Day 2 – At Sea

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One of my favorite parts of the day was to get up before the rest of my family, grab my camera and head out to our balcony for sunrise photos.  Typically, I would be joined a few minutes later by one or both girls, but those few minutes in the morning, with only the sunrise and sound of the ocean were so beautiful and relaxing.


Dream Works Character Breakfast!


Lili’s cupcake decorating class creations.


Naomi’s cupcake decorating class creations.

Liberty of the Seas has many activities for their guests and the girls really enjoyed decorating cupcakes.  We had done it last year on Allure of the Seas, but only decorated one cupcake and got to pick out a second cupcake.  Decorating three cupcakes was a much better deal and everyone had a good time.

 

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It was formal night in the dining room.  Lili despises dressing up, but agreed to this shirt with a cute black skort and black sandals.  Not sure who she is looking at in this photo, but this was our dining room table every night of the cruise.  We very much enjoyed our dining room experience on Liberty of the Seas.  Our waiter and assistant were awesome and we had wonderful meals each night.

 

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Our wait staff assistant taught everyone in her section how to use a napkin to create cat ears.  Naomi’s are a little askew, but she thought it was awesome and was creating and wearing cat ears at some point each evening at dinner. 

Another nice day at sea!

 

 

Day 1 – At Sea

Just some photos from our first day at sea.

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Sunrise!
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Enjoying the morning on our balcony!
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The prettiest girls on the ship!!!!
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The girls wanted to get a picture of me.  And I love the blue ocean!!!!!
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We were having fun taking pictures around the ship.

 

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The girls were really into posing!

 

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And then it was my turn to pose.

We had a pretty relaxing day on the ship.  For a matter-of-fact, I think hubby was napping while the girls and I were out exploring and taking photos.

 

 

 

Cruise Day

I had every intention of having my first blog post completed and ready for your viewing pleasure, but was having some technical difficulties all day yesterday and this morning.  I don’t know what the problem was, but it seems to be resolved now and I’m happy to begin sharing pictures and details about our 7-Night cruise adventure.

Let me begin by saying, our cruise was nice.  I can’t say it was fantastic, although there were certainly some fantastic moments.  Hubby and I did spend the week comparing our cruise from last year, to this year and I’ll share some of those thoughts with you along the way.

We had driven from our home in the DFW area to Houston where we picked up a friend and her daughter who were joining us on the cruise.  After a night in a hotel, we drove into Galveston and parked at Discount Cruise Parking.

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It was very reasonably priced for the week and the staff were very friendly and helpful.  They helped unload our luggage onto a cart while we waited for the shuttle to arrive.

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Lili with Hedwig the Owl.  She calls him her cruise buddy since he has now gone on two cruises with her.
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Naomi didn’t want her picture taken.  Notice the flamingo shoes she picked out for the cruise.  They were quite a match to her anchor pants and shirt.
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They say everything is bigger in Texas.  That includes the flip-flops.

We only waited a few minutes for the shuttle to arrive and it was a short drive from there to our cruise port.

And there she is . . . . . Liberty of the Seas!!

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The photographer was trying to quickly take a photo of the ship.  Obviously, she didn’t do a good job getting the camera straight for the shot 🙂

It was a little cooler than I would have liked and although you can’t see it here, it did get a bit cloudy by sail time.  Overall, I would say it was a pretty good day weather-wise.

A friend and her daughter joined us on this cruise.  I was so happy and excited they were able to take a vacation with us.  They are still in Illinois and with us now in Texas, we don’t get to see each other very often.  Now we had the chance to spend a week together sailing the ocean blue.  But first we had to board the ship.

Our first stop at port was security.  We were hoping for a much better experience from last year in Ft. Lauderdale, where there was virtually no organization and everyone was unsuccessfully trying to figure out where the lines were.  Instead, we all followed the people in front of us,  but with so many different lines of people, everyone was jockeying for position.  It was not fun at all.  In Galveston, everything was very well-organized and we moved along smoothly and pretty quickly considering there hundreds of people in front of us.  In all, it took maybe 30 minutes.

After security, we moved on to check-in where we had to present our passports (I.D.) and get our Sea Pass cards.  The Sea Pass cards become our identification, room key and credit card while on board.  It is also mandatory that security scans all Sea Pass cards when getting off and back on the ship at each port of call.  No need to carry anything but the Sea Pass card while on the ship.  It’s really quite nice.

