Carnival Vista, September 2018

Hello friends!  This sure has been a long week trying to get back into the swing of things after spending 6 days in the Caribbean!  On the plus side, it’s finally below 85 degrees when I leave for work in the morning, and pumpkin spice flavored everything has began to make its appearance.

Our vacation started out great.  We made it to the airport with plenty of time to relax before our flight, however it was super busy because of the holiday so we did have to park at the very end of the parking lot. We hung out in the Delta lounge at the international terminal and even bumped into a few celebrities!  Baby B fell asleep right before we boarded the plane and she managed to sleep through take-off and most of the flight.  When we got to our hotel in Miami we were able to freshen up a little before going to dinner at Bubba Gump’s.  Dinner was delicious, and B loved the balloon that our waitress gave her!

The next morning when we got to the cruise terminal is where things started to go a little south for me.  I don’t remember ever putting my iPhone down and I didn’t feel or hear it fall out, but when we got on the ship my phone was nowhere to be found.  I made several trips to Guest Services hoping someone had turned it in but no luck.  Thankfully we were able to call the phone company to report it stolen and have a new one shipped to our office so it would be waiting for me when we got back.

My husband and I, and our entire family really, consider ourselves “seasoned” cruisers since we have been on about 20+ cruises together.  However this was Baby B’s first ever cruise, and of course, our first time cruising with a baby!  It was definitely a different experience cruising with a little one, but we had so much fun and can’t wait to take her on another one.  Since she is under 2 she wasn’t able to go to Camp Ocean so that meant someone (me) had to be in the room with her every night instead of out participating in the normal cruise activities, but it was nice to be able to relax and watch movies in the room.  Mimi and Papa did keep her one night so that my husband and I could go to dinner and hang out in the casino together for a little while, so that was a nice break.  During the sea days we went to the Dr. Seuss play room or sat on the lounge chairs by the pool.  Unfortunately Carnival doesn’t allow babies in the pool or water park unless they are completely potty trained, not even in swim diapers, so that was kind of a bummer that we couldn’t get in the pool with her.  We also took her shopping with us, and the store associates just fell in love with her!  She had just learned how to wave so she was waving at everyone and melting their hearts.  My husband said she thought she was a celebrity on the ship because everyone, guests and crew members, just fawned over her the entire time.

Our first port day was at Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  I’ve never been to Ocho Rios before this cruise but I have been to Jamaica a few times and I was very hesitant to even get off the ship here.  Both times that I’ve been to Jamaica previously were not good experiences and this is the only Caribbean country I’ve ever felt unsafe in.  We decided to give it a try though, and we ended up just walking to a little souvenir shop to buy a few t-shirts and got some really delicious jerk chicken before getting back on the ship.  We had a pleasant experience but I don’t know that it was enough to change my mind about the country.

The next day we were in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.  The Cayman Islands have a lot of high end stores and my husband was planning to purchase some jewelry here, but decided not to since he already bought something from the jewelry store on the ship.  Instead, we just went to the Margaritaville and had a relaxing day eating, drinking, and hanging out by the pool.  The pool there was very small and it had a huge water slide going into it so we didn’t actually get in and go swimming, but I was able to sit on the side and dip B in a few times and she absolutely loved that.  The food was delicious, as usual, and the drinks were very good too.  We had a fun time watching the twerking and beer chugging contests on the main stage, before getting back on the ship to get dressed for our formal dinner.

Formal night is always fun because we get to dress up and take lots of pictures.  The lobster tail in the main dining room was very yummy (I ate 2) and the waiters were fairly good.  This was the only night we actually ate in the MDR since the Vista has so many other dining options.  I definitely recommend the JiJi’s Asian Kitchen if you ever get the chance to go on this ship (you get SO MUCH food), and the Red Frog Rum Pub is always a good meal!  The steakhouse was a little disappointing on the Vista, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it so maybe we just went on an ‘off’ night.  B had more macaroni & cheese than she knew what to do with on this ship and she loved every bite of it.

Our last port was Cozumel, Mexico.  This is my husband’s favorite cruise port.  We spent the day at Mr. Sancho’s Beach Club, where they have all you can eat, all you can drink, beach, pools, spa, and water sports.  It’s a very nice place to go if you ever get the chance to visit.  This was B’s very first time going to the beach and she absolutely loved it.  We didn’t bring a float for her so I held her in my arms the whole time and she loved splashing in the warm water with Mama.  She wasn’t too thrilled with the sand when we sat her down, but she had lots of fun in the ocean.  The pool was probably her favorite because Daddy got in with us and she was able to go back and forth between the two of us.  We did leave her at the cabana with Mimi and Papa for a little while so we could ride jet skis in the ocean.  My husband drove us and he loves to follow the boats and jump the waves left behind after they pass by.  I swear we jumped one of the biggest waves I have EVER seen while on a jet ski and when we came down I honestly thought I had fallen off.  I was sideways, half way off the ski, and hanging onto his waist for dear life!

Thursday was game day, so after we got back on the ship we all got ready to watch the game in the ESPN Sports Bar.  Mama, Daddy, and Baby B all had our matching jerseys on to support the Dirty Birds!  Not only was it a Falcons game, but it was also the first NFL game of the regular season, so the bar was completely packed!  Luckily we were able to find a seat when someone left after the first 30 minutes of the game.  My husband had a lot of fun talking smack with the Eagles fans in the bar, and there were a surprising number of Falcons fans present too.  Unfortunately we ended up taking the L, but we came so close to winning and had a really good time watching the game with everyone.

When our vacation was over we had a pretty seamless transition from ship, to Uber, to plane, and we made it back home in time for dinner.  I’m so glad we planned a trip that ended on Saturday so we were able to rest on Sunday before returning to work.  It’s always funny how we need a day of rest after a vacation but it really helps me get back adjusted to the real world!  Overall it was a very fun, and even relaxing, family vacation, and I’m so happy we have Baby B’s first cruise under our belts now!  It won’t be long before she’s a pro at cruising just like the rest of us.

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