Wednesday was the day we hit Cozumel! We had been informed by friends it was very touristy and what to stay away from and what were good buys there. We set off and of course the first thing we are given when we step on land is a treasure map. My kids were thrilled. Luckily it was only 4 or 5 stores but what we weren't expecting is to be having people at every shop (100's) even just those in the middle of the street trying to get your attention. It was actually a relief to stop in those other stores because they would just grab the treasure (candy or toy) and let us be on our way.
The night before we had went to a cooking class (by accident) in the Oceaneer's club where we made cookies and saw their vanilla was very thick and strong. The cookies were fantastic (we didn't actually eat the ones we made) and assumed by all the talk it was Mexican vanilla. Later we learned they make their own but the Mexican vanilla is very good as well. Anyway we were on the search for the store that was recommended to us. Very important these places don't have bathrooms my 2 year old had to go and the lady sent us to 3 different places that were all closed. We also discovered they were bars...
We headed back to the ship walking on the opposite side of the street and had a more peaceful walk. After lunch on the ship we went to the pool and just hung around knowing it was going to be a big night we wanted to get the boys to fall asleep. So I went for a run and when they were still not asleep decided to find the gym and go to a free Pilates class. This is one area I was surprised by because they didn't have a separate room for classes and there wasn't much room. There were only 7 of us including the instructor and yet we were in the way of the weights and trying to avoid hitting each other.
Still no naps for the boys so we washed up and started getting dressed for pirate night. This is a big night everyone looks forward to on the ship.
We took a picture with Jake from "The Neverland Pirates" (little one was still sleeping) and enjoyed a show before dinner.
There are shows everywhere especially the main deck where after dinner Jack Sparrow repelled from the top of the funnel.
By the end of the night fireworks! Because of almost every passenger being on levels 11 and above there wasn't much room or a good place to see the show even though it was on the big screen above the pools. BUT we did have an excellent location for the fireworks, in fact we were so close it was almost to bright to watch. The boys loved it and danced as we waited for everyone to clear out so we could head back to our room for much needed sleep.
We kept the day light and fun, let the boys sleep in and instead of going to get breakfast my husband went to Cabanas and brought it to us.
|They had several tile mosaics around|
|Another tile mosaic|
Friday - Castaway Cay
One of my favorite days. We decided to have breakfast in our room again because I had to get everything together so the guys would be able to get on the island with everything and I wouldn't have to come back to change. I had read about the 5k but didn't know much about it so last minute I decided to go ahead and join. The guys decided to meet me later. Runners are first to be released, we had about 47 runners and normally they have over 120. Families are allowed to exit with runners but I didn't realize this until we were heading out, it worked out well though as mine got us a good spot on the beach with an umbrella. (Thanks to Karol for telling us to be the first island to get this spot) They played while I ran in the very hot and humid weather. Although not as humid as it was the next week in Missouri it was still pretty sticky. My son made me promise not to come in last which I succeeded, I came in the exact same place as I finished. They don't tell us what place or keep track of our time, it really is just for fun but I kept track of anyone who passed me and how many I passed. They also have a clock to let you know what time you finished in 30:30, not horrible but not the time I was hoping for. They gave us a "medal" plastic Mickey head on a ribbon for finishing and the option to buy a shirt at the gift shop saying we ran it.
There were so many good pictures of us, we only had 18 taken professionally but they are a bit pricey. We chose 3 we really liked and thought we could put up when we got home (before we decided to remodel the basement next blog) but ran out of time getting them. Our youngest had requested to be picked up, he was starting to feel a bit homesick now. I went and he was holding the hand of one of the helpers watching his brother play. They said he was doing good but just asked if he could go home and started holding her hand.
Our goal was to be on the road by 11 and we beat that by almost 2 hours. Probably a good thing too because pancakes and our youngest don't go well together on long car rides and we had to stop at a Walmart for bathroom break. We picked up lunch at the same time before getting on the road. The decision to skip staying with friends and family on the way back was made last minute but worth getting home quickly. We stopped in Ringgold, GA to grab dinner at what looked like a brand new pizza hut. It quickly turned into a history lesson with the kids as we saw pictures of why it was recently built. April 27, 2011 this area had been hit by an F4 tornado. As we walked outside you could still see where gas stations and signs once stood. Again a very humbling experience to see the pictures and be standing right there answering what questions you can from a 5 year old. We stopped for the night in Paducah and attended services in Illinois before making the rest of the trip home.
No matter old or young, kids or not if you are thinking about a cruise I would recommend Disney. Their customer service is far superior.