Saturday, May 7, 2008

It's going to be a long day. I didn't fall asleep until after 3 am and I woke up around 6 am. I checked email and all that stuff and we were done and packed before 10 am. I wish I could have gotten more sleep. I hope I can stay awake all day.

We had planned to take everything as carry-on but the guys who were doing the baggage check said that it wouldn't be a good idea. I left everything with them except my laptop, which was my HUGE Arnold bag. Dad left his suitcase and took the carry on with his pills and the electronics as well.

It was almost painless getting through to the ship. We had to go through a metal detector and dad's belt set it off, but he eventually got through. All of our stuff got through as well. We were on the ship a little before noon but couldn't get to our rooms until 1 pm.

We went to the Windjammer Cafe which is right next to the outdoor pool. People were already in their bathing suits and it made me wish I had brought my bag with me. We walked around and took some pictures.

We got to our rooms a little after 1 pm. It's small but it will work. I don't think they plan for guests to spend a lot of time in their rooms. They have an itinerary that they provide us each night for the following day. There are tons of things to do.

We walked around a little and went up to the deck 10 which is where the gym is. We looked at the gym which has a lot of old Cybex equipment. It's okay. It's enough for the days we're here anyway. I'll use the bikes to do HIIT and maybe not lift this week. We'll see.

We went back do to our room and then up to Windjammer to get something to eat. I got a turkey sandwich. By this time it was around 3 pm and we had a “muster drill” at 3:30 pm which is where we practice what to do in case of an emergency.

We went back to the room and got on our life jackets. We then went to deck 5 and waited until the drill was over. The alarm for it is REALLY loud and painful, but I guess that's the point, for no one to miss it, no even sound sleepers.

After the drill, we went back to our room and I called aunt. I told her I probably wouldn't be calling her until I got back because it costs so much to do so. She said to be careful and to have fun, neither thing seems to be hard to do so far. The cruise has tons of stuff all over the place.

We went up to deck 10 again and waited to leave. We didn't start leaving until around 4:20 pm. It was weird because I felt like I wasn't moving but I could see that I was. It made me kind of dizzy. The heat was also pretty awful which I'm sure played a part in it as well.

We took a few pictures and then went back to the room. My luggage was finally here and I changed into my bathing suit. Dad and I decided to meet back in the room at 7 pm and I went to the pool and tanned for about an hour.

After I finished, I walked around the ship and took pictures of most of the things. I still have days to get pictures of everything, so there's no rush. I just wanted to make some headway. I was back at the room before 7 pm so I made good time. Dad's luggage had arrive but they broke the suitcase. I guess they are going to try to fix it tomorrow.

We decided to go get some food at the Windjammer Cafe and if we were hungry at our dinner time, which is 8:30 pm, we'd eat again. I had some chicken, mashed potatoes, and stuffing with gravy. It was really good. I also tried one of their french fries (a round one) and it was DELICIOUS!!!! Glad I didn't find them earlier.

We went up to deck 8 to look at the Internet and it seems that there is no where to plug a laptop in at. I decided to just go ahead and use their computers. I just won't check email or anything and just forum quickly. I guess I won't be keeping up to date on my Open Diary.

We went up to deck 10 and took pictures of the sunset. It was really pretty. I hope to get some better pictures before the trip is over as the sun was behind some clouds and I want it over the horizon. Hopefully before the cruise is over I'll get it. I still have 4 nights and maybe even some mornings if I get up in time, which I doubt.

We went to dinner in the main dining hall as well. I had a Mediterranean Quesadilla and dad had shrimp ravioli, which he also had at Windjammer. We had a fruit cup for an appetizer and I had the pineapple out of both of ours. It was really good. The quesadilla was a little much though. Dad had some of mine. Then the waiter wanted us to get dessert. I told him I couldn't but promised him I would tomorrow.

We went back to our rooms after dinner. I wanted to go look at their wine selection to see if they had Kijafa, but we were both really full. They had cleaned our room when we got back and left tomorrow's itinerary as well. TONS to do.

It's going on 11 pm EST, which is midnight Bermuda time, which is what I assume we're in right now. I really have no clue. The cellphones are two hours BEHIND for some reason. I guess we won't be setting any alarms. That's okay, it's vacation. We're supposed to relax.

Sunday, May 8, 2008

We woke up naturally around 8:30 this morning. Dad had gotten up numerous times during the night to go to the bathroom. When I woke up he told me he was really stiff from arthritis. He also said he was hungry so I got ready to go to Windjammer for breakfast.

