too. We will probably be booking next month or April as we will get our profit sharing then so we could just pay it off at once. Hopefully we are going to look into getting certified for scuba diving either before hand or on the ship. That was something I forgot to mention in my review. They offer the scuba certification on the ship and it's around $200 pp.

Future Cruises in the works

This goes out to everyone in the family no matter which side you are. hehe... We don't have the 2011 pricing just yet as they haven't officially released it, however we believe that instead of doing the new england/canada one we are looking at the Galveston - Spain Transatlantic for next year. This would depart at some point in April from Galveston, TX. It is a 14 day cruise and the end departure is Barcelona, Spain. I will post the itnernary for the 2010 one in a second and hopefully it would be similar to this one. We are then depending on the pricing going to stay and do a cruise for the medit. So three weeks in total. While on this cruise we plan on booking a 2012 Alaskan Inside passage cruise to get the great discounts you usually find for booking a cruise while on a cruise. hehe. They said the 2012 prices should be out in the future so those that might want to do the alaskan cruise I will let you know when the pricing comes out for those. We are not necessarily looking for this to be a family reunion sort of thing, we were just wanting people to know that we were going to do these, and if you want to book too great, if not that's ok as well.

An idea of the iternary for the Transatlantic would be probably something similar to this...

Day Port *** Arrive Depart Activity

18-Apr Galveston, Texas 5:00 PM

19-Apr Cruising

20-Apr Cruising

21-Apr Nassau, Bahamas 7:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked

22-Apr Cruising

23-Apr Cruising

24-Apr Cruising

25-Apr Cruising

26-Apr Cruising

27-Apr Ponta Delgada, Azores 12:00 PM 7:00 PM Docked

28-Apr Cruising

29-Apr Cruising

30-Apr Malaga, Spain 7:00 AM 8:00 PM Docked

01-May Cartagena, Spain 7:00 AM 2:00 PM Docked

02-May Barcelona, Spain 6:00 AM

Then the first medit cruise would be something like this....

Day Port *** Arrive Depart Activity

02-May Barcelona, Spain 7:00 PM

03-May Cruising

04-May Naples, Capri, Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked

05-May Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked

06-May Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked

07-May Villefranche (Nice), France 7:00 AM 7:00 PM Tendered

08-May Provence (Toulon), France 7:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked

09-May Barcelona, Spain 6:00 AM

The pricing right now for the 2010 one for the transatlantic is really good...You can currently get an inside stateroom for only $549 and balconies going for $800

Then for the medit cruise an inside is currently $699 and balconies for about $900

It's just something to think about. However once the 2011 pricing comes out, I believe we will probably be signing up for the transatlantic one. We might not do the one week medit at this time due to money, however if we have the money to do it, we probably will. The further out you book it the better as you can really have your pick of stateroom and be able to pay over time with a monthly payment making it affordable for nearly everyone. =D

Sunday - Disembarkation day

We woke up at 6 which was just in time to see us dock. We got dressed and finished packing up the last few things that we had left out for the morning time, such as toothbrush, etc. We were in express departure group "C" which was set to disembark at 8:30. Around 8:15 we decided to gather up everything and head down to the deck we got off on. We were able to walk down, swiped our sea pass card one last time, and in font of the customs area by 8:30ish. We then made it through that line and headed for the street to find our shuttle for the parking lot. They had one there and we were able to get two spots on it. We made it to their lot by 8:40ish and were on the road by 8:50. One of the best debarkations ever!

We then made it to my parents in Kingwood by 10ish and visited with them for awhile. I got to see my brother whom I hadn't seen since our grandpa's funeral last Feb. So it was nice seeing him. I also got to meet his new girlfriend which was nice. She seems really nice and I can't wait to learn more about her, etc.

That is all for now. More in a minute to come about the future journeys.


Saturday - last sea day =(

We woke up around 9ish today. We slept in because we didn't have a lot of plans. I knew I was going to get us packed before we did anything for the most part. That way we could relax for the rest of the day. We made it to the last art auction even though we had said we wouldn't go to another one but there wasn't a lot going on so what the heck. We ended up buying a few more pieces. I think we will be happy with each one we chose. We also had an appt with the future cruise man as well. We prebooked for 2011 so we could qualify for only a $100pp deposit and we will receive a $300 onboard credit for our next cruise as well. We have been debating between two iternaries for next year and the transatlatic in April of 2011 is winning so far. It's about $500 pp less than the New England/Canada one, and it would be from Galveston aboard a ship we are quickly falling in love with. We honestly can not say enough great things about the crew members on this ship. They were friendly and truely seemed to enjoy their jobs. SO MUCH BETTER THAN CARNIVAL!

