fredag 14. februar 2014

Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Jamaica and Grand Cayman

This trip is some years ago now, but I suddenly realized that I've never written about it and I do have some tips and ideas I want to share from our cruise. This was actually my first cruise ever and I must admit I was a little bit skeptical to the whole idea. Isn't it just old people who go on a cruise?

Well, lets start in Ft. Lauderdale. Just getting there was a rather difficult thing. It all started in Oslo airport when we found out that our flight from Stockholm to Chicago was cancelled. What to do? The airline always help you so don't worry. In our case we traveled on space available so we have to fix it our self. No problem, we went to Washington instead via Copenhagen. That's almost the same, isn't it. After some ticket misunderstandings and being able to check in our bags without having the proper amount of tickets (this was something I feared so I asked the check in five times if they were sure we could travel to Ft. Lauderdale from Washington on that one ticket via Charlotte. They said yes), we went to the gate to get rejected from the flight. Well, that happens but in U.S your bags take the flight anyway. We had plenty of time before our cruise and at this stage we are only a few hours delayed. However, we had to spend the night in Washington without our bags. Not a problem really, thank good we traveled from Norway where it is the same type of weather in December. We found an airport hotel and checked in for the night. Finally we could get some sleep. Only lasted for a few hours because the fire alarm decided to have a little party at 4 am. Well, what can you do, the girls dressed up in our nice clothes and the guys had to put their suites back on (we travel a little bit dressed up, rules). Outside we met all the other people who stayed at the hotel, in their pajamas, h I never wanted a pajamas as much as I wanted one then. Didn't sleep that good that night!

Next morning we went to the airport an got on a non stop flight to Miami. In our winter clothes! Arrived Miami in my woolly jacket and warm boots, not bags there because they had been sent to Ft. Lauderdale the night before. Again, what can you do, get a taxi to Ft. Lauderdale airport! Bags found, got changed in the toilet and packed away my woolly jacket for the rest of that trip. 

After a rather awkward taxi journey from the airport to the hotel (think the taxi lady had multiple personalities, just an assumption) this is what we did!

You can so not do this in Norway in December!

We we due to set sail the next day, but we figured that we had to try to get a little glimpse of Ft. Lauderdale before we left. So what do you do? You go out to......

Fore some reason this is not the first time, or last I would say, that we end up in Hooters. They have really good buffalo / chicken wings there though.

Need sleep! Early night and then ready for the next morning. my first meeting with the state of Florida! Not bad at all I must say, well at least compared with Norway in the winter time. 

It wasn't so warm that I would go swimming but I could defo wear shorts and t-shirt. None of us was tempted to go into the weather at this stage, maybe when we get to Jamaica or Grand Cayman, we are about to board the Royal Caribbean Cruise ship. 

As I mentioned earlier this was our first time on board any cruise ship so we had, to be honest, low expectations. We just figured that as long as we are two couples together we will have fun anyway. It turned out to be a lot more than that. First off all, not everybody is old! There is a great mix of people in every age group and the atmosphere was brilliant.  We went straight to the bar!

The show starts as soon as you walk on board that ship, and today they had dancing, competitions etc, etc. We were very good at hanging in the bar and looking at other people. Kind of making sure that we could actually have fun here. 

In this last picture I think we started to get really comfortable as my friends actually went on the dance floor to learn this routine dance or what ever it was. Funny to watch though. Next on the program was the belly flop thingy, jupmintothewater. We did not enter, just watching. I am amazed what people tend to let themselves do when they are on holidays. Now this is nothing embarrassing, but it must hurt like hell when you hit that water!


We had a great first day and the impression overall was quite good. This would be fun, we will make it loads of fun. We also started the whole cruise with a day on the sea so we had plenty of time to explore the ship.

Might as well hit the evening activities straight away. We got a regular pub straight away, and this is where we stopped by at least three times a day or so.

There is all kinds of entertainment every evening and it is on twice so no mater what time you have your dinner seating you will be able to catch a show as well. We went to everything we could, and all the bars and nightclubs on board :)

When we got up our first morning on board RCCL, we soon learned that there wasn't all the sunbeds on the deck that was suitable for sunbathing. First of all it was extremely windy some places and other places the music was very load. in order to get a good sunbed on the deck you had to be up really early. A lot of the people they get up early, out their towel on the sunbed they want and then wander off for food or whatever. Anyway, we weren't going to stay on the ship sunbathing for all the days of the cruise so we found other stuff to do and we also managed to go to the gym!!!!!!!!

And play crazy golf! On the top deck of the ship!!!!???? 

Just a little bit windy. impossible to even play the game so we gave up quickly. Well no problem finding other stuff to do, on board a cruise ship you can just spend all your time eating if you fancy that. There is food every where and at all times. Heaven for most men I would say!

However, we did not spend all the days on the ship, our first stop was Ochos Ricos, Jamaica!

