United States of America · 8 Days · 15 Moments · August 2015

Sarah Chapman

Sarah's Western Caribbean Cruise

8 August 2015

I feel very bittersweet about the end of this trip. On one hand, I greatly enjoy being away and don't want to go back to regular life. On the other hand, a lot of things on this ship were disappointing (compared to past cruises), plus I fear I might have succumbed to the desire to throw some of my annoying travel companions overboard if the trip lasted much longer. As it is, we still have a long drive back to Orlando from Fort Lauderdale! Hope I can make it!
We are currently disembarking the ship. And by "disembarking" I mean we are waiting in the endless line at US Customs. Slow with grumpy customs workers. Tons of fun.

7 August 2015

Our ship stopped this afternoon because it came across a makeshift raft of people from Cuba, hoping to make it to the USA. The captain offered them food and water, which they declined, but summoned the coast guard as we lacked the authority to bring them to America. This actually is not the first time I've been on a cruise that was delayed or diverted because of another watercraft. On another cruise it was announced that we were veering off course because a distress call had been received and our ship was the closest vessel. If I remember correctly, I think we took the passengers on board that time.

6 August 2015

Today we are at my least favorite stop: Cozumel, Mexico. If it were up to me, I would not get off the boat. However it is not completely up to me, so I am suffering through. Mexico always makes me very sick to my stomach, however, so I'm not sure how much longer I will be able to stand it. It is pretty though.

4 August 2015

While we are driving home, I thought I would share a few photos I didn't have the opportunity to while on the trip. The pictures shown are towel animals that the room steward left in our room on some of the evenings. I always enjoy going into the room each evening to find out what creation had been left. [Note: this entry was written on 8/8, but apparently posted in the timeline on the date the photos were taken]
I'm not a big fan of leaving the ship when docked at ports of call. Perhaps this makes me a bad cruiser but with the exception of the beach stops (which I adore) I don't think getting off the boat is really worth the time, since the ship is docked for such a short period of time that you can't really see much of worth about the country you visit. The joy of cruising is in the onboard experience. That being said, I love the craft market in Falmouth, Jamaica. It is so much more than shopping (which is quite boring!); the craft market is a full-sensory experience. The market is filled with cubicles filled to the brim with items for sale. The vendors will call out to you, inviting you over for a closer look. "Come, come!" they beckon. "Look at what I have to offer!" Some of the merchants have truly unique, hand-made items. Also pictured are views about the dock, including some pictures taken from the ship balcony. (And yes, that is the ship that you can see behind the clock tower).
The ship has an interesting element: binocular/monocular-type stands positioned around the ship. The binocular ones usually have pictures in them (like the owl picture) and the telescope-type one that comes out of the ground has a specimen of some kind (rocks usually, but there is also the snake skeleton one as well). I always enjoyed it when I found a new one somewhere around the ship.
Another beautiful day at sea. We are just off the coast of Jamaica today (we will be docking in a couple hours). The dark shadow you can see on the horizon of the sea picture is the coast of Jamaica.

3 August 2015

We're docked at Labadee, Haiti and about head down to the beach!

2 August 2015

The dining hall on the cruise ship is quite fancy. While it is not mandatory to have dinner their every evening, we have family dinner there every afternoon (I have a hard time calling 6pm dinner "evening"). There are themes to most of the dinners; tonight's being "Italian". I got a caprise salad, eggplant Parmesan, and tiramisu (which is pictured). Also pictured (some better than others) are the decadent chandeliers, as well as the view from our table. Note: not sure why the map lists us in Florida, as we are currently sailing from Haiti to Jamaica.
Cruise so far: Find room Mandatory safety meeting Snack time Unpack Dinner Sleep! Breakfast Relax/Read at pool Lunch All-in-all, so far so good!

1 August 2015

A Greek salad sandwich and an oatmeal cookie (not pictured a that didn't make it to the table!) to tide me over until dinner.
Today has been ridiculously long so far. I was under the impression that Rob and I were going to get picked up at 7am for the drive from Central Florida to Fort Lauderdale. Because of this, my alarm went off at 5am. Unfortunately, the rest of our party was gloriously behind schedule and we ended up driving to their house at 9. Despite the fact that it was supposed to be a 3.5-4 hour drive, we did not make it to the port until 3:30. We (Rob, Rob's mom, and myself) arrived at the port tired and cranky and beyond simply hungry only to find that we had missed the meal and had to wait until dinner. DINNER!! Thankfully dinner came sooner than j would expect (4:30 is not dinner time in my book!) and we have finally gotten sustenance, something enough to tide us over until our formal dining time (6:00, still ridiculously early for dinner, but a more respectable time).
FINALLY on the ship and in our room! Yay!
On our way to Port Everglades for our cruise!