Ok y'all, look at the title of my post today. That was a hint and I wonder if anyone caught it. I have a friend that has been on several cruises and my mom went last year with her and some others on a cruise and I had been wanting to go on a cruise for a while, but didn't figure I would ever get to go. My hubby, as wonderful to me as he is, he always said, "this country feller ain't goin' on a cruise". hahaha I get it, really I do. There's things that I will not ever be interested in doing. But........he never said I couldn't go on one. hahahaha And so he gifted me with a cruise!!!!!!!! Yay, I got to go on a cruise with my Mom!!!!!! Yes, I sure did!!!!! She and I started saving our pennies, and pinched Abe Lincoln till he cried "uncle" and we scraped up enough change to go!!!!! Whoopee, yay, hot dog!!!!!
So I will put pictures on this post and try to explain as well as I can about each one, or each group of pics and please excuse any misspelling and anything else you may notice. I've been working on this for so long and it's just time to get it posted, mistakes and all. hahahaha
We took the 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans on January 31st and back to port on February 7th. Our ports of call were Mahogany Bay on Roatan, Belize and Cozumel Mexico. The cruise itself was such an awesome adventure for my mom and I to do together!!!!! All I can say is that we had a ball!!!!!! We never laughed as much in our lives as we did on the cruise. We had rough seas, or so they say anyway. I do know there was some bad weather to come ashore from the rolling seas we had. But all in all the weather was pretty good for us. There was one day that it misted on us, and that was our last post of call, at Cozumel, Mexico.
We spent a couple of nights in Slidell, Louisiana before we headed to the Carnival Dream in New Orleans on Sunday morning. The motel we stayed at was right next to a Waffle House. So mom and I would get up and head over there for breakfast or whatever meal we happened to be there for. I haven't been a really huge fan of WH for many years. They do have good food and good coffee, but just not appealing to me in some way. Anyway, we had a window seat and was sipping on our coffee and waiting for our meal and I was just watching out the window, looking at the traffic go by and taking in some of the scenery and sort of got lost in that for a few seconds. Mom didn't see this, I don't think, but I was sitting there staring out the window and it seemed like there was a shadow that came over the place from the outside. You know what I'm talking about, like when an airplane flies between the earth and the sun, it creates a shadow for a split second. Well, that's what happened and I looked outside up in the air, and I will tell you I almost fainted for a second. It looked just like a pterodactyl, you know, from the movies, and I kept looking and looking and all of a sudden it came into closer view. Hehehe, it was just a brown pelican!!!!!!! Yes it was!!!! It just about scared the life out of me though!!!!! hahaha I was ready to pack my bags and head back to good ole TN, land that I love,,,,(we don't have pterodactyl pelicans there) but, alas......it was just a pelican!!!! Some of the people we were with got a good laugh over that one. I can laugh now, but at the time, I was kinda freaked out. I was remembering Tippie Hedron in the movie "The Birds" and that wasn't fun at all!!!!!
On the ship, after we got settled in and decided to brave it, mom and I started going to shows and comedy acts, puppet shows and karaoke and just doing what ever we could find to do, and that was a lot of fun. We really had to coordinate our time and make some tough decisions about what we really wanted to see and maybe miss something else that we wanted to see. It could be tough at times to make the decision.
|A good pic of the Carnival Dream Cruise ship (when we was at Mahogany Bay, Roatan Honduras)|
|Leaving New Orleans.|
|Mom and me outside on the deck of our stateroom before leaving N. O. LA|
|Mom looking out over the waters after we had set sail.|
We took in an art show one day and had plans to go back to it later on, but there was something else we wanted to do too, so we opted to do the other thing and I can't remember what it was. I wish I could though. We really enjoyed the art show. I wish I had taken pics and notes because I don't remember who the artists were. And I really don't know if picture taking would have been allowed anyway. One of them was into mixed media art and what he done was so awesome!!!!!!! There was a butterfly that was painted in metallic colors and that thing looked just like it would fly off the canvas. It was soooooo beautiful!!!!! Both of the artists was from the southwest United States so their work reflected the landscape and the beautiful rich colors associated with the southwest. We both really enjoyed that and wished we had taken in more of the art show. We just knew when it came time for the auction, we couldn't afford what we had seen. Plus, we was afraid we might reach up to rub our nose and make a bid on a $20,000 piece of art and hear someone say "SOLD"!!!! Hubby would not have liked that at all!!! hahahaha
