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My adventure to Mexico was not the typical way of crossing the border, it was on a cruise ship! Yes, my very first EVER Cruise :D
It all started in Salt Lake City, where we flew out of …
Jon playing MY iPod at the airport
We then made it to L.A. and stayed the night at a really cheap/crappy hotel. The hotel was okay, but was in a nasty neighborhood. I would have thought more from a Best Western establishment!
On Sunday the 19th of July (2009), we went to the cruise terminal and began our check-in process.
I was so nervous! First, this is right after the whole Swine Flu outbreak (which is how we could afford the cruise), so we had to fill out health form thingies; Secondly, I’ve never cruised before! The check-in process was a lot like checking onto a flight at the airport, the only difference is that after I checked in, I had to sit in these seats that were facing the check-in counter. There were about 75 – 100 of these seats and we all had to sit and wait until our group number was called. Once the number was called, those with that number got up and filled into a line for security. Once that was done (clap twice if you like being probed!) we then made our way up towards the ship.
These were taken while walking up to the ship in the line. There were times when it was standstill so I was able to take these shots
Once onboard, literally, on the deck, we waited in another line to get our key card and get a picture of us taken (the image would be encripted on the card so that our picture pops up every time we use it).
Then … we were free!!!
Since our room wasn’t quite ready when we boarded, we went to the top deck (with the pool) where we got to see the view. No pictures :( But I do remember calling up my friend Amanda as well as my parents to let them know we made it onboard safely :)
That time on deck was my first introduction to how cruise lines try to nickel and dime you! Jon and I were hanging out on the lounge chairs and a waiter carrying a tray of yummy drinks came up and offered us a pina colada, I don’t drink those, but Jon was curious (non-alcoholic) and he asked if they cost anything. They did, we didn’t purchase.
A few minutes later, a group of 3 women came up on deck near us and they were also welcomed with a tray of drinks, however, the women didn’t inquire on price before taking the drinks and the waiter did not say they cost anything until the women took sips. Well … needless to say, these ladies were NOT happy and said that if they were told the drinks were for purchase, they would not have taken them. The waiter insisted they pay since they already took a sip.
At this time, Jon and I decided to go check on our room …
Thankfully, the cabin was ready! Our cabin was an inside promenade room ^_^
This video was taken sometime after we boarded … probably mid week o.O
We then followed the crowd and made it up to the Windjammer Cafe for some food and were greeted with this …
Yes, we were on our first cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas.
After some unmemorable food … not cause it tasted bad, but because I was too preoccupied with the fact of being on a ship, I kind of forgot I ate at all!
We headed back to our cabin and I was able to take a few more shots of the goodies we got …
Since we were on the cruise for my Birthday as well as our 1 Year Anniversary, we decided to get a package that gave us fresh flowers, non-alcoholic champaign, & Chocolate strawberries upon arrival, a tray of canapes before dinner and petit fours after dinner (on formal evenings), breakfast in bed one morning and a silver framed portrait. This was called the Grand Romance Package (Non-Alcoholic).
Instead of chocolate dipped strawberries like you see in the photo, the package now includes vanilla cupcakes
Next, the one thing we were nervous about doing … the muster drill! We had very fashionable wardrobe though …
Then, we were backing away from the dock ^_^
And On our Way!
And after that, I completely forgot what we did until dinnertime :p
When we arrived back into our cabin, we found that we have been upgraded to a 6 person table by the window in the main dining room (for dinner).
I completely forgot the names of the wonderful people we dined with (sorry!) but they were fabulous!
There was a couple not too much older than Jon and myself and they were from Utah as well! I believe they were celebrating their 5th Anniversary. The other couple (that was like the table’s mom and dad) were on for … oh I don’t remember but they were simply delectable
… much like the food …
and the dining room itself …
This day were out to sea the whole day!
And was kinda dreary …
This was the day for the Meet & Mingle! This is a gathering that Royal Caribbean puts on if enough people sign up to want to do one. I found out about it on Cruise Critic and signed up for it. It was a cute gathering and was able to meet people in person that I had corresponded with on the forums ^_^
I also participated in a ‘Cabin Crawl’ where we got to see other cabins that people booked. Ours was on the list since we were one of the only ones with a promenade room. But the last stop was the best because the people that had the room (and also the ones that put together the cabin crawl) had an okay sized room but the balcony was HUGE! You could pitch a tent outside o.o It was a room at the very back of the ship (aft?) and so there was tons of space.
Us on the big balcony! This, obviously, is only a snippet
Another thing I remember is going to our FIRST ever art auction :D I went before hand and was wandering around looking at all the magnificent art! Haha, what’s really interesting is that I was going to talk to the art host dude and I was standing next to a man, of which, the man had gone to a show before the art show/auction and had told the host a secret code to get a free piece of art. Well, since I was standing next to this secret word man, the host thought I was with him! So, I ended up getting a really awesome piece of free art at the end of the cruise ^_^
We didn’t buy anything at this auction, in fact, I got rather seasick because it was at one of the ends of the ship and we were in choppy water. I ended up going up to our room and we spent a lot of the time resting.
