Another Cruise

Friday, February 22nd, 2013 // by Joel

Why? Because we’re hooked. Alicia and I took another cruise this month, this time joined by my parents and my sister and brother in law. We were aboard the Liberty of the Seas (again) and doing a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise (again). It was an amazing trip, we had a lot of fun together, and I can’t wait to do it again. We arrived home Thursday night and woke up Friday morning to a fresh new 6″ of snow on the ground. Remind me again why I live in Utah during the winter?

Before our redeye flight, we had a nice Valentines Dinner with some friends

Our trip started with a 1am Flight out of SLC. It sucked

A nice clear day as we left Atlanta for Fort Lauderdale

I'm always fascinated by all the wing flaps

We booked a townhome on AirBNB to stay in the night before

Hotels this weekend were terribly expensive, and for a few weeks we had a reservation at a Motel 6 by the airport. It had scary reviews. I decided to see if there was anything else I could find, and found a nice townhouse on AirBnB that we could rent for just as much as the Motel 6, only we’d each get a bedroom, and it didn’t have scary reviews.

It was a great place, aside from the guard station to get into the Community. When we arrived it was easy to get in, when we left for dinner it was easy to get out, and then easy to get back in. But, that night when I went to pickup my parents and Calli and Tyson, we got back around midnight to a new night guard on duty that was, to put it simply, and complete pain the in ass. He spoke slow English, and was on a power trip. Despite possessing a parking pass that was good for 24 hours, he still felt the need to question us about being in there, and following protocol about allowing guests into the community by calling the owner. Except he didn’t know how to use a phone and kept neglecting to dial 1, and, since it didn’t work, he was refusing to let us in. After about 10 minutes of escalating arguing by all of us I gave him the phone number of the contact off AirBnB whom he reluctantly called because ‘he’s not supposed to call numbers that we give him’. Adding to the situation it was 12:15am and when the owner finally answered you could tell she was immediately annoyed. She quickly said ‘Let them in’ several times, to which he felt the need to argue with ‘Let who in, what is their name?’. Why would she remember my name? It was booked online! He finally relented, and without any kind of apology to the owner or us he handed over the parking pass and let us in. Very, very annoying.

This notice has been on the bulletin board inside for quite awhile

Awesome setting, right off the back porch

The lovely brand new Ford Explorer we rented. Avis was out of Minivans, so we crammed 6 people and luggage into this. Wasn't a good fit.

Cozy accomodations

After a fun ride to the airport, with my mom sitting on my dads lap and a lot of luggage stuffed everywhere, we finally made it to the port to get on the ship. It’s always so cool to see the ship for the first time, even though it’s always blocked by overhangs and buildings.

The Liberty of the Seas!

Alicia and I waiting in the terminal to board the ship

Tyson was very, very excited

Calli was also very, very excited

The serve yourself Ice Cream 'Sprinkles' is always an immediate visit

A great view of Fort Lauderdale from the top deck

After a long, snowy, crappy winter Tyson and Calli opted to spend their first hours onboard lounging by the pool

Lots of Cruise ships getting ready to leave on vacations

More cruise ships waiting to go

While waiting for our rooms to open up, the 4 of us played some Miniature Golf on top at the Sports Deck. I think Alicia won. Barely

Another awesome view from the top

Happy Alicia

We opted for a small upgrade to a Royal Promenade stateroom, which gave us a window that overlooked the Promenade inside the ship

We departed on a Saturday afternoon and were headed south towards Belize. That night before we headed to dinner I discovered we had a voicemail on our room phone, and it was Security notifying us that Alicia’s luggage was flagged and we had to go down to Deck 1 to see what the matter was. We headed to dinner, which took awhile, and then went down to see what was going on. The security scanners at the Port had flagged Alicia’s suitcase claiming there was an Iron inside, and Irons are off-limits due to the fire hazard. Well, there was no iron inside, just a hair straightener, which was fine.

The next day was a Sea day and was pretty slow and uneventful. It was wonderfully lazy. We didn’t do very much and it was great. Dinner that night was formal night, but only Alicia and I went – everyone else was too upset about the slow service the night before and opted for the Windjammer buffet instead.

Tyson decided it was time he tried standing up on the Flowrider

Monday morning found us in Belize, our first stop. At 9am we all met up and headed towards the lower decks so we could get on a Tender that would take us into Belize. It was a mess! We waited in line for at least an hour trying to get off the ship, and were very worried that we would miss our excursion that we had booked. It was very annoying, but we managed to make it off just in time and were rushed off on our adventure.

Taking the Tender away from the Ship, you get to finally see just how large it is

We met our Excursion group at a very green bungalow just outside the Tender Terminal

Alicia was summoned to join in on some easy local music playing

Our drive through Belize City was very different than a drive through Salt Lake

Little shops and stores were scattered all over the place, most looking like they didn't carry much inventory

Houses in Belize came in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and most looked pretty terrible on the outside

After about an hour we made it into the Rain Forest where our Zip Line and Tubing adventure would take place

Another view of the adventure park

Dad was the head of our Zip Line group

Once we got suited up in our harnesses, I handed my camera off to our tour operator for fear of breaking it. The Zip Line was a lot of fun, we were high up in the trees and rode about 10 zip lines around the jungle. It was very exciting! After that we swapped our tennis shoes for water shoes and took a walk through the jungle. I rented some Aqua Shoes and they were TERRIBLE! The pathway had recently been done over with a lot of small rocks to make the path less rocky, but my flexible sole shoes were killer on my feet. What should have been a relaxing walk under the canopy proved to be quite painful. After about 30 minutes we made it to the river and cave entrance that we would float through. It was really, really cool. We were all on tubes that were linked together and we went floating into some caves that were very cool to see. Inside there was an amazing waterfall that I’d love to go back and photograph. The river float was a lot of fun, and I totally recommend it.

Since we were late getting off the ship, we did a very rushed drive back to the Tender port. Our crazy driver Junior was passing several cars at a time and just flying down the highway. It was crazy but fun! We made it back at 5:25, 5 minutes to spare before the last Tender headed back to the ship. That’s as close as I ever want to be.

Calli was getting all bundled up for the ride back

A very happy Alicia

A very tired Lorna

Heading towards the ship off in the distance

It was pretty windy and Calli wanted to keep her hair in place or something

Getting Closer

Calli and Tyson wanted a photo outside the ship

Tyson at Dinner

Saying goodbye to Tyson as he went to go SCUBA Diving in Cozumel

I had intended to go SCUBA with Tyson in Cozumel, but the day of I decided I wanted to just be lazy and not go, so Tyson went by himself. He had a great time, but, actually threw up both times after diving. Sounds like a terrible time to me, but it made him feel a lot better and he enjoyed food time even more after that.

Alicia shopping in Cozumel

Joel in Cozumel

Mom and Dad in Cozumel

Mom shopping for purses for the Grandkids

Alicia shopping for Luchador masks

Luchador masks for little children

Property along the beach in Cozumel

Alicia shopping in Cozumel

An actor painted gold

A street vendor showing off bags

Alicia buying a bag from the Street Vendor

Calli, the Street Vendor, and Alicia

Heading back to the Pier in a Taxi

The cruise ships are just HUGE. Ours is on the left.

This is my favorite part of the ship - Deck 4. It's usually pretty empty and quiet, so you can really hear the water.

A window on the ship

All in all it was a great cruise. We had a lot of fun, and it was fun to finally go with some family as well. We can’t wait to go on another one! Who’s in?