Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Travels: Millennium, Dominican Republic

If you missed my last Thursday Travels post, I mentioned I am doing these posts entirely for myself. I am terrible about journaling when I travel…but I want to write about the experiences before they totally fade in my mind. If you like travel logs…enjoy!

And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.    ~Dave Barry

Our first cruise left out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This cruise included our children, who were then 17 and 19 years old. Our hotel had shuttle service to and from the airport as well as a shuttle to and from the cruise port. We signed up for a shuttle that would take us to the ship the next morning. I was surprised at how early the shuttles ran as my cruise info said to be there at 2pm for boarding. We were at the dock before 11am, and on the ship by 11:30am. We were cruising Celebrity and as we boarded they were handing out complimentary Champagne! We boarded directly into the main area of the ship with the beautiful grand staircase. They let us know the buffet area was open and ready to serve us lunch. I could see right away that this was something I could easily become accustomed to!

We crave sustenance! ~Dusty (Twister)

The ship itself was unbelievable. The Celebrity Millennium, it was big and beautiful. It was very tastefully decorated in teak and marble. My only cruise ship views prior to this were pictures from Carnival ships. I am not knocking Carnival, but they are called the “Fun Ships.” Celebrity is a premium line and somewhat more upscale and refined. I have since become a “Loyal to Royal” girl, but more on that later. The common areas of the ship were much larger feeling than I expected. And the cabins did not feel as small as I expected. We had two inside cabins booked. We stuck the kids on deck two while we enjoyed a much quieter deck eight cabin.

Give your stress wings and let it fly away. ~Terri Guillemets

Port #1: The Dominican Republic
This was a port I expected to like the least…but thanks to astute planning DD (Dear Daughter) and I had a blast! DH and DS (you get the idea, right?)…not so much. We decided to book two different excursions as we wanted to do different things. DD and I went horseback riding, while DH and DS went kayaking. Sounded like a perfect fit. The men would be doing manly things while the women would be bonding with their lovely horses. The horseback riding ROCKED!! It was a gorgeous ride through green spaces backed up to beautiful, expensive homes…we waved at Sammy Sosa’s house and enjoyed the scenery. Or at least I did. DD was busy talking to a young man who was one of the trail guides. He was busy admiring scenery as well…he kept commenting on DD’s beautiful blue eye’s ;) When it came time to gallop he became our personal trail guide. We started out with the group, but when they stopped galloping to walk the rest of the way, he would have us just wait and talk and then we would gallop to catch up. This was the theme for at least the last 1/3 of the ride. It was a blast…nice to able to benefit off DD’s beauty J

Upon returning to the ship I was eager to hear about the guys kayaking fun. Instead I listened to DH complain about our DS whom he insisted did not pull his own weight in the rowing department. Add to the fact that this was OCEAN kayaking, not a nice river or lake…guess I should have read the description more carefully…and they were constantly rowing against the tide…though how that is possible I have no idea…I mean they did leave from and return to a shore…right? At any rate, a good time was NOT had by all. We all showered and enjoyed dinner on the ship. We were in port until about 10pm, so following dinner we took a bus to a cute little mountain town called Altos de Chavon. It was actually built on the model of an early Spanish town. It was lovely and relaxing, absolutely gorgeous at night with all the lights. We returned to the ship feeling good and ready to conquer our next port of call…San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Bon voyage! ~Marla

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