Cabo San Lucas!
We didn’t go into port because we DID have an excursion planned but the line changed it to an immensely earlier time, of which, we reserved the later time just so we wouldn’t have to wake up early. So, they refunded our money and we spent the time exploring the ship and going to the spa …
Me after my pretty make-over!
Mazetlan and my Golden Birthday! I turned 22 on July 22nd ~_^
We decided to book a private tour with some of the people on the Cruise Critic forum. It was a really cool tour! We went all around the city and stopped at a resturaunt … which they tried giving me tequila shots for my birthday (free!) but I uh … I don’t drink alcohol, so I had to politely decline … twice.
Here are some pictures I took while on our tour ^_^
Then … comes the evil Iguana!
Yeah, Jon just stood there and let it attack me. Some knight in sweaty shorts!
Yeah that’s a casket. We had no idea we walked into the high bishop’s funeral ^^;
There was Senior Frog EVERYWHERE! One shop even was giving out free tequila x.x Jon and I went inside a lot because of the air conditioning. It was so hot x.x Senior frog is just like our Disney Stores, they’re everywhere and themed.
Once back on the ship, we found a cute ….
… Squid/Lobster. I say it’s a squid, Jon says it’s a Lobster … even after the pillow battle, this creature remains a mystery.
At dinner I was served a cute dessert thing with custard and an edible little banner on it that said Happy Birthday! They sang the song to me too :)
I then wanted to go to the Casino, just to see what it was like. Yes, my first casino ever o.o The theme was like a carnival.
I love duckies ^_^
We ended up winning like $30 dollars from the slot machines and spent $25 of that playing that quarter pushing machine. It was a lot of fun ^_^ Lol I don’t think gambling is for me XD
This was also when we bought a specialty drink and got 2 glasses out of it. To this day, we still have them and use them on special occasions ^_^
So this day was not that great :( We were scheduled to go on a zip line excursion but I woke up that morning and I couldn’t walk. I have an issue with my hips/muscles that makes the muscles clench and they don’t let go. It’s extremely painful and I think what started it was I slept wrong the night before (it was starting to hurt then).
We had to get me a wheelchair, carted down to the doc and he signed a paper allowing us to get our $$ back for the excursion. So, I spent the whole day resting to allow my muscles and bones to relax and fall back into place.
Though, we did go to one of the specialty resturaunts that was on the ship: Portfinos. It was amazingly delicious and they were so nice to us! We arrived in the resturaunt when we were still in port and we were seated by the window (me, still in my wheelchair). We were able to watch our ship sail away from the port during late sunset and it was beautiful! I forgot what I had to eat, but Jon had some sort of beef cut (sorry! I don’t eat beef) and he said it was the best he ever had ^_^
When we went back to our room, we were greeted with the best towel animal ever!
It really brightened our day :)
We ended up staying up really late because I couldn’t sleep due to pain. Finally, in the AM hours, I was able to relax enough (while watching TV) and my hip/muscles/joints ALL slid back into place and I was able to walk again ^_^ I celebrated by finally going to sleep :p
July 24th & 25th
These were sea days and mostly what happened was staying up late …
Yeah, this was me after going to the pool/hot tubs late at night/early in the morning
… played video games in the arcade
… explored the club onboard
… and had a grand time on our last dinner of the cruise!
This was the last day and our waiters paraded around the dining room. It was really fun. We also were able to catch a picture of our two awesome waiters ^_^
I completely forgot their names but they were witty and funny and we always had a blast with them ^_^
When we got back to our room, we came back to this:
We think it is because we put that our anniversary is on the 26th (it’s really on the 27th). We put it a day before because we were ordering anniversary decorations and we had to put when our anniversary was … only gave the dates of the sailings x.x
Because of this, we also got a cute Happy Anniversary! dessert at dinner … the same kind I got on my birthday, the words just said Happy Anniversary this time and they sang “Happy Anniversary TO YOUUUUU!!!” lol.
July 26th – Disembarkation
The night before, we had to have our bags packed and put outside our cabin doors (with all tags affixed). This morning, we had to get up, grab some food and head to the spots where we have to wait until our color is called.
We waited in the theatre …
After about 45minutes to an hour of waiting, ORANGE was called and all of us with orange tags on our luggage were able to get off the ship. Once off, we followed the path to where our luggage was waiting. Thankfully, all of our luggage was out and just fine!
I then snapped one last picture of our ship
… and we were off on our next adventure: Knotts Berry Farm
** I would like to add that the whole time on this ship, we always had room service! Lol no matter what time at night, we had room service. It was pretty entertaining. It was nice because it was free … unless we ordered WAY late at night (which we did), but that was just a small fee **