There is always so much food there!! I had a small pancake, two sausage links, a hash brown, a biscuit with gravy, two cups of milk and some orange juice. The boat swaying didn't bother me as much as it did during our first meal on board. Progress.

After breakfast we went back to the room. One of the excursion tickets confused me so I'll have to ask about it later. I also have to buy a two day pass for ferries/buses. I do both at the same place so I'll do it the next time we go out.

Dad wanted to go to the Purser's Desk to ask about his luggage getting repaired but the line was too long. We made our way through the casino to the theater and listened to one of the crew talking about shopping, beaches, and transportation on the island. I'm glad we made it. It was helpful.

After that, the lines for the Purser's Desk and Shore Excursions were even longer so we went back to the room. I tried to put together an itinerary for us while we were docked at Bermuda but haven't figured out what I'm going to do yet. It will depend on the ferry and buses. The schedule given to us has to be wrong, I hope.

We went back out and I checked email and stuff. Then we went down and stood in line. Dad went to the Purser's Desk and I went in the Shore Excursion line. Dad was done before I was. I asked about the dress code on the island and they said I cold wear shorts and a tank top, which is good. I also go the information I needed about the excursion.

We went and looked at the shops a little. We went back to the room and both of us needed a nap, so we slept for about 3 hours. It's probably for the best as it's going to be a late night tonight. I want to go to the show and I might want to go up to the Viking Lounge as well. We'll see.

When we woke up we went up to deck 10 and I lifted a little. Very little. Their selection is limited so I just did one set per each upper body muscle. It didn't take long. Then we went out on the bow and took pictures.

We went back through the shops and dad wanted to get something alcoholic to drink to take back to the room, but the bottles are delivered on the last day. I guess they want you to spend $6 for a drink. He obviously didn't buy it.

I bought a Royal Caribbean bag that is like my Adidas one, only it's water proof and the Adidas one isn't. I'm going to use it on the island tomorrow. Dad and I could be separated quite a bit if my plan goes well. I also bought a Royal Caribbean tank top and Grandeur of the Seas shirt.

We went back to the room and they finally came to pick up dad's suitcase. I took a shower because tonight is formal night and I am going to wear my hair down. It felt nice to shower. The razor I brought is broken though, the blades are on backwards.

The phone rang and it was someone from the Shore Excursions Desk calling to tell me that the Adventure Hike and Swim for tomorrow is canceled because I was the only that signed up. There's one on Tuesday, but I had planned on going on another excursion. In the end, I canceled the excursion dad and I had planned on Tuesday in order to do the Adventure Hike and Swim. It's the one thing I REALLY wanted to do.

We got dressed and we went and had formal pictures taken. I'll buy one when they put them out. I definitely want one of them. We then went to the Captain's reception, but it wasn't really that interesting.

We went to dinner and I had fillet of beef and it was REALLY good. It just fell apart when I used my fork. I'm getting to try all sorts of new thing son this cruise. I also got some vanilla ice cream for dessert. Dad said he's been wanting me to have an eating experience like this one.

We went back to the room and got changed and then went to the theater for tonight's show. We got there while the auction was still going on. It must be nice to be able to spend so much money on things. The tour of the engine area went for aver $400.

The show tonight was Broadway Rhythm and Rhyme and I enjoyed it. The cruise director, Simeon, was hilarious. He told two jokes, one about a snail who wanted the letter “S” on his new car so people would say “Look at that S car go” and another about someone who lost their watch and could go to Helen Hunt for it.

After the show, we went back to the room and I changed into the outfit I was going to wear for my fitness contest and went up to the Viking Lounge where they were having a '70's dance party. I stayed until about 1 am and then left. I did have a good time though.

They had crew members dressed like the Village People and I was dancing with the policeman. They had a camera on the whole time and they said they'd have it on the television in our rooms tomorrow. The camera focused on me I know at least once.

When I got back to the room, I made sure all the batteries were charged for the Kodak camera which they were. I loaded up all the pictures from the Sanyo that weren't on the computer as well. I got in bed sometime after 2 am.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I woke up around 8:30 am again this morning. I heard dad rustling about. He said he'd been up for about 20 minutes before I woke up. I got to sleep a lot later than he did last night. I just hope I can last through the day. It's going to be a long one.

We went up to breakfast and realized we were to Bermuda. We had a short and small breakfast so we could head up to deck 10 to take pictures of the shoreline. We actually came in on the other side of the island and made our way back west.

