Sunday, January 3, 2010

Couldn't Go To The Fiesta Bowl, So...

In less than 2 weeks, Elmer and I will be on board the Celebrity Solstice.

Cruising is definitely my favorite vacation. I've been fortunate to have been on 4 Alaska cruises (I can't recommend this cruise highly enough!), 1 Mexican Riviera cruise, and a Caribbean cruise. I love the food, the relaxation, seeing so many new places, and the fact that other than your drinks, basically everything is free! Did you know that right now, you can live cheaper on a cruise ship than you can in your own home?

The best part of this cruise, is that it's free! Yep, the company Elmer works for, Western Heating, gave it to us. As with many companies, especially anything involving building or the housing industry, Western had a bit tougher time this last year. Elmer however, is very innovative and came up with some great ideas that helped their business not only to stay afloat, but also thrive during these hard times. He definitely deserves this well-earned vacation. Way to go honey! Takin' mama on a trip!

This cruise will probably be a bit different than any I've taken before. We fly from Boise to Phoenix and from there, take the company jet (the supplier who gave this trip to Western) to Ft. Lauderdale. They even serve us free "premium" cocktails and lunch on the way down - unheard of!

We'll spend the night at a nice hotel and eat dinner at any of several restaurants we choose at their expense. I think I'm dreaming!

We stop in San Juan, St. Maartin, Tortola and Labadee (Haiti). I've never been to any of these places so I've been doing some research trying to find out what they're like and what to do once we get there. I think it's St. Maartin where most of their beaches are "clothing optional". I'm just not sure what to think about that. Do I really want to go to a beach where everyone is showing their ta tas, who whos, and wee wees? Oh what the hell, you only live once and I guess it will make for some great pictures for the blog when I get back, huh?

See this, it's a lawn - on the ship. I don't know why. Probably because no one else had one. Ships are funny like that...

I wish I could take you all with me...


kate said...

Wow!! You are going to have sooo much fun! Cocktails on the company jet?! Just promise you won't get excited and start jumping around. We all know what happens when you drink and jump.

Can't wait to see pictures and hear all about it!!

Dee said...

Fabulous cruise ! fabulous ports! and a fabulous trip that you will always remember and -------take LOTS of pictures.!!!!!!!!!!!!
You both deserve this cruise---enjoy it to the fullest and every minute. Slow down! Enjoy "the moment", they all count as making the trip special. (don't do a Smithsonian cruise !)

Kristin said...

Awesome way to start the new year!! My hubby and I spent two weeks on St. Maarten after all my treatments. It was amazing. Depending on what you like to do here are a few recommends. Also bring at least 100$ in cash in small denominations. Once you're off the ship you'll need it for tips and miscellaneous. Most of the the shops and restaurants take credit cards, but I do remember not having enough cash and it's a pain in the arse to get cash in the Caribbean.
1. If you like to shop then spend your time in Phillipsburg. It's where your ship will dock so you'll be able to walk around.
2. If you like to snorkel hit Oyster Bay. It's on the Dutch side and has some great snorkeling just off the beach. It's a little remote so you'll have to cab it, and it's not a nudey beach.
3. If you have a full day Pinel Island is a hoot and a great place to spend a day snorkeling and eating bbq. The bar/restaurant consists of a wooden plank laid between two palm trees, a cooler, and a bbq. Get there early to get a lounge chair on the beach.
3. If you want to get out of your comfort zone, spend the day at Orient Beach. This is the clothing optional beach on the French side. We kept our clothes on but many didn't. The food and shopping/browsing is great, it's a huge beach and very active...lots more touristy than Oyster Bay.
4. And if you enjoy living a bit on the edge. Hit the Sunset Bar. Topless chicks drink free but the real draw are the airplanes. Each day the big Air France plane basically skims the beach and people go down and stand under it and get sandblasted and tossed about. Google "Airplane St. Maarten" and you'll find a video. It's nuts.
5. If you want to see the island, rent a car and do the loop. It's really fun and the driving isn't too nuts. Takes about 3 hours to drive around the island and you'll be able to see the difference between the French and Dutch side.

Jodi said...

Wow, thanks for the info Kristen! I wish you had been to all these places! I Googled the plane thing - that looks like a hoot! I wonder if I could get hubby away from the topless gals at the bar though. Sure would hate to miss the ship...

Thanks again for the great ideas, we definately want to try snorkeling!

jaci said...

WOW! That is so cool. I'd say I am jealous, but I don't do wide expanses of open water (especially water that is over my head). I'd probably be sea-sick, too.

But I certainly don't mind living vicariously through you! And I'd love the company jet thing.

Good job, Elmer! It's wonderful to see a company reward a good employee (really reward one)!