Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vacation Wrap Up, Back to Work

On Monday we got on the Carnival Elation at the Port of New Orleans. I have never been on a cruise before and let me tell you it far exceeded my expectations!

We traveled all night and all day Tuesday and got off the ship Wednesday morning in Progreso, Mexico. Progreso is pretty much a dump, we paid a guy $10 per adult to take us to a "nice" beach. The beach really wasnt that nice, but we made the most of it had fun playing in the sand.

Then Thursday morning we got off the ship at Cozumel. Cozumel is sweet! First we took the kids to Chankanaab State Park and swam with the dolphins and snorkeled in the ocean on the beach and swam in their very nice pool while eating nachos, burritos, and quesadillas! Now let me just say that Cozumel has it all figured out in terms of how to run a world class state park. That place was amazing and very well kept! I think I need to take the Illinois govt officials down there for a few days to show them how to run a state park!! It costed $16 just to get in, but was well worth it!

Here is a pic of the pool overlooking the ocean:

Then at noon we went over to Paradise Beach to check out their facilities! Again very nice! It costed $2 to get into Paradise Beach and $12 for those who did the watersports. We stayed there till 4pm and then headed back to the cruise ship. We loved the beach and the huge pool there:

So anyhow on the cruise ship, the kids absolutely loved the kids programs on board the ship. It was called camp carnival and they had nonstop activities for the kids to do anytime they wanted from 10 am to 10 pm! We usually just did the evening programs at camp carnival so we could enjoy the nice formal dinners in the dining room. The food was actually really good which surprised me! Here are some of the kids after one of their programs:

Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and all the inbetween snacks far exceeded my expectations! Pizza, Deli Sandwiches, Paninis, and Ice Cream were available 24 hrs per day! We ate ice cream cones and had hot chocolate several times each day!!!

This was by far the most relaxing, easy vacations I have ever been on. Im not saying I would want that all the time, because we are generally pretty adventureous by nature, but I can definitely see myself going on another cruise again sometime in the future. It really is much cheaper than you might think if your flexible on your dates and can travel at nontypical vacation times. We were able to take this 5 day cruise all inclusive for everything but alcohol for $211 per person plus tax which came to $247 per person! Normal rate during a busy travel time is around $450 per person. I can guarantee you that I ate well more than $247 worth of food in those 5 days. I had three lobsters and tons of shrimp on lobster night alone and it was some of the best lobster I have ever had. (and Ive eaten em fresh caught from Boston, Key West, and the Caribbean).

If you drive to New Orleans which is a very easy drive from Central Illinois you dont even need to get a plane ticket. Plane tickets alone to Florida would cost more than that cruise did per person!

So we got off the ship Saturday morning at 9 am and I drove to the dry ice company, picked up the fish meat and headed for home. I was home about midnight and spend the day Sunday just getting settled back at home and took one last nap before the spring Marathon begins.

Its only Feb 13th and we are swamped already at the office. We ship lake and pond supplies all across the nation on a daily basis, actually is a major part of our business. Anyhow the spring rush down south has begun a couple weeks early this year and we are well ahead of last year at this time! Not only that, but the warm weather up here as well has our local season way ahead of schedule and clients are already chomping at the bit to get their lakeside projects rolling. For the most part we are already booked up solid for 2012 which is an awesome blessing, but now we just got to buckle down and get er done!! Just a couple more months of 80 hour weeks and I am gonna be ready for another vacation already.

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