It’s been an eventful past few weeks, with the conclusion of my first year as a school teacher, followed by the conclusion of college and graduate school for both our girls, Ansley and Kelsey. A season of firsts.
This past week we celebrated by taking the whole family on a Caribbean cruise, something we have never done before either. We had booked a 7-day trip with Royal Caribbean, with four ports of call- Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. It turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.
We lounged on the private beaches at Labadee, and climbed large rock outcroppings drenched by breaking waves. We explored the old town of Falmouth, browsing local craft shops. We snorkeled a reef and a shipwreck off George Town. And we took a ferry on Cozumel over to the mainland, followed by a 2+ hour bus ride, to visit the historic Mayan city of Chichin Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
When not at port, the cruise ship was buzzing with activity. We took in an ice show, juggling and trapeze acts, rocked and danced to several bands playing around the ship, and participated in fun game shows. Our girls took 3rd place in a “Battle of the Sexes” game, and I won a rock music trivia contest.
When not at shows, we ate (too much), exercised, relaxed, read, and joined in activites like ice skating, rock wall climbing, and even tried the surf simulator. We were rarely in our rooms, often not turning in until after midnight. Among my favorite times was just walking the decks of the ship at night with Lisa, under the moonlight and stars. Beautiful beyond description.
What I found amazing was the diversity of nationalities onboard. The guests were from all over the globe. More than that, was the diversity of the crew. I met crew members from every inhabited continent on the planet, from countries the world over. Our cabin steward was from Mauritania, our waiters from Nicaragua, India, Romania, and South Africa. I met others from Russia, England, Turkey, Israel, and so on. All working and living in harmony with each other. Amazing. The world comes together on a cruise ship.
We’ll do this again someday, for sure. The value is incredible, the memories made are indelible. So thankful to have been able to share in this with my family (and two family friends).