Day 55, 2/24/2013 - Pray, Joy, Eat is the order of the day. Pray, I pray for safe travel to Miami, 5:45 a.m. flight. After staying at the airport because of the early flight I was awake at 3 a.m. and finally got up about 3:30 rather than drifting off to sleep just in time for my 4 a.m. alarm. It was a good thing that I got an early start since my terminal and gate # had changed. Thank goodness for Skylink at the airport, I arrived at the gate just in time. Prayers were answered and I arrived in Miami ahead of schedule with no complications. Joy, all in our vacation party arrived safely and by 2:30 or 3 we were on the Carnival Glory. Vacation officially on! Lynn and I had a very nice Ocean View room. Eat, let the unlimited buffets begin. After brunch at about 11 we were all hungry by 3. We enjoyed a late lunch and late dinner. Before dinner we had a martini tasting at what would become our favorite ship bar, The Alchemy. We each chose 4 martinis we wanted to try on the sheet given to us. Our bartender, Iouana, then mixed up the selection and you guessed which was which. Marilyn and I both guessed correctly, of course, and the prize was a wine charm. Very fun. For dinner I chose fettuccine with sausage and mushrooms. Creme Brulee and coffee was my choice for dessert. All was great for my first day on a cruise ever!
<pics: room with view, martinis, Carnival Glory>
Day 56, 2/25/2013 - Eat, day 2 on the "all you can eat" cruise ship Glory. Room service with coffee and bagels started the day right. We docked at Nassau, Bahamas at about 7 a.m. Our group of 4 decided to tour Atlantis and aquarium for our excursion. Beautiful and amazing resort. A little local shopping for souvenirs then back on the boat before leaving or get left at 2. At our late lunch aboard ship I saw an amazing carved watermelon. Pray, I pray that Marilyn feel better before dinner as she developed headache and nausea in the afternoon. Prayer answered, she rested and we all readied ourselves for the formal/elegant evening of dining. With everyone looking fabulous in their formals, we made our way to the Promenade deck for some photos so that we can remember how fabulous we looked. Dinner was excellent with lobster on the menu, I had pasta carbonara with cherries jubilee for dessert.
<pics: Linda/Lynn/Marilyn/Brenda formal dresses,
Atlantis Resort, carved watermelon>
Day 57, 2/26/2013 - Eat, today being Marilyn's birthday and a whole day at sea, we decided to sleep in a bit and meet for birthday brunch at 10. We gifted Marilyn with a small princess tiara to wear for the day...adorable! Delicious smoked salmon with bagels and my Eggs Benedict. Later in the afternoon it was High Tea in the dining room with a wonderful assortment of teas, biscuits pastries and yes, more smoked salmon. We felt very prim and proper. Pray, my prayer today is for good cruising. It it amazing being on a ship this big and taking 44 hours to arrive at our next port, St. Thomas. Joy, my joy is in being on this cruise with these 3 friends in this moment. And in sharing Marilyn's birthday. Another great day!
<pics: bagels & smoked salmon, Birthday Princess Marilyn, High Tea>
Day 58, 2/27/2013 - Eat, today was another great day of eating. We had a great breakfast in the dining room. Mine a simple selection of pastries and scrambled eggs with cheese. Then after almost 2 days of cruising we docked in St. Thomas US Virgin Islands. We went ashore to tour the area on our own before heading to Magen's Bay for our excursion of the day. Marilyn and Linda were in need of floppy hats to help protect them from the sun. After brief shopping we ordered some pizza "to go" from a great local pizza place, Cafe Amici. Magen's Bay was and is one of the 10 best beaches in the world. Beautiful! Pray, my prayers today are for my friend Ann's family. As we docked in US territory and all of us began receiving emails from several days at sea, I received word that Ann had died after a long battle of several cancers. She was a beautiful person inside and out and always accepted everything she was given to deal with with grace and dignity. Yes, prayers and love to her family on this day! Joy, my joy was in seeing Lynn's face as we pulled into St. Thomas. It had been on her bucket list for years, she was so excited tears of joy filled her eyes. We returned to the boat after our day of sand and sun and had another fabulous dinner served to us. We all toasted to my friend Ann, we will miss her smile and sense of humor that was always there no matter what she was dealing with.
<pics: Magen's Bay, Cafe Amici pizza, St. Thomas gangway>
Day 59, 2/28/2013 - Eat, today we docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We sampled some fabulous appetizers while in town at Cafe Puerto Rico. Chicken Chunks (chicharrones de pollo), Fried Cheese (queso frito), Corn Sticks (sorullitos de maiz) and Alcapurrias (Puerto Rican stuffed fritters). We also enjoyed perhaps the best fresh squeezed limeade and fresh fruit punch ever! Who knew non-alcoholic could taste so good? Marilyn, Linda and I toured the fortresses of San Juan. Everything in San Juan is up hill so maybe we burned off a few cruise calories. Rested a bit while others shopped then treated myself by purchasing a little duty free bling while on the boat. Pray, my prayer is that Lynn will feel better soon. She seems to have caught a cold while on the cruise. Joy, we celebrated my March birthday today since Marilyn and Lynn both have their birthday while on the cruise. It was another fabulous day on vacation time. Don't worry be happy!
<pics: El Morro Fortress, San Juan appetizers & drinks
from Cafe Puerto Rico, Brenda>
Day 60, 3/1/2013 - Eat, today was Grand Turk, British West Indies. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, had a margarita of course. We all shared the loaded nachos for our taste of Grand Turk. Tonight was another formal dress night of the cruise, we all looked marvelous! Dinner hasn't disappointed yet and tonight was no exception. Several items worth photos, Chateau Briaone, Chocolate Amaretto cake. Pray, continued prayers for Ann's family as they grieve Ann's death. Joy, my joy today was found in Grand Turk, BWI. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and went snorkeling and SNUBA. We went about 20 feet beneath the surface with diver's umbilical air supply on a raft. It was amazing, can't believe I got a little anxious. No need for anxiety, pure joy!
<pics: Margaritaville drinks, Chateau Briaone, Grand Turk>
Day 61, 3/2/2013 - Eat, today is Lynn's birthday so everything is an eating celebration. Breakfast, room service with coffee and birthday bagels in bed. Lunch, Guy Fiori birthday burgers with Chocolate Extravaganza for dessert. Dinner, birthday champagne and multiple selections. Pray, I pray that I am able to fit everything as we pack for disembarkation tomorrow. Joy is in celebrating Lynn's birthday aboard the cruise, my awesome roomie. We are now the same age for 11 days.
<pics: Guy Fiori burger, chocolate extravaganza, Birthday Princess Lynn>
Day 62, 3/3/2013 - Eat, today is the last day of the cruise. So, the last of free room service, endless buffets, towel animals, chocolates set on a pillow and formal dinners. I spent most of the day at Miami International Airport. I was fortunate enough to spend most of it in the American Airlines Admiral's Club. It was much better than waiting in the main airport with a few perks. So, maybe a little better than average "airport" food. Pray, my prayer is that the flight not be delayed, 7 hours in an airport is enough for anyone! Joy, my joy is that I was able to upgrade to 1st class. This makes all the difference in the world when flying on a "classed" airline such as American. Warm nuts, cocktails, dinner and dessert was served. Oh that I could live the "1st Class" life all of the time. The best way to come off of a 9 day vacation! This was a vacation of a lifetime for me. I have wanted to go on a cruise for about 25 years and I am so glad it finally happened and with 3 great friends! An absolute perfect week...nothing but joy!
<pics: Linda/Brenda/Marilyn/Lynn formal dinner night,
Towel Buddies, 1st class dinner>