Thursday, May 9, 2013

Travel Diaries: The Cruise

With mountains of suitcases, a mini crib, and a stroller, we waddled aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Y'all.  It was amazing.  It's mind-boggling, really, to walk hundreds of yards down beautiful hallways, ride elevators up and down 13 floors, dine in four or five different restaurants, go to movies, enjoy live shows, swim in several pools, and realize that you're still on a ship.  Everyone had told us that the rooms would be so small; maybe it's this city life I've been living, but I found them to be luxuriously large.  And the food!  The food was so great--fresh, interesting, perfectly prepared.  It was all divine!

The Mister and me, and the very top of Buddy Boy's head.

My brother- and sister-in-law.

My mother-in-law and niece.

The first port of call was Grand Cayman, which brought with it Baby Girl's first dip in the ocean.  Any ocean!  She was too little for toe-dipping last year!
It was a gorgeous day and would be the prettiest beach we saw all week.

We swam and dug and lunched on the beach.

And some of us literally lunched on the beach.

It was a great day by the water.
Getting out to the beach had been easy.  A taxi driver saw us in our swimsuits and cover-ups, wandering off the ship, and had swooped in to offer us a ride.  We took him up on his offer and, within a few minutes, had sand between our toes. Getting back, however, was another story.  It seems local cab custom dictates that no cab will leave the beach until it is loaded with as many people as it can possibly hold, regardless of whether the people know one another and regardless of how long the cab's first occupants have been waiting in a closed, un-airconditioned vehicle.  It took us a little while to figure this out, but two cabs, four cab drivers, and a half-hour later, after I firmly denied a request that I put 'one of those little ones' on a fold-down seat with no seatbelt perched high in the middle of the front row, we were bumping down the road to the port in a 12-person van holding 17 people.

After all that {very funny in retrospect} rigamarole, we were ready for a little cool refreshment before boarding the boat.
Nothing like a coconut hacked open upon request to fill that need!
Fans all around!
After another day of fun on the boat, we were off again in Costa Maya, Mexico, on the hunt for another beach.  It was just the five of us that day, and once again, looking the part of clueless cruisers, we were offered a beach deal and gladly took it.  An open-air bus to Senor Frog's!  Ha!
Another glorious day of sand and water!  And 'the best Mexican beer in Mexico.'  Which tasted suspiciously much like Natural Light.  :)

In Cozumel, we took a very interesting tour of some ancient Mayan ruins.  And--the boys' favorite part--saw some very laaaaaarge iguanas.

Goin' on a 'guana hunt!
Pink cheeks under the Mexico sun!

Then, we made a quick visit to the beach!

Baby Girl ate some more sand.
The Mister proved himself the pack mule of all pack mules.
I decided it probably wasn't the moment to ask him to carry my purse.

And then came picture night!  'Cuz you gotta have picture night on family vacation!

All the cuzzies.

All the family.

Our hosts, the Mister's parents.

Our little family.

The Mister's brother's family.

The original name-bearers.

The final port of call was Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.  Talk about lovely!
Our weather the entire week had been fabulous, and this final day was the same.  Blue skies, no clouds, low 80s.  Perfect!

Baby Girl's sound machine at home is set to ocean waves.  She slept for hours on the beach, calmed by the real thing!

After another wonderful day in the sun, we boarded the boat for the last time. Buddy Boy bid farewell to Castaway Cay from our porthole, his very favorite spot on the ship.
And we sailed away!
{to be continued}


BettieBoyd said...

You ALL look so cute and happy!

Ann Taylor said...

So fun! My in-laws are taking us on the Disney Fantasy in November, so I loved hearing about your adventures!

Wanting What I Have said...

This just looks like SO MUCH FUN!!!! You make me want to book a Disney Cruise STAT! :)

Aunt Betty said...

Wonderful photos and story

Mom Taylor said...

Oh Elizabeth--what fun to read about your cruise! Beautiful pictures--you all look so happy and look like you're having so much fun--thanks for sharing!
Aunt Sally

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, I loved seeing all the family together. What a wonderful gift from Dave & Julie, a life time of memories for all!

Love Aunt Janice and Uncle Martin

Emily said...

Where did you get your bathing suit? I've been shopping for a skirted one and I love yours!