For the longest time, Maggie and I have talked about going on a cruise and we decided for our 5th anniversary that it was the right time to book it and have some fun.
After about a month of searching and looking at deals, we finally decided on a 7 day cruise to the Western Caribbean aboard the Carnival Conquest. We were told that we were being “brave” by bringing along Brenden, who’d be about 12 and a half months old for the trip. Even though it caused some interesting things to occur to his normal sleeping pattern, I couldn’t imagine the trip without him.
We left on Mother’s Day out of Galveston and looked forward to 2 days at sea before making our first stop. Those 2 days were a lot of fun and very relaxing. We explored the ship and I even played in a Blackjack tournament, where I almost got to the final table, but alas, was knocked off the board just before round play ended. Monday night was formal night, and we had fun dressing up and being fancy for an evening. We walked out on the main deck afterwards with Brenden to let him run around.
First stop was Montego Bay, Jamaica, which was very nice. It was cloudy and did eventually rain, but it didn’t seem to bother us. We shopped in the morning and for the afternoon we had booked an excursion to go out on a glass-bottom semi-sub to check out the coral reef. Once we got to the reef and after going over it a bit, we got the opportunity to snorkel, which I took advantage of. Maggie was a little scared of the creatures in the water and stayed on the boat with Brenden. They served us Rum Punch on this little trip and it was very strong, although quite tasty.
Next up was Grand Cayman which seemed like the shortest day due to everyone needing to use a smaller boat called a tender to get to the shore. The cruise ships are too large to dock because the water is pretty shallow. It didn’t help that we had an early excursion planned, and that it took most of our time during the day. We did get to stop and get my required Hard Rock Cafe shot glass ( I collect them and have them from just about everywhere I’ve been that has one ). We then rushed over to our excursion and were off to visit Hell, Grand Cayman, a sea turtle farm, and to swim with stingrays. All of these were great and the sea turtles were awesome, but being in the water with the rays was a definite highlight for me. Maggie did make it into the water and held on to Brenden ( who loved splashing and playing in the water ) while dodging the rays.
Our final port of call was Cozumel, Mexico. This day was hot, like really hot. Amazingly, none of us really burned on the trip. I chalk that up to 50 SPF sunscreen applied at least twice a day. In Cozumel, we didn’t have anything planned so that Maggie could take full advantage of the shopping there. They sell a ton of silver since it’s mined near there. Also, I got to go to a Tequila store which had over 200 varieties. I sampled several ( many of which tried to put me on the floor ) and decided on a nice smooth sipping tequila and one that was infused with pomegranate juice which tasted like fruit punch.
We had a scary moment in Cozumel where we thought that maybe we had overheated Brenden ( did I mention it was hot? ), but we did not. All the heat did make him pretty lethargic the rest of the night.
One more day at sea and then we were back home. It was a fantastic trip and I would recommend taking a cruise to anyone. In fact, Maggie and I have decided that cruising is either our first choice or our plan b for future vacations if we can’t think of a place to go.
Here are some photos in fairly random order