The Marvelous Manic Month of May Part 2: Our Cruise with Medical School Friends

 Sunday, January 17, 2016

May 16-Day 1 of Cruise
Drove to Houston. Picked up Carly and Joel Goodman from the airport. Drove to Galveston. Boarded the Carnival Freedom! Met up with Jessica and Bobby Rampton and Sam and Emma Beckstead. We took a group photo in the Rampton's room:
Jess (Bobby taking picture), Joel & Carly, James & Chels, Emma & Sam)
We all entered the spa raffle. We got ice cream cones. Saftey drill. Attended spa raffle. Then dinner in the dining room. Our servers were Joey from the Phillipines, Putu from Indonesia, and Maharyana from Indonesia. The food and service was so good! And the melting chocolate cake was heaven. We missed the welcome aboard show, but we went hot tubbing and played card games in the library! I learned how to play liar's dice. Happy first day of cruising to us!
May 17-Day 2 of Cruise
Sea day on the Carnival Freedom! We all ate from the buffet for breakfast. We found a good spot to lay out on the deck for a while to work up our tan. The boys played mini golf while the girls chatted.
We ate Guy Fieri burgers for lunch (to die for). Then we had a little downtime before our next activity.
James and I took a dance class with the Ramptons and Goodmans titled Dirty Dancing-like the movie! We learned a dance to the theme song of the movie Dirty Dancing. The dance teacher really loved Carly but loved Joel even more it seems. Here is the group photo the dance teacher posted on Instagram. The pink heart is where James and I are, and the red circle is where our group is standing together laughing!
After our dance class, we got ready for our first formal night dinner. The food was incredible! Our servers surprised the boys by singing "happy graduation to you" to the tune of the happy birthday song, and they gave each of them a coffee flavored cake with a candle. We all felt bad since we don't like coffee and don't eat or drink it on account that we are Mormons, so the boys smashed the cake to fake like they ate it so the servers wouldn't feel bad or wonder why we didn't eat it! To our servers we quickly became known as "the hot chocolate table." Joel will attest that their hot chocolate is addicting. I second that.
We chose the early dining option and we're glad we did!
Sam & Emma, James & Chels, Bobby & Jessica, Carly & Joel

Emma, Chels, Jessica, Carly
Smashed Coffee Cake
Happy Graduation Song!
The servers danced for us and we joined in!

We hit up the 80's Pop to the Max Song and Dance Show with our group. I LOVED this show. The performers were incredible and so was the set! They danced and sang with so much energy. They even danced on moving treadmills! We all felt a bit guilty because our Sabbath day included dirty dancing (though not truly dirty), coffee cake (though we didn't eat it), and a high energy/sometimes risque 80s pop dance show. After the show we gathered in the library and had a mini devotional for about a half hour. We took turns sharing spiritual thoughts and bearing testimonies together. Then we ended the night playing games.
Before the show they came through the audience and recorded people dancing and singing along and it was simultaneously put on the big screen for everyone to see. Bobby made the cut! Haha!
May 18-Day 3 of Cruise
Another day at sea. Carly and I woke up early and went to the abs class at the fitness center while Joel and James exercised. The class was hard! We were dying! Then we met for breakfast in the formal dining room.
The group played volleyball while I snapped some action shots!
At one time during our volleyball games someone commented they were losing to a team with a pregnant chick on it. Go Jess! She is fierce.
Mini golf was next for us on the list!
Guy Fieri burgers and pizza for lunch. We had some down time before we all met up for dinner so we went our separate ways.
Dinner in the dining room was fantastic as always!
The Ramptons and Becksteads went to see a comedy show while the Goodmans and Chapmans went to the Heart of Soul song and dance show. Then we met up to play games in the library.
May 19-Day 4 of Cruise
Oh wow was I sore from the abs class that Carly and I did! We met in the dining room for breakfast while everyone else on the cruise scrambled to get off the ship. Sam ordered french toast covered in fruit loops! We took our time, then made our way down to the gangway.
We got off the ship at Roatan, Honduras!
Off the ship to explore Honduras!
Haha Bobby
Joel & Carly!
Carly relaxing in Honduras
 The tour guide in the shuttle told us about the island.
We paid $5 each to get to and from a beach and paid $10 for chairs, a bathroom, and WiFi.
The water was amazing! So clear and pretty! We walked down the beach where there were some rocks and there were tons of fish swimming all around us! We had so much fun swimming in the ocean!
 The guys raced into the ocean!
Sam & Emma, Jess, Carly & Joel, Bobby, Chels & James 

