It’s always a sad moment when you realize it is the last day of a vacation.  However, the last day also happened to be our last day of cruising, and Ian’s Birthday!  What better way to spend your birthday, than on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world?

All night, I had had a hard time sleeping, as coughing fits continued to wake me every hour or so.  I had finally been inflicted with Ian’s cold, which he was still getting over himself.  But, no matter how much we might have wanted to stay in bed and let the cold win, we had our hearts set on the Galley Tour and Brunch.  So, pulling ourselves together, we traversed the length of the ship, and met with the tour group waiting outside Silk, the main dining room two floors up from American Icon, at 10am.

The Executive Chef showing us the soup serving station.

Once we were in the kitchens, we were met with the Executive Chef, who gave us the run down on the first station inside the doors, the soup (both hot and chilled) station.  He explained that this was the location each and every server from the dining room came in order to prepare and serve every bowl of soup served during dinner.  Until then, I had no idea that our server had been the one running off to the kitchen to get our soups each night.  With how many tables our servers waited on each night, it gave me a new respect for how much running back and forth to the kitchens they did every night. Read More

View of sunrise and Cozumel from our balcony.

Cozumel.  Our final stop before we head back to the states, and the earliest arrival of the whole trip.  With the gangway opening before 8:30 in the morning, our shore excursion meeting time was scheduled for 7:45 in the Amber Theater, so I ordered our room service for a 6am delivery.  I pulled back the curtains and watched the sun rise behind the island of Cozumel, as I ate my bagel, bowl of corn flakes, and two cups of tea.  With the morning sick weirdness I get, it took me a full 45 minutes to finish my small meal, and begin to feel human again.  Around 7:15 I began to get ready, and finally pulled Ian from bed.  The NyQuil had done its job, and he was able to get a full night’s sleep.  Excursion bag in hand, and ready for a fun day in Mexico, we took the stairs two floors down to Amber Theater to meet our tour group.

Amber Theater was the main meeting area for all those shore excursions which would be traveling to the mainland from Cozumel, so there was a very large crowd gathered.  Upon entering the theater, everyone had their tickets checked and were given color coded stickers showing which tour you were associated with, as well as motion sickness pills (not a great sign).  After sitting for several minutes, groups were gathered by color, and told to make their way down to the gangway.  Our group, the Xplor All Inclusive Adventure, was one of the largest.  Sticking to the groups we were put in, we disembarked the ship, and followed our tour guide down the pier and to the ferry boat we would be taking to the mainland. Read More

It happened.  The thing you never want to have happen when you’re on vacation happened.  Ian got sick.  All night, a tickle in his throat kept him up and coughing.  The throbbing headache from Jamaica turned into a full on stuffed nose sinus infection.  To top it off, muscles I strained while attempting to climb the Arawak Water Park floats in Haiti had begun to ache ferociously.  On a good note, what better day to be sick than a day when you have nowhere you need to be?

Our second full day of cruising began with us (trying) to sleep in until almost 10am, and opening the curtains to our balcony to see an ocean glinting from the late morning sun.  With nothing specific planned for the day, and Ian not feeling the best, we flipped open our Cruise Compass to see what was happening.  Downstairs at On Air, another round of Bingo was about to get underway at 10:30, so we got dressed and made our way down to grab some bingo cards and find seats in the packed bar.  A non-alcoholic mango daiquiri made for a suitable breakfast smoothie substitute while we played, and helped us to wake up a bit more, and sooth Ian’s sore throat.  We played three games, and though I got to the point where I was one square away again, we still didn’t win a round. Read More