Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fun on the Islands

Our first stop on the cruise was Labadee, Haiti.  This was Royal Caribbean's private island.  We arrived bright and early on Monday morning and we could see the island from our room.  Mostly all the activities in Labadee involved the beach so we packed up our beach gear and headed for the sand.

Lounge chairs awaited our arrival.  Allie spent half of her time playing in the sand...not the ocean...but the sand.  She loved to order Todd, Nana and I around to fill up her bucket with water from the ocean, which she then proceeded to scoop sand with her purple shovel into the water until the whole bucket was filled with wet sand.  Then she would dump it all out and order us to get new water so she could do it all over again.

The other half of her time, Allie spent at the sprinkler park.  There were water fountains and buckets that dumped water out.  Allie became brave enough to stand under the buckets...but just far enough away so the water didn't dump completely on her head.

There were a few shops to visit...I just had to get our traditional vacation ornament for Haiti.  I found a fun fish ornament for the Christmas tree and I also picked up these fun maracas for Allie girl  The guy wanted $20 for them!!!  I talked him down to $6!  Go me!

The very next day (Tuesday) we arrived at Falmouth, Jamaica.  We didn't book any excursions because everything was so FAR AWAY.  The last time Todd and I were here we climbed Dunes River Falls.  I would have LOVED to do that again, however it was a 2 hour drive to get there and climbing a waterfall was just something my body is not capable of doing right now.  Boo. 

So instead, Todd, Papa, Allie and I just took a stroll around the HOT Jamaica craft market.  We browsed the souvenirs.  Allie found some really cool handmade Jamaican musical instruments.  She plopped right down and played with them.  I really wanted to buy her super cute handmade Jamaican dress...but I didn't.  Come to find out that Nana bought the exact same one I was looking at on her shopping excursion.  Good thing I didn't buy it! 

"What cool instruments!  I bet these can make a lot of noise"

Allie showing off the Jamaican ornament we purchased

On Thursday we docked at Cozumel, Mexico.  The last time Todd and I visited Cozumel we were with friends on a cruise and we went to Carlos and Charlie's Beach Resort for the day to hang at the beach and relax in the sun. Since we knew what to expect there, we decided to cab-it over there again for a beach morning with Allie.  There were all kinds of water activities to do...parasailing being one.  I was really looking forward to parasailing when we booked this trip.  Bummer I couldn't go...maybe next time!

Allie enjoyed the beach once again.  She even got into the water this time to play.  She had so much fun jumping in the waves with Todd and I.  We ordered some nachos...just cheese...we figured we couldn't really go wrong with that.  I REALLY wanted some sort of blended frozen some-or-other...but decided against it because it would have been made with ice...and I didn't want to drink any of the water!  It was super HOT and I spent most of my time in the ocean.  I couldn't handle the HEAT!

When our vacation ended...I was pretty sad.  I know some were happy to get back home to regular life...but I liked taking my naps every day, having all my meals made for me, lounging at the pool or beach daily, and not having to worry about all of life's responsibilities. 
I sure will miss having 30 thousand options for breakfast and lunch (even though it all started to look the same by day 7).  Our time on the ship and on the islands will be remembered forever.  Allie will one day look back on these photos and see what a lucky little girls she was to travel to so many new countries as a toddler.

Oasis of the Seas

Can you believe how crazy big this boat is?!?  This cruise ship is the largest on the carries 6,000 passengers and 2,200 crew!  We were so excited when we booked this vacation back in January...however 5 days later (after the down payment, hotels and flights were booked) I found out we were expecting.  YIKES!!!  That didn't stop us from having a fabulous time though.  I was restricted in some sense about what I could and couldn't zip lining, surfing or drinking for me...bummer.  But, lots of family came along and we were looking forward to a great time. 
We traveled on this cruise with Todd's parents, Aunt and Uncle and cousins.  Allie was the only little person there...but that didn't stop her from being the center of attention and having a blast!

