Monday, August 27, 2012

Mommy 41st

My sweet boys sent me these to work! I always have a mixture of something yellow (Dominic's favorite color) and something red (Kevin usually adds roses):
And to make the surprise even SWEETER, here is the card. I am so blessed with the two greatest gifts by far, with my boys.  Thank you K and D for making me the luckiest girl in the world!
We signed a contract the day before my birthday for the sale of our home.  We have been so consumed with this process that we have not really had time to do to much else.  Just thankful we finally sold it and we will soon be moving on to the next chapter of our lives.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chef's Table

I read several reviews of Carnival and our ship before we left.  One thing that came up was the Chef's Table. It sounded very fun and interesting so I decided to dig into it a little bit more. Don't be confused with "dinner with the Captain" this is completely different!  The Chef's Table is an on-board excursion, limited to 12 people, $75 per person.  It's an up close and personal look behind the scenes into the kitchen and 3 hours of private time with the Executive Chef along with a champagne/
hors d'oeurvre reception and a 7 course meal. SIGN us up! Photo taking was not encouraged back in the kitchen but as soon as we left we could.  The kitchen is spotless and running like a well oiled machine.  They produce 1,500 plates per sitting and there are 3 sittings! After the tour of the kitchen and a little Q & A, we headed to the library for our private meal. Here is my place setting with the menu scroll tied with an edible licorice star.
We also had 7 waiters tend to us the entire time.  

The first thing we were served was this bread that was baked in this clay pot - clever!
This was a delicious tuna appetizer. I wanted to share exactly what everything was called but I realized I have already packed away photos/ photo albums for our upcoming move so I will list as much as I can.
We were seated across from our guest so here is my hubs enjoying everything too.  There was also bottomless wine and champagne all evening!

This was chicken and cavier....
This guy spent at least 2 hours preparing our desert plates.  He was bent over like this the whole time placing piece by piece, squirt by squirt of what would be a fantasy desert plate.
This was the beef and potatoes, Kevin's favorite of course!  The meat just fell apart. These courses may appear small but when you have 7 of them, you are stuffed at the end. I did not post a photo of every course but just highlighted a few.
Here is that desert plate I was referring to.  He made 12 of these and again placed everything you see on here one by one.

Here is the executive chef.  He had a strong accent and I can't begin to remember his name.  He works 5 months on, 3-4 months off.  They live a whole different life.  His budget is $1,2000,000 a month for food on the ship!
We would highly recommend this to anyone cruising on a ship that offers it.  It was totally worth every penny and actually affordable compared to the shore excursions!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2nd port - Cozumel, Mexico

Our 2nd port was Cozumel, Mexico again docking first thing in the morning.  Beautiful is what describes the view in the Western Caribbean pretty much everywhere.  We booked a day excursion to take a boat to a private beach with water activities, open bar that included beer and margarita's and a mexican buffet for lunch.  Here we are looking for our boat to take us on our excursion.
We docked next to another Carnival ship and looking at them side by side was like looking up to King Kong.
We found our boat and chose to sit on the upper deck.  Our new friends took our photo and of course we took their's......
Passing by a pirate ship!
Look closely at just how clear the water is, gorgeous!
It was about a 30 min boat ride and here we are arriving at the dock.  They had several water trampolines and various other water toys, the sand was white and the chairs were o'plenty.
We had a lot of fun with our new friends that day therefore I could not take many photos.  We spent most of the time in the water and obviously I can't have a camera in the water!  Here we are leaving the beautiful secluded island.
Still, more to come - thanks for reading, if you like, please follow!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cruise 1st port - Progresso, Mexico

After a day at sea, our first port of call was Progresso, Mexico.  Cruise ships are new to this port so the business is slower and not as populated as a port like Cozumel.  We heard the sites were not much to look at unless you wanted to see the Mayan Ruins.  We did not, so we knew we would stay on the ship that day and continue with our theme of complete and total relaxation. We arrived at 8am but the boat docks several miles from the actual island due to water levels not being deep enough to anchor a ship. This photo is me standing on the ship and you can see the long pier below that takes you to the island.
Just proof we were somewhere sunny by some sort of water, ha!
We just mozied around, ate, played some bingo, drank and then made our way to the Lido deck for some sunbathing.  Men In Black 3 was on the big screen and there were not many people that stayed on the ship so it was really nice (even though I never felt crowded any other time)
It was docked a full day so towards the afternoon we decided to get off the ship and go to the little shops right off this pier. A sweet lady insisted on taking our photo so we let her!
And then it was back to our one person photos!
You can see how close the ship is to where we walked around, got a beer and did some shopping.
From the waters of Progresso....
K snapping one of me before heading back on....
There was still some time left before the ship left and all of a sudden a storm started to roll in. We went to the deck to watch.
I could not believe how hard the rain came down and soaked all these people trying to board!  Some people wait until the last dog gone minute!

Next up, Cozumel!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Cruise

Way back on July 21st my beloved and I headed out on a 5 night cruise with Carnival.  It was convenient, leaving from Galveston, fit into our time slot and our budget, Ahem, our moving budget but budget nonetheless. We work hard year round so we deserved it!  Here we are arriving at the port in Galveston, about 1 1/2 hrs from home.  There she is......The Triumph.
In our 10 yrs together we have cruised once and that was for K's graduation from graduate school.  His family from out of town joined us and we sailed on Royal Caribbean and had a blast.  We were not even engaged at the time but I knew we would be life partners. Carnival was just fine for the money we spent and alone time we needed.  Royal is one step up, yes, and so is the price.  Weigh your importance. Carnival has the embarkation and debarkation down to a science and that is a well oiled machine.  20 minutes to get on and 20 minutes to clear customs and get off!  Good Job Carnival! Here is our inside cabin, plenty of room.  Last time we had a large window but it's not necessary unless you spend a lot of time in your room.
This is the shower and restroom, still okay size.

This is the room shot from the door way, just past the bathroom.
This is from the other angle of the room facing towards the door.  Large vanity for sure and the bathroom is off to the right.  Not cramped at all really.  Bring a cooler, they are allowed and it was the best decision ever!
You know the daily towel arrangements!
We just boarded the ship and walking around. Note:  the Galveston dirty water, eek!
Rooms are not available until 1:30p so you can purchase a drink(s) and walk around certain decks.  Here is the 8 hole course.
View of the large deck.  The pools were way small but there were chairs o'plenty.
Yes, there was a water slide and yes, the mister rode it.  Twice.
The big screen that played movies most of the time and the little pool and 2 hot tubs that were all about the same size.
The love that I am married to.
I like vodka martini's, dirty, 3 olives.  Well they only had small olives so I got 5 or 6.  Still de-lish!
MORE TO come..............stay tuned!