By noon, we were on board and in the Windjammer for lunch.  The Windjammer is Royal Caribbean’s buffet dining.  Like all the other cruises, it was packed full of hungry and excited cruisers, so finding a place to sit was a bit challenging.  Thankfully, we found a group who was just getting ready to leave, so hubby and one of the staff stalked the table for us while we headed off to fill our plates.

We were just finishing lunch when they announced that all staterooms were ready, so we headed out to find our rooms.

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This is a shot from our balcony into the room.  We got a balcony room for the first time last year and won’t ever go back to an inside or outside stateroom.  Each evening, our stateroom attendant would come in while we were at dinner and pull out the sofa, which converts to a bed.  That is where the girls slept each night.  The room had plenty of room in the closet and drawers to store all our clothing for the week.

Ours was on Deck 10 and in a really good location.  Just a short walk down the hallway and one flight of stairs up to the Windjammer and the pool deck.  It was only two flights of stairs up to Adventure Ocean, which was our next stop.

Adventure Ocean, which we commonly refer to as the “Kid’s Club” is Royal Caribbean’s program for kids.  It is broken down by age group, however, since we tend to sail during the school year (thanks to homeschooling), they typically combine the 6 – 8 yr olds with the 9 – 11 yr olds.  They work hard to make it a fun-filled place for kids to enjoy their own cruise experience, away from their parents and the girls were looking forward to spending some time in Adventure Ocean.

After filling out the necessary paperwork for Adventure Ocean, we went to check out the pool area and wait for the ship to sail.

Liberty of the Seas is an older ship that recently went thru renovations.  Part of those renovations were adding in water slides and a splash park for the kids.

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The splash park had smaller water slides for younger kids.  Larger water slides for older kids and adults were at the other end of the ship.

We were really impressed and looking forward to spending many hours over the upcoming week enjoying our time in and around the pool.

Before we knew it, we were leaving port and heading out to sea.

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The girls were ready and anxious to try out the pool, but they did want to see us sail away first.

The girls didn’t spend much time watching us sail off before they were ready to start the real fun of their cruise.

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She is letting me know that the water is pretty cold. 

 

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The hot tub is much more up Naomi’s ally and hubby’s too.  Neither of them handle cold water well at all.  By this point, Lili also needed to warm up

By 6:00, we were dried off, dressed and heading to the Main Dining Room for dinner.  Last year, hubby and I weren’t pleased with our dining room experience.  Primarily, we weren’t impressed with our server, but it didn’t take us long to realize that this time around we would be enjoying a scrumptious dinner in the dining room every evening.

The girls were anxious to go to Adventure Ocean, so we dropped them off after dinner and enjoyed a little kid-free time on the ship before we all turned in for the night.

Our cruise day was done, we were tired, happy and looking forward to a good night’s sleep before our first full day at sea.

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Day

I’ve been trying to get into a better blogging routine in the last week and was doing pretty well until today.

We head out on our cruise this Sunday and I am in full cleaning and packing mode.  As such, my blog has taken a back seat.

While we’re gone, I will be disconnecting, so there will be no blog posts published.  I do, however, plan to write a little something every day.  When I return, I should have several posts, with photos, ready to share.

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9 More Days

Have I mentioned just how much I like to travel.  My girls have the travel bug as well.  Hubby has it too, but not as much as the girls and I do.

By far, my most favorite vacation is cruising and one nice thing about living in Texas, is that we are a pretty easy drive to the cruise port in Galveston.  Living in Illinois meant either a minimum two-day drive or a flight to get to a cruise port.  Not that we won’t fly to another cruise port in the future.  After all, I do have my eye on a couple different cruises out of Puerto Rico on our next cruise, but this time all we need to do is pack up the Suburban and drive south.

Our upcoming cruise is on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas.

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We leave in 9 days for 7 fun-filled days on the sea!!!!

All four of us are excited and so ready for this trip.  Plus, we get to introduce a friend and her daughter to cruising.  I’m hoping to get them hooked 🙂

My favorite time for cruising is during the winter months.  The cost tends to be lower as it’s not prime travel season plus it’s always nice to go further south into warmer weather in the winter.  Don’t misunderstand me though.  I would be more than happy to try out a summer cruise 😉

Do you like to travel?

Do you have a favorite vacation destination?

Have you ever been on a cruise?

 

 

 

Cruising or Something Else?

Hubby, the girls and I will leave soon on our cruise.  This will be the 4th for hubby and me, but the 3rd for the girls.

