Saturday, February 28, 2009

Did we have fun??

So the question that I get asked by my sisters is: Did we have fun? Yes, all in all, it was a great family vacation (except for that first day!!). The kids were the perfect age to experience a little independence and run around the ship on their own at times. We did a lot of reading and card playing. Taz and Cynjyn went to the kids club that had organized activities throughout most of the day so Garry, Tanner and I could relax and not worry about having to entertain them. Tanner did the teen kids club which mostly had activities at night so teens 12-14 could hang out together. He would come in at midnight most nights (when the activities were over) and we'd all be in bed.
This is how Tanner and I looked while watching Taz and Cynjyn swim in the UNHEATED pool We are freezing...

...and they are sliding!!

With smiles!!

We really did have fun and loved the bonding time. I highly recommend it for a fairly cheap family vacation!!

Towel folding

So, that first day, when i was sick, Garry and Cynjyn went to a towel folding class that they had. They loved it and we eventually bought the book with directions for all the little creatures.
So, here is Garry attempting a sea horse.

Not bad.

Cynjyn's specialty was the elephant and she made one and left it for Pambudi with a note thanking him for taking good care of our room. He was so happy that he tracked her down the next day and thanked her for thinking of him and praising her for learning to fold the elephant so good! Of course, she was thrilled.

Taz's specialty is the bulldog. He too left a note for Pambudi that last night!


Our cabin was quite "cozy". It was on deck 7 and it slept 5. It had a little vanity table, a closet, a bathroom and a place to hang our suits. It was an interior cabin, so we didn't have a view of the ocean, but rather a "fake" window sill and a TV. It had two fold down bunks that the steward would come and pull down each night while we were out and about. The above pic is Cynjyn on Tanner's bed.
Taz is showing off where he and Cynjyn slept every other night. The bunk above the master bed.

Below Tanner, you can see the "pull out bed" that stayed under the master bed until bedtime and the steward would come and pull it out and make it. It was rather short and Tanner was too tall for it, so that is why Taz and Cynjyn took turns every other night on the other bunk!

Here is the view as you walk in our door. Just to my left is the bathroom and to my right is the closet. You can see the vanity and the master bed and bunk, and Tanner leaning over from his bunk to be in the picture: Home, sweet, home!

As I said previously, everynight when we left for dinner the steward, Pambudi, would come in and make up our room. Every night, he'd leave a "towel creature" for us and a schedule for the next day and mints. He'd have our beds all turned down and ready for us. Here is the dog he made the first night.

The second night, we got a gorilla.

The third night, a dinosaur

And the last night a scorpian with a pair of Taz's sunglasses he'd found on the vanity. The kids loved seeing which creature we'd be blessed with each night! It was fun.

Brace yourself: Cruise Part 2

As I said previously, we left San Diego Sunday at 5:30 pm. We were supposed to arrive in Catalina Monday morning and be there until 5:00pm. We got a call over the intercom early Monday morning saying that the weather was so bad in Catalina that the Captain decided to skip the stop there (It was too dangerous to anchor there and take the tenders onto the island). So he was just going to head south and find better weather. So this was to be our "day at sea" (that was supposed to happen Wednesday). Things only went downhill from there. Taz, Cynjyn and I decided to go out and see what the weather was really like. We went up to Deck 10 (The outside one) and this is what we saw and felt. The waves were wicked (Above) and the rain was pouring (Below). It was windy, cold and that ship was a rockin! I immediatly started feeling sick. I had a patch behind my ear that had served me well until now. We went to breakfast and I couldn't eat. People were stumbling (You couldn't walk straight because the boat was rocking). One lady, at breakfast even fell down with a tray full of food. Taz and Cynj went to club kids carnival and I was standing by the pool (the middle of the ship where you could feel less rocking) freezing and feeling so sick, so Garry said he'd go back to the room and get my jacket. He did and I was standing there for quite awhile. Finally GArry and Tanner went to the card room to play cards. I went to the dining hall and got a glass of water and went back out by the pool and was trying to take little sips and feel better. I could feel that I was going to throw up, so I was trying to make it to the bathroom (just to the left of the above picture), but i didn't make it and threw up a little past where Taz is standing!! I then made my way down to the room and collapsed on the bed and tried to sleep. I mangaged to sleep most of the day. About 2:00, we finally got to clearer water and Garry and the kids brought me a bunch of crackers to eat. I started feeling a little better. Garry said that people were getting sick right and left and three different people threw up right next to him at three different times. There were little white barf bags all over the ship!!
Finally, when things started calming down, I felt fine the rest of the cruise. Tanner had to take a sea sick pill that day and so did Taz. Garry and Cynjyn did o.k. without one. Garry, Tanner and I played cards a lot on the ship. Here we are in the above picture in the show lounge just hangin and playing Nerts.

