Friday, April 28, 2017

BC10: Part 4

On February 9th, we arrived at our last destination: Grand Turk. After the ship docked, my parents and sister got off, but my room was still getting ready so we agreed to meet them later at Jack's Shack. Jack's is the very last place on the beach and since there's generally less people, it's the perfect place to find sea glass (and there is an abundance!). It's also right next to a pier that had conch shells under it. After seeing a few people walking back with shells, Madison and I went to see if we could grab our own. Madison picked up two, but one smelled so bad that we put it back. Overall, we spent a lot of time in the water cooling off or looking for sea glass.

After boarding the ship again, we read until it was time for dinner. This was the second formal night, so, after eating we took a few professional photos. Then, we changed into comfier clothing and headed to the casino. Madison and I both tried playing this claw machine that you could pull money out of (right) when we arrived. Neither of us won at first, so we played other games and watched my grandma play on some slot machines. I found my dad in the casino and we went to play my favorite casino game: roulette. While I was playing, Madison played the claw game again and pulled $100 out of it!

The next morning was the last fun day at sea. We didn't have any plans so we slept in a little bit later. After getting ready and eating breakfast, we looked in a few of the stores before heading back to the room to read. At one point, Trish, Madison, and I were on the balcony reading. Around 1, Madison and I picked my sister, Arabella, up from camp. We got her some food from the lunch buffet, then I took her to play mini golf. It was super windy on the mini golf deck and when we got there all the golf balls were being used so we went to the arcade instead. Trish and Madison both met us there and we played a few games using game cards we got from platinum card members. After playing, Madison went back to the room, Trish went to get lunch, and Bella and I tried to play mini golf again. There was still no balls, but one group was finishing soon, so we waited and got theirs. After playing, Bella got frozen yogurt and I picked up a pizza; then. we found my grandma and ate with her. My parents were also eating lunch, so when Trish and I had finished they kept Bella and we headed back to the room for some reading and naps.

After dinner, we looked at all the professional photos we had taken throughout the whole trip. Madison and I picked out one that we liked and bought it. Then, we headed back to the room and packed our bags. The following morning, we got on a plane and headed back home to Michigan.

BC10: Part 1/ Part 3

Friday, March 31, 2017

BC10: Part 3

After Amber Cove, we stopped at St. Thomas, USVI. We were supposed to dock at 11 A.M., but rain and wind from the previous night delayed us to 12:15. After getting off the ship, we took a Skyride to Paradise Point.

Later, we took a taxi to Magen's Bay where we relaxed and read on the beach or cooled off in the water. That evening, Madison and I went to Hasbro, The Game Show, an interactive game show with audience contestants, which was lots of fun.

The following morning, we woke up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We didn't have an excursion planned, but after walking off the dock a guy offered a $10 bus tour and we took him up on his offer. The first place we stopped was a beautiful beach; then, we drove past the beautiful capital building that faces the ocean and a statue that appears to be flipping the bird. Finally, we stopped at one of the forts and the oldest cemetery in the new world before heading back to Old San Juan.

In Old San Juan, we did lots of shopping, got pictures with tropical birds, and ate lunch at the Parrot Club. After lunch, we did more shopping, then headed back to the ship for reading and card games.

BC10: Part 1/ Part 2

Friday, March 24, 2017

BC10: Part 2

The first full day on the ship was a Fun Day at Sea, meaning that we weren't stopping at a port. My room slept in a bit and opted to go to the breakfast buffet around 10:30am. Shortly after, we headed to Dave's Slot Pull in the casino. I blogged about the slot pull before, but essentially, everyone puts in $20 and the group plays on one machine (everyone plays three times) splitting the final earnings. This time, the very last person who went won lots of money and everyone ended up getting $38 back. Near the end of the slot pull, my mom took my sister to Camp Ocean and met Madison and me in the library afterwards where we played a few card games.

