Wednesday, June 21, 2017

On the Ship!

Our last day at the Disney parks was Saturday.  On Sunday, we had to check out of the hotel, rent a 15-passenger van, drive three hours south to Ft. Lauderdale, and board the Royal Carribbean Freedom of the Seas.  We had also found a local LDS meeting house in Ft. Lauderdale and were going to attend sacrament meeting.  We set our alarms early.  I got up and ready and headed to the airport to pick up the rental van.  Christi got the kids going.  But by the time we all got ready in our church clothes and had the van packed up, it was apparent we were not going to make it to church.  We drove the three hours, checked our luggage in the blistering heat, and boarded the ship, all in our church clothes!

But once we got on board, oh what an amazing week we had.  All of us loved it so much.  It was such a perfect way to travel with our varied needs.  Cali, Graci, Jesi, Taylor, Parker and Xander reveled in the independence of, for the most part, going where they wanted when they wanted.  All of the kids LOVED the limitless food.  Any time, day or night, there was free food somewhere on board.  For breakfast and lunch, Christi or I would lead Conner and Lexi through the buffet and tell them everything that was available.  On a cruise ship, that is a LONG list.  They were really good at getting to the end and remembering exactly what they wanted on their plates.  For dinner, we would all meet in the main dining room and order from a fancy menu.  Lexi was particularly adventurous and would make a point to try new things.  She found out the she likes escargot and ordered it several times during the cruise!

They had activities for kids Sophi's age and also a teen club.  Lexi and Conner visited the teen club several times during the week.  The counselors were fantastic with them and both kids really enjoyed this.  We went to several broadway style shows, a magician, a performance by a fantastic a cappella group and a spectacular ice skating show.  Yes, the ship had an ice skating rink:)  We played many games of shuffleboard, we scaled the climbing wall and Taylor and Parker played basketball.  Each of the kids had a small budget for the video arcade.  And just exploring the ship was a delight.  Cruises are awesome!

I think Graci and Cali's favorite thing about the entire cruise may have been riding the elevators.  A couple of them were glass and looked out over the large interior promenade area.  I have no idea how many times they went up and down. Make sure to ask them about security inviting them to get off the elevator!!!

Scenes from the dining room:
Sophi examines her menu








Unbelievable ocean views!








We were in the pools every day!!!  (Sophi and Lexi went around this small lazy river dozens of times on our trip:)




Parker and Taylor enjoyed the flowerier.  I only got video of Parker.


The towel animals were a big hit!





These two enjoyed sunbathing:


Conner was super impressed with the a cappella group and enjoyed getting his picture taken with one of them:

Loving the upper bunks:)


There were lots of characters on the ship:



On our last night, one of the waiters (you have the same ones all week, so they really get to know you) made Sophi this rose out of a napkin.  She loved it!


That gives you a feel of our time on board.  Tomorrow I'll wrap up the posts about our trip with a summary of the three ports of call we visited.  If you think it has taken a long time to get through all of these posts, remember...the trip was even longer! A.Maze.Ing!!!



2 comments:

  1. That's a nicer ship than I've ever cruised on...looks incredible! I love the surfing thing. A cruise is a perfect venue for your family and I'm so glad you could do it!

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