Our 4th Anniversary Cruise: Air & Ship Details

We arrived at the Chicago airport 3 hours before departure. I read online that you need to arrive 3 hours before international flights. Wrong. Puerto Rico doesn't fall under that bracket. Ha! Just so you know, be there two hours prior and that leaves you with plenty of time. Since we got a little bored, Jaime and I wandered around looking for some books to read. He was so proud of himself for buying one since he proudly proclaims how he hasn't read a whole book since Senior year. ha! That guy is something else.

We flew into San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturday around 1:30. We went straight from the airport to the ship with plenty of time before the boat disembarked. If we could have done it over, we would have flew in a day or two earlier to explore San Juan. It looked like a fun city with lots to explore. 

I got our passport covers from JCrew during one of their crazy sales. Maybe since they look so cute, we'll start traveling more. Ha!
 Sunday, we actually started looking at air fare and hotel prices for a trip to Spain. Jaime visited Seville, Spain when he was in the Marine Corps and LOVES it. He wants to take me so bad, he can hardly stand it. So looks like we'll be saving all our extra pennies for that trip! Who knows, maybe we'll cruise all around Spain. :D

How does one sleep like that? I'd say for a good 30-45 minutes, he stayed in that position! Hurts my neck just looking at it.

Waiting in line to get our passports checked at the port in San Juan. We prepaid for transfers from the airport to the ship and back, mainly for a peace of mind. 

However, I think it would have been cheaper to just get a cab at the airport. But the line for people with luggage was crazy long and we didn't have to wait in it because we gave our luggage to Royal Caribbean transfer people at the airport, who then loaded it on the boat for us. We got our luggage delivered to our room (maybe) two hours later. There wasn't anything we needed right then anyways so no big deal.
When we returned back to port in San Juan that next Saturday, it was a mess. Because our plane didn't leave until 2:30 we got stuck with the late transfer people. We didn't get to get off the boat until 11. Then we had to find our luggage in the same place we got our passports checked going into it. We ended up tipping a guy who had a cart to load up our luggage and fast tracked us through customs and he also took us to our transfer area. We were really thankful for him. He was super friendly and helpful. We got on a bus that took us to the airport but we had to wait almost an hour before the truck with our luggage arrived at the airport. So in the mean time, I went and got our tickets printed and stood in line at the USDA scanner. It's a conveyor belt that checks your luggage for anything you can't bring back into the US with a X-Ray machine. We got our bags checked in and then stood in line for security for 10-15 minutes and then found our gate with 45 min to spare. Eek! I don't like being rushed so that wasn't fun. 

 There's pro's and con's to prepaid transfers. But like all traveling, it's an adventure. Nothing goes perfect and I was glad Jaime was there to calm any nerves I had.

Back to arriving on the ship, we went to our room to check it out. I've never stayed in a room with a balcony and was so excited! Looking back, we can do without a balcony or window. Which will save money and could be put towards another excursion or massage. It was nice to see us sailing into port every day, reading on the balcony, and eating breakfast out there. But I wouldn't say it's necessary to have a good time. For the most part, we weren't in our room enough to really enjoy it.

We didn't sail out of San Juan until 9 that night. We went to the top deck after dinner to watch it leave and to explore the ship.

After being up since 2 that morning, we were in bed by 10! Ha!

Sailing into St. Thomas the next morning.

We didn't stay out in St. Thomas much, which I'll explain why in my next blog post about the islands. But it's pretty neat to see how little you are in comparison to this huge ship.

Jaime serving!

Jaime serving again (not my drink)
Going in to hit the ball.

The rest of our afternoon in St. Thomas, we laid by the pool deck. Jaime volunteered for a game of volleyball with some people we met in the pool. He played really good and had a good time. There's something constantly going on on the boat. They always have games, trivia, and competitions going on somewhere! They do a great job of keeping you entertained. We're not sure we can do an all-inclusive trip now seeing how there's only so much you can do on an island at a resort.

These were the only pictures I got of us at the table in the dining room. I didn't even take pictures of our fabulous food. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. (except friday night) we had the best food! If you don't like something they'll bring you something else. It's never a big deal. Sometimes we ordered two or three starters, two entrees, and two desserts--just so we could try multiple things. Because we did this, I now know that I LOVE escargot! Holy mother. So stinkin' good. Yes, I know they are snails.

This pretty back ground was on the same floor as where we ate dinner so we always took pictures in front of it. We didn't buy any of the professional pictures. I kinda wish we had bought at least one. But these beautiful iPhone pictures will do just fine. :D

We usually changed into something casual after dinner for the game shows, trivia shows, or performances at night. 

We always had our bedding turned down and a cute towel animal waiting for us after dinner.

Sailing into St. Kitts, Monday morning. Overcast and raining.

We got up extra early Monday morning because we had to meet at 8:30 for our Snuba excursion. This was the only excursion we pre-paid for and it was through Royal Caribbean.

After our excursion and we shopped down town. It rained most of that day and as we were shopping it started to rain pretty hard. We were exhausted and since it was a rainy day, we vegged out in our room the rest of the afternoon. Jaime slept for a couple hours and I ordered coffee and finished my first book.