Around one p.m., Madison and I picked my sister up from camp and took her to the arcade to play a few claw games and air hockey. My parents and grandma met us there and we went to lunch on the Lido deck. After lunch, my grandma, Madison, and I went to see Clue: the Murder Mystery (pictures above). This was very cool and the actors did amazing! At this show they introduced the characters from the classic game of clue and their motive for murdering Mr. Boddy. During events throughout the cruise they would give clues to eliminate characters, weapons, and places and at the end of the cruise if you guessed the person, weapon, and place correctly you could win a prize. We actually sat in the front row, so we could see all the characters really well and Mr. Boddy was right in front of us. Following Clue: the Murder Mystery was a game of Bingo and the first clue reveal.

After Bingo, we went back to our room and played cards and read until it was time to get ready for dinner; then, we read and played cards again after dinner.

The following morning we arrived in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic! We met our excursion group in the lobby at 8 A.M. and got off the ship about thirty minutes later. The dock is kinda long, so my dad and grandma took a ride instead (see right). We walked to the tour bus and met our main guide, Felipe. Then, we drove through a few towns and alongside a beautiful waterfront before going to the hotel district. We deboarded the bus at one hotel and walked down an alley to the beach. Then, we took a mini boat out to meet the boat for the excursion.

Once on the boat, we drove across the ocean for about two hours (it went by so quick) and Felipe got us drinks before we stopped at a several snorkeling sites. The snorkeling equipment was provided on the excursion and we got to see so many cool fish in the water. After snorkeling, we stopped at a beach and had lunch and did a little shopping, then, took a bus back to port. Before going back to the ship, we stopped and got pictures by this cool Amber Cove sign (below). When we got back to our room they were delivering chocolate covered strawberries to all the blogger's rooms (YUM!). That night was also the first of two formal nights on the cruise. Overall, the excursion was so cool and Amber Cove was one of my favorite stops this cruise!


Friday, March 17, 2017

BC10: Part 1

Looks like it that time of year again! Last year, I introduced Bloggers Cruise 9 (BC9) and have been posting about it for about a year now (I'm a busy person & kept forgetting to finish it, sorry!). You can check out the first post for more information on what a Bloggers Cruise is and without further ado we're gonna jump right into Blogger's Cruise 10 (BC10). 

BC9 was exciting for me because it was my first time being a blogger and I was so excited to share all my experiences here on the blog, even if it took me literally forever. On the other hand, BC10 was ten times more exciting because we were visiting Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, a place I've never been before and because my best friend, Madison, and my grandma, who we nicknamed Trish, were joining my family on this trip!

Our trip started on February 3, 2017, in Michigan. My grandma spent the night and Madison got dropped off in the morning and then we were on our way to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport to catch our early morning flight. We had a brief layover at the Baltimore-Washington Internation Airport before flying to Fort Lauderdale. After arriving in Ft. Lauderdale, we got a rental car and drove to my cousin's house for a quick visit followed by a drive to our hotel in Miami. We dropped our bags in our room, then drove to the local Olive Garden where our Blogger's group was having a group dinner. 

The following morning, we got ready and headed to the embarkation terminal. My parents reached Platinum level on this cruise, meaning we could enjoy the perks of boarding early (we boarded around 11:30) and having our rooms ready for us upon boarding, among other things. After boarding, we immediately went to our rooms and dropped off our carry-on bags and checked out the view from our balcony. Madison, my Grandma, and I were all in one room and my parents and sister were in the room next to us. We didn't have a connecting door in our rooms, but our balconies opened to create a longer balcony that we could share and gave us access to each other's rooms.

Port of Miami
View from balcony

Next, we headed to the Lido deck for Guy's Burgers followed by some ice cream. After lunch, we headed back to our rooms and everyone's luggage had arrived at the door except mine, so they began to unpack. Later, Trish; Madison; my sister, Bella; and I all went to play mini golf by the whale tail and I got a hole-in-one twice! Since we were unfamiliar with the ship, we decided to go down to Deck 5 and walk through it and familiarize ourselves with our new surroundings. From Deck 5, we walked down to Deck 4 and visited the library. Bella really wanted to play Candyland, so Madison and I played one quick game, which Bella won. Then, we were joined by a family friend, Anna, and the four of us played Sorry! together until it was time for the Muster drill.

