Cruisin’

 

Johnny and I just got back from our first cruise. Did I have a good time? Yes! Would I do it again? Not for a very long time!

Everyone I have ever talked with about taking a cruise either loved it or hated it. Johnny and I were looking for something to do for our 15 year anniversary so we decided it was time to try a cruise. Last January we scheduled a cruise to coincide with our 15 year anniversary in June. Due to several circumstances (kids, family health, jobs etc) we were not able to go in June and thought we’d just lose out on the money we had put down as it was past our cancellation date. The folks at Carnival Cruise Lines were fantastic though and after we explained our circumstances they were able to move us to another cruise in January.

So, here we are, January 2018 and taking our 15 year anniversary trip 6 months late. It came at a perfect time too. We had just finished the very busy Christmas season and were needing a few days to unwind, just the two of us. You know, just be able to have a conversation between the two of us that was not being interrupted twenty times by kids. I need to pause her and say how wonderful our parents were while we were gone. We left on a Wednesday night and came back on a Monday night. That meant that grandparents were in charge of taking kids to school, practices, ballgames, etc. All of this with Johnny and I in the middle of the ocean so they couldn’t just pick up the phone to ask us questions about the schedule. They handled it with no issues at all (and from what I hear our kids behaved better than they do with us!).

(Johnny super excited to be headed to Galveston to leave)

Johnny and I left on a Wednesday night to drive half way to Galveston, Texas. His dad is working in a little town in Texas right now so we were able to stay with him for the evening. We woke up early Thursday morning to make the remaining drive to Galveston. I can say that the drive from Hot Springs to Galveston is a very easy drive. We arrived in Galveston around lunchtime and started making our way to the ship. Let me just say, don’t expect much out of a cruise dock. It is a shipping yard, not much to it.

Once we got on the boat we felt a bit lost. We found the Lido Deck, which was where most of the food options were, got some lunch and found a table to relax at until we were able to go to our state rooms. I can say I was surprised at the state rooms. I expected a much smaller space but there was plenty of room. We had a king size bed, a couch vanity area and a bathroom. We also had 2 portholes, which we figured out we needed to keep closed to help manage our motion sickness! Once spent the rest of the day exploring the ship. The only issue, it was freezing outside! We bundled up and explored the deck for a while but finally had to give in and stay inside. We also met our table mates at dinner. They were a nice couple from Houston who also had 3 kids. We had a lot in common so we enjoyed our dinners with them.

 

Friday was our first full day at sea. Again, we spent the day exploring the ship. It was starting to warm up a bit so we were able to spend a little more time outside. However, we never could really find a place to settle in. Johnny and I are readers and all we really wanted to do was find a quiet corner somewhere to sit and read. Unfortunately there was not many places like that to be found, especially on a day when it was a bit cool outside. Johnny’s sea sickness was also setting in and not letting him enjoy too much of the day.

 

Valor 4
Formal dinner night

 

Saturday was our day in Cozumel. It was warm and beautiful. However, we had booked an excursion to take a 45 min catamaran ride to an island for the day. Let me tell you, 45 minutes on a catamaran in rough seas is NOT FUN. I think half the boat was ready to puke by the time we got there. The whole time we were on the island all I could think about was the terrible ride we would have going back to the ship. It was a nice day though and I did enjoy relaxing on the beach and shopping at the little shops they had set up there. We were also able to enjoy a great Mexican buffet while there. The water was too cold for swimming but all I really wanted was to lay on the beach and listen to the waves anyway.

 

Valor 5
Isla Pasion

 

Saturday evening was miserable. The sea was so rough that I was getting sick also. We had planned on going to a couple of shows that night but ended up calling it a night early because we just did not feel good.

 

Valor 6
Feeling a bit sea sick

 

Sunday was the best day of the cruise. It was a beautiful, warm day. We were finally able to settle in and find comfortable places to sit, read and soak up the sun. They even played an NFL came on the big screen TV on the Lido Deck. We saw some shows, listened to some live music and just really enjoyed the day.

Monday morning we pulled back into port in Galveston. I can say, we could not get off that boat fast enough.

 

Valor 7
Happy to be back in our car!!

 

Overall, our first cruise experience was a nice getaway and we are glad we did it. However, it was far from one of our favorite vacations and if we ever go again, it will be a very long time from now.