As many of you know, I just went on a cruise. It was nothing short of incredible.
The Empress is Royal Caribbean’s smallest ship. It is the oldest, but was just refurbished. The ship was absolutely stunning. It was beautifully remodeled. It was small, but not cramped. It was the best vacation that we’ve had, by far!
We got to the port relatively early. Because we’re Crown and Anchor members, we get early boarding. Decked out in our Saltwater Hippie gear (CHECK IT OUT), we were already the talk of the ship.
Once we boarded the ship, we headed for the Schooner Bar. This was our favorite bar and hangout place on our last ship, so we thought it would be about the same. It was actually quite disappointing. The bartender wasn’t personable and our drinks were made wrong. However, we were on vacation!
After grabbing lunch and playing at the pool for a while, we unpacked our rooms and the festivities began. Our days consisted of waking up, eating breakfast, eating ice cream, going to the pool deck, eating ice cream, getting a drink, napping on the deck, drinking again, lunch, showering, changing into clothes that aren’t bathing suits, doing cruise activities, drinking at Boleros for a few hours, dinner, then dancing all night. We did four days of that. It was marvelous. We didn’t have phones, we didn’t have timelines, we didn’t have worries. It was fun and relaxing.
On our port day, we were in Cozumel! Grant’s really into history, so we found a cute little tour of the San Gervasio Mayan Ruins. Our tour guide, David, really gave a great tour. After the ruins, we went around the entire island of Cozumel and stopped at a beach point. The caves and cliffs were naturally ocean made. After being warned not to climb them, we climbed them. The waves crashed up onto the rocks misting us with salt water. That moment, that stop on the tour, was quite possibly my favorite moment of the entire week. We finished the excursion at the Mayan Cacao Company. We indulged in the best chocolate in the world. Jerrad paid over 800 pesos for his purchases! Before getting back on the boat, we stopped at the worst Margaritaville known to man. It was such a disappointment with rap songs, an unoriginal menu, and trashy servers with Jell-O shots, but it’s off the bucket list!
Now it’s time to talk about Boleros. Boleros is the hidden gem we found in the back of the boat. It’s a Latin bar that was pretty empty for the majority of the trip. This is where we met all of our friends. Jackie, Gary, Bryndan, Phillis and Stormy are the friends that made this vacation truly great. They’re friends that we may or may never see again, but we surely won’t forget them. They’re pretty great people to hangout with a bunch of hooligans like ourselves. I knew it was real friendship with they volunteered to help me finish a rum bottle so I could keep it. Aside from them, the crew was phenominal. The bartenders became our best friends. Luis, Ashford, Caroline, Kyle and Wilson are their names. They didn’t have to like us, but it’s hard not to. We all hit it off and would find ourselves hanging out before bar open and after close just because we all enjoyed each other’s company. We all planned our own formal night and they played right along with it. Toward the end of the trip I started thinking maybe that we were just like every other guest that they get, but then they decided to hand write notes on the bottle of rum that we all drank and give it to me as a parting gift. Naturally, were all friends on FaceBook now and they’re all going to read this. For the sake of not feeding their egos, I’ll just say they were pretty cool. These people really made this trip. Good people, good stories and good times.
I would 100% recommend a Royal Caribbean cruise to anyone, but if you’ve never been on one…. go on the Empress of the Seas. I cannot say enough great things about this ship, this crew, and this vacation.
The new Grantley Goes vlog will be uploaded soon!
*Begins researching next cruises, bye*