After taking some pictures, we went downstairs and I changed into shorts and the Royal Caribbean tank top I bought yesterday. We went back up to deck 10 and took more pictures as we docked. It's really pretty. The area around the dockyard is small, but has everything we need to get around.

We decided to head to the mall and it took awhile getting off the ship. It seems like everyone wanted to get off at the same time. It really only took about 15-20 minutes but it seemed like a lot longer. There were so many people and they were checking everyone's SeaPass before we got off.

We walked over to the shopping mall and took pictures on the way. There was a little “train” that we could have taken, but we wanted to walk in order to get the pictures. We thought about taking the “train” on the way back but didn't.

We went to the mall and I bought some postcards. I thought about buying some shirts as well but didn't want to until I saw what else Bermuda had. I decided to wait until after I got back from Hamilton today and if I didn't find any shirts there, I'd buy them from the mall tomorrow.

After the mall, we walked back to the ship and on the way stopped and asked about the ferry and bus schedule. The lady we talked to had a schedule for the ferries and gave it to us. It looks like we'll be going to Hamilton after I get back from the Glass Bottom Boat tour. Dad wanted me to go instead of him and since my excursion got canceled, I can go.

I had dad take up the postcards I bought while I went out on the tour. It was really pretty. It was a great day for it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. There were four “windows” on the bottom of the boat from which we could see the reef. I took some pictures and hopefully they came out. We also got to see part of a ship that was sunken, on purpose, the Vixen.

On the way out to the reef, we passed under a bridge and the bridge was so low, they had to put down part of the boat that was sticking up and even then the boat was really close to the bridge, less than two feet probably.

Our captain, Cookie, told us all sorts of interesting tidbits about the island. Prices are outrages here, gas $8 a gallon, half gallon of milk $6, loaf of bread $5, and so on. He also made jokes about tourists being fed so much on cruise ships. He said that Bermuda was the third highest in alcohol consumption and that this year they were going for number one. He was really funny.

On the way back I text dad and told him I was coming back and to go on one of the top decks. I saw him and took pictures of him from the boat. When I got off, I motioned to him that I was going to come up. I met him in the our room.

We got our things together and we went back out and caught the “train” over to the ferry stop. We took the ferry to Hamilton. The schedule said it wold take and hour but it only took around 30 minutes. We walked and looked in some stores. I didn't see anything I wanted until we got to the Carol Holding store. I knew I wanted things here. I bought some pink sand.

When we left, we made our way, uphill, to the bus station. We took bus number 7 to Horseshoe Bay Beach. We didn't stay long. The water was cold and I didn't really want to get in. I didn't have a towel anyway. We got some great pictures though.

We took another bus back to the dockyard. The bus drivers here are CRAZY and drive way to fast given the number of blind turns there are. They also whip the bus into the bus stops when they realize someone is waiting instead of slowing down to see if there is anyone there. Hopefully I won't have to take a bus tomorrow. How scary.

I hadn't realized how red I was until I took off my tank top. I am REALLY red! It'll probably be tan tomorrow but right now, it's RED!!! I don't think I've ever been so red before. I guess being out on the boat for around 2 hours this afternoon gave me a sunburn/tan.

Dad and I are both exhausted. We did manage to get to deck 6 and buy the formal picture we had taken last night. It looks really good. It was about $20. I guess it's worth it. I don't have any other pictures of us from that night.

When we got back to the room, I tried to organize things but was just too tired. I wrote out two postcards though. I'm so tired I'm spacey and just not thinking clearly. I wish I could have napped but we were going to go on a nighttime glass bottom boat tour so I couldn't.

The second glass bottom boat was the same as the first, only at night. There were a lot of alcohol related comments. They must REALLY like alcohol here. It was neat seeing the reef at night though because the light really brings it out at night.

By the time we got back, I just wanted to collapse. I was so tired I had even forgotten to take my camera with me on the glass bottom boat. Dad had his so we do have pictures but I don't know how they turned out. I'll find out eventually.

The Adventure Hike and Swim is canceled, AGAIN. Now we have nothing to do tomorrow. I don't know what we're going to do. I guess just go across to the mall and shop. I might try to do the hiking thing by myself. I know what park it's in so if I can find the right trail. I don't know. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For some reason, I woke up around 7:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I figure it's for the best as this is the last day in Bermuda so I need to make the most of it. Even so, I'm super tired and haven't done anything yet.

We went up for breakfast and it was pretty empty. I guess most people are still sleeping, already ate, or are on shore already. I am really going to miss having the food prepared and just have to go get it and then eat. Not to mention the food here is AMAZING!!!