|Floor 3 Atrium|
|Atrium from floor 5 overlooking the stage where a musician/singer was most of the time.|
|A comedian on stage in the Encor Lounge.|
|The cruise ship entertainment director.|
I had mentioned too that we loved to take in karaoke. Now, we didn't sing, we just listened. But we both soon learned that it doesn't take a lot of skill to do karaoke, just lots of "GUTS"!!!!!! hahahaha You talk about fun, we had fun with a capital "F-U-N"!!!!!! It was just too fun. Especially when you are inadvertently made a part of the stage show!!!! We had just gotten out of a comedy show and was looking for something else to do. It was about 10 pm and entirely too early to go back to our room. We walked out of the Burgundy Lounge which is where the comedy show was, and to the left of that exit was "The Song" room and to the right was "Sam's Piano Bar". We looked at each door and decided on the "The Song" because there was familiar sounds coming from that small room. It was just about full and the only place we seen was seats right on the front row, just about 2 feet from the small stage. So we sat down and started enjoying the singing. There was a man singing George Straight songs, another one singing Frank Sinatra, a woman singing Loretta Lynn, another woman singing Crystal Gayle, another man was an Elvis impersonator and just so many more. These that I mentioned could actually sing pretty great. One guy sang a James Brown song, "I Feel Good". We had heard him several times and that was one of his go to songs. This night, someone was singing when we came in and sat down. We got nestled into our seats and was getting into the music. This persons song was over and the emcee called another one to the stage and it was the David, "I Feel Good" singer. He had on sunglasses, ball cap, t shirt, shorts and tennis shoes. He was a funny guy and we loved him already. We was so close to the stage and as he grabbed the mic, the music started and he jumped about 3 feet off the stage and hit the stage and about the time his feet landed he screamed in the mic "I feel good" and mom squealed to the top of her lungs!!! I thought something had happened to her and I started reaching for her and asking what's wrong, she finally lowered her hands from her face and said "he scared me"!!! I just screamed out laughing when I found out she was alright and he kept on singing and we sat there and laughed all during his song, we could not help it. Everyone behind us noticed and heard us. How could they not!!!!!! He finished his song and left the stage and we was still sitting there cracking up at what had just happened. Then the Frank Sinatra wannabe went to the stage and before his music started, he told the guy that had just gotten off the stage that he just about scared these two ladies sitting at the stage half to death and we kept cracking up and everyone in there was laughing. After Frank got done with his song, that David was called back to the stage and on his way up, he stopped by us and reached his hands out to both of us and shook our hands and apologized for startling us. We just laughed and said it was just too funny and that he didn't owe us an apology. Of course, our giggle boxes was on and in high gear and we laughed the rest of the evening. hahaha So, be careful where you sit, you may get startled and then be a part of the act.
There was a lot of great singing, but for all the great singing, there was a lot that wasn't so great. But, that is part of the fun of karaoke and one reason you will NEVER hear me singing like that. hahaha We really enjoyed it and it would certainly be on my go to list of things to take in if I ever get to go on another cruise.
When there was time between our planned out list of things to do, we would go to the 4th floor and sit down around the area overlooking the Atrium that was on the 3rd floor and there was a small stage about one and a half levels up, between 4th and 5th floors, that had a glassed in stair case up to it and then the stair case went on up to the the 5th floor. On the stage, there was room for a singer and a musician and there was usually someone singing and playing a guitar or a keyboard and then sometimes they would also have a drummer with them. These were employees of Carnival and they were great singers. We would sit and listen to them sing and watch people as they got up and danced. There was several older couples that could really do some good ball room dancing.
When there wasn't dancing going on in that area, they was playing corn hole. We really loved to watch that. I have never played corn hole before, but Mom loves it. One of my brothers made her some corn hole boards for the Village where she lives and they play every chance they get. So, I know she was wanting to go down and get in on the corn hole games, and I told her we could go and she could play but we didn't. If I had it to do over again, I would have played. But it was fun watching it every chance we got.
