Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CRUISE 2010 ~ warning LONG post ~

There are not many things I am able to LOOK FORWARD TOO... but this Cruise has been almost OUT OF REACH for SO long it is crazy to think it has come and gone already! We were SO excited for this trip because it was our FIRST trip without kids since we had kids, AND our FIRST CRUISE with our dear friends Brent and Amalia Cutts.
Ever since Matt and I became friends with the Cutts, we KNEW we would be life long friends. Our husbands are VERY alike, and enjoy the same things. We get season tickets for the Fresno State Football Games with them, and attend other events together. We often say that it is hard to have friends that we BOTH enjoy. It is great to have true friends that are there for everything and anything. Well, we have been talking about going on a CRUISE with them since we meet like 5 years ago. The boys decided that it was just something we needed to do, and booked it seconds after Amalia and I gave our approval. Matt found a GREAT deal, and we decided to take advantage of it! (Matt is always finding deals, I think he was glad that this time I said "Let's DO IT!"
It is hard for us to get away for two reasons... Number One HAILEY ~ and Number Two LANDON ~We have left Hailey with family overnight previously, but never for a week! My family was more than ready to help us out! My mom and siblings came to Fresno to pick up the kids after we celebrated Landon's First Birthday. As they drove off with the kids in the car, I was sobbing in Matt's arms. I thought I was going to be LOST without them. After I got more used to the fact that they were not around... I started ENJOYING it! We were able to call to talk to them before we left, and that was a big help. Landon would jibber jab with us, and Hailey would say "I love you" then run off to play. We are VERY thankful my family was willing to watch the kids for us, and even more thankful that we did not have to worry about them while we were on vacation.
The first day started out great. We carpooled with the Cutts to Long Beach where the Carnival Cruises depart from. Matt and I have cruised on Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise Lines previously and they depart from a different place. Brent and Amalia also have only cruised with Royal Caribbean, so this was a new experience for all of us. It was a nice smooth process. We waited a short while to get our room cards, but we were on the ship very fast. Usually the first thing we do upon getting on the ship is head straight for the Buffet. THIS time, we headed straight to the SPA. Matt loves to research things on the Internet, and has been researching inside things about this cruise for a few weeks. One of the things he found out was that the spa uses "models" for most of the treatments the first day to give tours. After he told me about this, I was SO excited! I made sure that was the first place we went to. Amalia and I walked up to the Spa Front Desk and asked if they had any rooms for models, and to our surprise they had 4! Amalia and I took a little while deciding on what we wanted to do, and SHOULD have done what our husbands did! I did a Facial. I thought it would be the best treatment for me because after being done with breastfeeding, my body is getting back to "normal" and I am getting my usual skin problems. It was very nice, and relaxing, glad we did it for sure! I am down for ANYTHING that is FREE!! Here I am getting my Facial and Scalp Massage from my new friend Abigale. She was from England, but she had a really good American and Australian Accent. She was GREAT!
Here is Matt MAXIN' and RELAXIN' I think after hearing what he was able to get, I wish I would have gotten his free treatment! He got the FULL BODY Seaweed Wrap. He said he was warm and relaxed and really felt great after.Here is Amalia getting her Cellulite Treatment. She THOUGHT this was what she wanted to do, but after hearing about our husbands experience, she wishes she would have opted for a different treatment ~ now we know for next time!And here is Brent enjoying the other facial. It was so funny at dinner because he kept saying "My face is SO smooth!" It was great that we all got to enjoy a little bit of Free Fun! It was worth the two hours we had to spend relaxing in the spa.
Amalia and I were both a little under the weather, but after eating a little bit we felt better. The dinner was WONDERFUL! Every night I made sure to eat whatever I wanted without worrying about how much weight I was going to gain. I ate two to three appetizers, two entrees and two desserts every night! It was heaven~
Here is Matt and I after enjoying our First Dinner! I think Brent is really enjoying his Smooth Face in this picture more than the food we ate! :)We decided to explore the ship after dinner. I ran into an "old boyfriend" and when I say that I use the term Boyfriend as "I WISH"... I love Justin Timberlake...
The girls were tired from the long day, and we headed back to the room for some much needed sleep! When I got back to the room THIS is what I saw... So Fitting for us BIRDS! ~
The next day we were headed to Catalina, CA. This was Matt and my first time in Catalina. It is a sweet little place, and we now know that we can visit it VERY easily from Long Beach! I think it only takes a short boat trip to access, but our cruise ship circled the island making it a longer trip... no complaints here! We got up semi early and headed to the Dinning Room for breakfast. I had Egg's Benedict EVERY morning! I ate a big breakfast every day too! LOVE my food! Matt and I walked around the ship before we "tendered" out to the island. Matt posing with Catalina Island in the background.
Here we all are in our Tender Boat heading to Catalina Island ~ Don't we look SO excited!?Matt and I enjoying a pretty scene. You can't really see, but there was a cave behind us that we climbed up into... Too bad we were not there on Sunday... we could have attended church on the Island!Resting after a little shopping ~I loved the stairs here, I had to get a picture!Kissing by the fountain! There were LOTS of cute little spots on the Island for Photo Opts!Here we all are with the Boat behind us! This photo made me realize I might want to go on a diet when I get home... LOL!Old School Phone Booths, and there was even a dial tone!YUMMMYYY!! Dessert Island had LOTS of yummy looking stuff... here we are taking DOWN a little of what they had to offer!This picture is PRICELESS! After we got back on the boat, the boys headed to the Trivia Games to win some trophies (aka Ship on a Stick). Amalia and I headed to the top deck of the boat for some gossip-reading-sleeping time out on the balcony in the sun. The boys came to show us their trophy, and get us to help them with the next Trivia. Good thing we went... because then they were able to pose with their winnings!That night for dinner I ate ALOT! I tried Lobster with everyone else in the dinning room, and it was VERY good! We took a quick picture between getting our dinner so we did not have to buy one that the ship took... Amalia did a good job taking the picture. After dinner we went to the show, then DANCING! They had a DISCO theme, and we all TRIED to dress for it! We danced the night away, and I had a blast. I broke out in my own solo dance for everyone, and even used a pole nicely placed by our "resting bench" I think everyone watching enjoyed it! Too bad our camera was not enjoying the Club. It was called the REX, and it was really cool. When we explored the ship we called it the Cougar Room because it was Leopard, Cougar, Zebra, and Giraffe skin themed. We took a break to get some Hot Cocoa and look out as we sailed, the Cutts went back to their room, and we danced a little longer. My feet were hurting, and I was tired so we headed in for the night. We were welcomed to our room by this little guy...The ADORABLE bulldog! YET another IRONIC animal we received! (Fresno state bulldogs in case you did not catch that one)
The Next Day we were going to Ensenada. I think they wanted to make sure everyone knew that was in Mexico. This was the flag they had as we were walking into town. Amalia took a picture by it, but it just does not do it justice for HOW BIG this sucker was!
And because we made it to Mexico, I figured I better find the Devil and make him a deal... he was VERY welcoming to Amalia and I.Any Napoleon Dynamite Fans out there?? Oh yeah, the license plate says LAFONDA, and they are driving it in Mexico! I know it is a California Plate, but this was TOO good!Cute Little Cafe in Ensenada. It looked really cleaned up from the last time we were here!On our way back I LOVED how the ship looked, and decided it would be a good time to take a picture. That night the food was great! I had Steak and Chicken, here is Matt taking a picture of us while I was eating dinner...We explored the ship a little more, and enjoyed sailing off looking back at the city lights...After getting MORE hot cocoa we headed in for the night and we were welcomed by this guy... not sure what I think he is yet... still trying to decide... he kinda looks like a Ninja Turtle to me.
The Next day was a Full Day on the Ship, and it was SOOOO FUN! First thing we did was hit up the hidden Deck to see the beautiful ocean view. We woke up early so we could hit up the dinning room for Breakfast as well! After a GRAND breakfast we went to a Towel Folding Event. We wanted to be able to fold the towels for the kids when we got home. Can you tell we made Elephants??We headed to the pool deck for an Ice Sculpture Carving Event. The guy carved two Love Birds kissing on top of a heart. It was VERY neat to watch! But what was EVEN BETTER TO WATCH was Matt WIN the HAIRY MEN CHEST COMPETITION!! As you can see the other men were MUCH "hairier" than Matt, but he put on the best show!The boys won yet another Trivia Game the day before, so with Matt winning the Hairy Man Chest Competition that made FOUR Ships on a Stick! They were SOOOO stoked!
Please See Video for a LITTLE glimpse of what we were able to see. Sorry about the constant moving... I was enjoying the show rather than paying attention to videotaping I should have been doing! In the words of Matthew Bird . . . "You are WELCOME!"

