Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cruises Are Fun. Mostly.

Coming home from vacation is a major bummer.  Of course, that first night back in your own  bed is pretty much heaven.  But after goes back to normal and all you want to do is get back on the ship.  {Or whatever.} 

I didn't take as many pictures as I thought I would.  This was mainly due to the fact that AT ALL TIMES we had in our purchase an umbrella stroller, a back pack full of baby food and water bottles, sunscreen and toys, C's singing Violet dog that she refuses to part with, and, of course,  a 1-year-old who was constantly throwing her shoes all over the place.  Scattered throughout the Western Caribbean are little baby shoes.  Unfortunately for the locals these are not pairs of shoes.  I'm not kidding.  We came home with shoes, yes.  One shoe of every pair we brought with us. 

Will we be taking any more babies on cruises you wonder?  No.  No we will not.  We had LOTS of fun.  But babies are just way too much work for trips.  Amen.

So, if anyone is interested in looking at some cruise they are.  {C will not be smiling in ANY photos.}  And I can't promise they are good, because they aren't.  But I'm happy to have a little documentation of this fabulous trip.  What I can promise you is some pithy commentary AND some deep thoughts about the slave labor that Carnival cruise line has going on aboard their ships.   

Ready?  Ok.  Let's do this.

{This post contains a crap load of click below if you want to see them...}

Best part of every cruise is the food right?  Well, not on this cruise.  The food was meh.  BUT, my favorite part of the trip was getting to sit with my whole family for dinner every night.  It was wonderful. 

One night they do this semi-hilarious deal where they have a "Captains Gala" {pronounced GAY-la} and everyone dresses up. Apparently we didn't get the memo that this night is actually "slutty prom for practically obese adults". I wish I had been braver and snapped a few photos of what these people were wearing. Truly amazing. Here is what we wore:

Ty wore a black shirt and a bright blue Dolphins tie with running shoes. Yes he did.

Trent was sad because his girlfriend was back home doing school. Poor Trent.

Oh look, it's almost a smile. Almost.

Ok, I lied. There are a few photos of C smiling.

The ship was crawling, and I do mean crawling with "professional photographers" wanting to take your pictures in front of these really gorgeous vignettes they had set up. You a fake column back drop with a black grand piano covered in rose petals. Just sexy stuff like that. We opted to take our own photos outside.


I don't get to spend nearly enough time with the siblings.

Yay siblings.

My parents had a suite. It was awesome. We spent a lot of time on their little, private balcony. But, at night we slept in our own personal, plywood boxes.

First stop, Cozumel. Can you spot the tourist?

No? I'll give you a hint. It's the one with the fanny pack.

The Caribbean is freaking humid. It's disgusting.

But beautiful.

Next stop, Honduras. This was the day we got family photos taken on the beach. This sexy bod ended up in about half of our photos:

No really, look:


I planned to take lots and lots of photos of the family at the same time as the "professional photographer". You know, so we would have lots of options...and some of those options {my photos} wouldn't cost a thousand dollars. But then C pooed in her diaper 5 times and I was dripping in moisture from the humidity and f bombs were flying. So, yeah, that didn't happen. But at least I got this photo:

My mom just ordered this in a huge canvas for her wall.

Here is a good shot of the boat, where 1500 slaves labor day in and day out to provide 24/7 food and entertainment for the morbidly obese masses.  You guys, really, cruising is sort of ghetto in this way, yeah?  I was sort of looking around at all the waste that goes on on a cruise, and at all these poor workers who have to bend over backwards and work their A's off to make a bunch of middle-class Americans feel classy and important.  And you KNOW these workers are probably sleeping 3 to a room in bunk beds for 6 month stretches.  And all the while the cruisers are just blowing their money on alcohol and junk jewelry and $30 photos of themselves posed in front of grand pianos sprinkled with rose petals while these poor workers make close to no money.  And they don't get to see their families for months or years at a time.  AND THEN, of course, you get to hear non stop complaining from all the cruisers about how they have to TIP these workers.  Yet you KNOW they dropped like $2000 on cocktails and beer over the course of the week.  I just felt bothered by the whole thing.  Ugh.  Too much?

Anyway, this is also a good shot of the fake beach that Carnival built so that cruisers don't have to actually enter into the port city.  Heaven forbid.

After the photo shoot concluded we took a van to a private beach. We rode through the city of Roatan, Honduras for about half an hour. I'm not kidding you when I say this was the best part of our trip. Cruising offers such a silly, Americanized and unrealistic view of all the places where the ship ports. It's sad really, to see how cruise lines have turned these little islands into crap holes were tourists can come and buy shot glasses and tshirts and HUGE bottles of liquor.

So we went to this great little private beach that is owned by a local pastor. He gives the locals money to build homes for their families and then lets them work for him in repayment. They had a buffet and drinks, massage tables and snorkeling and a little shop with all local made items to purchase. We bought a painting that little, local man had painted.  I loved it here and wish we could have spent another day or two there.

Like I said, we spent a lot of time in my parents room. I loved the view from their balcony.

