Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Works for Me: Trips instead of Gifts (Cozumel-Stop 1)

I mentioned last week that my grandma turned 75 on the 28th.  About this time last year, we asked her what she wanted to do to celebrate her big day.  She said she wanted a cruise with all of us.  We haven't gone on a family vacation in years, and certainly not since my brother and I added spouses to the mix.  We also decided that to be able for the kids to afford it, none of us would exchange Christmas gifts for 2013.  Best. Idea. Ever.  Let's be honest: I'd much rather have a week of family fun and playtime away from home than an hour of opening gifts that I might want but don't really need.  We need to do this every year!  It certainly worked for us this year!

The cruise port for Houston is less than 5 miles from where Isaac and I live, so that was a piece of cake. We sailed on Princess, my grandparents' cruiseline of choice for well over 30 years.  The Caribbean Princess is a beautiful ship, but no better in any way than the Carnival cruises I've taken.  I know that doesn't win me any points with my family, but I was expecting much more from Princess after all the hoopla that's been made about them my entire life.  While everything was nice and the crew incredibly friendly, none of it was any better than the much more affordable Carnival.

The view from our window room:

Despite the cool temps when we left Houston, our first full day at sea was warm enough to lay out and soak up the rays!  I was so ready to be warm after so much 'cold' so early in Houston's winter.  We also had our first formal night.  I'm not big on getting all gussied up most of the time, but when those opportunities occur less and less frequently, it gets fun!

Our first port of call was the island of Cozumel in Mexico.  This was my 3rd time here, and I really do love the port.  It has great shops, a little beach (but no swimming), and there are awesome excursions out of Cozumel.  All 8 of us spent the day at Isla de Pasion, which we love.  It's secluded, only open to cruise passengers, and stunningly beautiful.  We spent the day swimming, eating, and being warm!  Oh, warm, comfy weather in the 80s how I've missed you!

Stayed tuned for our adventures in Roatan, Honduras and Belize!

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