Back to the cruise....we had dinner in the windjammer tonight as neither of us wanted to get dressed up for dinner in the dining room. We then chilled on the balcony until we were tired and crashed. We knew we would have an early morning. We also had gloomy skies and high winds on the last sea day. They were saying as high as 60 so they had to close off the outside decks for the pool.

Friday - Cozumel day

One of my favorite days of the trip. We got up around 8ish and got ready for our fun relaxing beach day. We had booked Nachi Cocum again as usual and it didn't disappoint. We had 7 ships in port with us at Cozumel and they only allow a max of 100 people in to the beach club so we knew it would not be as crowded as other places. We got to Nach about 9:30 and got one of the best palapas on the beach. We met our waiter for the day and had a yummy fruit drink for myself and Ian had a dos equis. I know I probably just butchered that name. We really spaced our drinks apart as neither of us wanted to get drunk. It was so relaxing. Around 3 we had our waiter call us a taxi and made it back to the pier by 3:15. We took a quick nap and around five woke up. We were in each port from 8am to 6 pm so nice long days in each one.

Thrusday - Costa Maya

We got off the ship to do some shopping. We found all sorts of great deals. The only thing that is bad about this port is the pier is freaking long, and it's usually very windy here. We were having about 50 mph winds on the pier and then when you got into the shopping area at the pier it was about 30ish as we had buildings helping us. It takes foever it feels like to walk against that wind. We had the ice skating show tonight so we went to johnny rockets for dinner for something easy. The ice skating show was fantastic! It was really cool to see them do the tricks and still land them when you feel the ship rocking somewhat due to the choppy seas we had. Not much else to report on here so I will just post some of our pics.

Wed - Roatan,Honduras

Today we finally get to see land again. LOL. We are in beautiful Roatan, Honduras. If we ever get back to this port on a future cruise we will be doing a snorkeling/scuba excursion as its a great spot for this. You will see in the pictures I have. We didn't do a lot today as we had nothing planned. We explored the ship and got some more great pictures with it being less crowded.

Tuesday - 2nd Sea Day

We pretty much did the same thing as the day before. However this was the first of two art auctions we would go to. We headed down at 1 for the art preview. We saw a few pieces we really liked that go with our others we have bought on ships. The same artist Linda LeKnff and of course Ian found the last of the three speed racers that are sold by Park West auctions. We were able to put in a pre-bid and get a nice package deal. What should have cost us around $1900 we got for only $450 total for three pieces. After the art auction we went back to the room to get a nap in as we had reservations for the specialty dining room, Portofino's. It was very good. It was ony an extra $20pp to do this. I had a glass of wine with dinner and Ian had some tea. It is a four course meal. They bring you out all sorts of breads and dipping sauces/items. One was some olive oil obviously but they brought out this big thing of roasted garlic. OMG! That is all I have to say. Ian got this skewer of meat that was delicious. It had lobster tail, scallops, tiger shrimp, and a small thing of salmon that was already plated. I had tiger shrimp with garlic and basil. OMG again!!! Then before they bring you the dessert menu's you get a dessert appetizer, yes you heard that right. It was a three tier'd tray with chocolate covered strawberries on the top, the next level had these delicious small chocolate/wafer cookies, and then the botoom had some other chocolate decadence thing. We chose to do the mini sampler for our dessert. It had a white chocolate creme brulee, coffee/chocolate tiramasu, and a chocolate flourless cake. OMG!!!!YUM!! I have no other words that can possibly describe it. We were both full beyond belief at this point. We then went back to the room as to change as we had an appointment with the auctioneer people to discuss where to send our art to. We ended up getting one of the mysteries they did as well. It is by an artist that I call the Russian KISS dude. hehe... He came to America from Russia and the rock band KISS influenced him with his painting because of their make up they wear. There is more to the story than that but when we get the paintings in we will take a picture of it and explain in more detail.

Monday - 1st Sea Day

We woke up around 8ish and headed up to get some breakfast at the windjammer. It was already busy but it was a little larger than the Conquest's buffet area so it didn't feel crowded. We had gorgeous weather everyday. We only had a little rain shower on the day we left Roatan, but the rain didn't come down until we left. Anyway, back to the first sea day. After breakfast we headed down to the cafe promenade to get some coffee and look over the cruise compass(daily activities) to figure out what we wanted to do today. We decided to go to the port shopping talk to find out where to get some good deals on certain things we knew we would be bringing back for people. After the shop talk, we headed back to cafe promenade for some lunch as they had pizza and sandwich's every day. Ian got a turkey sandwich on foccacia and I got a ham on a croissant. After lunch we headed up to the room and went on the balcony to do some reading. I finished two books while on this cruise. We sat on our balcony a lot and read. It was one of the most relaxing cruises we have done so far. We had some excitement happen on our first sea day. The capt and crew spotted what appeared to be a raft out on the water. So we of course have to stop and render aid. They sent out a rescue boat to check it out. It was about a 14 person life raft and unfortunately had no one on it. So it just makes you wonder what happened to those people. /cry. The capt came over the intercom system and stated that they contacted the manufacturer and were able to find out what ship it belonged to and had relayed the information.

