Originally, our plans were to cruise to the Bahamas sometime in April, but after doing some research we discovered that cruise lines have a strict policy around pregnant women traveling past 24-weeks. I was set to turn 24 weeks in February, so that put us in a quandary since the Bahamas can still be a little chilly then. Upon further research, we learned that our best bet for HOT weather in early February would be the Caribbean. We've traveled to Mexico twice and have loved it each time so when we found a cruise line leaving New Orleans in early February and heading to Cozumel, we booked our tickets asap!
There are definitely pros and cons to traveling via cruise ship versus flying to a resort and staying put for 5 days, but overall we loved our first cruising experience. The food was...well, simply put: I'm probably going to hear a lecture from my midwife next week at my appointment. Multiple trips to the 24-hour ice cream bar + laying out in the sun all week with minimal physical activity doesn't exactly play in my favor right now, but it was vacation! I'm planning to not eat anything but lettuce from now until next Tuesday. We'll see how that goes ;)
The cruise line staff was also super friendly and there were a ton of them standing around just waiting to answer questions, offer snacks, or make remarks like "Whoa! You are gonna have a baby!" To which I kindly smiled and nodded. The germaphobe in me was also pleased to see lots of hand sanitizer stations, disposable towelettes you could use to grab the bathroom doorknobs with, and a stateroom that was cleaned twice daily.
We also couldn't have asked for better weather! There was only one day at sea (our last day) that was stormy, which resulted in a lot of rocking of the boat. At that point our skin was probably glad to have a break from the sun as we both came back looking like lobsters.
I'll stop yapping now and just get to the photos:
As you can see, we didn't waste any time once we got on the boat to lay out. That's a bridge in NOLA behind Nathan and the boat was still docked - it was a beautiful first day at sea!
We didn't take many photos of inside the cruise ship for some reason, but we did capture the main lounge. I thought it had a very "Sonic the Hedgehog Casino Nights" look to it. I'm not the only one who was forced to play a Sega Genesis with their big brother growing up, right? ;)
The sunsets each night were breathtaking.
One night was "elegant night" and you and your special someone were required to dress fancy and eat fancy. A very nice couple stopped and took this picture for us just before the sun dipped down.
Here's the outside of our ship docked in Mexico - I couldn't get over how huge it was!
Our first day in MX, we docked at Cozumel and asked the locals for the best beach spot. We were referred to Paradise Beach, about a 10 minute taxi ride from our port. We payed $3 each and got unlimited access to the beachfront, pool, showers, baths, chairs and umbrellas. And we sunbathed all. day. long. The water was the most beautiful turquoise blue.
The sunset that night was also very beautiful.
The next stop in MX was a new port called Progresso. It was about 90-degrees that day, and the water was so pretty there! Unfortunately, the private beach fronts are about 45 mins from the port by taxi and cost about $35 per person for access (ouch!). But Progresso did offer lots in the way of shopping so we scooped up some little souvenirs for William and baby girl here and then went back on the ship to enjoy the sunshine.
After we left Progresso we had that rocky day at sea and then we docked back in NOLA and headed home to greet our sweet boy.
We are so blessed that Nathan's parents watched him for us for 6 days while we were away spending some much-needed alone time together, but I would be lying if I said I didn't miss him. Six days is the longest we've gone without seeing him, so it was wonderful to get some hugs and kisses when we got home.
Overall, it was a wonderful getaway and I'm so happy we got to take a big trip this year since that likely won't happen again for a while ;) A special thanks to my man who is hardworking and so diligent to pinch pennies and budget throughout the year so that we can take special trips away on our anniversaries!