We all got on board safely the Sunday before Thanksgiving. All our luggage was delivered to our cabins, we familiarized ourselves with the layout of the ship, participated in the lifeboat drill, and met in Grandma's cabin for before dinner drinks and to say "Bon Voyage" to Tampa. (So far, so good.) Dinner was okay, but our waiters were hysterical and made going to dinner a blast (definitely a good thing).
(Markus, our head waiter)
(Markus, our head waiter)
During the night, one of the propeller shafts broke. Aunt Helen (Grandma's sister) heard the racket about 3am. This was just the beginning of the troubles. Now, we were on a sick ship. It couldn't go the normal speed otherwise the other propeller shaft would break as well. We had to skip stopping in Key West. That didn't bother me, since I've been there already, but Jason has never been before and we were looking forward to going to the Pirate/Ship Wreck Museum. (Other people were not so forgiving-a couple was supposed to get married in Key West and another family was meeting up with the ship there to surprise their grandparents for their 50th anniversary.) So, we had an extra day at sea-two in a row. We relaxed in the library-great views of the water, awesome selection of books, puzzles, games, and the daily quiz (we attempted it each day, but they were EXTREMELY difficult). There was also a coffee bar and we had a few lattes (yum!). We also played trivia every day (the questions were tough, but we did win once! Our prize was a "Dam" mug-all the Holland America ships have "dam" at the end-ours was the Veendam.) and even started a Sequence tournament with Jason and my mom being partners and Rod (Jason's dad) and me being partners. (Rod and I kicked butt!!!)
After the two days at sea, we stopped at Belize. Jason and I had already visited there on our last cruise, so we stayed on the ship. Everyone else got on a tender (a smaller boat that hauls people from the cruise ship to the shore) and did various activities-Grandma and Aunt Helen took a taxi tour, Jason's parents went to see some Mayan Ruins and my parents and Aunt Felicia went shopping.
Our next stop was in Guatemala. The port was Santo Tomas and we were taking a tour to Quirigua, a site of some Mayan ruins. I had been there before (I didn't remember until I saw the ruins) when I was in college. We saw some stellas from various Mayan leaders of the area as well as the market area. Our guide, Carolina, was quite infomative and energetic. When we returned to the ship, we had lunch and everyone went back on shore to go shopping-Jason and I stayed on ship and read.
You're probably wondering what else happened...well, those two days at sea proved to be more exciting than Jason and I wanted them to be. Monday's dinner was mango gazpacho and king crab legs with drawn butter. Very good but very rich food. Apparently, my gallbladder didn't like that I had eaten such rich food. It revolted! At 2am, Jason and I went to the infirmary because we didn't know what was wrong with me at the time. The nurse, Caroline, took my history and was surprised that when I had the lap band surgery that the surgeon didn't remove my gallbladder as well. The nurse narrowed the problem to two things-a kidney infection or a gallbladder attack. The doctor concurred (I even had an EKG!) and told me to watch what I ate and see my doctor when I returned home.
To be continued...