Ran across these files this morning as I was cleaning up an old server. The images here were originally posted on the site in 2004. Enjoy.
My wonderful wife Amanda surprised me with a cruise for a graduation present. While she tried her best to keep this surprise from me, she did let it slip a couple of times so I knew we were going cruisin. What she DIDN’T let slip was the fact that our good friends Erik and Jenny were going to be joining us! Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport (we had to go home so Ralph would have somewhere to stay) and ran into them!
While this cruise was supposed to be a week long, it turned into a 10 day excursion thanks to Hurricane Frances. It came on shore one day before we were supposed to return to Miami and just stopped. Not to be deterred, our captain kept us out at sea for an additional 3 days of fun in the sun. As with our Hawaii trip in 2003, Amanda and I took a ton of photos to remember our trip. Enjoy!
Ahh, beautiful Miami. We arrived on the ship in the early afternoon after traveling from Cleveland and then driving from Ft. Lauderdale. Pulling into the harbor and seeing the ship there was quite a site. The sun was out and we were off!!!
Of course we had to take pictures of our room and the view from our room. I tell you, having a balcony was a great choice. Amanda and I had many breakfasts outside. Soaking up the sun and surf over omelettes was a great experience.
The girls just couldn’t wait to get out there and start on their tans. (And as you can see, a lot of other people had the same idea). Prime seating was difficult to come by, but Erik and I never had to worry cause Amanda and Jenny were out there at the crack of dawn to reserve our spots!
Dinner was something that we all looked forward to. Not only was the food wonderful, but we got to get all spiffed up and we had GREAT service. Harrison and Sasa (pictured later) took wonderful care of us. Also, Amanda and I began to look forward to our “towel animals” on a nightly basis!
Due to Hurricane Frances, our itinerary was changed quite drastically. Our first stop became St. John’s Antigua. The day we were there, the weather was absolutely amazing.
As you can see, we had quite a relaxing day in Antigua. Our beach hut was awesome, and there’s nothing quite like having cold drinks brought right to you.
Amanda and I had a great time jet skiing when we were in Hawaii last year, so we thought we’d give it another spin. We went out in tandem for a while and then I was off to the races by myself too! (Amanda couldn’t hang with my need… my need for speed).
After jet skiing, we had a few hours to relax before we had to get back on board. And then… he came. Gumby Bendy Man. He “warmed up” for quite a while with a variety of stretches, and then he was off… (we think he was swimming to Jamaica). After the Bendy Man left, it was time too for us to leave Antigua. Pulling out of port, the skyline was breathtaking.
More towel animals greeted us on our spare twin mattress bed when we returned to the room and we immediately had to get dressed to go to dinner. Jenny and Amanda both took their chance to dance with Harrison after dinner was served.
Erik took his turn dancing, and then we did a little bit of ship exploring. I tell you, I was on board for 10 days and I still don’t think I saw everything. Our next stop… St. Thomas!!!
I can’t even tell you how beautiful St. Thomas was. For an island that had recently weathered a hurricane it was heaven. It had probably the clearest water that I’ve ever seen in my life, and the greenery on the way to the beach was outstanding.
The shots above were all taken from a bus taking us from the port area to Magen’s Bay. It was voted one of the top ten beaches in the world!!! Quite literally, “a day at the beach”. Warm water, the beach and the sun made for one of the most relaxing days of the trip (not to mention the great deals we got on JEWELRY!!!)
A few more beach photos, and then it’s back on board. Erik shows off his picture taking ability, and I make my way to the ship’s rock climbing wall.
After everything is properly secured (and believe me, that wasn’t an easy process), I’m off to the races.
Amanda likes to refer to one photo here as “The Human X” (she just thought it was hilarious when I got temporarily stuck up there). After what seemed like an eternity, I got to the top and rang out my victory!
Later that night, we had another formal dinner. I tell you, Erik and I are two lucky guys. Just look at those beautiful girls! After dinner, it was back to the room to check to see if we’d received any new towel animals. Sure enough, this hanging monkey awaited us. After a quick freshen up, we were off to the night club for a little late night dancing.
The following day was another stunner. I just can’t tell you enough how nice it was to be out in the middle of the ocean with the sun shining and the breeze blowing.
After another tough day of sunbathing Erik and I were off to a belly-flop contest (which we fared rather well in if I do say so myself).
By this point we were FINALLY getting close to shore and the heavens were getting a bit dark. In fact, it was time for the crew to “batten down the hatches” and get everything secured. Man was it windy!
These last couple of pages aren’t in any particular order, but I wanted to post them here for us to remember our great trip!
A few final cruise photos to remember our wonderful trip. I can’t think of a better graduation present (thanks Honey) and I certainly can’t think of a better couple to share our vaction with (Love you guys) Anyone up for another cruise next year? Perhaps this time we can avoid a Hurricane!