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Remember when I said we needed a vacation? I booked a family cruise...


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#1 Kari C in SC

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:31 PM

Awhile back I posted that my dh said we NEEDED to get away. After a lot of thought and prayer, we decided on a cruise. We wanted something easy. I know there are kids clubs for the kids, but I was not sure they would like them. My mom and sister offered to go and keep the kids with them some of the time. That was perfect for us. We really need some couple time, but I just can't even think about leaving my kids right now. So, I did it. I booked it and I am nervous, but we are going. We leave out of Tampa. It was cheaper to go out of Miami, but we are from right over the bay from Tampa. I plan to take lots of Timmy's shirts, hoodies and hats to share with his friends he grew up with. This will be very hard for me, but I know it is the right thing to do. That is why we chose Tampa, to see his friends. His best friend is like our adopted son. He has a sweet baby girl that will be one soon. I am going to go cuddle her for a few days before our cruise.

Any cruise advice especially for Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Isla Roatan or Belize would be great. We have never done this before. I am at a mix of happy we are going, guilt that we are going, and panic that we are going. Did I mention that sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind? Thanks for listening.

#2 JoyfulMama

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:33 PM

I think what you have planned sounds wonderful! :grouphug:

#3 Denisemomof4

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:50 PM

I was just thinking about you today. I'm SO glad your family is getting away. Aren't you just a total sweetheart to be giving his friends a little piece of Timmy? You're a beautiful person and your relationship with your son was so extremely special. Please, please have a WONDERFUL time. DON'T be nervous, you all need this. I'm SO glad you're doing this, and I know Timmy is, too.

BTW, I want you to know that we got a little card from the place where we sent in a donation in remembrance of Timmy. I keep this in my car with my car manuals. I see it every time I have to look something up in my manual, which is often because I have a new car with a TON of gadgets. You touched me in a special way by helping me come to terms with my son joining the reserves (which, btw, he didn't do because he has a girlfriend he's CRAZY about so I guess it wasn't meant to be, at least right now) and I was so touched by your beautiful relationship with your son. I just didn't know what to do with the card and this is what I've decided to do.

Please update us when you get back. I'm SO glad you all are doing this!!!

#4 Punchie

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 05:45 PM

Cruising is a great escape from reality. No thinking, no worries. :grouphug:

Grand Cayman - swimming w/the sting rays is my favorite thing to do. It is a little unnerving when they swim between your legs, but it is a lot of fun. Also on GC, you NEED to buy rum cakes. Buy lots and lots of them - chocolate and regular are the best.

Cozumel - if you haven't any Mayan ruins, there should be several excursions that offer them. Chitchen Itza is a very extensive ruin (haven't been there). Tulum is also a good one (this is a must to do at least one. It is a loooooooong bus ride there and back, but worth it for how beautiful it is).

#5 MariannNOVA

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:14 PM

I'm so happy that you are doing this - prayers and :grouphug: for a time of peace and rest.:grouphug:

#6 Paz

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:20 PM

You will love it! The Radiance of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) is sailing from Tampa this fall. We took it to Alaska this spring and loved the ship. It's beautiful. Open windows everywhere, even the elevators. No matter what ship or cruiseline you choose I am sure you will love it. I hope it is a refreshing time for all of you.

#7 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:30 PM

Kari, I'm so glad that you are going on the vacation. I hope that it is a restful comforting time for you.

#8 Mad Jenny Flint

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:31 PM

Kari,

I think it's wonderful for you and your family that you are doing this. Try to relax and enjoy it, and let go of the fear surrounding it... you need this!

I can comment on the cruise stops- We did a cruise last November and hit 3 of the same stops. Grand Cayman is wonderful for beach combing and just renting a couple of beach chairs and getting little drinks with umbrellas in them. Sigh. That was my favorite stop. And if you want the rum cakes you will certainly be able to find them- shops everywhere! I was not impressed with Cozumel- mostly the port is just tourist-trap shops, so a shore excursion at that port would probably be a good idea. However, we did the Mayan ruins in Belize, and it was fantastic. There was a shore excursion where we took a boat ride from the ship (tender- the ship could not dock) to another boat, rode in that boat up the river into the jungle, and then took a bus from there to the site of the ruins. We got to see the countryside and animals/vegetation we would never have otherwise seen. And the ruins were very exciting to see and to climb!

