The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Cruisin’ 2009

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on May 31, 2009

The husband and I recently returned from an incredibly relaxing and beautiful cruise in the Caribbean with some of our closest friends.  After this cruise, we realized that we can probably call ourselves “cruisers” now – this was our 4th cruise together in the 2 1/2 years we’ve been together (details on the others to come in later posts!).  For those of you who have never cruised before, we highly recommend it! What better opportunity to go to many places, only have to unpack once, and eat whenever you want?!?!

While we’ve been on a handful of cruise lines, we find that Carnival is a great choice, especially for groups or those looking to save money.  We arranged the cruise through our AAA Travel Agent and our friends were able to book through her even if they weren’t members of AAA.  Booking as a group ensured that we would have rooms relatively close to each other (if we chose the same category of room – different categories are different prices) and we would be able to sit together at dinner.

For this cruise, we chose the Carnival Legend, a 7-day cruise out of Tampa.  Originally, Cozumel, Mexico was on our itinerary, but due to the swine flu scare, Carnival cancelled all ports of call to Mexico until June 15th.  That was okay with us – no need to risk getting that illness on a cruise ship! Instead, they gave all guests a $20 shipboard credit (which accounted for the port fees we would have paid if we went to Mexico).  That credit went quickly though with the tasty drinks on the cruise!  Our seven days ended up consisting of the following schedule:

  • Sunday – Check In in Tampa
  • Monday – Day at Sea
  • Tuesday – Grand Cayman
  • Wednesday – Day at Sea (would have been Cozumel)
  • Thursday – Belize
  • Friday – Isla Roatan (island off of Honduras)
  • Saturday – Day at Sea
  • Sunday – Back to Tampa 😦

Unfortunately, I took very few photos on the cruise and most of those below are courtesy of our friends.  As such, there’s no food pictures, but I assure you that the food was wonderful!  I did my best to enjoy without overindulging, and did a relatively good job (especially compared to past cruises!)  We spent most breakfasts and lunches at the buffets on the Lido Deck (aka pool deck with an enclosed restaurant) but occassionally ate breakfast in the formal dining room.  During the day, the dining room allowed casual dress, but in the evening, for dinner every night, the dress code varied depending on the evening.  Two nights out of the week were fancy nights which meant dress ranged from cocktail dresses to ball gowns for girls and dress shirts and slacks to tuxedos for guys.  All other nights, cruisers could wear “nice” shorts, khakis, sun dresses, etc. or what they called “cruise casual.”

For those of you who have never cruised before, one of the first activities upon arrival is the mandatory lifeboat drill.  While tedious, it’s a good opportunity to find our life vests and know where we’re to report if an emergency evacuation is required.  What it ends up being is a jam packed opportunity for everyone to don bright orange life jackets!  The husband and I enjoy taking photos at this point in the cruise.

life jackets

IMG_1629

Once we got the safety drill out of the way, it was time to relax! The ship provided many, many opportunities for that!  At any time of the day (at least the daylight hours), somewhere on the boat there was live music, food, and places to just relax.  There was a library, a spa, a gym (which was pretty difficult to work out in with the rocking of the boat!), and lots and lots of seats (both indoors and out).  On one of the days at sea, our group found the mini golf course on the 10th deck and all had a round of golf.

cruise mini golf

While I stayed in the shade or indoors most of the time at sea (I burn so easily! even with sunblock!), there’s lots of pools and chairs to lay out on.  Waiters and waitresses are constantly bringing drinks around encouraging folks to buy the variety of fruity drinks of the day.  What was new on this cruise compared to others we’ve been on was a Drink Card which allowed us to pay a much cheaper rate up front for 5 drinks during the week.  It was well worth it!

cruise pool

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman was our first port of call.  This port had the best opportunity for shopping so the husband and I and some friends jumped at the opportunity to walk around the town, shop a bit, and relax at a local bar.  The theme in Grand Cayman seemed to be pirates so we made sure to take a photo with at least one of the statues (with our boat in the background!)pirate pose

At the bar, I had one of the hurricanes and the Husband tried a local beer.  On the way back to the tender (the little boat that ushered us from the ship to the port), we took a quick opportunity to take another photo with the ship in the background.

us in grand cayman

This post has taken a bit longer than I expected (still getting used to making a blog!) so the rest of the cruise will be posted tomorrow!

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2 Responses to “Cruisin’ 2009”

  1. Kath said

    I didn’t realize you guys were cruisers too!! I just finished my 5th 🙂 We definitely need to all go on one together in the future!

  2. Erin said

    Aww, that cruise looks fun! You and hubs are too cute. 🙂

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