After breakfast we went back to the room and tried to figure out what to do today. We turned the TV to the channel where they will chow a video of what it's like outside and it looked hazy and there was water on the camera so we figured it had been raining. We decided to not try to do the hiking, just to go over to the mall and shop.

We went out and waited for the “train” to come back around. As we were waiting, I realized the weather wasn't as bad as I thought it was and thought we should try the hike. We went to information and asked if she knew about Hog Bay Park and where the trail with the 360 degree view was. She said yes and that it was beautiful. We decided to give it a try.

We took a taxi instead of a bus. The bus experiences yesterday has turned both of us off to buses and we don't know where it is so we couldn't tell the bus driver when to stop, even though they probably would have let us know and stopped for us like they did for Horseshoe Bay beach yesterday.

It cost about $17 to get there but it was worth it. It was so beautiful. We saw a couple when we were walking and asked them about the trail and they gave us some directions. They said it's not well marked. I hoped we could find it.

We eventually did, after missing the trail the first time we passed it. It was amazing!!! The ocean looked so pretty. I wandered around and found an even better spot for a panoramic view. Dad came down and we took pictures of ourselves by holding the camera in front of us. I hope they turned out.

We made our way back down and accidentally took a different trail back to the road than we came on, but it worked so it didn't matter. I went and took a pictures of the Hog Bay Park sign while we were waiting for the bus. The bus ride back wasn't nearly as scary as the ones we took yesterday.

We got off in front of the shopping mall and I went in and looked around. I bought two shirts and decided that it was enough. Dad waited to take the “train” back over to the ship with my shirts and I walked over to the Glass Works factory.

The glass pieces were awesome but really expensive. I took some pictures and bought my aunt a deer. It was about $35. I hope I can get it home to Ohio in one piece. That's going to be difficult. I wanted to buy a piece that was a dog barking up a lamppost where a cat was sitting, but couldn't afford it.

I walked back by the ferry stop and asked where I could mail my post cards. They told me it was over by the mall, so I took the “train” over. I walked to the information center and asked where it was and they said to get stamps I the mall and then the drop box was outside.

I went in and bought stamps, which cost $5 then I wrote the addresses on the back of the ones I hadn't finished yet and mailed them. I wonder how long it will take it get there? I suspect I will get emails from everyone I sent one to.

I walked back to the ship. I wanted to take the “train” but I didn't want to wait for it. I just wanted to get inside and relax. It's been a lot of nights with very little sleep and a lot of sun and it's catching up to me. I was also hungry.

Dad and I ate and then took pictures as we left. Someone had been digging early on the dockyard and he dug out the “DOCKYARD” with an anchor after it. We took pictures of it. Dad thinks they're going to plant flowers in it. That would be really pretty.

We took a shower. We had gotten sweaty from the hike up the hill earlier and needed to wash off. Afterwards, I went to the indoor pool. The water was too cold so I got in the whirlpool instead. It was really hot at first, especially on my sunburn, but once I got in, it felt good.

After the whirlpool, dad and I crashed. We slept until it was time for the production and almost didn't get there before it started. It was good. The dancers and singers are really good.

We went up to dinner at the Windjammer afterwards. We haven't been eating a lot in the formal dining hall. Dad doesn't like it because we have to wait for our food. I don't like that either but I like being served instead of serving myself, even if the portions are rather small.

After we ate, dad went to the Purser's Desk to ask some questions and I went up to look at the pictures that had been taken of us. I ended up buying both of them, the one they took at dinner formal night and the one they took when we first got off the ship in Bermuda. I also pre-ordered the DVD that a collection of the activities on the cruise.

When we got back to the room, we started to pack. They finally brought dad his suitcase and it is fixed. I somehow got everything to fit in the Arnold bag. I still have some clothes I'll need to put in after tomorrow, but everything else is there. I guess I packed better this time. Dad is basically packed as well. I hope we can carry everything off the ship.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

We slept in rather late today. We got up around 10 am and the only reason was so we could get breakfast. We got to breakfast and then went back to the room. I wanted to go to a Salsa dancing class but wasn't feeling well so I didn't.

Dad figured out gratuities and put the money in the envelopes. Then we went to the whirlpool for a little while. It felt really good. We also got something to eat. Dad had two cheeseburgers and I had two pieces of pizza.

After the whirlpool we went back to the room and dried off then went to the Purser's Desk and dad handed in the gratuities and I went up a deck to ask when I could pick up the cruise in review DVD and they said after 3 pm.

