It has become almost a tradition, at this point, to take a cruise in February to celebrate my birthday. Before leaving one of my friends, Bill asked, “You still like going to the Caribbean?” Using my friend Rachel’s favorite word, I replied, “Absolutely”.
I explained that it really is not the destination but the journey that I look most forward to. “I just love being on the water,” I said. I also explained that even though we would be returning to islands that we had visited many times before there was always something new to discover. There are always new excursion adventures to participate in, new local restaurants to visit and, at times, just returning to a beautiful beach, finding a comfortable lounge chair and enjoying the sun, sand and water is just perfect.
Randy and I were both very excited about our cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Freedom of the Seas. Our winter months had been chaotic, a little colder than usual so we were looking forward to calm days, warmer weather and calm seas. Our cruise was taking us to Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and, Cozumel, Mexico.
My birthday celebration started as soon as we got to the door of our cabin. There was a birthday cupcake decal on the door and the inside of the cabin was festive with colorful decorations hanging from the ceiling, flowers on the coffee table and a bottle of White Zinfandel chilling in ice. The flowers and wine were compliments of our wonderful cruise consultants, Andy and Karen Skolnick. Lovely, lovely, lovely!
But, that is not where the excitement ended. For this cruise we had decided to stay in a junior suite. I could not believe my eyes when I opened the cabin door. There was so much room. I usually have to walk sideways between the bed and the wall to get to my side of the bed in a normal cabin; not in this cabin.
The room was large with a queen-size bed, wall unit for storage and desk, a sitting area with couch, coffee table, a comfortable stuffed chair with hassock, and a balcony large enough for two lounge chairs, small table and sitting chair, a walk-in closet and a bathroom with a tub. A tub!!!
After getting settled and enjoying our lovely, large cabin, we made our way to the Diamond Lounge and met a very nice couple Bev and Jan from Phoenix, Arizona. We had a very nice time getting to know one another and exchanging stories about other cruises we have taken, the weather in Arizona and what we were looking forward to on this cruise.
Anchors up, the ship started making its way through the channel. As we sailed along we passed one of Royal Caribbean’s newest ships, the Quantum of the Seas. As we made our way past it appeared as though the captain of the Quantum raised its bubble arm, the North Star, in salute and our captain blew his horn in response. The bubble-like feature rises to 300 ft. giving passengers a 360 degree view. I thought that was very cool.
By now, Randy and I have cruised enough on Royal to know the menu fairly well. I was looking forward to some comfort food and ordered the Caesar salad and Linguini Pomodoro for dinner. The dinner was light and not too filling, just perfect. We spent the rest of the evening walking along the Promenade stopping at the Bull and Bear for an after dinner drink before returning to our cabin and a good night’s sleep.
Our hopes for tomorrow we will be spending time on a sunny day poolside.