Monday, March 25, 2013

Cruising Love...(with some pics)

We found out that cruising is something we're going to do more of.  The depth of relaxation we experienced was so profound it is difficult to explain.  Realizing that you are actually right smack dab in the middle of a dream come true is pure joy, exhilarating and life-giving.

We spent a lot of time in the spa, resting.
The Thermal Suite - those beds are heated, pure heaven!!

 Yes, just doing nothing.

We were on a ship with a rather geriatric crowd. Being in our 40s brought the average age down by a sizable chunk...and we loved it.

Some of the great folks we met.

Being surrounded by folks who have lived full lives and are willing to share their experience is so much fun.  Many of the people we met had been married for more years than we are old!!  It was so sweet to be surrounded by that kind of faithfulness and tenacity.  We learned a lot, this lady gave us advice on marriage, parenting and finances in less than five minutes!

We got to go on a few adventures.  We asked God for a few mini-dreams and guess what, He answered those.  Kelly wanted to take some dance lessons, he ended up a  finalist on 'Dancing With the Stars at Sea' and we had so much fun!

Kelly, danced the waltz with Kaleo (one of the dance pros)
We wanted to go sailing and snorkeling (my dream) and we got super blessed - we were heading off the ship and there was a couple standing there who asked us if we would like to go snorkeling.  They decided not to go and didn't want the excursion to go to waste, no cost to us!  We went swimming with the sea turtles and got to use our new underwater camera.
Our Catamaran - I love sailing!!
Crush - the sea turtle!!
We met some new friends that we will see again on this planet, Lord willing.  We so enjoyed spending time with Ken and Shirley!

New friends - Ken and Shirley in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kelly singing a song he wrote at the piano bar.
When you use your gifts you get blessed.  Kelly and I got to use the gifts God has given in music to participate in on board ship services and open mic times to bless and minister to other guests.  What a treat!

For this dream there was an end.  You can only stay on the ship so long!  Apparently you can stay on a lot longer if you've got the bucks, we met a lady who had been on board for over 100 days.  Not every dream has and end but a lot do, or at least a turning toward something different.

It is time to focus on another part of our dreaming.  The cruise is over and we are so thankful that we have had the opportunity to do it.

THINGS WE LEARNED ABOUT CRUISING - jot these down, they are helpful if you go on a cruise...

1. Spray on sunscreen needs to be applied evenly, thickly and then rubbed in, just ask the shoulder that didn't make the cut! (and the streak on my leg...and the weird splotch on my other thigh)
2. The smaller the ship the older the clientele.  We discovered, being on a midsize ship that the older crowd like to not have to run back and forth so far, they like smaller ships and they have more interesting itineraries and shorter line ups, if any.
3. You do not need to pack beach towels, shampoo/conditioner/soap or hairdryers.  A friend we met didn't think I needed to pack my mini-printer but then he wouldn't have received the picture we took together, so there!!
4. You should make sure you have ALL your luggage with you when you board the plane because you may end up having to buy a new suit before you board.
5.  Going a day or two before you sail is a good idea if the majority of your luggage might not make it.
6.  Make sure you fly between snow storms so as to avoid flight delays and airport closures (we made it through, others didn't)
7.  The ship really will leave you behind if you don't make it by sailing time - this happened to at least three people on our ship (we were not among them!)
8.  While all your regular food is included, the soft drinks and chai tea lattes are NOT!
9.  Internet is wicked expensive on board a ship, however, almost every port has a free WiFi spot near the dock - just ask a crew member where to go.

Did I mention we drove around in this sweet thing for the 2 days we were in Florida!?

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