We left on a Saturday afternoon and by the time the ship went under the Sunshine Skyway bridge, I was already on my 3rd boat drink. It was far from my last. I tried some new things - escargot is better than I thought it would be - and just did my best to take it as easy as I could. I was pretty close to burnout at work and just needed to refresh and recharge. Mr Mai Tai helped a lot there.
Outside of drinking, I also did a fair amount of reading, eating, and of course, gambling. The casino was bigger than I expected and most of the table games were decent. The slots and especially Video Poker machines sucked royally. Double Double Bonus VP paying 6-5? WTF is that. I tried a bit but hit nothing and gave up before I wasted more cash. Besides there's a craps table calling me. And that's what I did for the rest of the trip.
The PQ kept trying and not hitting on the VP but I learned my lesson early. I didn't make a killing on the craps but I kept it pretty conservative and didn't lose anything. I made a little. Unfortunately not enough to pay off my booze bill. Holy cow did we drink a lot. Fortunately our cabin was only 3 doors down from the lobby bar so I didn't have far to stumble to reach my bed. And I could blame it on the ship rolling instead of my inebriation. Win-win right?
Because we had to wait for my niece to graduate from high school, we couldn't take the cruise until June. Which meant we paid more for the cruise as they're cheaper before June, and even worse, a ton of kids were on the cruise. Something like 900 passengers out of 2300 were kids. Every day and night at all hours I'd hear kids running in the hall outside my door. Unfortunately the PQ wouldn't let me string some fishing line across the hall and under the door to take down a few of the
Our first stop was in Grand Cayman. We were only there about 6 hours and for us that meant going ashore for a little shopping. Very little. It turned out we got there on Queen Elizabeth's birthday. Most of the island was closed up and since we were the only cruise ship in port, they really didn't have much reason to open. We bought a few small things but nothing too much and were back on the boat early. Gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with some more boat drinks at least.
The next day we got into Cozumel, Mexico. We've been there before so this time the girls were looking to find some bargains. They brought me along to carry the wallet. I did that quite well. We had fun walking around town shopping but man was it hot. After wandering around Mexico for a few hours it was time to head back to the boat for some A/C, a shower and of course, more boat drinks.
We left Cozumel with the sun setting behind us and headed back toward Tampa. It was beautiful sitting outside on the back of the boat (the fantail?) watching the land receding. There were thunderstorms in the area and we could see the clouds flashing in the distance as we sailed away. One more day at sea allowed me a bit more time to play craps. Though my luck turned I made sure I didn't lose much so I came back to port with cash in my pocket along with the large booze bill we racked up. It was a fun trip and truly allowed me a chance to recharge. Once we got back the PQ found some good flights to Vegas and we planned out our trip in November. I'm ready to go now. Better practice up on my dice throws.