For any readers who worried I may have been lost at sea during my recent Caribbean cruise, fear not; I’ve merely been bedridden, recovering from hotel/airplane travel grunge. Luckily, the bug I picked up duty-free didn’t strike until after I arrived home; neither Finley nor my mom have since become sick; and I’m almost fully recovered now.
I can state unequivocally that the highs of the trip far outweighed the lows. In fact, the existence of lows didn’t dampen the experience as life (and travel) is always filled with a mixture of both.
The High Point
While the day Mom and I spent in the Solarium was pure bliss, it wasn’t the high point. That title goes to our day at Nachi Cocom Beach Club in Cozumel. As Finley had never been to the beach–and my mom and I had talked it up quite a bit–Finley was incredibly excited.
One of the best moments was Finley taking his first steps into the sand. I was somewhat apprehensive; I’ve heard stories of kids who refuse to walk on sand. I now know that Finley isn’t one of those kids. His eyes widened with delight as his feet sank into the tan particles that were once whole pieces of shell and coral reef, remnants of a once living world far below the sea’s surface.
After the three of us claimed lounge chairs under a natural umbrella, Finley went to work with some serious sandcastle construction. His labors failed to produce anything that resembled a structure of any sort. I was zero help—in fact, I may be worse at sandcastle building than he is.
Finley and I also enjoyed hunting for seashells. Finley was filled with wonder with every unique find, screaming “look Grandma” as he ran up the beach to show my mom his latest treasure. We amassed quite a collection that we’ll enjoy reminiscing over for years to come.
As for swimming at the beach, Finley wasn’t prepared to go all in. At first, he stayed at least three feet from the water. After much coaxing, he allowed the water to tickle his toes as he stood momentarily in the sinking sand. Finally, we played a game of chasing the waves as they retreated to the sea and fleeing up the beach upon their rushing return to our position. Talk about firing up your giggle box (and your quads).
After playtime, we munched on flautas, fajitas and quesadillas. Our bellies full and our bodies tired, we headed back to the ship for a much-needed nap.
The Low Down
Oddly enough, the lowest point of the trip occurred the evening prior to our day at the beach. The Aquanauts Kids Club was hosting a pirate theme night that would conclude with the children performing in a parade on the Royal Promenade on Deck 5. I couldn’t wait to see Finley marching along with his fellow shipmates. I envisioned Finley wearing an oversized pirate hat and wielding a shiny toy sword, his adorable face painted to suit the part. What I saw on the Promenade that evening didn’t match that vision. Finley was wearing no hat and wielding no sword, and his pirate make-up was smeared across his face, arms and hands from the tears he was shedding and attempting to wipe away. As a final kick to the gut, his shoes were on the wrong feet, and his blue jeans were unbuttoned. (Talk about a sight for sore eyes. My mom said it was the saddest thing she’s ever seen.)
I quickly intervened to rescue my little man, which wasn’t as easy as one would hope. The Aquanauts’ staff member didn’t feel she could “properly check him out until they finished the parade.” Momma Lion (that’s me) replied, “Well, you’re not dragging my crying child down the Promenade.” I gave the staff member my name, signed a piece of paper, and scooped Finley up and carried him all the way back to our cabin. (Did I mention I was wearing a dress and stilettos? And that Finley weighs 34 pounds?)
When we got back to our cabin, I cleaned Finley up, dressed him in his softest PJs and gave him an ice-cold cup of milk. Soon, he was playing with his toys, the entire incident buried apparently. If he can let it go, I suppose I can, too.
Everything in Between
Aside from the highest high and the lowest low, there were many memorable moments, some of which are captured in the photographs below.
Looking to the Horizon
My fear of having to say Never. Ever. Never. to cruising on Royal Caribbean went overboard thanks to the success of this trip. On the final day of our cruise, I booked my next trip–a western Caribbean cruise that Jammie and I will take with Tee-Tah and her husband, Patrick. Of course, this will be an entirely different type of trip. I plan to get into plenty of trouble with three of my favorite people on the planet.