How can it be that Spring Break has come and went?
Mark and I started talking about a cruise back in late October or early November. He had found a great deal on a week long cruise out of New Orleans during spring break. (Luckily, he and Isaac shared a spring break!). So, without telling Isaac about it, we got our passports and planned and counted down.
We bought snorkeling gear and took Isaac swimming at the high school so we all knew what we were doing if we ended up snorkeling on the trip. All the while, Isaac was still in the dark. In fact, he had no clue until about 10 days before we left!
We left Ames about 10 AM on Thursday to head to New Orleans. It was about a 16 hour drive and we wanted to take our time and make sure we could be in a hotel to watch the ISU men in the Big 12 tournament. We stopped for the night in Cape Gireadeau (?) MO. Nice place and we had Steak and Shake for dinner! Watched the Cyclones that night in our hotel room!
The next morning we headed out and continued south. Rain. Rain. Rain. Seems to be the theme when I drive on our road trips! LOL It was a long, boring drive. We drove all day and stayed the night in Hammond, LA which was about an hour from NOLA.
Saturday morning, we took our time leaving as we figured we didn't want to wait forever at the port to get on board. Well, it took us about 2 hours to get from where we stayed to the port! The traffic going into NOLA was HORRIBLE. Slow. It took over 30 minutes to go .8 of a mile. Yes, .8 of a mile!
The parking for cruises in New Orleans was/is awful. I can see how that would contribute to Royal Caribbean pulling out of there! We drove around for 30 minutes trying to find a parking space, as the GPS kept trying to take us to a closed road. FINALLY found the parking garage and got parked. Rather than wait for the shuttle, we decided to walk the 2 blocks to the port office. Walked over there with a fellow Iowan/ISU fan!
By the time we went through the port and getting checked in, I think we were on board the Serenade of the Seas around 2 pm. We went to our room, dropped off our carry ons and headed out to find some lunch. We landed in the Windjammer, which was the buffet restaurant.
We met our stateroom host, who was super nice and sweet. She showed Isaac how his bed folded down out of the ceiling. He became very attached to her over the course of the week!
Around 4:30, we finally pulled out of New Orleans. It was a slow ride down the river! Apparently, "pilots" come on board to get the ship down the river to the Gulf.
We were able to watch the Big 12 Championship game in our room before dinner! What a finish! I'm sure our neighbors heard us hollering! We went to the main dining room for dinner the first night. It's the "fancy" meal, where you aren't supposed to wear shorts, tank tops, etc.
Sunday was a cruising day. Isaac spent time in the pools, the kids club for a bit. Mark and I wandered around the ship, getting the lay of the land so to speak. Monday was more of the same as it was another day of cruising.We went to a show that evening that was music from the 70's through the 90's.
Tuesday morning, we woke up and were in Falmouth, Jamaica! Our first port day! We didn't book any excursions so we just got off the ship and went to the shopping area.
More to come about our next few days.....
And pictures since I haven't uploaded off my camera yet!