 We set sail out of Fort Lauderdale.  Here is our traditional Bon Voyage drink as we left alcohol, of course. Allie was really digg'n my drink.
 This ship had EVERYTHING!  Zip-lining, surfing, shows, tons of kids activities...FOOD! 
Allie's favorite place had to be the Boardwalk. There was a carousel, a candy shop, play cars and buses, Pets at Sea (like Build-A-Bear), Johnny Rockets, a doughnut shop (Todd's favorite) and a water theater to watch shows at.  Allie loved to watch the shows we went to.  When I asked Allie what her favorite part of the cruise was..."the carousel" was her answer.  She rode the carousel at LEAST 3 times a day.  I'm pretty sure that by the end of the cruise she rode on every animal at least one time. 


Auntie Ellen and Nana took Allie to the stuffed animal shop, Pets at Sea, where she got to pick out her very own animal and have it stuffed!  After a lot of looking and decision making, Allie decided on a Kangaroo (which we now call "Roo").  Thanks Auntie for Roo and Nana for Roo's hat.  Allie just loves her Roo and she hangs out in Allie's bed at home now.

Another favorite place of Allie's was the H20 Zone (aka: kid's pool).  The water was about 6 inches deep with lots of fountains and squirt guns. Allie loved to fill up her buckets and play in the water.  Todd did most of the playing with Allie while I tried to soak up some vitamin D.  Allie loves the water now and became pretty brave on the boat.  She would jump to Todd over and over again in the fear!

As I sat by the side of pool with Allie while she was warming up one day (she would swim until her lips turned blue and then some), she gave my belly a little kiss and hug.  She is so loving and every once and while she will just come out of the blue and say something sweet about her little brother, soon to make his was into the world.   Luckily, Todd was near the camera and I motioned for him to take a quick shot.  One of my favorite photos from the trip.

Having a blast being thrown up in the air!  Allie just loved playing with Todd. He was much more fun that I was.  However, Allie enjoyed laying around the pool deck too in the kid-sized lounge chairs.  I enjoyed laying around with my frosty beverage.  Although, most of the time Allie drank half of it.

More favorites on the ship were the ice cream machine.  It took us a few days to find it, but after we did we made sure to visit it daily...sometimes twice a day.

Up on the sports deck Allie tried her hand at putt-putt...this was her first time playing.  Todd tried to show her how to hit the ball.  She did pretty well.  We made it through a total of TWO holes and then Allie had had enough.  She had a better time climbing and playing on the animals on the practice course.

Aboard ship were a few furry friends from some familiar movies.  Allie didn't really know who they were, but that didn't stop her from wanting to visit with them and have her photo taken.  She absolutely LOVED Kitty (Puss in Boots) and Shrek and Fiona.  One morning we went to breakfast and Shrek was there!  Allie didn't really eat a thing, but was so excited to meet Shrek, Fiona, and Kitty (Puss).

A couple days on board Allie could ride some Powerwheels!  This was her first experience riding on them.  It didn't take her long at all to figure out how to work the cars.  The PINK Jeep was definitely her favorite.  She was an excellent driver.  We couldn't really say that for all the kids there.  Todd spent the whole time pushing Allie and the other kids' cars away from one another, along with the other Dads.  It was hysterical!  Beep, beep!

Every night before dinner we met up with the family for a quick drink in one of the bars.  A cruise ship is probably one of the only places you can take toddlers into a bar.  Allie usually enjoyed whatever drink I got (because it was something frosty, blended and yummy...and virgin!)  Allie was very well behaved at dinner...and some dinners lasted a LONG time!

All dressed up before dinner

The whole gang
Yummy, dinner!
Back in our room we found a couple friends on occasion.  Allie liked to see what little creature was awaiting her before bed. Our room connected with Nana and Papa's room...Allie liked spending more time with them than she did us!  After the first day, we had to teach her how to knock on the adjoining door...instead of just barging in!  Sorry, Nana and Papa if our little friend overstayed her welcome at any time.  She really did like reading with Nana before bed.

Our ship stopped at 3 ports...Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico.  This was the exact same cruise Todd and I took for our honeymoon.  12 years later we did it all over again on a bigger ship with our little friend. 

Although this cruise was exhausting for me (I took a nap just about every day when Allie did) and HOT! ...we will always remember our spunky 2 year old on this massive ship.  I'm not sure if she'll remember the great time we had, but I will always cherish these vacations with our family...and look forward to the next ones!