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Cruisin' - Part II

Just because I said it was the worst cruise I've ever been on, doesn't mean it wasn't a great cruise. I've lost count of how many cruises I've been on, but I think this was 8? Maybe?

I have done one NCL, multiple Carnival and Royal Caribbean, and now I can officially say I have been on The Love Boat with Princess Cruises.

Anyway, back to the fun part.

Our first night in the dining room and we met this fun couple seated at the table next to us. We struck up a conversation when we realized we all ordered the same thing. Shelly and Rod married in October 2022 so they are slightly more newlywed than us.

Leaving dinner that night we all felt sure we would see each other around the ship, so we didn't specifically make plans to meet up again.

This picture is from the next to last night but this is Shelly and Rod. #newfriends <3

Sleep that night was easy. The water was quite choppy our first two days and we did feel the boat rocking quite a bit. Not so much as to make us sick or unsteady, but definitely enough to feel it.

I get my best sleep on a cruise ship.

While exploring the ship on the first day we had made reservations for 2 chairs in the Sanctuary for our first full day at sea. Bright and early at 8am.

The Sanctuary is an adults only area with cushioned lounge chairs and and additional food service. It was $20 each for half a day and seemed like a nice way to start the cruise.

Except for the gray skies and rain.

We were able to change our reservations to the following afternoon. I can't really remember what we did the rest of that day. More exploring the ship and eating too much I'm guessing.

The next day was Cozumel. We didn't book an excursion for this one - our plan was to shop in the morning and lounge in the Sanctuary all afternoon.

Except those choppy seas? Yeah, it was too windy for us to dock. So we had another day at sea.

We went up on the Lido deck and searched for 2 lounge chairs and eventually gave up because everyone else on the ship had the same idea. And finally we headed back up to the Sanctuary.

It was very peaceful even though it was just outside of the adults only pool area. We could still hear them but it was somehow muffled. Our chairs were in a sunnier part of the deck which wouldn't have been my first choice but I just doubled up on sunscreen. They took our lunch order - the first good food of the trip - and later brought a trolley of treats to choose from for afternoon tea.

Tea time in #thesanctuary Photo taken with my #metasunglasses

This was the best $20/$40 we spent on the ship. And if I could have reserved spots for the rest of our sea days, I would have. Unfortunately everyone else had discovered it by this time and it was booked solid.

The next day was Belize and we went snorkeling. Well by we I mean Rob snorkeled and I stayed on the boat. Sort of.

You don't dock in Belize, you tender in to the port. The ship anchors I think they said 5 miles out. Then you get on a smaller boat to go to the port. Takes 30, maybe 45 minutes? I wasn't timing it. Then we joined up with our group and got on a smaller boat to take us out to our destination. That was at least another hour.

Eventually we made it. The water is so clear - it was a large sandbar area where fishermen usually clean the catch of the day. And what this means is there are nurse sharks and sting rays that know they will be fed well.

Rob was probably one of the first to jump in. He loves snorkeling. I was a scaredy cat at first - I mean, they are sharks afterall. And we are out in nature - anything could happen.

And I don't swim.

I know. I know.

But the water was only maybe 3 feet deep. And I am one of the last people on the boat. And I told myself I would regret it if I didn't get in.


With stingrays and sharks swimming around me! It was both terrifying and one of the coolest things I have ever done.

That is my hand touching a real live #nurseshark!

We stayed there for about an hour maybe and then divided into 4 groups. Three of the groups each had their own guide and they snorkeled in deeper water for half an hour. Group 4 enjoyed a nice little boat ride and some rum punch.

Guess which group I was in?

Once everyone was back onboard we went to lunch on the beach and eventually back to the port. A little shopping then on the boat back to the ship.

It is embarrassing how many tries it took to get the full horn video. #theloveboat #IYKYK

Next up was Honduras. We dock in Mahogany Bay and board our bus for the island tour.

I reiterate this was still a great vacation, however our island tour was not what any of us expected.

For starters, our guide, though very enthusiastic, was excited to point out gas stations, the new Papa John's, and Payless Shoes. Those were the highlights. Our lunch stop was another gas station. And our final stop - which was supposed to be lunch on the beach - was at a near abandoned Inn. Everything was closed and it did have a lovely view but it was not a beach. You could tell it had once been nice but she said it never recovered after Covid.

A scenic photo op on our island tour. Those are my Ray Bans Meta Sunglasses that Duncan gave me. I can take pictures with them. Like a spy!

At our final stop on the tour - what was supposed to be the beach. It was pretty.

This is not my first time to Honduras, and I have done an island tour before. I should have made sure to book that one.

Once back at the port we purchased a few more souvenirs and then back on the ship to get ready for '80s night!

Remember the drink package included all we had a lot of fun taking advantage on '80s night. Thepink boombox is actually my purse!

This is when we finally ended up reconnecting with our first night friends Shelly and Rod. We made plans to meet up with them the next day and spent a lot of time hanging out with them the rest of the trip.

We did have one more rain day and thus spent all day in our cabin watching movies. Luckily we never had any real turbulent days at sea. Nothing like the videos floating around from Drake's Passage.

My main wish for this trip was for Rob to get to relax. He works so hard supporting us, and has not once complained or gotten angry with me because I am unemployed. He has been both financially and emotionally supportive and I take none of that for granted. I'm not saying I didn't want or need this vacation but my priority was making sure he relaxed and had fun.

Mission accomplished.

One thing I forgot to mention: remember that job I was really excited about back in December that by the time I finally got through to the person they had already filled the position and I was really disappointed? Well the day we were in the Sanctuary I got a call from her! I was going to wait to call her in Cozumel the next day because we had service there but Rob encouraged me to immediately call her back. So I did, and I scheduled an interview for Valentine's Day.

And I think the interview went really well. There were aspects of the job I wasn't super excited about - like commuting to Terrell every day for the first 3 months. But it was a good job, the pay was comfortably where I needed it to be, and I knew I could do it. I tried not to get my hopes up but I did.

And last week I found out they decided to rehire a former employee.

Frankly I'm a bit surprised by how sad I was. I desperately need a job and although that was a good one, it wasn't perfect. I had told myself I'd be ok either way.

But I wasn't.

I've reached a new level of depression these last few days.

I've put off blogging about the cruise because I kept hoping I would have a great postscript.

And then yesterday someone contacted me about an opportunity via LinkedIn and I thought maybe that was it but after doing some research before the call it wasn't sounding good and then he said he was looking for loan officers so that call lasted less than 2 minutes. At least I didn't waste a lot of time on it.

So. Back to the drawing/job boards. Wish me luck.

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