I took a nap until 3 pm. I want to be able to stay awake tonight and I don't know if I'd have been able to without the nap. I am just worn out. Dad stayed awake and went to take pictures of the Windjammer and the main dining hall, the Great Gatsby.

At 3:45 pm I went to one of the lounges and learned how to juggle from one of the performers. I actually was getting it. It was fun and he's really good! Afterwards he told us about his DVD that was on sale and how it comes with practice balls. I bought it. I owe dad over $200 now.

We went and picked up the cruise in review DVD and then went back to the room. Dad loaded the pictures he took of me juggling and then we watched the cruise in review DVD. It's pretty good. It's not very long though, which was disappointing. I'm on it dancing at the party I went to on the second night. I'm surprised that out of all the hours of footage, that I'm on it, and for a “long” time too.

We went up to the theater an hour before the show to find out where the best seats were. We ended up getting some in the very back on deck 5. We were normally on deck 6 but always had heads in the way so I hope this is better.

The magician was pretty good. I had watched so much magic before I knew most of the tricks and how to do them as well. It was fun to hear the audience reaction though. It was obvious some of them had never seen anything like this before.

They brought out a lot of the crew at the end of it. There was a lot of them and it was no where near all of them. I can't imagine how many people it takes to run this thing. There are so many people around all the time and I know there are many more not on duty and behind the scenes.

After the show we went to the Windjammer and ate. We went back to the room and loaded the pictures up and then went down to the whirlpool again. Dad took a few pictures of me and then I had some food. It was okay. I guess I was fuller than I thought I was.

We came back to the room and tried to finish packing. Most of the things left out now are things we are using or will use in the morning. Hard to believe that it's almost over. It's been so fun. I wish it was longer. Maybe next time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What a day. We woke up around 4:30 am or so and neither one of use could get back to sleep, despite trying. We went up to deck 10 and took some pictures. The sun was starting to show and we went back down to the room to see what time sunrise was.

I took some movies of the elevator ride up and down and might put them on YouTube, or include them in what I'm going to put on YouTube. Sunrise was at 5:40 ish am and it was about 5:30 when we found out so we made our way back up to deck 10.

The sunrise was BEAUTIFUL!!! It was the first one we'd had without any clouds. It was the types of pictures I'd been waiting for. We took a lot of pictures of the sunrise and I took a short movie of it as well. We had a fellow cruiser take a pictures of us with the sunrise in the background. I hope it turns out.

By this time, it was almost breakfast time so we went down to the Windjammer and waited for them to open. I wanted to make a real big pig out of myself since it's the last meal but I wasn't able to really. I got full too fast. Oh well.

We went back up to deck 10 and took pictures coming in to Baltimore and the port. I took of a movie of us passing under Key Bridge. It really doesn't look like we're going to make it under. It must be really close. Even the movie makes you wonder whether we're going to run into the bridge. That's DEFINITELY going on YouTube.

After we were pretty much docked, we went back to our room and sat around until it was time to leave. I had to finish packing and miraculously everything fit. I made sure I was going to be able to carry everything and I will. My big Arnold bag almost caused me to pass out though. I think it was resting on one of the carotid arteries. All is good though.

Getting off wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. We got off on deck 2. I did end up having to rest my Arnold bag on dad's suitcase to get the pressure off my shoulder. It was really hurting and going numb.

The checkpoints were easy. They had coast guards at the exit and they were facing in and looked VERY serious. I smiled at the one on my side and got nothing in return. The customs guy only asked if I was carrying all my luggage and that was it.

We called Frank when we got out and told him we were ready. While we were waiting, I juggled a bit and tried to call aunt but Ryan's wasn't open yet. I'll try calling around 10 am. I took some pictures of the port and the ship for the last time.

We met Frank and drove on home. I called aunt. She wasn't at work because she's not feeling well. I'm so worried she's going to get fired. I called her at home and we talked for a little while. I told her I”d call her once I got to dad's house.

When we got in, we took all the luggage upstairs and I called aunt. We talked for about 15 minutes. We made spaghetti and checked email. I had a TON of email and tried to do as many replies as I could. I'll be able to keep up from now on.

I organized all the pictures into their respective folders, putting pictures of the sip in one folder, pictures of the ocean in another, and so on. That took a while. I also sorted through them and picked out the ones I want online. I haven't made the pages though. Tomorrow.

We made spaghetti and took a nap. We both CRASHED!!! We didn't stay up too late tonight either. We'll have to go grocery shopping tomorrow though. I am not planning on going to the gym until Monday. I need a rest from my vacation first.