Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Cruise to Bahamas with the Rudolphs

For our Thanksgiving holiday this year we cruised with the Rudolphs on the Carnival Liberty to the Bahamas. Our boat departed on Sunday the 23rd and was scheduled to stop at Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport.

On Sunday, we drove to Port Canaveral to board the boat and it was an easy drive, although we made a mistake when the porter took our bags and we accidentally had him take an important bag that we intended to carry on. It contained all of Andrea's makeup, her nice handbags, and other important things. We were a little worried we'd be off to a very bad start to the cruise, but thankfully there was still and old airline tag on the bag with our name on it and it was delivered to the room.

Connor was very excited when it was found, and Andrea was very relieved. Connor gave Mommy a big hug when we found the bag.

After we got our things, we went up to the top decks to see the boat set sail and to get some ice cream.

After dinner, we stopped at the theater for show with the cruise director. Connor volunteered Nate to go on stage and Nate was picked!

I took a short video of Nate participating in the show as Daddy Bear.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed Nate's hijinks.

Uncle Nate earned a participation trophy for all his hard work. The kids were very happy for him and his breakout success.

After Nate's big show, we weren't sure what to do. There weren't a lot of things going on the first night, so we went to the karaoke area to see what was going on. There were barely any people in the club, and everyone was just sitting and waiting for people to perform. The same guy kept going up every few minutes and after a little while Alli worked up the courage to sing "A Whole New World" with Nate and the kids. I got a video of it, but it was very hard to hear them since the microphones weren't held quite close enough to their lips.

A little while later, Paige decided she wanted to sing "Let it go", but it wasn't in the karaoke book. The man working pulled it up and started playing it anyways, and Paige and Alli were very excited to sing it. I got a video of Paige singing it a few seconds after the song started. She was pretty nervous to be up there in front of all the people, but did great! Connor was super sweet about it. After she came off the stage he ran up and gave her the biggest hug. He was so proud of little sister.

We didn't stay up too long and eventually went to bed.

The next day, Monday the 24th, was a sea day. Andrea got us four seats right by the big pool in the main area of the boat. It was a good spot to see the hairy chest competition, all the activities, and was a good spot to relax while still being able to watch Paige in the pool.

Connor was all about the sports though. We did mini golf multiple times throughout the cruise. He played with Drew, Nate, me, and anyone that would take him up.

We also went to the sports area and did some soccer. The sports area was always very crowded and right next to the soccer goals were the volleyball court and basketball courts. The balls were constantly ending up in the way of other people, and it was a bit chaotic. Connor did really well playing for a while, but a girl in her 20's was playing way too hard with us. She ended up kicking the ball very hard twice in to Connor's stomach. We ended up leaving after the second time.

That night was formal night, so we all got dolled up and took some pics before dinner.

Drew had a good time on the cruise. We were very impressed with how social he was. There was a teen club O2 on the boat and Drew walked right in and introduced himself to some of the other kids. He ended up hanging out with them quite a bit throughout the cruise and made some good buddies. Drew was also a good buddy for Connor. We still don't let Connor loose on the ship, he's just 7, but he was very thrilled to be allowed to run around on the boat with Drew. They would go to the sports deck together and Connor liked seeing Drew interact with the older kids. Apparently they even told some of the kids that Connor was his little brother, I'm sure Connor liked that.

After dinner, we planned to go to the show, but we had a little time to goof around beforehand. Alli wanted to go to the main lobby to do some dancing and Paige was more than happy to participate too.

They both danced quite a bit and did some spins too in their poofy dresses.

Abby spun Paige for a bit too.

Later that night we went to the show, which was not so great, but the kids liked it pretty well.

After the show, the kids went back to the rooms, Drew went to hang out with his buddies, and the adults went to the dance club to get the party started.

We had a lot of fun getting our dance and drink on. We ended up staying almost the entire night there and eventually left so Abby could jump in the pool and we could eat late night pizza and ice cream. Unfortunately the pools were closed, but we still go to eat our munchies.

