The kids and I signed up for an excursion to go kayaking. I LOVE being out in the water and the kids were up for going with me. Unfortunately, Andrew's still-recovering shoulder didn't allow him to kayak. He didn't mind, though. He got to sleep in a bit and meet us on the island mid-morning.
Our excursion was AMAZING.
It was a GORGEOUS day.
Look at this little slice of paradise.
Oh, how I love it.
This was the third or fourth time I've stopped at this island.
Whitney and I shared a kayak.
B and Caroline were in the other one.
Both of us were able to get around easily.
The water is crystal clear.
We could see big stingrays swimming around us.
And we could also see conch underneath us.
If we aimed just right, we could even pick them up.
Loved, loved, loved being out on that water.
Some of the other kayakers saw a big shark.
We tried to paddle over there and catch a glimpse,
but it was gone by the time we got there.
After our excursion, we grabbed a few beach chairs
and hung out in the soft sand and warm water.
Flat Stanley preferred the sand.
We found Andrew and were happy to spend
some time together as a family.
In my previous visits to this place, I'd swam out to a
couple of underwater features that they have set up to snorkel.
There's a plane crash and a sunken ship.
But, Brandon found that the best snorkeling was
right off the shore. We loved it.
Caroline was MUCH happier snorkeling here,
where she knew she could swim back to shore
if she wanted to.
When the kids had their fill of snorkeling,
Andrew and I went back out by ourselves.
Drew loves diving down for conch.
As we were finishing up and heading in to shore,
we saw a shark! It was awesome! The first time I'd
seen one while snorkeling. It was a little guy,
probably 3-4 feet long. He was doing his own thing
and seemed disinterested in us. Brandon had the
camera, so I didn't get a pic. Darn.
After a yummy lunch, we were hanging out at the beach and a
storm blew in. The clouds rolled in quickly and it
started sprinkling. We were already wet from swimming
and I wasn't worried about it, but Andrew didn't want
to get caught in a downpour and the kids seemed
ready to go, so we packed up and headed toward the tender.
(Tenders are small boats that take you from the ship to
islands that don't have a big port where the cruise ship can dock.)
Before we caught the tender, I REALLY wanted to get a picture
of the family with the cruise ship in the background.
It's one of my things. I love it.
I had told the kids about it before,
but apparently Andrew didn't know.
He wasn't amused.
Can you tell?
But isn't that a cool shot with our ship in the background???
He and the girls left to get in line for the tender.
I made B stay and get jumping pics with me. :)
Back on the ship, Whit and I got to watch a dance studio
from Atlanta perform. I made sure to drop hints to Shelley
about our next Company performance.
Love vacationing with these guys. So much.
One of our nice servers.
*Snorkeling in Coco Cay was awesome!
*The food was really good.
(I think she ordered steak for dinner every night.)
REALLY good desserts, too.
*The kids clubs were really good.
We played a lot of games involving balls
that were really fun.
*How clear the water was at Coco Cay and kayaking in it.
*All the fun and exotic foods: creme brulee, steak, escargot.
*The weather was perfect the entire time
except when we thought we were going to get rained on
at the end of Coco Cay.
*The rocket launch
*Chilling and meeting new people
*Snorkeling in Coco Cay and diving down for the conch shells
and seeing the shark.
*Watching a spectacular sunset on the deck with Andrea
*Watching the Space-X rocket launch was incredible
*Snorkeling at Coco Cay.
I could've stayed much longer!
I loved the close, bright fish and
getting to see a shark for the first time.
*Kayaking at Coco Cay with the kids.
Beautiful water, getting to see stingrays.
*Nice dinners in the restaurant
We don't often go to sit-down restaurants as a family.
I love having that time together every night,
chatting and laughing and eating yummy foods
that we don't make at home.
While we LOVED this vacation, I don't necessarily have my heart set on going on Royal Caribbean over Carnival if (when) we cruise again. I'm happy with either cruise line. I will pay more attention to the reviews and amenities of the ship itself, in addition to finding stops we'd enjoy.
So, so grateful that we can have experiences like these with our kids. We made great memories and I love exploring different parts of the world with them.