You deserve to treat yourself and to get away for a while. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts.

#9 KellyinPA

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:29 PM

We went on a family cruise to the Bahama's last summer. It was THE BEST vacation we've ever had. As someone else mentioned, no worries, no stress, just relaxing. It was wonderful. I hope and pray that you have the same experience.

#10 Colleen in NS

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:35 PM

I am at a mix of happy we are going, guilt that we are going, and panic that we are going.


No guilt, no panic. You just go and do this crazy new thing, and enjoy yourself and your husband. I'm sure it'll have its ups and downs, but you have been through an awful experience, and I'm sure that this is a right step in your journey. Like you told us when it first happened, life is too short; so if this is what you think is needed, then go for it. I hope you experience many happy moments in between the tears.:grouphug:

#11 Dayle in Guatemala

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:56 PM

:grouphug:I'm glad you are doing this. It will be wonderful for you and your family. I want you to know that I think of you often and pray for you when I do.:grouphug:

#12 i.love.lucy

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 10:19 PM

Kari, this is awesome! I knew a cruise would be great and I think you will have a fantastic time!

I can't speak for all your stops, but I can about Cozumel. I loved it. We were staying in Playa del Carmen which is an easy ferry ride over. Lots of cute shops and restaurants. And the ruins at Tulum are just down the coast, I'm sure there will be many offers for tourist visits there. We loved our day there, and the beach is the most gorgeous beach I have ever seen in my life, counting California, Florida and Hawaii. I adore the Caribbean.

Anywho, if you are not really all that into ruins, I personally wouldn't leave Cozumel. I'd rent a car (NO mopeds!!!!!) and ride around the island. They have a little ruins there you can visit, but the beach on the eastern side is wild and wavy and spectacular. The snorkeling on the Western side is awesome and there are little boat and snorkel excursions you can do that would be much more relaxing than trying to cross over to do Tulum. (And Chichen is wayyyyy too far for a one day stop).

We rented a funky little VW bug and drove around. Stopped at a great place called Coconuts (I think) for lunch. It sits on a bluff overlooking the incredible Caribbean. Had the best margarita of my life. It was one of those sun/beach/wind filled days that I will never forget. Here's a little sample :D:

#13 MamaT

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 10:34 PM

Kari - What a great idea to take a cruise! You are going to love it.

I can tell you some of the things we have done in those ports:

GC - Rent a taxi and go to the beach if you want to relax. We rented a motorcyle there once and drove all over the island. It was a little scary because they drive on the other side of the road and my dh would forget periodically. :confused:

Cozumel - You don't want to stay around the port here. This would be the stop to take an excursion. We went to Xcaret (sp?). Skip the front part of the park and go straight to the beach. By far the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It doesn't even look real. We also did a cave swim there (at Xcaret). It was a lot of fun.

Belize - We rented a car and driver for the day who took us all over the island to see things that aren't normally touristy. We went to his favorite dive for lunch (great food) and he cut us some mangos from a friend's tree.

We haven't stopped in Roatan before, so I can't speak to that one.

I hope you have a great vacation and get to spend some alone time with your dh.

#14 Sugarfoot

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:48 PM

Grand Cayman - swimming w/the sting rays is my favorite thing to do. It is a little unnerving when they swim between your legs, but it is a lot of fun.


This really is a neat experience! Also, Grand Cayman has my favorite underwater glass boat tour thingie...Why can't I remember what it's called... Anyway, it's sort of like a submarine. You look out through big glass windows underwater and see all sorts of marine life and several ship wrecks. We've done this in several places, and Grand Cayman's is one of the most interesting, IMO!

#15 Kari C in SC

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 03:39 PM

You all are great! Thank you for helping me feel like we are doing the right thing! You are just amazing!


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