On Tuesday, November 25th, we arrived in Nassau Bahamas. Very often, we will just stay on the boat in Nassau, but there was a new beach break to a small private island run by Carnival that we decided to try. The wait was terrible for the excursion. It took an hour and a half of waiting and riding a ferry boat to get to the island. The island itself was very pretty. The water was gorgeous and the sand was bright and clean.

We rented some sand toys and the Rudolphs rented some snorkel equipment.

Paige's favorite thing to do is work in the sand. We did a sand castle, a big hole/pond, and Uncle Nate and Allison buried her legs in the sand. She definitely enjoyed herself.

Connor loved playing football with Uncle Nate and Aunt Abby. He was actually really cute on this cruise about talking to people too. At one point he saw two little boys playing with another football and he walked up to them and asked their dad if he could play too. He had fun playing with them until they wandered a bit too far down the beach and out of sight. I retrieved him at that point and he came back and played with the family the rest of the time.

After we got back to the boat, Paige and Mommy took a little nap.

Paige had quite a cough on the cruise and we were pretty worried about her at a few points. Sometimes she'd go for a few hours without a cough and then for a while she'd cough a bunch. We took her to the doctor at one point to see if it was anything serious, but he took a look at her and decided it wasn't anything to treat or worry about.

Connor loved the hotdog at dinner. He would have eaten it every night if we'd let him.

Drew was really cute about ordering all kinds of exotic things. He ordered rabbit, oysters, and all kinds of fish. In the pic with Connor he's posing with ox tongue.

Paige loved sitting with Alli and sharing virgin strawberry daiquiris.

On Wednesday the 26th, the Rudolphs had planned to go snorkeling and we had planned to get off the boat at Half Moon Cay to enjoy the beach. Unfortunately, the winds were so fierce that they couldn't do the tendering safely and they canceled the stop. We did some swimming at the pool and mostly relaxed the day away. Nate and Abby got massages and Abby said it was one of the best massages we had. 

On Thursday, the 27th (Thanksgiving), we got up early for our excursions. Andrea and I went on an ATV adventure and everyone else went to a beach break in Freeport.

We enjoyed our ATV ride through the forest and down to the beach. It wasn't quite as exciting as in Costa Maya (they had some tricky and fun dunes on the beach in Costa Maya), but it was a fun ride and pretty long. Our thumbs hurt at the end from pushing the accelerator switch for so long.

We got a yummy nacho in the garden area after the ride and then we went to the beach for a couple hours.

The Rudolphs and the kids were actually at a beach about a half mile from our beach. If the tide hadn't been up, we may have been able to walk over and meet them. They all enjoyed their beach day, although it was a little sea-weedy.

Alli got a very cute pic with Paige, of course they were playing in the sand!

Paige got her face painted while they were at the beach.

After we all got back to the boat, we got dressed up for our fancy Thanksgiving feast!

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious and we all finished off the meal with Chocolate Melting cake for the last time. Alli also got an extra dessert cake and our servers and everyone sang to her for her birthday.

Alli's birthday was technically the next day on the 28th, but it was a good opportunity to celebrate an extra day with her so we took it! Allison was such a sweet cousin throughout the cruise. Many nights, she would spend her evening hanging out with Connor and Paige together and would fall asleep in their cabin with them. She actually seemed to enjoy sitting by Paige at dinner, although Paige was always crawling all over her, squeezing her with big hugs, and probably driving her a bit crazy. We were so happy to have her along.

That was our last meal together on the boat. That night, we went to the ssssssshhhhhowtime and then Drew went to party up with his friends one more night and the adults went to a comedy show and then to the club. Unfortunately nobody else on the boat seemed to be in a dancing mood, and we instead decided to finish the night up with some late night pizza and ice cream.

Overall, we had an amazing time on the cruise and we are thankful for all our family, all our blessings, and thankful for the Rudolphs for spending the holiday with us.