|4th floor view of atrium and cornhole players.|
|Mom and I and our sassy selves!!! See that bag I'm wearing, I got us those at the Carnival Fun Shops and we rally loved them. Just the perfect size.|
|This was at the very back of the ship and that is where the pic above was made also. So happy no one pushed us overboard. hahahaha|
|An upward view of the glass elevators from the Atrium.|
|Mom and me up to some meanness!!! hahahaha|
|Mom and me up to some more meanness!!! hahahaha There was no alcohol in those drinks, I promobleised, uh, I promise. hahahaha|
|A shot from our balcony. Can you see the cross in the circle in the cloud? I just now noticed that. Wow!!!|
|Allan, one of the server team and my Mom!!! We loved him!|
|Servers putting on a show during our dinner.|
|J. J. waving at the camera. We loved him too!!!|
|Beautiful Ni Ny, she was an amazing young lady, we wanted to bring her home with us!|
|The server crew was getting ready to sing to us.|
|Allan and Ni Ny singing "happy birthday" to Mom on Saturday night.|
|Some of the servers dancing with the children.|
Another dreaded appetizer, was another deep fried southern delicacy. Fried green tomatoes. I love fried green tomatoes and fried frog legs so much in fact, that every time I go to mom's for a couple of days, we go to Slappyz in Russellville and that's what I get!!! Well, I got fried green tomatoes for an appetizer and when they brought it out, it had some kind of pico or something on it that just made me sick to look it. Not because it was so displeasing, but because if you go to the trouble of deep frying something, you don't want to sog up the good crust it has on it. Boohoohoo!!!!! I told mom she needs to see about getting a job as the "master" southern chef on one of the cruise lines. Lordy knows they could use her 65-70 years of southern cuisine expertise on the cruise we were on. hahahaha
|These were the little baby towel animals. They were so cute!!!|
|This was some of the larger towel animals. They were fun to see.|
One of things that we got to where we would do is get some of the drinks minus the liquor. Since mom and I neither one drink, we still wanted to enjoy the drinks. So, when we went to a show or what ever we was doing, we would order us a drink minus the liquor and get to enjoy all the frozen fruit juices, yummy for the tummy is all I can say for some of them. The one I enjoyed most was one with lots of frozen mango and peach juices and then it had a generous streak of grenadine for color. Beautiful and delicious!!!!!! In total, I think we got 5 or 6 different ones to try. I can't remember all the ones we tried, but it was fun trying them. When we got off at Cozumel, we went to Fat Tuesdays and got a frozen strawberry daiquiri without liquor and we enjoyed that a lot.
One of the funniest things, every morning to start the day, one of the guys on the ship would come over the intercom system and no matter where you were, you could hear him. He would tell about the upcoming events of the day and what ever needed to be told. Something he always said was, "bye, I said bye" and then that was it. Everywhere you went you heard people saying "bye, I said bye". We was on the elevator one night coming back to our room after a great evening and there was several of us on the elevator. When the elevator stopped at our floor, most everyone got off and we all talking as we got off. We took several steps and my mom stopped and looked back at the people that was still talking and she said "bye, I said bye" and I thought they was gonna get down and roll. There was a younger girl in the crowd and she said, "I was really hoping someone would say that before the night was over!" Leave it to my mom!!!! She's a comedian in her own right!!!!!
We got off at Mahogany Bay on the Isle of Roatan, Honduras. I believe that is the one that is owned privately by Carnival. The day before, we had gotten the itinerary for the stop at Mahogany Bay and it gave all the excursions you could go on. Since we don't swim, we figured snorkeling was out. Not much on dirt biking or canoeing or any of the other 75 different things to do, but low and behold, the angels were singing and the harpists were playing their harps when my eyes rested upon this one excursion!!!!!!!! Not only was it something that we both could do, but we both wanted to do it, and it was in our price range, almost free!!!!!! hehehehe It was called "Magical Chairs", and it was a ski lift that took you over the main part of the island that was open for us to see!!!!!!! Now, that's right up my ally and mom's too!!!! We rode it down to the area of the beach and gift shops and walked around for a bit and looked and seen what we wanted to see and then we got back on the ski lift and went back to the starting place and asked if we had to get off. hehehe We didn't!!!! That guy said we could ride it all day if we chose too. We didn't ride it all day, but we did ride it another round or two and it was so much fun!!!!! I could ride that again and really enjoy every second of it.
