Okay, I'm a convert. While I might like, perhaps, a simple but extremely well maintained eco-resort in some exotic locale, I have to say: having a four- or five-star hotel haul you from place to place whilst wining (and cosmo-ing) and dining you, is pretty darn fun.
Plus, the cabin staff make these fabulous little towel critters every evening--I think the monkey was my favorite. Or maybe the elephant. Or the dog...
Anyway, that massive cold front that covered the nation meandered down into the Caribbean during our trip, so no lying about in a bikini (I probably would have blinded folks with my glowing white skin, anyway) or snorkeling in Cozumel, but still: while my colleagues were bundling in multiple layers if they dared to go out at all, I was walking around in shorts and sandals.
Fun things I did on the cruise, despite the weather, in no particular order:
1. Got a pedicure, with hot pink polish.
2. Stared at the water for long stretches.
3. Sat in a hot tub in my bikini with total strangers for about 10 minutes.
4. Drank one complimentary cup of rum punch, one Bellikin (spelling? the official beer of Belize), one cosmo, and two pear-melon martinis over a stretch of about 10 hours.
5. According to C., the first pear-melon martini took me about a half hour to drink; the second considerably less time.
6. Danced a lot with C. right after consuming all those drinks in a club called The Dungeon.
7. Ate lots of really really good food, and some good food. No bad food.
8. Ate at Johnny Rockets at an outside table while the wind was blowing so hard the stuff kept flying off of people's tables.
9. With C., averted disaster when we accidentally created a wind tunnel by opening the cabin door while the balcony door was open. This may be fine on a mellow day, but when the captain's hauling ass in less fabulous weather, well, let's just say we're happy to report that only one small piece of paper went overboard. And we're very, very sorry for contributing to the pollution of the seas.
10. Had a combo massage/mini-facial/sales pitch in the ship spa.
11. Despite feeling really mellow post-massage, did not purchase the overpriced skin care products.
12. Only felt a tiny bit queasy a couple of times despite the turbulent weather.
13. Went to the zoo (really, a small wildlife refuge) in Belize and saw an ocelot, a jaguar named Junior, some beautiful birds, and a bunch of incredibly stinking peccary (peccaries?).
14. Found two floaty pens for my collection: one from the ship and one from Ft. Lauderdale.
All in all it was a wonderful vacation! I think next year we may wait and book something last-minute, though, so we can be a bit more sure of good weather. The go-away-right-before-the-semester-starts experiment was definitely a success!
Check out more photos here.