And also, it sort of freaked me out.  There are sharks out there.  A lot of sharks.
Side note: while on this cruise I was reading Unbreakable by Laura Hillenbrand.  That book is basically about people getting eaten by sharks.  It was all I could think about the whole time.  End side note.

C loved chillin on the balcony too.

Here is me trying to get a picture of all of us by using my camera timer. I think I look SO GOOD in this picture.

Next stop, Belize. No pictures though. Because we didn't get off the boat. My family went ziplining through the rain forest. We took a nap in our box. Thanks a lot 1-year-old. Just kidding. We love our 1-year-old.

Last stop, Costa Maya. We saw some ruins which were awesome. Here is our guide. He was very smart.

The cruise was awesome.  Highlights included the late night comedy shows {hilarious}, the 24/7 pizza and ice cream bar, watching Mariah Carey, Cher and Justin Beiber in concert on the huge mega-tron screen over the pool {yes I'm serious}, and being with my family for 8 days straight.  Also, there didn't appear to be anyone with any body issues on this cruise {aside from me}.  We saw a LOT of bikni wearing women with stretch marks and cellulite and, well, fat.  But actually, I thought it was sort of chill for people to be like, "yeah, whatever".  Or maybe it was just because they were drunk?

Low points: trying to entertain a 1-year-old on a curise ship for 8 days straight, trying to get a 1-year-old into some sort of a naptime and night time sleep schedule while on a cruise ship for 8 days straight, chasing a 1-year-old around the dining room every, single night because she was ready to get down before we'd even finished our get the idea.

Friends, have I mentioned that you MAY have a more relaxing trip if you leave your baby home?

All in all though, we had SUCH a great time and I'd go again in a second, 1-year-old and all.


Trav and Lizzie said...

Oh man, this was funny. Real funny. Burned at least 60 calories while reading. Slutty prom for obese adults- right on the $$$$$. And the cheap photos by the piano? So sexy and sultry. Why not invest in this keepsake?!

I think they should have a race track so the people can come burn rubber in their jazzies to kill time. When they aren't eating, of course.

Ali said...

Fabulous! Thank you for the morning mental vacation to the Caribbean. Reading about the challenges of traveling with a one year old took me back to Germany. It's a "special" kind of experience. Worth it though, right?

Your family is super cute and dresses darling and I think I want to adopt myself in as a crazy aunt or something... distant cousin maybe?

Ty and Meg said...

Ha! This was funnee. I have so many comments but it would take so long. So suffice it to say I am really glad you posted that picture of me and Tyler touching tummies. That is hot stuff. Also, I am glad you got a full shot of that super hot tie. MAN I married a stylish guy. I am so lucky. Also, I love how sweaty C is in all the pictures at the ruins. And I for real love the sibling pictures and the ones of me, you and mom. They are so cute. My favorite thing was hanging out at dinner too. I loved a full week with everyone. Miss you already. :(

Melissa said...

I am glad to hear that a cruise to the Caribbean is just like a cruise to Alaska. Minus the gorgeous beaches and warm weather of course. But the skanky dresses on formal nights, super cheesy photographers EVERYWHERE, the enslaved workers - that's all the same.

It is funny you bring up the workers. Our waiter's wife was expecting, and Trevor felt so bad that he had to live his life as a cruise slave, that he filled out like 50 cards to nominate him as the best cruise worker so he could get a bonus.

Oh and formal night and the photographers. Cruises are prime for people watching. One of our formal nights, we went around to the photographers and took really awkward couples pictures. Sadly, we didn't purchase any of the $30 a print memories, but it was some fun times. The saddest part - a mother/son duo was going around to all the photographers at the same time as us. The kid was like 14, and the mother was making him take all these awkward photos with her. Think of a George Michael and Lucille type situation. It was bad.

Anne, Ryan, Emily and McCoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne, Ryan, Emily and McCoy said...

I love all the pictures. It looks like you guys had a great time (minus the struggles with C). I think my favorite picture is the one of your speedo-wearing friend where it looks like the buoy in the backgronud is either attached to or coming out of his behind (you pick). Hilarious! (My actual favorite picture is the one with your whole family - love family!). Also, where can I get that hat your dad is wearing?

The McBrides said...

i love reading your blog right before bed, it is the perfect way to end my day, and I am also pulling some strength from your courageous endeavors to travel with a baby- we will be embarking upon our first family vacation tomorrow morning... to Mesquite Nevada for Great Grandma Virgie's funeral. yea! 6 hours in the car with a miserable teething 8 month old baby, and a two year old who doesn't know how to stop talking. Not to mention, once we reach our destination (the funeral) I will be performing a solo on the piano, which evidently my grandma didn't get the memo that I really don't play anymore. Anyway... your family is so stinking cute and I loved all of your pictures, I am so glad you guys had a good time- next week we will be getting together for a playdate to swap horror travel stories ;) wish me luck!

The McBrides said...

oh and my dad totally wears fanny packs on vacation too- what is with that?! so relieved to know that I am not alone on that one.

kalie said...

As usual, you made me laugh out loud. I am dying about the Speedo-wearing gigolo in your family pictures. DYING. And Unbroken ... so terrific.