On Saturday, April 29, I left home
with Mommy, Papa, and Cameron for the biggest adventure of my life: a
cruise in the Caribbean!
After a very long day of car rides,
plane rides (with a stopover in Dallas), and too much time wandering in
airports [left], we spent the night at a hotel in Miami. All my family
from Holland were already there, but I was too tired the first night to
visit with them.
|The next day was spent waiting, waiting,
waiting—by the pool at the hotel, in the car, stuck in my stroller in
long lines at the cruise terminal among forests of legs—to get onto the
ship. Opa helped Mommy and Cameron take care of me while Papa drove back
and forth from the hotel to the terminal to get everyone aboard. The whole
process was so exhausting that when we FINALLY sat down to dinner that
night, I put my head down in front of my French fries and pizza and slept
through it all [right]!
Our first full day on the ship was a
day at sea. It was the first chance I had to really explore. Being on the
Carnival Valor was like being in a floating city. There were people
everywhere, some dressed up, some only in bathing suits and flipflops.
Inside was a maze of hallways, with shops, and restaurants, and lots of
“alligators” [elevators] to get up and down the 14 floors—even some
made of glass that I could see through. Outside were different swimming
pools, including a small wading pool for guests my size. The ship even had
a big, blue water slide, but I was too small to ride down it.
And there was lots and lots
of food. For breakfast I liked Rosie’s buffet, where I alternately ate
lemon poppyseed muffins, chocolate muffins, and pancakes with bacon. For
dinner we ate in the formal dining room (my nightly meal consisted of
pizza and French fries because I was too picky to try anything else),
where our waiter made animals for me from paper and napkins, and “Mr. V
the Maitre d’” encouraged people to clap, wave their napkins, and sing
with the waitstaff after all the food had been served. A couple nights I
even stood up on a marble pillar and danced for the crowd [left]!
Everywhere were colored lights, bright
decorations, music, people, and noise. Even though I love my family from
Holland, all the stimulation was too unsettling for me to willingly let
Mommy or Papa out of my sight. I was often glad to return to our room and
clamber into the playpen that Mommy and Papa had brought along to take my
afternoon nap or go to sleep at 8:00.
Our second day was a stop at Grand Cayman,
Cayman Islands. Cameron went with the rest of the family on a tour of the
island while Mommy, Papa, and I struck out on our own. We walked a long
way to the supermarket to buy baby wipes (Mommy forgot them). Soon after
that we found a pretty little beach, where I played in the coral-white
sand and warm, clear water [right]. They forgot my swimsuit cover-up, so I
wore Papa’s T-shirt on the walk home.
Before we boarded the tender to motor back
to the ship, we had drinks and French fries in a noisy restaurant called
Breezes near the pier. They gave us each shiny necklaces, and I got a
paper umbrella in my lemonade.
|Our third day was spent at Roatán Island,
Honduras. Mommy and Cameron left early to go zip-lining through the
treetops and diving with the dolphins, while Papa went scuba diving. I was
left behind with Opa and Tante Margaret. I love my Opa, but I didn’t
like being away from Mommy and Papa. I cried the first half-hour, then
fell asleep in his lap for nearly an hour. After that, they took me
walking on the ship [left]. Every so often I’d remember that Mommy and
Papa were gone, and I’d start sniffling again. Finally, Papa got back
from his excursion, then Mommy returned with Cameron, and I felt much
On the fourth day we stopped at Belize
City, Belize. Mommy and Cameron went on an adventure in the jungle, but
Papa and I stayed behind. We traveled in a fast speedboat from the ship to
the city, where Opa hired a tour van. With Oma, Opa, and Tante Margaret,
we saw the historic sights of Belize City. I can’t say what we saw, but
I liked looking out the window from the safety of Papa’s lap.
The fifth day was one of my favorites. We
stopped at Costa Maya, Mexico. The Tourist Village there included a
gigantic swimming pool with fountains and different depths of water for
wading and swimming. Mommy had brought my special water boat and swim
vest, and I had a great time paddling and splashing in the water with
Cameron [right], Papa, Mommy, and cousin Christel.
Our last full day was on the sea again. I
spent a lot of time in the children’s wading pool [left] and on the deck
nearby, where through the week the family had gathered in deck chairs for
sunbathing and relaxing. The previous night the ship had hosted a midnight
dessert buffet. I was fast asleep by then, but on Saturday all the
desserts were set out to eat, and Mommy brought me plates of bite-size
sweets while I sat on the deck. I didn’t like most of them, but it was
fun to try them.
By the time I woke up on our last day,
we had arrived back in Miami. We gathered our things, ate our final
breakfast at Rosie’s, and then waited on deck in the sun with all the
family to be called to disembark. It was a long, slow process of lines,
lines, lines—getting off the ship, walking through the terminal, getting
through Customs—and I was once again stuck in my stroller among a forest
We drove to the hotel where some
family would stay the night, drove to the airport in Ft Lauderdale, and
waited for our plane. Then began the long ride home, with a 3-hour stop in
Dallas (a very fun airport to run in). I don’t like sleeping on planes,
but I was so tired that I slept most of the way from Dallas to Seattle. We
didn’t get home until about 1:00 AM Seattle time, and I was SO tired
that I went right to sleep. My own bed felt SO good!
Papa says that he’s not going to
take me on an airplane again for two whole years. (Yes, okay, I was a
little difficult.) But when I see one flying overhead, I want to be on it.
And when I see photos of the cruise ship, I want go sailing.
When do we get to go again?
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