Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Family Vacation 2011!

A little over a month ago we went on a cruise with my parents, brother and sister-in-law and sister.  The nephew and niece stayed home.  This was the first time we've all traveled on a week long vacation since we got married a little over 3 years ago.  This was mine and my husband's third cruise and we were so looking forward to it.  We were on the Carnival Elation and our cruise was January 10-January 15. The winter weather almost derailed our road trip to Mobile.  We were supposed to leave on the evening of January 9, but were afraid the weather was going to get bad so we left Sunday morning.  We really hated to miss church, but it was a good thing we did because we wouldn't have made it if we hadn't.  We ended up spending the night in some run down motel in south Alabama.  We got to the port and were on the boat by 11:30 am. 
First sight of the Carnival Elation!

Mom and Sis enjoying the first of many cups of hot cocoa!

Our rooms weren't ready until 1:30, so we had plenty of time to grab lunch and explore the ship.  When they finally allowed us to go to our rooms, we were so excited to see where we would be spending the next few days.  We were on the Riveria deck.
Our room, R197!
View of other side of our room.

We took a few minutes to settle into our rooms before we headed back upstairs for the safety drill.  On our previous cruises, we've had to take our life vests with us.  So glad we didn't have to do that this time.  After the safety drill, we headed back on deck for the sail away.  We were supposed to have left the port at 4:30 p.m., but ended up not leaving until after 5, due to "routine technical maintenance.  That should have been a sign for us that our week was not going to be what we had planned.

After the sail away, we went back to our rooms to get ready for dinner!  I was so ready for a hot shower after being on the road and out in the cold waiting for the ship to sail away.  We had dinner at 8:15, so we had plenty of time to get ready.  Dinner was amazing.  The family was so amazed at how great the food was and our waiter, Santiago, and assistant waiter, Leon, were amazing!  They took such great care of us all week.

Us and our waiter, Santiago

Tuesday was a day at sea.  We spent most of the day relaxing and going to different events on board.  This was also formal night.  One of my favorite parts of cruising is getting to dress up every night for dinner, but formal night is my favorite night!
Formal night!

Tuesday night was also when we began to realize something wasn't right with the propulsion system. the entire time we had been on the cruise, the water had been extremely rough, but we also noticed we were moving extremely slow.  Late that night, the captain made an announcement over the loudspeaker that they were experiencing problems with the propulsion system and wasn't sure when we were going to make it to our first port of Cozumel on Wednesday, even though we were supposed to arrive at 8 am.  Of course, we really didn't know how to react to this announcement.  We soon realized there was nothing we couldn't do about and were just going to enjoy ourselves.  We finally arrived in Cozumel at 1:30 and were allowed to stay off the boat until 9:30.  We didn't want to be off the boat after dark, so we just planned on being back before dark.  We took a taxi down the strip to the shopping area and spent a few hours going through the shops.  We made it back to the boat before 6 so we could get ready for dinner at 8:15.  When we got back to our room, there was a letter explaining that we were not going to be able to make it the second port of Calica due to the problems with the ship.  They reimbursed $75 to each of us for the inconvenience of not getting to go to the second port.  Lots of people on the ship were upset but again, we just decided that we were going to make the most of it!

Another favorite of ours this cruise was getting together for late night UNO games!  We would all meet up in the Lido dining room and play UNO until 1 or 2 every night.  It was so much fun!
The UNO champion himself (AKA Dad)!

All week long, it had been cloudy and a tad chilly.  Finally on the last day, the sun decided to make an appearance!
Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Even though we had problems with the ship and didn't get to go to one of the ports, we still had an amazing week and some great memories!  We are already planning the next one!

Sorry this is such a long post but I wanted to share about our cruise!