Yes, I'm counting the hours. Not that I don't just love all this hot, humid, fun-packed vacation spot you have down here (I don't), but I miss home. I'm not sleeping well because I miss my cats sleeping on my feet or my head whichever. I miss my routine. I miss -- well, I miss pretty much everything. I did get a much needed little break, but I was done with this and ready for home about 4 days ago and all else has seemed overkill.
However, all that said, I feel I just MUST update you on the experiences.
On Freedom of the Seas:
When last we spoke of this ship I was sorely disappointed. Well, it did improve a bit. The service for the second dinner was better, but I have to say that I think that Royal Caribbean had scaled back service to the point that it was really lacking. Many agents commented on how hard it was on them to serve 1500 passenagers and wondered how they would handle 4,000. I wasn't as concerned really. Knowing that this ship is going to be in the Caribbean, the ports of call will help off-load much of the passenager load throughout the day. And with a few things that weren't open on my cruise, like room service, reservations for the alternative dining locales, and the children's program; I think that will help spread the folks out a bit. Also, keep in mind the bars were very very busy due to the free drinks on board too.
The sad note is that Royal Caribbean really fell down on the job when it came to thanking us for being there. Most lines leave thank you gifts or notes in your cabin on the last night. No such gift. This was a little shocking -- but as you can tell the Queen took it in stride ----she coolly walked up to guest services and demanded the special book she should have been given.
The food was bad. No, not really. I doubt I lost any weight while there -- and most of my disappointment comes from my lack of love for a buffet. I should note that I was a bit wrong about the service, there were a few places on the property that served its guests -- I just never had an evening free enough to enjoy them.
However, for every bad thing I have to say about the food, I have 100 good things to say about the kids' program. Oh, my. Duke went swimming twice a day the days he was there. they have a pool just for the little ones, with a slide. He had so much fun he didn't want to leave the first day we picked him up. While it isn't educational or at all like pre-school, he ran around and played and ate with other kids. Plus the staff was really nice.
This shinning moment doesn't overshadow my 12 hours without hot water, for which I didn't get even a "We're sorry." or my overall disappointment with the experience. I did speak to many other folks who said this was not typical of the Club Med's in the islands, so this is not how I should judge them on the whole. However, it was pretty apparent from someone who had never done the all-inclusive before that I'd do tons of research before going to another one.
As much as I wasn't in love with the location (nor was anyone else really), the convention was tons of fun. I'm coming home with loads of new ideas and things to try. We have spent four days filling a calendar with ideas just to try to space them out a bit. So, there should be much excitement from me for at least a few weeks to come. It did totally re-charge my batteries -- which was the whole point right?
Special sidenote: the prince and I won the costume contest on Saturday night. And Duke is now a proud owner of a portable DVD player.
To my Secret Pal:
You are so pretty to send me a box. I know you said in a few days, but I can't wait to mug the mailman for it. I'll be home late Wednesday, but if it is there already, I'll have a photo up for all to see by Thursday.
On the final night of my trip, my father is cooking dinner. I shall eat and eat. Tomorrow we get up way too early for the birds, but head off west to return home. My bed awaits and I can't wait to crawl inside it.