Our first meeting with Jamaica did not go exactly the way we planned. It started with me and my friend had to go to the toilet and we just went in the first public place / house we saw, thinking it was a bar or something. It wasn't.............. it was a place where girls work and boys visit!!!!! We left.....

We had pre booked a catamaran and snorkeling trip through RCCL. It is very easy to go on different excursions, you have it all on you TV in your cabin and then you can just choose from that. Really easy and also very popular. Every evening after the staff have cleaned your room for the second time, they leave a leaflet with information of what is going on everywhere the next day.

Anyway, since it was our first time on a cruise ship we just decided to go with this tourist thing and be like everybody else.

After the snorkeling and catamaran trip we still had some time to see some more of Ochos Rios before we had to back on the cruise ship. We just stopped at a local bar that was on the way to the harbor.

They introduced us to some Jamaica, beer and we introduced then to the Norwegian "chewing tobacco" (which is not supposed to be chewed), snus. Great fun!

Well back on the ship it was time to first of all go to our local bar then change and "go out" for the evening (on board the ship of course).

Captains dinner this evening and that means we have to dress up a little bit. Going to the set dinner is nothing you have to do if you don't want to. We saw a lot of tables that was empty most of the time. i guess some people prefer to go to the buffet instead. I like to go to a set down dinner and be served. You will have to pay our waiter the tips though but it is worth in in my opinion.

After dinner there was time for a show again. Most of the time the shows are okay, nothing huge and fantastic buy good. We enjoyed it and had great fun.

Some shows was definitely better than others, like the one where all the men had to change clothes and find stuff. Can't remember how it all happened because I laughed so hard.

Not only did we spend a lot of time in our local bar, we also went to the casino a few times. This was more for the guys then for us girls, but liked it so much so we kind of had to let them have some fun in there. Didn't take any pictures though, you're not allowed to do that at the poker table.

The next day we were going to Cayman Island and Grand Cayman. This was a day where we did not book any trips because all we wanted to do was to go to Seven mile beach and lay in the sun. Seven mile beach is the most famous beach on the islands if not in one of the most famous in the whole Caribbean. It is absolutely fantastic, the sand is even whiter than on the pictures you are about to see.When we got of the cruise ship there was no  problem getting a taxi. There is never any problems getting taxis or transportation from the dock of any cruise ship. The locals know when the cruise boats are arriving so they are ready to take you anywhere you would like.

It didn't take that long from the cruise boat to the place on the beach where we wanted to go. However, everything is really expensive here, taxis also.

We had a great day at Seven Mile Beach although I think I had the most expensive beach lunch in my entire life. But I guess you can't expect anything else in a money paradise like Cayman Islands.

When we got back to the dock we still had some time before we had to board the ship so we went into Margaritaville which was just across the road. Didn't expect to see this there!

Was just before you got into the actual Margaritaville. To attract tourist I guess. We fell for it ;)

During this cruise it was also mu birthday so we celebrated that as well. And I was inn for a few surprises during that evening. I didn't expect anything so I was very nice to be noticed by my friends and the staff in the dining room who made me this!

That was not the only surprise I got that evening. After dinner and a drink in the bar I was tolde we had to go back to the room to chnage or something befor we went to the nightclub. I thought that was a great idea, and look what they had arranged for me then! 

It was even a happy birthday sign on the door but for some reason, I think shock, I didn't get a picture of that. Didn't have the best camera at the time either so it might be for the better. 

Our cruise only lasted for 5 days but I think it was just perfect. i don't know if I could ever be on a cruise boat for more than 7 days, that might be more than enough. 5 days was good, at thins time it suited us perfectly. When traveling from Norway you kind of spend a few days travelling as well as you can't go straight from the flight to the cruise ship or the other way around. 

The last dinner we had in the dining area is a huge goodbye thing from the staff there, where they do this show, sing an d dance. Sorry to say, but very American. no offence! Okay entertainment for a few minutes. the staff is very nice so it is good to see them have some fun. But if you work on a cruise boat you must be so tired and fed up with the whole routine. I don't know!  

it's not only the staff in the dining area who have this farewell show, the singers, dancers and other entertainers in the evening show room have one as well. We went to see it and it is mostly singing and some farewell dancing. The performers know their stuff though, no complaints there. 

we kind of had the samee routine every evening, however there were different thing going on every night. Entertainment vice. Like the night where it was karaoke. We had to go to it, and it ended up with everybody in the room dancing and singing together. Well almost everybody. And there was a group of three men who really had a show for everybody.

Next and last stop for this time, Nightclub!

We had a brilliant time on the cruise and I have been to a few more after this time. I must say both me and my husband prefer to travel with other people, but then again we are very social people. We kind of tend to talk to everybody we meet, at least my husband he always befriends the whole ship, hotel, bar or whatever it is. A great quality in a man in my eyes.

Ship O'hoi! 

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