Monday, January 04, 2010

Cruisin' Through The Holidays

In early November, Char and I had a conversation and this statement was made, “We have repeatedly said, ‘Some day we ought to’ followed by a number of things. The truth is we might be running out of some days.”

The decision was made so a text message was sent to the kids that read something like, “Okay, here's the deal. Mom and I have said that some day we would like to go on a cruise. We will be cruising to Mexico 12/20 to 12/27. Dad”.

We heard from all four kids within ten minutes. After the shock wore off, they were happy for us.

And that’s how Char and I spent Christmas 2009 – cruising the Mexican Rivera. The trip started with a flight from Denver to Los Angeles. You might notice Char is holding two boarding passes. She decided to hold mine after I lost it at the airport – twice. My love for flying was coming through.

Our ship was the Mariner of the Sea. A fifteen-deck ship that has everything you could want including a casino, a spa, a huge gym, numerous bars and restaurants. Occupancy of the ship during our cruise was 4,479 people. That includes the 1,200 people who worked on the ship.

Our cruise started at the port in Los Angeles. That’s when I noticed my cell phone no longer had service. Talk about a stressful day! First, I had cheated death by flying through the air and then with no cell phone coverage I had lost contact with the outside world! During the cruise, we made stops at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. We also celebrated Christmas aboard the ship.

At the center of the ship was the promenade. The promenade had numerous shops, bars, and a cafe that was open 24 hours a day in case you needed a snack.

The promenade was where parades took place, the Captains reception was held, and people gathered on Christmas Eve to sing carols.

But not all the entertainment took place on the promenade. The ship also had an ice rink where we attended a couple different ice shows. At the opposite end of ship was a theater where plays and other forms of entertainment took place. We attended at least one show a night. There was also a movie theater that had a different film everyday.

There were three outside decks. That’s where you could find two swimming pools, five large hot tubs, a full size basket ball court, a running track, a rock climbing wall, and a nine hole miniature golf course.

It was easy to lose track of time and for that matter days of the week aboard the ship. When you entered an elevator, the day of the week was shown on the floor. We went through several time changes during the cruise. Prior to some excursions, we were told to stay on ship time, not the local time. Fortunately, when you turned on the television the first channel displayed a clock with the ships time on it.
Our room was on the sixth floor in the center of the ship overlooking the promenade. While the room was slightly smaller than the average hotel room, they were magical. You would leave for breakfast and when you returned the bed was made and the room was clean. Before retiring for the night another magical event occurred, a schedule of the following day’s activities along with a towel animal would appear.
Not all sleeping took place in the room. On the three outdoor decks, there were numerous lounge chairs for reading, resting and sleeping. For the most part the weather on deck was cool.
The ship had three executive chefs and 160 cooks so finding something to eat was never an issue. Our waiter, Frank, and assistant waiter, Jude, were great and made sure we had anything and everything we could possibly want. Every night there were eight entrees on the menu. One night Char was having a hard time deciding between chicken marsala and garlic shrimp so Frank brought her both. Most nights were casual attire but two nights were formal.

Coming up . . . various ports of call and some of the adventures we had.


Blogger Rachel said...

Oh, how exciting Ralph!! I'm glad you two went ahead and did it instead of putting it off again. It's amazing how those ships have all that stuff on them, like a floating city!

One day I hope to take a cruise! I'm looking forward to more of your trip!!

Happy New Year to you and Char!!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

How great that the two of you decided to actually do one of those "someday" things! It looks like you had a fabulous time, and I'm so glad. :0)

9:05 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Stop it Ralph. These posts are likely going to cost us some money.

Rooms look good enough, eh?

10:28 PM  
Blogger Peruby said...

Wow! My brother and his wife do this every year (in March, though) and they keep telling the rest of us we have to do it. Sounds like my kind of fun!

4:02 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Cannot wait for "the rest of the story". We want to take a cruise and we don't want to take a cruise. This might help. It sounds like heaven so far.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Live Well, Laugh Often & Love Much said...

Yeah I'm with Cliff... SOR might not like that you just cost him a pretty penny !

Looks like you had both had a great time. I too am looking forward to hearing more about the trip.

8:23 AM  
Blogger bobbie said...

Good for you! I'm happy to hear that you and Char are not waiting for "some day". Enjoy!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous MADDIE said...

Dear R&C - Your trip sounds perfect. Looking forward to the ports of call portion.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Paul Nichols said...

It looks like you have stirred a nest here. We've talked about this, too. We want to take the Alaskan Cruise or that famous train trip across Canada. I'd better get busy planning--again.

Looking forward to more of your report.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Ralph, that is the best thing you and Char could do to escape the cold for a week!
And your ship looks great. That ice scating rink must have been great. Could the guests skate too or was it just for the show people?
Keep that 'someday list,' it will come in handy if you keep on using it.

I'm waiting to see more. You just might talk Mrs. Jim and I into a cruise. There are some places I want to go.
I tell people that being pampered on board for a cruise is like assisted living except for the treats the cruise attendants leave on your bed every evening.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

"Some Day" I just gotta try a cruise Ralph, congratulations on the decision.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

What a beutiful place to spend Christmas! Looks like you had a fab time.

I always tell my husband the "there is no such time as some. It's not on the calendar or the clock. You can check it for yourself." Looks like you and Char found it!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Lanny said...

Wow, sure looks like you both had a great time.

12:13 AM  

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