Oh, Canada! I love you, but frankly, you’ve been a little too chilly for me lately! Whenever it gets cold I find myself looking up cruises and resorts on the computer. I price them out from the cheapest options to the most expensive that we could never afford.
No matter how many resorts we look at, Anson and I always find ourselves going back to cruises. Years and years ago, we wanted to go on a trip for our fifth anniversary. My dad suggested a Carnival cruise and we both said, “NO WAY!” But then, the price was too good to pass up so we went and we loved it.
The constant change of location and activities makes a cruise perfect for us. While I could probably lie on the beach and read for an entire week at a resort, Anson would potentially go crazy! Getting to visit 3+ countries in a week while being on the ocean eating bottomless delicious food is the perfect vacation for both of us.
As we struggle through the brutal cold of this winter, I wanted to share some of my favourite pictures and memories from that 5th anniversary cruise way back in 2007. (Apparently, 2007 was also the year I thought I should be blonde.)
We cruised on the Carnival Liberty which was a new ship then. It is impossible to accurately describe a cruise ship but the sheer magnitude of it was impressive.
We were never bored on our sea days and the food was definitely some of the best I’ve ever had. Anson loved ordering multiple entrees–just because you can. You can almost justify all the food you will eat if you try to always take the stairs instead of the elevators on the boat! When you eat your dinners on a cruise, you sit at a table of 8. We were lucky to be with some really cool couples and we even kept in touch with one of the couples for a couple years. I’m sure it could be a bad experience if you sat with people you found really annoying, so I’m grateful we had an awesome time with the people at our table!
Our first stop was in Freeport, Bahamas and it was FREEZING! Our cruise was in February and the Bahamas was not that warm. Anson had splurged and decided to let me fulfill one of my dreams of swimming with dolphins. For a brief moment of my life I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist. Then I remembered I’m not a big biology fan, so that career idea quickly disappeared! Dolphins and whales are still my favourite though and I love getting to see them!
The excursion we went on was different than most as we went by boat about 30 minutes away from shore. We picked up a man in a smaller boat and two dolphins following him along the way. There were only 5 of us on the boat and after putting on our wetsuits (thank God or we would’ve been freezing!) and being given a few instructions, we jumped into the water. Diving down and having the dolphins dive down with you was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done! Holding their fins and flying through the water is something everyone should get to experience. After we finished swimming for about an hour we posed for a couple pictures before heading back.
This wasn’t cheap, but it was so worth it. I am so glad we chose this option over standing in a shallow pool with a large group of people as the dolphins swim around you. If you’re ever given the chance–pay the money and do an open ocean dolphin swim!
THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
Our second stop was in the Cayman Islands–home to the clearest water I’ve ever seen! You can’t go to the Cayman Islands without heading out to Stingray Bay to swim with and hold the stingrays.
I’m not gonna lie–this freaked me out. Steve Irwin had died less than 6 months earlier and I wasn’t sure how I felt about swimming with stingrays! We were standing on a massive sandbar and when the first stingrays started swimming toward me I screamed, jumped out of the water and clung to Anson’s back. Obviously, not my proudest moment! After getting laughed at I did my best to chill out and enjoy. (Since then we’ve been back there and I was completely fine!!) It is a very cool experience and worth going to see!
After my brush with death with the stingrays, we rented Sea Doos and enjoyed the beach. When the water is as clear as it is there, it is so fun to go incredibly fast on the Sea Doos and watch the ocean beneath you.
COSTA MAYA, MEXICO
We decided to go see some Mayan Ruins while we were here and honestly, I don’t remember much about the ruins. I do remember that Anson climbed to the top even though there were ropes and signs saying not to and he also was attacked by red ants!
After visiting the ruins we hailed a taxi and asked him to take us to a beach. We wondered if we were going to be kidnapped as we seemed to drive into the middle of nowhere for awhile, but we soon emerged onto a quiet, mostly tourist free beach. We relaxed, got a massage on the beach for ten bucks and enjoyed the water.
Mexico was our last stop before heading back to Miami! We loved every moment of our cruise and didn’t regret choosing it over a resort.
If you’re looking for a vacation, you should definitely consider a cruise — whether it is for a couple, a group of friends or your family. We’ve been on a second cruise with the kids and they loved it as well…. but that’s for another post! Until our next one, I’ll just be over here looking at pictures and hoping the weather warms up a little more!