25 NovCruise to Celebrate Deedee’s 70th Birthday day over Thanksgiving 2018

Friday November 15 the girls were checked out of school early to head towards Port Canaveral to go on Deedee’s 70th birthday cruise over Thanksgiving. Before we left Leia and Ivy got to open a surprise seat pet gift for the trip. Then on the way down they picked out their trip souvenir at Cracker Barrel before we finished driving to the hotel for he evening. 


The girlies picked out their trip souvenirs early in the trip 

 

After a late night Friday driving we only had a short little trip to arrive at the boat Saturday. We are blessed with awesome girls who were angels as we waiting in the line to get on the boat for three hours. The wait was well worth it as we got on the boat and started exploring after dropping our carry on items in the room. Unfortunately, mommy had handed the carry on with our swimsuits to be checked but we were blessed our bags arrived early for the girls to get some swimming in before dinner. We enjoyed the first night toasting Deedee and to a fabulous trip ahead.  

The girls enjoyed a vacation breakfast of cookies and scones

We made it to the ship and our room about 2 pm

Family selfie on the balcony

Thankfully our bags arrived quickly so the girls could enjoy part of the afternoon in the pools, hot tubs, splash pad, and swinging on make shift bars
 
Dressed for dinner until they decided to change again … I think every evening they put on at least two outfits, some nights five but we enjoyed the sunsets every evening


Deedee and Grandpa came to our room before dinner and the girlies finally got to give Deedee her birthday present. Loved hearing sweet Leia read the card. 
 

Every evening the girls said we should toast Deedee’s birthday, celebrating a decade each night on the cruise
  
      

When we woke up on Sunday morning we were at Norwegian Cruise line’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. Chris had quite a bit of school work and was not feeling 100% so he hung around the ship while the rest of us went to enjoy the beach. The water was cool but Leia talked Lisa and Grandpa into joining her and Ivy in the water. The girls enjoyed playing in the sand then Leia and Lisa headed to their excursion while Grandpa and Deedee took Ivy to play games since Ivy was not old enough to do many excursions on this island. Leia and Lisa had planned on doing parasailing but they cancelled that excursion due to high winds so we rode jet skis and dove for starfish. Leia was the only kid on the excursion so the guides gave her extra attention. Grandpa and Deedee made it on the tenure ahead of Lisa and Leia to get back to the ship so took Ivy for lunch and fun by the pool. Leia and Lisa caught up with them later and we all laid by the pool and enjoyed the splashing and relaxing time before heading in to check on Chris and get ready for evening activities of dinner and a show. 

Girls breakfast before our first full day on the ship

On the tenure heading to the beach

Leia could not wait to get into the water


 
 
Lisa and Leia could not stop laughing as we hiked to our excursion point to ride jet skis, we were not really sure where we were going since we fell behind the group but luckily found where we were suppose to be before they were on the jet skis. We got our life vest on and trained up to go have a little fun. When they asked Leia fast or slow of course she said fast so we were in the front of the pack with the throttle all the way down most of the ride.  
 
The only pic we have on the jet ski since the lady we asked at our swim stop was technology challenged and we did not realize it while we were there

 
Selfies with Ivy when we got back on the boat … she may like pictures more than mommy 🙂

Ivy loved playing chess … Chris needs to teach all his girls how to play

We headed back to our room and of course our girls said we should relax and threw on their PJs

 It was super nice hanging out on the balcony in the afternoons too 

Leia loved the chandler on the boat! 

They found a great window seat 

Evening entertainment watching “Burn the Floor”. We think Leia enjoyed the dancing/show the most  since Ivy fell asleep in part of it. When it was over both girlies starting asking if we could go back to our room for bed of course they were excited to see a towel animal tonight


Dream unicorn and snake helped welcome our elephant towel animal
      

Monday was a sea day so we ordered in room service and enjoyed breakfast on the balcony having a leisure morning. Deedee and Grandpa found us some chairs on the pool deck and we lounged with them for a little bit. Ivy tried swimming but said it was too crowded so mommy and Ivy went to entertain ourselves elsewhere while Leia hung out with Grandpa and Deedee. While mommy and Ivy were waiting on their bowling time daddy came to meet us for lunch but we bailed when we were called to bowl. There were no bumpers and we determined the lane we were on slanted so we had to account for it when we bowled. There was no high scores but we had a lot of laughs and fun together. We all went to Chris and Leia’s new found love that afternoon … an art auction. We ended up getting a few pieces of art at the auction which was very exciting. Leia came back to join us when Grandpa and Deedee headed to their room for a siesta before getting dressed for the evening. We ended up having a family game time in the room playing uno; we played girls against boy (guess who won). The pool had cleared a little so the girls asked about going swimming again so Chris and Lisa enjoyed some quiet time together sitting in the lounge chairs watching them girlies play before we all needed to get changed for evening activities too. We had elected to of to a speciality dining called La Cucina; in hindsight, I do not think we would go back since the main dining room food that was included on the cruise was just as good as this specialty dining. Nonetheless, we all enjoyed spending sweet time together and then went to pick out our frame for our new art work before going back to the room to see the towel animal we had that night.  

What a beautiful sunrise! Lisa enjoyed them most mornings since she had a hard time sleeping

Love these three more than anything on this earth!

Ivy and Lisa got their nails ready for Thanksgiving

Fun time bowling … Ivy won! Of course she may have won because anytime Lisa knocked a pin down she decided she should bowl the second one and get the points 

Family time in the room playing uno

Enjoying sweet time together while we watched the girlies play in the pool

It is so fun seeing the towel animals each night! The girls look forward to it when we return to the room for the evening. The second night we go a rabbit. 