Taz and Cynj loved to ride the glass elevator. Tanner would usually take the stairs and "race" us up or down to see who could get to which floor next. Here we are in the elevator!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The not so fine dining

We have just arrived on the cruise ship and the first thing we did was hit the buffet for lunch. All our luggage is in the background because we can't get into our rooms for another hour.

Tanner took advantage of the ice cream bar frequently.
So did Taz, he probably had at least three ice cream cones with every meal.

One day, they were making cream puffs with ice cream and they even turned them into swans.

Here we are hitting the 24 hour pizza bar. Taz was hungry after the first night at about 10:00 and buffets were closed, so we had hot chocolate, pizza and fruit before going to bed.

Fine Dining

Every night they had the dining room open for dinner. You chose early or late seating before you even got on the cruise. We chose early. So we were in the dinning room by 6:00 every night. The dining room is quite an experience for us. We have an assigned table that we sit at every night and we hav the same waiter and helper. Our waiter was Noel and he was from the Phillipeans, his helper was Susilio and he was from Indonesia. We loved these two guys. The memorized us and knew us by name after the first night. We were at a table for 10, but the other people didn't show up until the last two nights, so we had Susi and Noel all to ourselves for the first two nights. They were very entertaining. Noel folded a napkin into a mouse and did a trick for Cynjyn, she loved it and will gladly show it to anyone that asks, that's all I'll say about that!! She made Noel show the other family the trick after they came on that third night. Anyway, it is very elegant in the dinning hall and they have a menu every night where you order a "Starter", the Main menu, and dessert. Noel comes and opens our napkin for us and puts it on our laps and hands us a menu. There are a million forks and spoons. Susi brings us a roll or baguette to get us started. The kids were pretty brave, especially Taz at trying new things.

So, here we are the first night looking at the menu.

Taz and I with our baguette.

Taz tries duck breast for his starter telling us all that Grandpa would be proud of him. Isn't is fancy on the plate. He ended up eating only one slice and not liking it too much, but at least he was brave enough to try it.

Cynjyn loved her fancy dessert of cheesecake the first night.

The second night was "Elegant night" on the cruise and everyone was supposed to dress formally. Here is Cynj and I.

Garry and Tanner bought new suits the day before we left just for this (Oh and Krissy's wedding!) Taz had a suit already. Don't they look handsome!!
So, Taz tries stuffed mushrooms this night for his starter. Tanner and Cynjyn always had Ceasar Salad for their starter, they weren't too daring. He ate one mushroom and that was it. They were awfully rich in a heavy cheese sauce. I on the other hand tried a strawberry soup. When they first brought the bowl to me there was the little thing in the middle which was basically strawberry jelly with a strawberry on top. Everyone thought that that was all I was getting, a few minutes later, Noel brought a little pitcher with the soup inside that he poured into my bowl. It was delicious and Taz ended up eating most of it!!Here we all are posing at the table.
Unfortunatly, we didn't get a picture of Noel or Susi, but we saw them often in the lunch and breakfast buffet and they always waved and talked to us and joked around with the kids. Each night in the dining room, all the waiters would put on a little "show" for us. The first night, they sang an Italian song, the second night they danced the Macarana and Noel pulled Cynjyn up to dance with him. She had a blast.The last night, they sang a farewell song and Cynjyn realized it was the last night of the cruise and just started bawling because she was going to "Never see them again!" We got back to the room and she was still quite upset. Noel gave her lots of hugs and told her not to be so sad and to remeber the fun she had with him!!

The fun begins

Tanner had to do a scrapbook travel log for make-up work in Geography, so a lot of pictures will have him in them. Here we are taking of from Vegas. We left at 7:00 am and arrived in San Diego at about 12:15. We parked about two blocks from the port and drug all our luggage to the check-in. We got there just as they were starting to let people board (12:30 boarding time).

Here is the ship, we are cleared and ready to board.

On the very top deck was a miniature golf course, we eventually played that.

Here is San Diego in the back ground and that is our parking lot.

We are on the very top deck looking over to the pool. The name of our ship was the Elation.

The ship set sail at 5:30 and here we are as it's taking off.

The sun was setting and the background lights for San Diego were beautiful.

We're moving!!

Good bye San Diego.