Tonight was the first formal night on the cruise. We decided to get dressed up and head down to the dining room. We chose to do "My time dining" where you don't have a set time or table you eat at. We were put at a table for two close to a wall of windows so it was perfect. We had indicated we were celebrating our anniversary which was the reason for the cruise. At the end of dinner the head waiter along with our waiters, and a few from tables by us, came over and sang "happy anniversary" to us, and made us stand up and kiss. They also brought a piece of cheesecake which was delicious. After dinner we went back to the room and got changed. They were having a smoke free night in the casion so we wanted to go to the casino on this day. I came out ahead about $60 bucks so not too shabby. We then went to the show, which was music from the movies starring the dancers and singers of the ship. It was ok. We were not overly impressed as it seemed they were out of sync. We left the show early and went back to the cabin. We had two messages waiting for us. They were from various crew members, thanking us for choosing to sail with Royal Caribbean for our special occasion. We thought it was pretty special.

Sunday - Embarkation Day

We woke up this morning and looked outside while holding our breath that the fog was gone as predicted. Then we were able to breathe a sigh of relief as it was gorgeous blue skies, and no fog in sight! We got dressed and walked over to IHOP as we were staying at the Hilton. While at breakfast we made the decision that we would go back to the room and try to get a parking spot at the parking lot my parents used last year as we didn't really feel like waiting for the shuttle that we were currenlty booked to take from the hotel. After calling around and talking to my mom, we found out where Lighthouse parking lot was and at 9ish we were on our way to the parking lot. We found it quick and they had openings, phew. We had one of the first spots by the gate. The bus made it over to us and we were on the shuttle in less than 2 minutes. We got to the terminal and were in line at 9:45. They opened the doors at ten and we made it through security, then to the check in line to get our sea pass card. We were sitting in the waiting area by 10:30ish and about five minutes later they opened the doors for us to begin boarding the ship.

Once on board we decided to look at a ship layout to get a handle on the ship. It was relatively light crowds as we were in the first group to board. We first went to the royal promenade and found someone that was selling the beverage packages. We got signed up for a coke pass on ians card. I honestly don't think we will do it anymore in the future. We hardly drank any sodas while on board. We mainly drank water, tea or lemonade which are all included. We of course had coffee too as they had a nice cafe with unlimited coffee set up for 24 hours a day. This became one of our favorite spots on the ship.

After exploring the promenade we made it up to the windjammer for a yummy lunch. When the clock finally rolled around to 1:15ish we decided the rooms were probably open and ready for us to go to. Our luggage was dropped off quickly. I had us unpacked by 2 if I remember right. Might have been closer to 2:30. Then we chilled on the balcony for a bit before it was time to go for the muster drill. Thank god, wearing the life jacket is no longer required. It was fairly painless. While standing out there waiting we saw the conquest head out at 4. Once the capt. dismissed us we ran by the room to get our cameras and headed up to the pool deck for sailaway party.

We decided to hit up Johnny Rockets for dinner this first night. We had a st.louis burger which had bacon, lettuce, and some yummy sauce. Ian got a chocolate malt of course and I had a flavored soda. You get unlimited onion rings and fries. We didn't make it to the show tonight as we were kind of tired. We went to the room after dinner and just relaxed on the balcony.

Friday, February 5, 2010

quick post

I just wanted to post that I haven't forgotten about writing my update. Work has been kind of hectic getting back into. I haven't wanted to get on the computer at home. However I plan on taking time on Monday or tuesday to do my post for each day along with some pictures. I also have a video to finish editing and will probably be sending that out as well. So by Tuesday I should have it all completed, cross the fingers. hehe...

~ Hugs

Monday, February 1, 2010

What a vacation!!!

We had a wonderful time!!! If I were to rate our cruise vacations, this one is ranked number one officially! I just can't say enough of the trip. I plan on being back soon with a day by day recap. However I have been in front of the computer for a long time this afternoon, paying bills and filing for our income tax refund. I'm ofically sick of the computer already. Hehe... But please come back tomorrow as I plan to write a nice review and do pictures to go with that day. That's all for now though. I will leave you with a picture that I like to call "this is how to relax"