|Mahogany Bay from our balcony window. You can also see one of the jacuzzi's on the ship.|
|Mom and I at the official Mahogany Bay welcome sign.|
|Beautiful flowers at the sign.|
|One of the views from Mahogany Bay. Our ship in the background.|
|Mom and I gracefully getting on the Magical Chairs. hahahaha Our one wild excursion. hahaha|
|Our ride to the beach and shopping area. It was such fun.|
|Overlooking the shopping area.|
|The sign to Mahogany Beach.|
|View of Mahogany Bay and Beach from our balcony. You can also see the giant chess board down on deck 5. We was on level 9.|
|This is our sassy selves sporting our little hats that we got at the Fun Shops up on level 5. We love our hats.|
|Tender boat coming to our ship to take guests to Belize. We didn't go. We didn't want to ride that thing 45 minutes to Belize. They were hop skip and jumping across the waves, just bouncing on every 5th wave, not for me at all. hahaha|
|Another tender boat coming back to a ship. There was 4 or 5 ships anchored out in the ocean while the tender boats took people to and fro all day;|
|Looking out at Cozumel Mexico. It was misting and the wind was bad you could hardly stand up straight.|
|Walking the "plank" to the customs building at Mexico. The wind almost blew us off this thing!!!|
|Main street in the shopping area just passed customs. That's where they suggested we stay and Mom and I did.|
|Man and woman singing and playing musical instruments on the area close to the sandy area. Just behind them are some of the ships that was docked.|
|Mom and her pet burro. hehehe|
|Just taking a break at Fat Tuesday's before we headed back to the ship. We had alcohol free strawberry daiquiri. It was delicious. Wish I had one right now. The mist and wind really done a number on our hair!|
|Proof that we was at Fat Tuesday. hahaha My brothers just don't have any idea what all fun we had, and it's better off that way!!!! hahahahaha|
Just as a cautionary note, if you are gonna go somewhere with other people, make sure you know who you will be going with and ask questions. You have the right to know if someone smokes, or drinks or does drugs or whatever else you can fill the blank with, and then you can make decisions based on your own health and well being. After Mom and I already had our trip payed for, someone else decided she wanted to go and neither one of us knew her. I had no idea I should have asked questions, so I didn't. I blame no one but myself on this matter. Having said that, I used to be a smoker. I know how harmful it is to self and everyone around you. It's really hard to quit, been there done that, so I don't want to be harsh on smokers. It has been a long time since I have smoked and been around smokers. Had it not been for God, I might even still be a smoker. If I didn't have a reaction to it like I do now, I would NOT care at all. But, over the years I have developed many many allergies, and lost a lot of my hearing due to sinus infections and bronchitis and infected Eustachian tubes, and one of my big allergies is smoke, smoking and second hand smoke and I now wear hearing aids due to my loss of hearing and deal with debilitating vertigo from time to time. Smoke cuts my throat like breathing razor blades. For example, I can walk thru the WalMart parking lot and walk thru someones second hand smoke and have a scratchy throat by the time I get inside and then if walk thru more when I leave, I can and will get bronchitis from that. Were it not for that, I wouldn't care what anyone does, because I can't make anyone care about other people.
With that said, the other person was a smoker. She didn't smoke in the vehicle, but she had to have the window cracked (blowing on us in the back) and air conditioning full blast (blowing on us in the back, not even on her,) because she is claustrophobic. Anyway, an 8 hour trip was 13.5 hours due to smoke breaks. She said it was due to her back, I really don't know! I just know she always had to have a cigarette or two at every stop and then we got to smell and breathe her ashtry breath. Before we got out of the state of TN I had a sore scratchy throat and it got worse by the minute. I finally just said that if mom and I would have had all the info we should have had, we wouldn't have been on this trip and that I will have pneumonia by the time we get home. I know what happens to my body when I am exposed to that much smoke and it did happen. I have just now gotten over the pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infection due to not having all the info to make a healthy decision. I have been about as sick as I have ever been in my life with this. My throat is still very scratchy and I still have a terrible cough and days that I don't feel good at all, but I am getting over it and hope to make a full recovery in the near future. I just praise God every day that my mother did not get sick from this!!!!!! That was my prayer when I realized what we was in for. Hubby said for mom and me to get a motel room somewhere and he would come get us and had it not been for the loss of her money and mine, we would have done that. There is more I could say on the matter, but no use beating a dead horse. With this experience, I just know now that I DO have the right to ask questions and should ask questions and tell you that you too, have the right to ask questions to help you make healthy choices. I know I will be exercising that right from now on and so should you.
I already want to go on another cruise. That is just wishful thinking, but I can say this, I will know more about who I will go with than I did this time. I will ask questions so I can make a healthy informed decision based on all the facts. Now, with all that said, I would not take all the money in the world for the time that my mother and I was blessed to share!!!!! That was and is truly priceless!!!!!!! I am so blessed that I got to do this with my mother. My hearts desire is that we get to go on another cruise together!!!!!! Who knows, it just might happen again, until then, I will keep laughing and remembering this Carnival Dream cruise, because it was a dream come true (minus pneumonia)!!!!!
Scripture says: Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm37:4
I just have to say Amen and Amen to this scripture!!! Isn't is awesome and exciting to see how God wants to bless us when we are joyfully in a right relationship with Him and seek to spend time with our Creator. It was awesome to look out over the ocean and to think that God had this time marked on His calendar for Mom and I to enjoy together. He truly gave me the desire of my heart and I will forever be thankful to Him for that.
Hope and pray y'all enjoyed just a glimpse into our cruise. I would loved to have shared all of with y'all, but as I said earlier, space and time won't allow. Hope y'all come back soon. Remember that God is waiting to give you the desires of you heart, just delight yourself in Him.
Till next time, God loves y'all and so do I!! hugs, Patty