Saturday, November 19, 2016


It's been too long since I've been on a cruise. I haven't been since little Stella was in preschool. I had forgotten how much I love to be on a cruise. It is also one of the few vacations that Brent actually likes. So when my mom picked out this cruise over fall break and asked if she should book Brent too, I said yep, book it, we'll tell him tomorrow. Thankfully he was able to come and it was a wonderful family vacay.

Ashley and I and the kiddos flew to Orlando a few days early and we just pretty much hung out at the house while the kids swam. The second day Ash and I went shopping. We got so lost because our GPS was sending us to the wrong mall and all of the sudden we were on a toll road and it took us back and around and far away from where we wanted to be. When we finally made it 2.5 hours later we knew we had to hurry and shop because our parents were home with the kids. It didn't go as planned, but we did find some winning items at Kate Spade and also both found an amazing pair of Prada shoes each. After a unfortunate visit to McDonald's ("You need to hurry, my mom is SO mad at me!" is not a line that gets you your food any faster when you can deliver at the window in a minivan.) we made it home.

Brent arrived at 4:45 AM that morning and soon we were off to Fort Lauderdale for our cruise!

Usually getting on a cruise is pretty organized and a simple exciting process. Getting on this cruise was not. It was crazy and so disorganized and traveling with several people who do not handle chaos well made for a crazy time getting on the ship as well as getting to our cabins. But we did it and when we finally made it to our rooms, I was so happy! We had lunch, toured the ship, and then it was quickly time to sail away. I don't quite remember how the night went, I was SO tired. So happy, but so tired. I know we took the girls to the first night of their kids club and had dinner in the buffet. Other than that it is kind of a fuzzy blur.

On day two we were at sea. I basically slept until 1 PM. I had two nights of sleep to catch up on and I had nowhere to be so I snuggled in my bed while everyone else around me went on with their lives. When I got it together enough to go to lunch I came back to the cabin to find Brent out on the deck reading his actuary magazine. I was kind of surprised. He hasn't usually been the type to sit out on the balcony. "It's really nice out here," was his reasoning. I love the name of his actuary magazine BTW...

That night was formal night. Ashley and Finn were not up for dinner but the rest of us got all dolled up and headed to dinner. The girls were so cute sitting in their pretty dresses and drinking from their water glasses.

Mom wanted to have the girls pose for some pictures. The photographers took lots of pictures of them both. And one of them kept calling them babies. "Babies, try this. Babies, sit over here. Babies, hands like this." The other photographer tried to get Stella to kiss Ava on the cheek. We all know Stella was NOT having it. That night we went to the show which was a singing and dancing show. The girls made us sit on the front row and it was very close to the action. They loved it though so it was great. Sleeping, eating, getting dressed up for dinner, and a show? Our first full day on the cruise was a success.

On our second full day we found ourselves in Costa Maya. It is a funny port that I have been to a few times. There really isn't much there and people mostly go to see some ruins. It does have a fun little port area though. I wasn't really feeling like I had to go, but Brent and I went in later and found the family hanging at the pool. It was fun. One thing that started happening at this point is that I was hearing my Zumba songs everywhere. These are songs that I didn't realize were real songs, I thought they were fake Zumba songs until this trip to Mexico. It was salt in the wound though because the cruise NEVER had any Zumba classes and I had packed all these workout clothes to go to class that just went to waste. BOO. 

When we got back on the ship Stella, Brent, and I got something to eat and then we walked around and checked out the mini golf and the SHUFFLEBOARD. Yep, that's right, shuffleboard in ALL CAPS. Brent is a real champion of the sport and he takes it very seriously. Stella loved playing golf and shuffleboard with her daddy.

That night we had a MAGIC show! As a huge fan of magic shows I was totally thrilled for the show. The last cruise magician that I saw was terrible, so I didn't know what to expect, but our magician was amazing. But what made the show even better was that he asked if anyone in the audience had a hundred dollar bill, and guess who did? That is right, my dad always carries hundreds with him. And soon he was on the stage and his hundred dollar bill that he had put his name on was soon magically gone. Where did his money end up? It was INSIDE a playing card that my dad had picked out and put back in the deck. INSIDE it! I couldn't believe it! Since Dad considers himself a bit of a comedian he was super fun to watch.

After that we went to dinner. It was the only night we all made it to the dining room for dinner. The dining room was not great the whole cruise, but I still liked going. Mostly because when I figured out their homemade sorbets were amazing it was worth the long wait to get that sorbet in my belly.

So much stair climbing makes you want to give up sometimes.

Our third full day was in Cozumel. I do love me some Cozumel, the water is so beautiful, and it is always a good port to find yourselves at the beach. We went to this little beach place and spent a few hours there hanging out and enjoying the water. The kids had the best time. Brent sat in his khaki shorts and read his book, but I'm just glad he came along.

When we got back to the port we did a little bit of shopping. I just wanted some vanilla because that is the only thing that Mexico has that I want. Stella did really want to find another fan since the one that she had from our last visit had broken. We were some of the last people to get back on the ship and while we were waiting in line we saw both Brent and my dad on their balconies. Brent really enjoyed his balcony while we were cruising it up.

The sunset that night was spectacular. So beautiful. That night the girls went to their kid club because it was karaoke night at the kids club

Our last full day on the ship was a day at sea . It was insanely windy. Our balcony door was broken and that was seriously annoying, but we didn't want to go out there anyway because of the wind. Grandma and Grandpa took the babies to the pool and after I hung out sleeping or reading (I don't remember) I went out and took some pictures of them. Then I attempted to find a quiet spot outside to read.

One thing that Princess Cruise lines does that I don't really like is play movies on a big screen out by the pool. The movies are SO LOUD and if you aren't watching the movie it is seriously annoying. But my dad loved it, and since he is hard of hearing I think he also liked how loud it was. :)

That night the girls went to the kids club for a pajama party and we went to our last dinner. The dinner was ok, but again my sorbet was off the hook!

That night was one of the only nights that the cruise did karaoke. Of course I really wanted to do it, and so did Ashley, and so did the girls. So we all did it, and it was so fun. We are a true family of entertainers, just like the Osmonds! I was so proud of the girls and I was tickled by Finn. He was an amazing background dancer for both his mom and the girls.

We were up so late that night and when we got back to the room we realized that we had lost Stella's key card. I thought maybe it was out on the balcony so I opened the door one last time and we could not get it closed. So I angrily called one more time and demanded someone finally come to fix the dang door. They still didn't, they only closed it after being there for 15 minutes. By the time they left it was 1:30 and we were still all up and had to get up early. I didn't get much sleep that night and I felt that the ship wasn't moving at about 4 AM and I got up and got on the internet on my phone. This was the first cruise that I REALLY missed the internet.

We got up early, had something to eat, and then headed off the ship. We dropped off Brent at the airport and headed to Vero Beach for a few days. We were all pretty tired and lazy that day and night.
We had a good but short stay at Vero Beach. The kids had so much fun at the pool playing and being together.

So that was our amazing adventure. We had a great long trip and I'm starting to really love and look forward to our fall break trips. I am so thankful to my parents for planning this cruise and taking all of us. We had a great time. I just saw a little saying the other day that said: "Life is short. Eat the cake. Take the vacation. Buy the shoes." All of those things I am proud to say I did on our fall break.

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