Surprise! We’re Going on a Cruise!

One of the things I had put on my 40th bucket list that I wrote here (hmmm, I need to review this things more often!) was that I wanted to execute a big surprise
Well, I can put  a check beside this one because I did!!
For our vacation this year, we told the kids since we are saving for our big trip inMarch to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand (dream trip that we started planningas soon as we were marriedJ) we would just have a low key vacation in Florida. We would fly there, paying a good chunk with points (which was true), use a time share (which is what we usually do) and just hang out (which truly sounded good and usually what we do). We also usually take a second trip to a cottage every summer, which this year we didn’t do, partly due to our soccer schedule,but also due to the fact we knew what else we were planning….
So, we were up on the Saturday morning (August 11th) at 2:30 am to be at the airport for 4am. The kids love getting up in the night to leave for trips –even though we are in for an exhausting day!  Rob and I were a bit concerned we would make all our connections – as we knew we had a timeline – so we said a little prayer and were on our way. The flights went smoothly, everyone had a short snooze, played on their ipods, were a bit antsy during our 2 hour layover, but all in all it was a good trip. We arrived on time, we got all our luggage (the other thing we were so worried about) and started on ourway.
I had hired a taxi/limo company who knew about our “surprise”. He picked us all up – and never said a word. He mentioned he had to pick up another passenger too (which worried me at first) but that worked out even better! He told us before he brought us to our hotel he had to go to the port of Miami to drop the other passenger off. A bit annoying everyone thought – but who cares.

In the cab

On our drive there, the kids were asking us things like, “Can we go buy that new cereal for breakfast“, “Are we going to go to the pool today?”.  The best question: “Is our hotel on the beach”? My answer, “Yup, it’s right on the water”!

We dropped the other passenger off at her cruise ship and then continued on along in the port. Our driver all of a sudden said something happened and he had to drop us off in the port and we could call a cab to take us to our hotel.
“Huh?” weall said, “Ok. No problem”
Then I turned to the kids and said “Or, we can just get on the boat”
They were all confused. “What do you mean? Go on a cruise? What are you talking about?Are you serious”? The confusion continued and slowly they began to realize that were were actually getting on the boat and going on a CRUISE!
I got a great video of the excitement, confusion, surprise, shock, amazement and a little fear too! The kids asked a million questions and we told them we were off to Cozumel (Zandra’s dream has been to go to Mexico), Belize, Honduras and Grand Cayman.  A couple of months ago Josh was reading in a travel book (this one here), all about Belize and Honduras and both Josh and Zach had ironically told me that they would love to go to these places (Belize has the world’s second largest barrier reef). They were super excited!
We got agood pic taken by our driver just after we arrived.

Just found out what are plans were!

Unfortunately the line ups were out of this world when we arrived and it felt like we were never going to get on the ship. We finally did, found our cabins (which were pretty cozy) and had to go to the muster drill. Argh (ok – safety is importantbut it was so hot and we were so sick of the line ups!!).

Kid’s cabin

Our cabin

Sailing away from Miami

Exploring the ship

Finally, we found our way to food, had a yummy burger and fries, checked the ship out, and I went back to unpack (I need to get settled to relax) while Rob played chess with the kids (on the life size chess board on the top deck of the ship).
After some relaxing, we headed to the fancy dining room for dinner, and got a taste of the fun dinner will be. The waiters really push food on you. Gabe ordered one starter only because he was not very hungry, but the waiter insisted on bringing two. A couple of kids had Caesar salad and steak, and the waiter was insistent on bringing everyone fries too. It was a really nice meal, but everyone was totally exhausted. We headed back to the cabin – with the promise of star gazing tomorrow nightJ. The highlight of so many evenings was coming back to our cabin to see what towel animal was going to greet us!

It was a great day and I’m so happy how the big surprise turned out!

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