We were well rested and ready for an early dinner. I wore one of my tightest dresses Monday night since I knew I probably wouldn't be able to fit into it at the end of the week after all the food and ice cream I consumed daily. ha! 

Sitting on the pool deck after dinner while Jaime got another ice cream cone. 
Did I mention that there is 24/7 soft serve ice cream available??

Our guy that cleaned the room each night liked to used Jaime's sunglasses for the towel animal. ha!

A couple more pictures before changing and heading out for some fun on the ship.

We went to a comedy show that night. He was really good! I don't normally laugh out loud at jokes but this guy had me rolling. Unfortunately, I cannot recall what his name is.

I always did a little morning reading after breakfast on our balcony. I started reading this book on Tuesday and finally finished it on our plane ride back home Saturday. It was pretty good. Made me want to live in Paris!

Yes, that's me all by myself waiting for other people to join the dance class.

We had a beautiful day at sea. We spent most of the day by the pool. We did a water aerobics class and then I did a poolside dance workout class. I was sweating like a pig at the end of it! I love dancing and I could not finish the workout. I think I only lasted for three songs. It was no joke!

Watching the sun set on our balcony. Of course, pictures don't do it justice.

That night was the first that we sat with different people. We had 'My Time' dining. At first, I was a little aggravated because I was always used to having a set time to eat on past cruises and the waiters remebered everything you liked. But it actually worked out better because we were never in a rush to get ready or leave the pool. They did seat us at the same areas each night so we usually had the same two sets of waiters anyways. Who always knew what we wanted to drink or what bread we wanted. The service on the boat is SO good. They make the dining experience that much better!

We ran back to the room so Jaime could change into shorts. We had SUCH a fun night on this particular night. If you have ever been on a cruise, did you play the game Quest? It's an adult game show and we were told it got a little raunchy. And boy did it?! I won't go into details so you all don't think less of us but it was so much fun. We definitely made memories that night.

Sailing into Curacao. One my top two islands I've ever visited! Can't wait to show you all the pictures from the beach we went to. BEAUTIFUL!

The theme on the boat that night was Caribbean. So we stuck to bright orange and pink clothes. After dinner they had their caribbean band playing fun music on the pool deck and then songs like Electric Slide, Wobble, etc. We danced and sweated so much, these clothes were stuck to us by the end of the night. We might have even worked off an ice cream cone or two!
Also, we met one of my moms cousins that night. She spotted us out by the dance floor on the pool deck and we got to meet her. Small world! You just never know who you're going to run into!

Can't forget our cute little towel guy.

The next day we cruised into Aruba. We got off the boat as soon as we could because I had big plans to be on Flamingo Beach all day until our 3 o'clock massage appointment. We cut it pretty close. The resort that owned the island was about a 15 min walk from the boat. We had 20 minutes to get to the boat and all the way up to the 12th floor for our appointment. I think we had 8 minutes to spare. Ooops. They were really nice about it though. And we had one of the best massages we've ever gotten! A little pricey but it was our anniversary gift to each other. After, we got two ice cream cones because why not? They made Jaime very happy, as you can see. haha. I love this picture of him.

Happy 4th Anniversary to us! It was the second formal night and also happened to be Lobster night. We each had two lobster tails! haha! We don't think we can top this anniversary next year! 

I really love this dress.

My curls always fell because of the humidity in the caribbean. But I mainly wanted to show off my earrings. They are the earrings I got married in to Jaime Ryan 4 years ago. Awe. I know. Sentimental. 

The next day was a sailing day so we took our time getting up and eating. We ordered breakfast and ate on the balcony.

And then back in bed for a morning nap for Jaime while I read and drank like 4 cups of coffee. If you don't know this about Jaime, he is a snuggler! I thought this scene was too sweet not to take a picture of. I love him. Like so much.

We stayed by the pool almost all day and got so much sun! Which was weird since it was the last day and I thought I had already got all the sun I could get. Oh well. Leathery old skin, here I come.

Last dinner on the ship. Wore my loosest fitted dress on the last night and I'm glad I did. haha! I don't know how much weight I gained but I'm not too worried about it. Also, those wedges are the ones I wore from when Jaime came home from his last deployment two years ago. I know, sentimental. ha!

Flying back home.

We had such a good trip. The best vacation I've ever been on. The ship was wonderful. The food was wonderful. Being married on a cruise is the best. I made so many memories with Jaime and this is just from our adventures on the boat. 
Can't wait to share pictures and memories from the islands in the next post. 
Hope you're having a great Wednesday, friends.


  1. Love it! Glad you all had a great time! Cory and I cruised to Jamaica and Grand Cayman for our 3 year anniversary. We LOVED the Cayman Islands. Jamaica was beautiful, but kind of scary at the same time so we didn't spend much time off the boat that day. Can't wait for your next post about the ports! :)

  2. Justin and I LOVE cruising! It is our favorite way to travel. Can't wait to see all of your pictures in your next post :)


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