I truly love cruising.  I love how relaxed I feel.  Each of our cruises has taken us to new destinations and I love going to new places.  Each cruise we’ve been on a different ship, even a different size ship.  Our next cruise will be no different.  We’ll be visiting two new places on a different size ship and I can’t wait.

As much as I love cruising though, hubby and I have been discussing future trips.  Do we take another cruise?  Do we visit Europe?  Do we visit Canada?

We’ve seen most of the U.S.

We’ve visited several different countries in the Caribbean.

We’ve visited Ethiopia in Africa.

When hubby was in the Army, he spent two years in Germany and I believe he visited Austria, but that’s pretty much it.

He’s been to Canada on business.  Toronto to be exact and I think he visited another time as a child.

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I’ve never been to Canada.

I’ve never been to Europe.

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Until fairly recently, neither were on my bucket list of places to travel.  As I’ve learned more about these countries though, they have not only made the bucket list, but have quickly moved to the top.

It doesn’t seem like this is a decision that needs to be made in the near future.  After all, we are leaving on a cruise soon.  However, if you’ve never cruised, you may not be aware that the cruise lines often offer some good deals to those who book their next cruise, while on their current cruise.  I am in favor of taking advantage of a good offer.

Hubby has pretty much nixed the idea of a European cruise and after some discussion, I think I agree with him.  It is a long way to fly just to go on a cruise.  Our time would probably be better spent traveling around Europe and seeing as much as we can.

But what about a cruise to from the U.S. up to Nova Scotia?  Get off the ship, stay in Canada for a few days and then fly home?  Cruising and a trip to Canada all in one?

Hmmm!!!

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Resolutions

Many of us make them at the turn of each new year.  Yet very few seem to accomplish what they set out to do in each new year.  I’m in the “very few” group, having committed to resolutions year after year only to throw them away shortly after the new year begins.   Yet I also seem to grip the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.”

So here I sit on Day 2 of 2017 thinking of all the accomplishments I would like to make in 2017.

Resolutions are the firm decision to do or not do something.  I think the problem I’ve had in the past is that my decisions are not firm.  Without a deep resolve to accomplish what one sets out to do, resolutions are unattainable.  So whatever I decide to do, I need to have that deep, unwavering commitment to get it done.

So what can I do in 2017?  I certainly have a long list of things I should try to accomplish in 2017.

What commitment(s) can I make to myself that will bring about positive change?  I have some ideas.

Is there any resolution I can make that will be attainable?  Good question.

Am I able to tackle any resolution with unwavering commitment?  Another good question, but I think there is.

Since I’m not a quitter, here are my resolutions for 2017.

#1 – Lose weight

#2 – Make healthier food choices

#3 – Less screen time

#4 – Finish painting the interior of the house

#5 – Cruise more

#6 – Read more books on my ever-growing reading list

#7 – Organize cupboards

#8 – Set aside more time for family activities

#9 – Go on more cruises

#10 – Create a small space vegetable garden

#11 – Find and prepare at least two new meals per month

#12 – Spend more time cruising

#13 – Organize closets

#14 – Schedule more cruises

#15 – Clean and organize the garage

#16 – Put more physical activity into my life

#17 – Cruise

Putting resolutions in print can certainly give a person some clarity.

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I think cruising could really help me accomplish my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017.

Now hear me out, because I think I just might be on to something.

When we cruise, we don’t spend the extra money to connect to the internet.  This means I’m spending less time sitting in front of a computer screen.  That takes care of Resolution #3.

While sitting on deck in complete relaxation, – warm sun on my face, sounds of the ocean, feel of the warm breeze, smell of the salty sea and the sights of the beautiful ocean spreading out for miles – I will have the time needed to do more reading.  Resolution #6 accomplished.

Obviously, I would take hubby and the girls with me which means more family activity time.  Resolution #8 accomplished.

Walking around the ship and at each port means I’ve added more physical activity in my life.  Resolution #16 done.

As I’m packing for our cruises, it will force me to clean and organize the closets.  I could cross Resolution #13 off my list.

Cruising also means I can accomplish Resolution #’s 5, 9, 12, 14 & 17.

I would like to think that cruising will also help me accomplish Resolutions #1 & 2.  Afterall, the additional physical activity would help me shed some extra pounds and cruise ships offer plenty of healthy food choices.

Because I’ll be so rested from cruising, I’ll have the energy needed to accomplish Resolution #’s 4, 7, 10, 11 & 15.

Yes, I think I may have finally figured out how to set and accomplish all my New Year’s resolutions.

Happy 2017 to me!!!!