Thursday, September 13, 2012

Honeymoon Recap #1



While we wait for our professional wedding pictures so I can blog about my other DIY projects, I figured I’d write about our honeymoon. It feels like it was about a million years ago at this point, as the last month since we got back has been a really busy one at work. 

For our honeymoon, we went back and forth about what sort of trip we wanted to take. We’ve both been to Europe, but not together, many of the places I’ve been, A hasn’t, and vice versa. But we decided a European honeymoon wasn’t for us, we wanted something that would be a little bit more relaxing. We have that trip stashed away for some other time, because we both want to go back. Next we scouted out all inclusive resorts on a whole bunch of islands, but ultimately decided against it because we wanted to be able to do more than sit on a beach and stay at the resort (I know you CAN do more than that at resorts, but I think we would have fallen into a lazy trap.) Then we found the perfect middle ground – a port intensive cruise. We started researching 5-7 day cruises that left on the Sunday or Monday after the wedding and quickly found the Carnival Victory, leaving from San Juan, Puerto Rico at 10pm the Sunday after the wedding and stopping in St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. I’d never been on a cruise, but this seemed like such a great way to see lots of islands, explore each one a little bit, and still relax. Oh, and before you ask, yes, at one point we did worry that a hurricane could potentially wash our plans out, but then we read that the Southern Caribbean seldom gets hit hard by hurricanes. Nevermind that in the two weeks after our cruise, two tropical storms/hurricanes came through and affected islands we visited. In the next few entries I’ll review each of the ports, and a little bit about the ship. Unlike many cruise fanatics, I kind of viewed the ship as the means to get to each new island, we didn’t really do everything the ship had to offer.  We only had one sea day, and I’m not sure I’d be crazy about a cruise with the majority of the days being at sea. I have a strange problem where I’m pretty lazy, but then I get bored quickly when I don’t have options.

Day 1: We woke up way too early after the wedding reception the night before, did some quick errands, heading to our respective parents homes for 20 minutes to pack up and start our journey. We flew US Airways from Philadelphia to San Juan, and landed around 3:30pm. Getting a cab from the airport to the cruise terminal was easy. There was some traffic between the two, but nothing major. When we got to the cruise terminal we went through security and check in fairly quickly, even though there was some construction/repairs going on and we had to go a different way through the terminal to the ship than normal. Never having been there before, and not knowing the difference, it didn’t matter to us. The pictures they make you take at the beginning (both the security one and the posed one) were horrifying looking because we were exhausted and I still had about a pound of hair products in my hair from the reception – I’d had no time that morning to shower. We went to our room hoping maybe our checked bags would be there, but we had to wait a few more hours before they arrived. We went to the buffet for a snack and explored a little bit before getting dinner. The first night was open seating in both dining rooms, and we decided to try out the dining room we wouldn’t be seated in the rest of the trip. For the rest of the cruise, we picked anytime dining. We got seated with a miserable family who didn’t really want to talk to one another, much less us. So we just tried to ignore them the best we could. After dinner our bags had arrived and we spent some time unpacking and then headed to the muster drill. That was hot and humid and awful, but got over with fairly quickly, it was slightly annoying that we had to hear it all in two languages, making it last longer. Being my first cruise, I have no idea if this is standard, or if it was because we were leaving from Puerto Rico. We made our way to the top decks for sailaway. I immediately knew we’d made the right choice for our honeymoon when the second song they played at the sailaway party was Danza Kuduro by Don Omar. I can’t describe it, but for some reason I LOVE that song and it led to me creating a reggaeton Pandora station awhile ago. We heard variations of the song all week long, I was a happy camper. After spending some time at the sailaway party we went to go (finally) shower and enjoy watching Puerto Rico disappear behind us from our aft balcony.
                            View from the top deck as we explored before dinner on the first night.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shrek

8+ years ago, one the first dates A and I went on was to see Shrek in the theaters. In the years since, we've made a hobby of seeing lots of animated movies. When I had a few leftover wooden dolls from the cake topper project, I decided to try my hand at a few Shrek characters. They need ears, and Princess Fiona might need a nose job, but otherwise I'm pretty pleased.