Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vacation: Carnival Freedom day 5

Day 5??! When did that happen? We are already halfway through the cruise. Boo for that, but yay for today 5 being Jamaica, man.

In Jamaica our excursion is to spend the day at an all-inclusive resort, but we were in the second group to go so we didn't have to meet for the excursion until 11 am. That meant sleeping in a little bit, which we desperately needed. I started a load of clothes before we went out to the breakfast buffet and then up on deck 10 to take in the views of beautiful Jamaica. I couldn't wait to step foot on land, because what I could see from the ship was gorgeous! 
I dried our clothes while getting everything ready for the day. We got off the ship and did a little bit of shopping before meeting up with our excursion group for a day of relaxation on the beach. Dad went with us today. He has gotten off the ship at each port, but so far he has only spent a couple of hours shopping for the grandkids and then returned to the Freedom. This was his first real beach day. 
We exited the ship just before 10 am and went ahead to our excursion line. They boarded is shortly thereafter, so we didn't have to wait until our 11 am time slot after all. The bus ride to Secrets was really short- maybe 5 minutes- so we didn't really get to see that much of Jamaica on our way over there. 
Once at the resort we were set loose and told to have a fun day. We could go anywhere on both Secrets properties and everything was included. We walked around the grounds and hunted for a couple of available beach chairs in the shade, which took a while but we finally found a spot to claim for the day. 
Nick and I were pretty red for Grand Cayman the day before, so we were careful to add more sunscreen multiple times, but I still managed to get sunburned. Not very long after we sat down a waiter came over to offer us drinks. Dad ordered a daiquiri and I asked for something non-alcoholic. At first the waiter tried to convince me that it was ok on vacation, but I just don't like the taste of alcohol so he said he was a mechanic and he could fix me something. He returned with our drinks, and mine was some sort of fruity concoction that was quite tasty but alcohol-free. 
Nick and I grabbed our snorkels and headed into the water. We had to swim out a ways to get to the pretty coral and big rocks, but we saw a lot of interesting and different fish and plants under water. 
We were told on the bus ride over to make sure we didn't miss the man with the jerk chicken cart, so as soon as we spotted him around noon we jumped in line for jerk chicken. It was delicious! I've got to find some jerk rub when we get home because it's fantastic. 
We sat on the beach for a little bit and went hunting for bathrooms, which is when we spotted the peacocks and macaw that are on property. They even had a whole bunch of peacock chicks wandering around! 
The bathrooms were located outside the buffet, so we decided to venture in and see what was offered. I don't think any of us were actually hungry after the jerk chicken, but I wanted a real salad and Nick can always eat more food. Even dad made a small plate before going back to the beach lounger.
We hopped back in the water for more snorkeling and playing. I moved around some rocks while snorkeling and discovered some hiding spiny starfish looking creatures, which some nearby fish printout started attacking so I had to shoo them away with my feet until the starfish could get to another rock. Oops. 
It didn't take long and our time in Jamaica was just about over. We dried off and took a few more photos on the beach before making our way back to the bus.
Once on board Nick headed to the atrium for trivia and I went up to deck 10 to watch us sail away. I exchanged stories from the day with some friends I met and enjoyed watching Jamaica disappear into the distance.
 That's when Mom, Richard, and Coleen caught up to us and I found out what Mom did on the beach today: she got 32 braids! Apparently she has always wanted to do that, so today she checked that off her bucket list.
I was determined to see at least one sunset while on this cruise, and usually we were at dinner when the sun retired so I told Nick that we were dining later tonight so I could watch the sun set. Since we were now traveling west, that meant we had to head to the front of the ship. Coleen went with us. I love the front decks of the ship. There are never any people up there, although a couple more joined us, because most people don't know that they're out there, which is fine by me.
We showered then and dressed for dinner. We were dining with Mom, Richard and Coleen tonight. Dad had grabbed a burger and gone to bed- we wore him out on the beach! Tonight one of the appetizer choices was escargots, and I made Mom and Richard try them. They liked the garlic butter better than the snails (truth be told I do too) but it was fun anyway. Our waiter, Alex, is a hoot so he had fun messing with Mom tonight about the snails. 
After dinner we took a few photos and then headed to the main lounge for this evening's show, Getaway Island. It featured lots of beach themed and drinking themed songs. The cast on board is really talented. The main show was followed by a Caribbean deck party up on Lido, so that's where we headed for an hour or so of line dancing- and Nick even joined in!! I was so proud of him for trying it and he kept up pretty well. He wouldn't let me get my camera out once he joined us though, so I only have some video of the rest of us dancing. 
We stayed up on the Serenity deck for a little bit since the night club was outdoors tonight, but we all got tired pretty soon after since it was past midnight and headed on to bed. 

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