Our 2015 Vision of the Seas Cruise: Days 3 & 4 Recap

We took a 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise on the Vision of the Seas to visit the Western Caribbean for my 30th birthday/pre-wedding honeymoon. We visited Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico, Georgetown in Grand Cayman, and Belize City in Belize, sandwiched between 2 days at sea cruising.

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{Monday @ Georgetown, Grand Cayman}

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Our first stop on the cruise was Georgetown in Grand Cayman.

I had been there previously about 15 years ago but was really looking forward to the 3 of us going to explore together. Our main for the day was to enjoy the beach. We felt that we couldn’t pass up having a beach day when Seven-Mile Beach was a short cab ride from the tender dock.

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We headed to the Aquarius dining room shortly after it opened for breakfast at 7.00am. We wanted to give the service and food a try to change things up from going to the Windjammer, where you serve yourself. It was nice to get the service and different selections, includng the best sugary donuts, but it was tough to wait for the food to come with Autumn getting frigidity.

After breakfast we headed back to the room to give Autumn time to nap, for me to pump, and to get ready for the day on shore and at the beach. We packed up the canvas beach tote (my dad lent us) with our water shoes, sun blocks, water bottles, snacks for Autumn, and her bottles.

Price grabbed us tender tickets while Autumn was finishing up her nap so that we would be in the queue and ready to go when it was our turn. It worked out well as we were ready to go when the tender before ours was called. The only ‘issue’ we ran into was that I completely forgot that the towels were handed out right before you got on the tender, and not on the 9th deck, where they are kept. So I sprinted up 5 flights of stairs and ran to the towel hut for no reason. ha!

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When we arrived in port we walked around a bit trying to get some wifi as the Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville advertised wifi, but they were not open yet. So we headed back to the cab area to get a cab to bring us to the free public beach at Seven-Mile Beach. We grabbed a cab for $4 a person for the 10 minute cab ride.

The public beach was clean and adjacent to an open area that had a playground for little kids. There were vendors there that rented out jetski’s, snorkel equipment, beach chairs, and umbrellas. We rented a pair of chairs and an umbrella for $20.

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Naps on the beach are the best.

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We stayed at the beach for several hours taking turns layout out, taking dips in water, and playing with Autumn. It was so relaxing and fun. It had started to drizzle when we first got there but it quickly stopped. It was rather cloudy, but it just meant that the sun wasn’t too intense, thankfully.

There was an adjacent pavilion like restaurant that I considered getting food from, especially since the vendors that rented out the beach chairs and umbrellas were running orders back and forth. But we decided just to grab a snack at one of food trucks. They had a lot to ofer from fresh mad conch salad to fried fish, but I just grabbed us some fries to share for $4.

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We shared a van back to the port with a few others as there were a few vans stationed at the lot near the beach. It was more affordable at $2 a person, plus the driver didn’t charge for Autumn as she was on a lap.

We grabbed some Tortuga Rum Cakes on the way back to the tender dock. They are a classic delicious souvenir to bring back home. Or just eat in the cabin!

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As we only had shared a basket of fries while at the beach, we were still really hungry for lunch when we got back. We were cutting it close to make it to the Windjammer before it closed for lunch service (12.00- 3.30pm) so I ran up first to grab food, and then Price took his turn while Autumn napped through our running around.

The rest of the afternoon was about showers and enjoying the nice weather up on deck in between lounging around in the room. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

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The Caribbean sunsets are hard to beat!

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We were greeted with friendly hello’s when we arrived for our dinner at 5.30. The hostess and our servers remarked how they missed us as we had dinner at Izumi the night before to celebrate my birthday. Everyone’s enthusiasm is just fantastic, as well as the service and the food.

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Mom, you didn’t want your dessert, right?!?!?

We were so tired from the day in the sun that we made it an early night. We went back to the room to get Autumn down for the night as close as possible to her normal bed time, but it was still a tough time (and night as a whole). Price headed up to talk a walk and I crash hard… before 8! Oh man, I’d almost feel bad about it but it’s vacation and my real chance to catch up on sleep. ha!

{Tuesday @ Cozumel, Mexico}

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I might have felt bad for going to bed really, really early the night before, but Autumn slept poorly and was up early. So going to bed before 8 (oh, boy!) was totally worth it!

We were up early walking around on the 9th and 10th decks killing time before the Windjammer Cafe opened. We even enjoyed the sunrise (6.25am) out on deck.

