Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our 25th Anniversary Cruise

Brenda and I were lucky enough to get out on a cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. The really great thing was it was just us two. We flew from Colorado Springs to Miami. Unfortunately our plane was delayed getting into Miami, so our hotel shuttle didn't pick us up because we didn't land until 1:10 am. We boarded the boat bound for Half Moon Cay. It's a very small island in the Bahama's leased from the government by the cruise lines. We were able to just lay on the beach with 400 of our closest friends, and soak up the sun. At noon we took a quick trip to the other side of the island and took a tour of the lagoon in two man ocean kayaks. That part was really fun. there were only 10 people total who did this excursion including the guide so we were able to get away from the cruise ship crowd for a bit. Then lunch was a huge BBQ taken onto the island by the ship.

Our next stop was St. Thomas, USVI. It reminded us a lot of Jamaca. It's kind of a US third world with a Caribbean flavor. We did another cruise line excursion there. I'm a certified SCUBA diver and have always wanted Brenda to try it, but she has a problem with the concept of breathing under water. But she wanted me to have the opportunity to dive, so we compromised. We went on a SNUBA excursion. It was at the Coral World marine park. We took an open bus to the park and got all suited up with fins, masks and a SNUBA regulator. The air supply is a hose that is hooked to a raft that follows the group around. As soon as we were in the water, I went straight to the bottom, and stayed there the whole time exploring everything I could. Brenda was a little tentative at first, but once she got used to the equipment and stopped thinking so much about breathing under water she actually had fun. There is hope that one day I can convince her to certify. After we got out of the water, we toured the very small park for a while. At one point we turned around and found all these iguannas on the sidewalk. Pretty cool.
The next stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico. Probably our least favorite place. We walked around the city for several hours looking at the forts there, but the best thing was finding a street vendor that sold 'ilado de coco'. It's a coconut flavored frozen desert that I haven't had since my mission. I absolutely loved it!

Our last stop was at Grand Turks & Caicos, a small island owned by the Brits. It had been hit by Hurricane Ike last year, and they were still rebuilding. We decided we didn't want to share our beach with 400-500 of our closest friends this time, so we got all our snorkle gear and grabbed a cab. He gave us a great tour of the island and dropped us on a little beach away from everyone else. There ended up being only about 10-25 people on the whole beach. We spent our time just relaxing, enjoying the white, powdery sand of the caribbean, and snorkeling around for several hours before we needed to be back on the boat for dinner.
As alway, the cruise food was great, and we both ended up gaining 5-7 lbs. Luckly, we both lost that much before we went. Even better, we're both about back down to our pre-cruise weight loss weight. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and especially being able to spend 7 full days and nights together, to do what we wanted when we wanted to. No kids, no phones, no internet, just us! -- Highly recommended.