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Friday, October 30, 2009

Cruise Vacay Getaway Part One

On the boat and

Disclaimer: we were our own photographers, and I failed to take pictures of inside the actual boat... therfore, there are just lots of pictures of US :)

On the boat: Water slides, miniature golf course, pool, Casino, lots of lounges and show rooms. We went to several shows including a juggling show and comedy shows that were a blast.

First night at dinner on the boat.

The first day was a day at sea, which meant the casino, fun shows and relaxing on the boat deck sipping pinacoladas- people looked at us nutso when we asked for non alchoholic-LOVED THESE!

Second Night at dinner on the boat

One of my favorite things to do was to be on the boat deck at night. We lounged on the top deck under the stars, and stood along the railings watching the Ocean below. It was so beautiful and relaxing. Crashing waves, a large moon, a pitch black sky allowing millions of stars to appear, and an ocean breeze dancing around me playing with my hair. Ahhh.. doesn't get much better than that.

First stop: Grand Cayman Island

When we got there we looked in some shops, and got haggled by local people to do excursions and tours. All the excursions if you booked them on the boat were around $100 so we opted out- *Note to reader- always book the excursions on the island, way cheaper!
One guy talked us into a tour of the island. He gave us a history, and inside tips of the local people, more about their culture, etc. It was fascinating. First the tour took us to "HELL". I've been to HELL and Back, Have you?!? No Joke. The town's official name is HELL. We were sad we left our passports on board the boat, cause you can get a passport stamp saying you went to Hell. Here we sent out postcards that were postmarked from hell, to our parents (sorry folks, didn't have anyone else's addresses memorized!)

The Devil's Playground. It consists of natural limestone deposits on the ground (you can see behind us) Under the dirt the limestone is really white. The local people grind it up and use it to whitewash their houses.
We saw huge iguana's in Hell, walking around, laying in trees, they're all over.
This pic from here
They give you a chance to redeem yourself while in hell.
Next stop on the tour was the RUM factory. Grand Cayman markets rum and rum cakes like the orients do rice. It was crazy, they let you drink as much free rum as you wanted while you were at the factory. We opted out of course, but we did sample the Rum cakes...I can't even describe the goodness of the coconut rum cake. (all the alcohol was cooked out :) ) Kicking myself for not bringing some back!
Ahhh rum cake....
pic from here
This was the view walking down the sidewalk...

This was at a restaruant table. I'd eat there everyday for this view!

Next stop was the 7 mile Beach. The beach looks like this for 7 whole miles! There was no one on the beach, couldn't believe it, it was so Beautiful!!

Before we got back on the boat, we stopped at a local restaurant to try the local food.

Apparently the national dish in the Cayman Islands is Turtle stew. We opted for a Turtle Burger instead. It was made from sea turtle meat. Turtle meat is regulated because the turtles are endangered, so you have to buy it from the governement turtle farms. Our tour guide showed us the one restaurant (Above picture)that serves turtle on the island.

People ask what it tasted like. I compare it to lamb. It was different from anything I've ever had. Like Lamb, it has its own distinctive flavor.

We also got some Conch Chowder. VERY GOOD.

The towel animals we found waiting for us in our room every night.

When we left Grand Cayman we sat on the back of the boat on loungers and watched the view of the Islands disappear.

Other places we went not pictured:
The Aquarium where people swim with the dolphins.
The turtle farm where turtles are hatched, raised and released into the ocean.
Next Post: The Cruise continues to MEXICO!

2 Notes to the Queen Bee:

Brittany and Johnse said...

so jealous!! I have been wanting to go on a cruise for so husband has never been and we want to plan one soon! looks like a blast!

Matt and Kristine said...

I love the towels! How fun they took the time to do that. And I love that they thought you were crazy for wanting virgin drinks! Gotta love it!