Once we were released from the Muster drill, we went back to our room and my luggage had finally arrived! We spent time unpacking the rest of our luggage, then we got ready for dinner and John Heald's Welcome Aboard party. After the party we headed straight to dinner since we had early dinning (6 p.m.) and met the people we'd be eating with for the duration of our cruise. Later that night, we got a deck of cards from the concierge desk and taught my grandma how to play the card game BS. We also played Go Fish, but after debating on the rules several times, we banned playing that game for the rest of the trip.

Muster Station H

Thursday, March 2, 2017

BC9: Part 7

25-26 February 2016
Days 6-7
Cozumel, Mexico & Return Home

The last port on BC 9 was Cozumel, Mexico! We had planned to go the Passion Island, but it was extremely windy that day so all excursions with boats had to be cancelled. As a back up, we planned to go to a nearby beach that we've visited before, but after getting off the ship and walking around we thought it was too cold to go in the water anyways. We briefly shopped at the stores that are right off the ship's dock. After we decided that it was too cold to go swimming we headed back to the ship to change out of our bathing suits. For a while, the ships gangway (what's used to get off the ship) had to be closed because another ship was docking, but when it reopened my parents and sister got off the ship to do more shopping in the market area and I elected to stay on the ship and read.

After finishing my book, I realized that I had left my sail & sign card in my room and had no way of getting into my room to get another book to read, so I wandered around the ship until I found a game of trivia in the lobby that I participated in, followed by a game of charades. Eventually, I went back to the room and knocked on the door, hoping that my family was back and they would open and they were.

That night, we packed all of our belongs and the following morning we got on a plane to take us first to Nashville, TN, then, back to Detroit, MI. 


Thursday, February 23, 2017

BC9: Part 6

24 February 2016
Day 5
Belize City, Belize

Cruise ships cannot dock in Belize because of the coral reefs. Instead, they throw anchor and passengers take a ferry from the boat to the mainland. In Belize we did an Altun Ha Mayan site and a River Wallace tour. After getting off the ferry, we did a little shopping before meeting our tour guides. There was two different buses doing this tour. One bus did the river tour first and the other did the Mayan site first. The bus doing the river part filled up first and there wasn't room for our entire group, so we went on the second bus that went to the Mayan site first. The drive to the site was long, but our tour guides, Jenny and Ken, enlightened us with history facts about the country along the way. They also shared with us how the site was found and the site's name in English, Rockstone Pond, which I found very interesting.

Upon arrival, our tour guides told us about the landscape and natural vegetation, along with information on how the site was found. Then, we moved farther into the site. 

The first ruins they showed us was the Temple of the Green Tomb, followed by the Temple of the Water God. Finally, they showed us the Temple of the Sun God. This was the only one we were able to climb on and it was huge, the pictures honestly don't do it justice. It's also a good time to mention that this particular day it was very, very hot. Regardless, my family and I climbed to the top of this temple (stairs on the side) to take some photos. It was even hotter on top of the temple, but so worth it.

After climbing back down, there was two young boys holding crocodiles and they allowed us to hold them and take pictures. We also got to look in a few shops that were outside the shop before leaving. Then, we went to The Orchid Hotel for lunch where they served burgers and fries. Following lunch, we were driven to River Wallace part of the excursion. While on this part we got to see a variety of species including crocodiles, lizards, and bats. Since it was so hot, we didn't get to see any monkeys. Near the end of the tour, we did get to see a few manatees, which was very cool. We returned back to the port with about an hour to spare for shopping, then we took the tender back to the ship.

Part 1 / Part 5  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

BC9: Part 5

23 February 2016
Day 4
Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatán, Honduras

Mahogany Bay is part of a small island off the coast of Honduras and our first destination! Whenever we stop in Honduras, we always go to Little French Key, a private island. They have beautiful waterfronts and lots of activities. While we were there I relaxed and read a book in one of their many hammocks, paddle boarded, and kayaked. LFK also has their own mini zoo with big and small animals alike. Overall, the experience was great and I love going to LFK.