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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Cruise Over, Next Chapter Begins

So with the cruise nearing it's conclusion, we took stock of what we had experienced. The Caribbean is an amazing place! We Knew that going in. As someone who finds peace in the sea, I knew there were places there, that could offer the tranquillity we seek. Even still this was an entirely different experience. It exceeded our every expectation. We saw more 'off the beaten path' destinations, and every day people, and loved the memories... we were sold!!

Back on the ship, we took some chiding from our Utah friends for our liberal ways. We hoped they had forgotten. Or had come to realise our attempts to hide were in embarrassment. But she was sure to tell us how we looked great! Surely she was only seeing Leanne! But they were both kind souls, and we wished them safe travels.

We tried to max out our experiences of just about everything. While we would welcome another cruise in a heartbeat, we knew our first choice was to do whatever it takes to make our next cruise, a much smaller boat, captained by moi! As though to emphasise that, the service on the boat was noticeably laxed this last night. Perhaps management didnt' want beer stupored people lazing in bed beyond the 8:00am check out?  Or perhaps the servers saw us on the beach too? AWKWARD!! But no piano bar, no live cigar lounge music, very slow service. It was time to depart.

Next morning, we were out of the room at 8:00am, and got to wait... and wait... and wait. If a cruise is your next trip, and you are offered a way for an early disembarkation? Take it! I can't pretend to understand all the angles to gain that edge, but loyalty programs is one! For us, we waited until 11:00 with no pool, bar service, casino, or entertainment. Add insult to injury, it was raining. Great vacay, but less than exciting end. Fortunately, we had 3 days in Puerto Rico to get over it!

Marriott Beach Resort, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico
When we finally got to the dock we took a cab out to the Isla Verde region, by the airport. We stayed for some R&R. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard, where I was able to get my needed stays, to top up my status, and earn my maximum free nights. It was relaxing, as we chose to just park our butts chill.

Proof the Winter Dogs can love the beach too!
We walked the beach, and even got down to a local section known for the local food and parties. Other than that, we sunned our behinds. We met a bartender, Terry, who had just completed a trip across from Florida on a 38' Carver. We gained a little insight into the challenges we would face, chasing our dream.  Before we knew it, it was time to head home.

On the route home, we flew through Charlotte, NC, a very cool airport. There are several terminals all connecting, to bring the many corners of the world together, in one central location. We had time during our stop over, to have a drink and we sat by the piano bar, go figure. Still in the beach mode, it was a little different, reflecting on our beach experiences, while we listened to Christmas music.

I guess it's something I could get used to!

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