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Living Like a Celebrity-Good for a Week!

Sigh.  We slowly paid off our cruise-literally since the first day of our last one and now, it's over.

The Celebrity Silhouette docked, fed us, had us snail our way through the customs line (1-1/2 hour's worth) and then before we knew it-we were on a plane, in very tortuous seats back to Phoenix.

It was worth every cent and it was really nice to do it with half of our kids.  Not as romantic (we only had 2 breakfasts alone) granted, but it was great to see things through the eyes of our grandsons, Dylan and Aidan.

There were a few "bumps" in the trip:  Aidan had to see if his mom was right about her hair straightener being hot.  That was on formal night-blistered his thumb and cried bloody murder.  The medical facility gave us some antibiotic salve and we came with Band-Aids.   Aidan wore himself out and getting pictures of him was a challenge.  

 Then he learned a huge lesson about the Fun Factory-if you misbehave enough, they suggest that maybe you shouldn't be allowed to enjoy the activities.  Of course, all was forgiven by the next try-but he learned a valuable thought on the importance of not interrupting other kids.

Dylan, our little "hambone" sort of heckled the magician.  I say "sort of", because the magician was talking about how he loved kids because they were a little weird.  Dylan yelled out "Hey, I'm a weird kid!"  Everyone laughed to the point where no one heard Aidan saying, "I'm a kid too."
Then the magician came out and said, "Well, I'm looking for a kid, but I'm looking for an ugly kid."  

Dylan, who had had his face painted to look like a pirate in the kids club said, "I'm an ugly kid."

Of course that got another round of laughter, so the magician took Dylan to the stage-where between the two of them, everyone was in stitches!  He gave Dylan a signed DVD of his tutorial on magic.  

Getting to Ft. Lauderdale was pretty arduous as well.  Six of us on Southwest (who doesn't believe in assigned seats) with a stop in Chicago proved to be exhausting.  Upon arrival it took our hotel (the same one that Steve and I hated 4 years ago, but he booked anyway because "they would pick us all up and then take us to the pier) 45 minutes  to pick us up.  

This hotel is close to NOTHING people. NOTHING.  It was so windy and humid that the pool was closed for safety reasons.   So there we were with 2 little boys who had been trapped in airports/airplanes and nowhere to play.  Then we were in our little rooms and the breakfast room.
By the time we got on board the ship (waited in a car during a downpour and the line to board the ship) the boys had enough ants in their pants that they were driving Sarah crazy.  

Thankfully, the lady who took our reservations for the Lawn Grill said the boys could come, run on the grass and create their own flatbread pizzas!  Thank goodness!  

Our ports were all great and had fantastic weather-the cruise before us had nothing but rain for 7 days, so we were more than thrilled.

Cozumel had the boys in the kids club while Sarah and Alex did a tour and Steve and I window shopped and walked.  The Grand Caymans had our kids going on a Dolphin excursion and us doing more walking.  Jamaica we all took a tour with a wonderful guide.

However, here was another hitch.  We booked the tour for 4 hours.  It was 5.  Now normally no one would complain-but here was the problem:  The daily paper told us not to wear ANY jewelry and only take enough cash to tip our guides.  Alex decided to take a credit card for emergency purposes.  We were given a stop at a restaurant for some Blue Mountain coffee and banana bread (included) and then we were off to Montego Bay.  Where we were told we had 2 freakin' hours to shop on "hip strip" and/or go to the private beach-which only took CASH, $6 a person!

You're wondering what 4 adults and 2 kids did for 2 hours (and the rest of our bus?) we all went to Margaritaville and sat their drinking Coca-Cola.  Believe me; we gave them an earful on that on our "review" questionnaire
We loved our waiter and assistant waiter. Koray and Oleksander took excellent care of us and made sure the boys were happy at every dinner. They made sure I had very tasty and dairy free food-and 7 different flavors of sorbet. We told Celebrity about their wonderful service.
Our day at the private island was really great!  It was the first of 4 trips there that the sun was out and the wind was mild.  Dylan found some baby crabs!

Sunday morning came too soon.  The kids stayed an extra night, but Steve and I were up at 6 to shower and dress.  We all were out of our cabins by 7 and had our first and only breakfast in the main dining room.  

The getting home was pretty rough-my spine was telling me how unhappy it was for the entire time.  Adam picked us up at 6:15, we swooped by and got Sam and took them to dinner to thank them for watching Pepper.  Then we took him home, unpacked and collapsed at what would be 2 a.m... eastern time.

Woke up to sending Steve back to work, 3 large loads of laundry, shopping, picking up Lucky, walking her and making dinner.  

Our week included getting Lucky spayed, my 2 interviews and their write ups, my spinal epidural and a few other tasks that need not be mentioned.

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