Tuesday morning we woke early before we arrived in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We ordered in breakfast but it never showed so mommy ran upstairs to grab breakfast for our crew before Lisa, Leia, Ivy, Gene and Darrel all headed to our horse back riding excursion. Lisa was the first one matched up with a horse followed by Deedee and Gene then Leia insisted on letting Ivy go before she got on her horse. We all met back up to ride together in the first part of our ride on the land. There were beautiful sights on the ride then we traded out the saddles to ride the horses through the water. It was a fun experience. The girls later told us they learned to ride like Lucky on the show Spirit. Once our ride was over we went back to the ship to meet up with Chris for lunch and fun by the pool. Ivy competed in a hula hoop contest then led the pack to go down a yellow slide. After we were water logged we headed back to get changed for dinner, explored the art gallery, played in the game room, and watched a show before the girls declared they wanted to go to bed. 

Love these two imaginations and creations. They enjoyed doing art as we waited for time to get off the ship to go horse back riding
 
We are ready to go

We rode on land and in the water. This was Ivy’s favorite activity on the cruise but she clarified that she liked riding on the land more than water. 
    
   
We got one last picture of Ivy with her favorite horse, Eve 
Ivy joined the hula hoop contest

Grandpa finally talked the girls into doing the yellow slide with him. He might have been more excited than the kids he was in such a rush he did not pause for a picture 😉 

 
Lisa stood at the bottom to get picture of them coming off the slide too
  
After dinner dessert and evening fun in the game room after dinner
 
Ivy was excited to see our towel animal again, another rabbit

Wednesday morning we enjoyed a family breakfast in the main dining room with our whole crew before disembarking in George town, Cayman Island for our stingray and dolphin encounter. This was mommy’s favorite excursion since we were all together! There was a high tide when we went to see the stingrays so we had to hold sweet Ivy. There was a little bit of fear to touch them at first but by the time we left we had kissed the stingrays and let them give us hugs. There was a lot of excitement seeing the dolphin, Capi. We got to pet him, get a kiss and a hug, and cheer for him. They did not allow cameras so we do not have many pictures since they were super expensive but we did get one of each of the girlies to freeze the memory. We got back to the ship for a light, late lunch before Leia, Chris and Deedee headed to the art auction while Lisa took Ivy to learn to make balloon animals and Grandpa had some R&R time. 

Enjoyed some one on one time with Leia watching a beautiful sunrise while everyone else was sleeping and she let me take a couple pictures 🙂
 
The girlies enjoyed breakfast on the balcony when Ivy woke up

We ended up getting a boat ride in on this excursion too when we headed to our stingray encounter
  
Ride back to see the dolphins 
   
The only two pictures we got with the dolphins 

Fun on the ship after we swam that afternoon

Lisa took Ivy to learn how to make balloon animals while daddy, Leia, and Deedee went to another art auction. Ivy entertained everyone doing gymnastics as we waited for the lesson to start. 
  
When the lesson started there were lots of balloons and they had to blow up more
 

Towel animal of the evening was a crab

Thursday we arrived later in Cozumel than all the other ports. We took the later entry to enjoy a family breakfast in the main dining area again before heading our separate ways for excursions since Ivy was not old enough to do the excursion Leia wanted to do. Lisa, Ivy, and Deedee headed to a submarine tour. We went 109ft below the surface to explore the ocean reef. The neatest part was seeing a ship wreck. Chris, Leia, and Gene went scuba diving. They swam down 12 to 25 feet exploring a reef. Both of us got to see the wonderful world under the sea.  

What a beautiful sunrise!!

Family breakfast
 
On our way to the submarine

The sub breaking the surface to pick us up

On the submarine 

Sea life to look for under the sea

The colors were distorted under the sea. The picture on the left was the colors we saw under the water and the picture on the right was the what colors would look like in  the light 

The ship wreck we saw while we were exploring

  
Mommy went on the slides with Ivy when we got back since sister was still on her excursion. On our way up the first time mommy saw a great spot to take a picture and asked Deedee to come snap a few

While we were sliding and Deedee was taking our pictures the scuba divers returned. Leia joined us on the slides as soon as she got back while Grandpa and Deedee relaxed and caught each other up on the adventures of the day
    
Lisa had made Chris and Leia promise to take pictures on their excursion. They took more than she expected and mommy loved it! It looked like such a fun adventure





Picture in the elevator on our way to dinner. We ended up arriving through the service elevator since we could not find the regular entrance 

While we were at our thanksgiving dinner we got a great family photo 

Tonights towel animal was a penguin 

Friday was our last full day on the cruise which happened to be a sea day. We took the day to relax to prepare ourselves for the long drive home the next day. Leia made sure she, Chris, and Deedee got to go to the last art auction then we all enjoyed our last meal on the cruise together before calling it a early night.      

The morning sunrises on the water a breathtaking

The girls and Lisa got out early while the pool area was not super packed and they got to play a little bit in the water before it got crowded 

Leia spent the afternoon at the art auction while Ivy wanted some chill time in the room


On our last evening on the cruise we enjoyed a play, “Cirque Dreams”. A show full of acrobats, aerialists, musicians, a touch of whimsy and a dash of audience participation. It was a fantastic show full of entertainment! 
   
     

Saturday we were all up at 6 am to pack up and head down to walk off the ship for our long drives home. We managed to make it in record time with very few stops to make it to Stacy and Mark’s for part of the Alabama Auburn game before running to the grocery store to grab a few things for the next morning and week ahead. 

Long week waiting to get off the ship

We had to run to the grocery store and these little monkeys both asked for the driving buggy. Of course mommy said sure knowing it won’t be that much longer our baby girls will fit in the buggy together; savoring every minute of their childhood. 

Sunday we went to Mimi’s to help decorate her tree and she treated us to a traditional Thanksgiving meal and even fried another turkey for us. 
 

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