Well I finally got to take my very first cruise last week as Tessa, her grandmother, Aunt Cheryl and I all left for Florida a week ago last Friday. We stopped around Jacksonville Friday night to catch a few hours sleep before making it into Fort Lauderdale to board Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas to cruise the Eastern Caribbean. What a ship!
We set sail at 5 pm on Saturday and arrived at Nassau first thing Sunday morning. We did some shopping in the Straw Market and visited the Pirate Museum before returning to the ship.
Sunday night was our first formal night at dinner. Tessa, Mimi, Cheryl and I all dressed to the nines then made our way to the Royal Promenade area to have professional photos taken. This was where Mimi, Cheryl and I had plotted for me to propose to Tessa. Mimi had given me her old engagement ring to give Tessa which she strategically slipped to me at the perfect moment so not to arouse suspicion from my soon-to-be fiancee. When the moment came, Tessa was completely taken by surprise and tearfully accepted my proposal. All of this was caught on camera with both pictures and video to come! Until then, here's the rock on my bride-to-be's finger:
Our first day as an engaged couple was spent at sea as we were making our way to St. Thomas so we took advantage of the day by booking excursions to take on the islands. The first excursion was snorkling on St. John's Beach which we had to get to via ferry boat from the port at St. Thomas. Being my first time snorkling, I was a little nervous since I'm a bit claustrophobic and had to get used to breathing through a small tube. Once I did, it was on! What a view there!
The next day we were at St. Maarten where our excursion was a nice air-conditioned bus ride from the Dutch side of the island to the French side and back with a shopping stop a la francais! What a terrific island!
The next two days were spent at sea as we made our way back to Fort Lauderdale. This gave us time to catch up on some rest and some onboard activities! On Thursday, I signed up for an adult dodgeball tournament which was fun considering my team won and I got a Royal Caribbean 'crown and anchor' logoed gold medal. Needless to say, being the short fat guy on the team, I was the weak link but NOT by being too slow to dodge a ball but rather by having my ball get caught nearly every damn time I threw it! Oh well, I still got a gold medal for picking the winning team and then I ziplined afterwards to celebrate!
We made it back to Fort Lauderdale in the wee hours of Saturday morning so we got our bags together and waited our turn to go through customs then make our way back home.
We made really good time that day but decided to stop in Savannah for a break in the long haul. We hit up River St. then I passed out early since I didn't get much sleep at all the night before.
Needless to say, my first experience going on a cruise was certainly a memorable one having come back engaged to my true love Tessa! Then add in all the activities we experienced together during the trip not to mention all the fabulous shows and fantastic dining experiences we enjoyed! I could write a lengthy blog on those alone! Did I mention they were ALL inclusive and complimentary?!