Harmony of the Seas
We made it to our cruise. The itinerary changed but it was still fabulous. The Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship on the planet. The 10 story dry slide, the 3 water slides, flow rider, zip line, rock climbing, city park, boardwalk, ice skating, pools and shows did not disappoint. We could have easily stayed another week.
Abby and Mackenzie are so lucky… on so may levels but on the first day of our cruise their luck showed up in the form of getting picked to be the stars of the celebration parade in the promenade. Only 2 children were chosen. Here are few pictures out of the 150 I took! They were up on the stage with the hosts/announcers and the parade is going on below them. I did video it but I haven’t decided to pay for that service yet. 🙂
Their drama classes have paid off. They had no problem singing and dancing in front of the cruise ship patrons. Back stage they got to meet the actors/actresses from the shows they will see all week. My little cupcakes.
Abby and I zip lining (Mackenzie was not tall enough so Chris took Mackenzie on the Abyss slide while we ziplined)
Family Mini Golf at sea…why not?
Where else can you go from swimming in a pool to skating on ice in the Caribbean?
We ran into some friends from our home town of Acworth, GA. It was fun for the girls to catch up on life back home. Hi Reece and Annabel:)
Rocking climbing while at sea! Chris, Abby and Mackenzie made it to the top and rang the bell!
We enjoyed the food on board but especially loved our experience at Wonderland. This was a speciality restaurant inspired by the Alice and Wonderland story. Our menu’s weren’t reveled until we painted them.
We had 3 ports of call. This is Costa Maya, Mexico. This port was made just for tourism. The water is beautiful and the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world is within swimming distance. We booked an excursion to the Chacchoben Mayan ruins, 200 BC, and then to a beach/pool club with an authentic buffet Mexican lunch. The ruins are deep into the jungle and past some local communities that make their living selling pineapples and working at the tourist port. Our tour guide did a great job teaching us about the Mayan people and their advanced culture. The pyramid you see below was built on a mound and perfectly placed so that every year on the winter solstice, December 21st, the sun would sit perfectly on top of the pyramid. The rays would shine down to a rock, 100 yards away, precisely at 8:00am and go through a curved hole in a rock and shine onto a tribute painting on the east wall of a different building another couple hundred yards away. This advanced culture was amazing to learn about.
Costa Maya, Mexico
The science geek in me loved all the trees. The first one pictured with the zig-zag gashes is a Chicle tree that produces natural gum used to make chewing gum. The gum drips down the gash and into a bag. Then it is boiled until it gets thicker.
The Mayan people’s sacred tree, Ceiba, is pictured second. They believe that the sun went inside the Tree of Life every night and was born again the next day. They believe the roots reach down to the under world and the branches support the heavens.
The last picture is a huge ant carrying a leaf at the bottom of the Ceiba tree:)
We had visited Cozumel last year when we took the Disney Fantasy Cruise so this year instead of snorkeling we decided to do an inland excursion. We chose to visit a Nat Geo top 10 family destination tour. The Secret River (Rio Secreto). This was the highlight of my week! We dressed in wetsuits, life vests, hard hats with head lamps and carried walking sticks through the jungle to get to the cave. As we hiked down we saw spiders, bats, geckos and a tarantula. We all loved that! We saw one walking across the road on drive out there as well. They are so cute and fuzzy. Inside the cave was dark and cold but the wet suits helped. We’ve all been inside a cave and have seen stalagmites and stalactites but wading through the clear water took this exploration to a whole nether level. At several parts the water was deep enough we had to swim. Mackenzie walked ahead of us and the lead the group next to the tour guide. Half way through the hike, our tour guide, Viki, had us sit in the water in a circle, turn off our head lamps and sit in silence for a full 5 minutes. We could hear the drips from the stalactites. It was quite an experience to be 60 feet underground in the middle of the earth-so peaceful!
On the way back to the port we stopped and the girls played with a squirrel monkey. Mackenzie’s nickname is Monkey because she has always climbed like a spider monkey. They loved it! After we walked away we found a little present from Pickles left in Abby’s hair. A free souvenir.
Speaking of souvenirs, we decided what we will be collecting as our souvenirs from each state on this adventure. I have collected spoons since I was a little girl and have quite a collection already. Several years ago my dad made me two beautiful display plagues to hang in my sitting room. I will continue to collect spoons so I can complete my United States collection. Abby is collecting key chains and Mackenzie is collecting magnets. Dad, you may need to start working on some more display plagues:) Thank you to all of you that gave the girls souvenir money at our going away party, it really helps!
Our last port of call. We had the whole Atlantis resort to ourselves! A major benefit of road schooling we have found is that all the places we visit are not crowded because we are visiting during the day when most children are in public school. The ‘not so lazy’ lazy river was so fun! Chris and I had fun racing on the Challenger slide. He beat me every time. They have a slide called the Leap of Faith that is a 60 foot vertical drop into a clear tunnel that goes through the aquarium filled with sharks. You go through so fast that you can’t see them though. Abby sat this one out. There is a slide/ride right next to it that takes you though slowly so we can feel like you are in the middle of the aquarium. Abby’s friend, Avery, had vacationed here last year and so Abby was especially excited to visit all the places she told her about. The last picture is our view from our balcony, which I loved taking a nap from on the days at sea.
We had fun at the Biontic bar having a robot make our drinks. The girls ordered a Shirley temple and we ordered an Blue Sky Margarita. We placed our order on a tablet and then it sends it to the robot and then when it’s ready we tapped our WOW bands on the bar and the robot slides the drink to us. Very cool!!
I highly recommend this cruise ship! I hope all our friends from Cobb County enjoyed their fall break as well.
We are moving on to Orlando next.