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The one thing that really bugged me was that the crew would wash down the deck in the morning. I understand why the do it and when they do it but it was really tricky to get around without the fear of slipping as the deck was soaked as it was power washed. I really just felt bad for the runners and power walkers as they were constantly adjusting their routes to avoid the wet spots and the guys doing the power washing.

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This face just kills me. Oh, she has my heart.

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And the sunrises too! Just incredible.

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We headed into the Windjammer (7.00-11.00am) when it was open to have some breakfast. The best thing about having a buffet right at your finger tips is that it gives us plenty of options for Autumn to try a bunch of different things. The tater tots were always a big hit. but it was nice to get her to try different kinds of pancakes, eggs, fruit, sausage, and biscuits.

While it would have been nice to have had breakfast and gotten off the boat with the first tenders, it worked well to let Autumn nap. Interrupting her napping schedule can make things tricky for us so it was important to give her that opportunity to get a solid nap in. Plus, it gave me a chance to pump and Price to pack us up for the day off the boat.

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Having to use a tender, instead of docking at a pier, requires a lot more coordination and planning as there are a limited number of people that can get on a boat at one time. This means there can be some waiting for your turn, which is why you should get a tender ticket to hold a spot for you. As well, loading the ferry-boat, getting ashore, and unloading can take quite a bit of time, so that is important to plan for. That does effect your time ashore. For example, if everyone is to be loaded on the ship by 5, then the last tender is 4pm to provide enough time for the boat to be fully loaded, get to the boat, and unloaded. You always have to keep that in mind!!

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During the shopping information session on Sunday the head of onshore shopping explained to everyone that there is not too much shopping to do where the port is. The best shopping is a cab ride away. I asked him about this later as a mile and a half walk for us is no big deal and I was hoping to get some real exercise in, but he really pushed that we should just take a cab as the road is busy and rough. He wasn’t exactly saying it was unsafe but he wasn’t a fan of the idea of us walking.

As well, when asking for a cab it is important to ask to go to the “Forum Shops“, a high-end shopping center, as it is a specific destination, instead of asking to go ‘downtown.’ This prevents the cab driver for taking you to some random place. Also, asking to go to the Forum Shops basically brings you to the end of the main shopping district, which allows you to shop along the way as you head back towards the port. There are several taxi stands along the strip, which will allow you to get a cab in various spots along the way. Our cab ride to the Forum shops was $7 a person (not including Autumn).

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We had lunch as Palmeras Restaurant while in Cozumel.

I’m honestly not a fan of buying lunch while in port as we have paid for all our meals on the ship, but when it’s lunch time, it’s lunch time! Thankfully, we had a great lunch at Palmeras. We shared some chips and salsa, fish tacos, and a chicken caesar salad. Autumn helped herself to all our guacamole.

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We had talked about going to the beach while in Cozumel but had decided that it would be our shopping day instead. We had hoped to find wedding bands while on the cruise as shopping in the Caribbean is duty and tax-free. As well, different ports are known for different things, like gold, diamonds, tanzanite, etc.

Unfortunately, we did not find rings that we liked as the majority of the rings had diamonds on them, even the men’s. Plus, we wanted brushed white gold bands and not many shops carried brushed things. As well, we had continued to search for an anchor necklace for me, but didn’t find one that was the right size of the right price.

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Tired babe? ha!

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After our adventurous cab ride back to the port, we boarded our tender to take a ride back to the ship. Once through security (very similar to security at the airport), we our way back to the room to give Autumn a chance to take her afternoon nap. Which really meant that Autumn and I napped and Price snuck away for a pina colada. Perfection for both of us.

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We just about missed the “Renaissance Aerial Spectacular” show in the Centrum, but we caught the end of it. The artistry of the dancers and aerialists is amazing. They perform several times throughout the cruise, even 2x a night (5.15-5.30pm & 9.45-10.00pm), so there are quite a few chances to see them perform.

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Good bye Cozumel!

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As usual, dinner was amazing.

That food theme for the night was shitaki mushrooms, which were featured in the dumplings that I ordered. I could have easily eaten 2 plates of these, especially since I shared with a little hungry babe! I had the strawberry topped pavlova for dessert. It was the first time I had a pavlova, but now I am in love with them.

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Another day down! It’s so fun to go from place to place but it just means that vacation is speeding along.


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