After Matt won that competition, he was an automatic Celebrity. He really enjoyed the attention, and it was alot of fun to watch. I am STILL laughing to this day about what he did! After he won, they had some of the staff teach him some new moves. After a few easy things, they started popping, and they were VERY shocked to see this BIG WHITE BOY break it down and battle them. It was GREAT! After everything was over, this little chinese boy walked up to Matt with his mom and asked to get a picture with Matt. CLASSIC! ~! The boys forced us to attend yet another Trivia with them where we all won medals... they boys wore their medals to dinner, and Amalia and I just wore our smiles!

It was a PERFECT end to a perfect day! I had my usual dinner ~ Stuffed myself yet again, and walked out of the Dinning Room a very satisfied person!This picture makes me laugh! Check out Amalia's Facial Expression! HAHA! And the redneck guy behind Brent! The boys ALSO brought their Ships on a Stick to dinner with them...We really enjoyed ourselves, and we are SO glad we did it!But NOT so glad about this... does anyone else get a "food baby" like I do? I am REALLY pushing out my tummy in this picture, but I look like I could be like 5 months prego! HAHA!And at the end of the night it was a little froggie that welcomed us to bed! NICE! ~I slept like a baby, and we woke up early again and got breakfast quick, and got ready to head out to DRY LAND. It was SO nice to be home. Don't get me wrong I REALLY Loved the Cruise, but it was SO nice to get home! It was a GREAT vacation, one that we will HAVE to do again! Anyone up to join us next time? We can promise a GREAT time! We will be going every five years! Save up your pennies! It is SO worth it! ~


Amalia Cutts said...

It was so much fun! We will definetely do this again in the future. I will e-mail you pictures of ones I think you would want.

Kristen said...

Eric and I found a good couple to be lifelong friends- one of my best friends from high school and her hubby! It's so fun when we get together because our hubbies end up talking about computer geek stuff all night and my friend and I are over gossiping... it's SO nice to have a couple that we both like!!
So jealous of your cruise... someday I'll go on one. You got some great pictures. How did the kids do without you?

Natalie said...

Hi Melissa!

How fun, Micah and I went on that cruise (except it went to San Diego, too) when we were first married. It was a lot of fun, but we did think that it would have been more fun with friends. :) Looks like you guys had a great time!

Lindsey & Jared said...

Count me in!