We arrived back from our cruise on Saturday night. I think I am still swaying (a la the motion of the ocean) a bit, although it is getting better.
We flew to Orlando on New Years Eve and spent the first two nights of our trip at my in-law's condo in Celebration, FL. My brother-in-law got us free passes to the parks so we went to Magic Kingdom and Epcot on New Year's Day. It was a tad chilly, as no doubt, wherever you live in the US, you have felt in the past week.
Luckily, we boarded the ship at Port Canaveral, FL on Saturday. We were aboard the Disney Magic. We did not take off until 4 or 5 PM that day so the first couple of hours on the ship we got into our stateroom, which was bigger and nicer than I expected, and explored the ship, which was easy because my brother-in-law was a Gold-level cruiser, meaning he had been on 5 other Disney Cruises. I also took advantage of the track around the boat (3 laps=1 mile) to get a run in before we took off -this turned out to be a SMART idea as I was only able to run one other time while we were moving. After we took off, we had to do a mandatory evacuation drill so that if we did pull a Titanic, we would know what to do.
Each night on the cruise roughly followed the same formula - we went to the live show and then went to dinner. You eat with the same group at the same table with the same servers each night and rotate through restaurants. In our case, we rotated through three different restaurants, but there were 7 different menus. There was a fancy, adult only restaurant on board the ship too that we went to as a group for brunch once and Nate & I went for dinner once too. All over the ship, the food was really good and you could order whatever you want, however much you wanted. Several times I ordered two different entrees. The service was OUTSTANDING as well. I was sad to say goodbye to our two servers, Marcellito and Daniella, and our stateroom host (aka maid) Loyd.
Our first 3 days were at sea followed by one day in St. Maarten/St. Martin, one day in St. Thomas, another day at sea, and a day at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas. We had great weather for the most part on the cruise. The one morning that it rained, we took advantage of the spa :)
My favorite port stop was definitely St. Thomas, where we hung out at the beach at Magen's Bay for most of the day. Apparently Magen's Bay is one of the top 10 beaches in the world, according to National Geographic. It certainly was the best beach we have ever been on. Here are some pics:
Here are pics from St. Maarten/St. Martin. We did an island tour that went around the entire island visiting both the French side (St. Martin) and the Dutch side (St. Maarten).
Finally, here are some pics from Castaway Cay. Nate & I snorkled here and it was amazing - I could not believe how many fish we saw!
We arrived back in Orlando where it was 32 degrees! We spent the day at the condo and then flew back later that night. Thankfully we had hired the neighbor boy to shovel our driveway while we were gone! All in all, it was a nice getaway in some beautiful locations with some much-needed SUN! I think our entire family (12 people total) had a great time together. I did get a little seasick on the boat, so days on the boat were a little rough for me, but the nice teak chairs by the adult pool in the sun certainly helped. :)
While we were gone, we left a dehumidifier run in our basement and it is completely dried out. No more smelly basement! Woohoo! We aren't really sure what type of flooring we will get for the "living part" of the basement. It may seem silly to put in carpet again given what happened, but really, one flooding in over 40 years isn't that bad. (Trust me, that was OLD carpet). However, we are considering a non-carpet floor as well. Just one of the home-related chores on the list for 2010!