Tag Archives: Cruise

Eastern Caribbean Cruise

During June 2011, we went on our second cruise as a family. This was our fourth cruise together. We left Miami, FL, on June 19th. We were on the ship, the Carnival Valor. cruise20111Susan and I actually sailed on the Valor previously, but with a different itinerary. It was overcast in Miami, but the rain held out for us. Our friend Dan Bell traveled with us. We enjoyed seeing South Beach on our way out to sea.

On day two, we anchored at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Half Moon Cay is a private island that Carnival purchased a few years earlier. The island was very nice. We spent the day lounging at the beach. Brian and Aaron spent the day hanging out with their new cruise20112friends. Carnival brought food out to the island to feed us lunch. At Half Moon Cay, I purchased another Del Sol frisbee since my other one was getting worn out from use. Below is a photograph of Aaron and I standing near the beach with the Carnival Valor in the background.

Our second stop was at St. Thomas. At St. Thomas we boarded a ferry boat and rode to St. John. Susan and I decided to visit St. cruise20113John since they have been to St. Thomas before. We took a short truck ride at St. John to Trunk Bay Beach. We snorkeled around a natural reef at Trunk Bay Beach. We saw a lot of fish. There were schools of lane snapper that swam around us. Many of the snapper would come within an arm’s lengths. I saw a four foot tarpon while swimming back to shore. Aaron almost caused the family to miss the ride back to the ferry boat. When it was time to leave, he was about 150 yards from shore snorkeling. I had to swim out and get him (without any gear as it was all turned in). cruise20114Fortunately, our truck driver waited for us. To the right is a photograph of Susan and the boys on the ferry ride from St. John to St. Thomas. The photograph below is of Susan and I with Harass Island behind them. This photograph was taken from the Carnival Valor while leaving St. Thomas.

Our third stop was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In San Juan, we hung out with Dan. We grabbed a cab to the Bacardi Factory. At the Bacardi Factory, we enjoyed two free drinks made with Bacardi. We toured some of the facilities. We cruise20115learned a lot about the history of Bacardi. After our free tour, our cab driver, Susanna, drove us around San Juan. We saw the beach front and downtown San Juan. Susanna dropped us off at the port, where we shopped for some liquor. There was no limit on liquor purchased in San Juan since it is a U.S. territory. The photograph below is of the boys at the start of the Bacardi Factory tour. The photograph on the left is our family with Susanna He was a very cruise20116nice man. He was a retired fire fighter.

Our fourth, and final, stop was Grand Turk. At Grand Turk, Susan and the boys went on a catamaran sailboat for a snorkeling excursion. They snorkeled near the “wall,” which was a location where the ocean floor dropped off quickly. Susan and the boys could see a lot of fish. Most of the fish stayed about 30 feet away though. I went on a certified scuba diving excursion. My excursion first stopped at the cruise20117“Rolling Hills” reef. The reef was natural. The reef was near the wall. I dove to 75 feet. During the dive I saw many fish. Some of the fish looked like colorful trigger fish, which I am accustomed to seeing in the Gulf of Mexico. On the second dive, I dove at the sight called “Coral Gardens.” I saw a barracuda with a fish in his mouth. On the way in from the dives, I saw the boat Susan and the boys were on.

All of the family thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Susan and I enjoyed having their friend, Dan, join them. Brian met a friend, Jordan. Brian and Jordan usually hung out together while on the ship. Aaron met several good friends as well. As with the previous cruise, Susan and I had to force the boys to spend time with us during the days at sea. Brian and Aaron always joined us for dinner in the formal dining room.

Click on any of the photographs to view the entire gallery.

Eastern Caribbean Cruise

On June 7, 2009, we set sail on our first cruise as a family. Susan and I have been on two cruises previously, but this was their first cruise with Brian and Aaron. The cruise departed from Tampa, FL. We set sail on the Carnival Legend for seven days. We had two interior rooms. Cruise 2009The boys were blown away on the size of the boat and everything to do. While on the boat, the boys really didn’t want to hang around mom and dad. Aaron spent time with Camp Carnival and Brian hung out in the teen club. Each night we made the boys join us for dinner so we could catch up with each other. Susan and I enjoyed the peacefulness on the Lido deck. Probably one of the funniest memories from the trip was Brian trying to make curfew every night. Brian had a curfew of midnight. Shortly before midnight every night we usually heard Brian running in a full sprint to be in his room before midnight. To the right is a family photograph we did on the first formal night.

About a week before the cruise, I injured my foot. I was trying to help my friend trailer a boat. I stepped off of the pier and cut my foot. A nerve was severed and a tendon was partially severed. A couple of days after the accident, I underwent surgery for the first time ever. The orthopedic surgeon blessed off on me going on the cruise. I had several stitches in my foot. My foot was wrapped with an ace bandage. I was on crutches and could not place weight on my right foot. The injury did come with a benefit. When we arrived at the Tampa port, Carnival saw me with crutches and placed me into a wheelchair. We were whisked to the front of the lines and boarded the boat in lightening speed.

Cruise 2009Our first stop on the cruise was Cayman Island. This was our first time having to be tendered to land. There was not a dock to handle the cruise ships. There were several other cruise ships at the island when we arrived. At Cayman Island we did a submarine excursion. We got into a submarine and traveled about 100 feet below the surface of the sea. We saw a lot of fish and a natural reef. We were amazed how quick the waters became deep. To the left is a photograph from inside the submarine.

The second stop was Belize. In Belize we did a snorkeling excursion. We took a boat to a natural Cruise 2009reef. This was the boys first time snorkeling. Before snorkeling, I wrapped my injured foot to prevent it from getting wet. The wrapping failed, but fortunately I did not get an infection. After snorkeling, the boat captain brought us to a small island, which was named Bannister Caye. At the island Susan and I relaxed while the boys played sports and rode on kayaks. The photograph on the right is of Aaron and I returning to the cruise ship in Belize.

Cruise 2009The last stop of the cruise was the Isle of Roatan, which is part of Honduras. This stop was the least touristy stop of the cruise. Our ship was the only one at port. We didn’t do any shore excursions for this stop. We just walked around the port. There were several shops for us to browse through. An interesting fact is that after I returned from the cruise, I learned that I knew someone that was raised on this island. The photograph on the left was taking at the port at Isle of Roatan.

Click on any of the photographs to view the entire gallery.