 The Goodmans
 The Becksteads
The Chapmans 
The Ramptons 
Even the sun in Honduras was amazing!
 Enjoy this 30 second video of us feeding the fish!
 That water though.
 Carly & Jess got $10 massages!
On our way back to the ship our shuttle van broke down...oh and we saw the missionaries right before our van broke down! Luckily there was another shuttle we could take that was chilling on the side of the road in working condition.
Basically the middle of the road. 
 Still smiling even though our van broke down.
Adios misioneros! 
 Honduras house.
Honduras cemetery.
After the beach we returned to the ship and got ready for dinner. Dinner was another success. James tried the braised ox tongue-not a huge fan but it was okay. Oh, the other night he tried rabbit. I ate lots of fish and shrimp! 
After dinner we played card games, volleyball, ping pong, then off to bed after a little crazy picture taking! 
May 20-Day 5 on Cruise
Room service for breakfast because we had an early day in Belize! We got off the ship super early for cave tubing with the Butts Up tour group! We drove an hour on an air conditioned bus. Carly fell asleep and the tour guide came over into her personal space and woke her up! Then there was a 30 minute walk into the jungle. We got head lamps and life jackets and tubes. We tied 8 tubes together and spent 45 minutes tubing in a cave! Our guide, Francisco, was so nice and very knowledgeable. He pointed out lots of different cave shapes and we also saw a waterfall in the cave! The guys and Jessica jumped off a rock in the cave and swam around for a bit. So adventurous! We floated the river for about 20 minutes. The fresh water river was so refreshing and very clear. After we hiked back they had chicken tamales wrapped in plantain leaves for us to eat. While the food was ok, the service and fun were top notch! We thoroughly enjoyed this excursion! We were impressed because this was our first experience booking an excursion outside of the cruise line. Success.
What's crazy is on our way back the bus broke down briefly, and we saw the missionaries in Belize too! 
 Taking a snooze.
 He totally creeped out Carly!
 We thought it'd be funny to take a bunch of action shots of us dancing on the bus.
Look at the poor kid in front of us is terrified haha!
Dinner was fun because it was Emma & Sam's first time trying escargot!
Haha love their expressions! 
Love my man and my chocolate melting cake! 
Everyone LOVED the peach pie and every night after we asked for more but it was only a one night dessert.
After dinner James & I saw the 88 Keys Rock n Roll Piano Show! It was sooo good! This guy was spun around on a piano super duper fast singing and dancing! I was very impressed. Our friends went to a comedy show which they enjoyed.
Ping pong time!
May 21-Day 6 on Cruise
Room service breakfast for another early debarkation for the Mayan Ruins of Tulum and Playa del Carmen in Cozumel! We took a 30 minute air conditioned ferry. We played card games, namely Spoons but instead of using spoons we used sunscreen bottles.
We took a 45 minute air conditioned bus ride with tour guide to the Tulum ruins. Our tour guide, Angel de Jesus, was very knowledgeable and educated but mostly talked about breaking the Mexican and Mayan stereotypes and talked about the Mayan calendar. We wanted to hear more about the history and the ruins. We walked 15 minutes to the ruins in the hot hot hot sun (over 100 degrees that day), stopping along the way as Angel talked more. He talked a lot about the different religious views of the ruins. He didn't guide us through the ruins, we walked around ourselves and met up back at the bus. The Goodmans and Becksteads walked together, and the Chapmans and Ramptons walked around together. At the end of exploring the ruins, we took a picture in front of the beach with the decoy lighthouse that the Mayans built to lead enemy ships into the reef. When we got back on the bus they gave us a bottle of cold water, an ice cold towel, a small bag of chips, and a tiny moon pie as a snack. We all napped on the bus ride back. See the pictures of the Becksteads and Goodmans to see what I'm talking about-haha.
These photos of Tulum are in no order, they are combined from 4 cameras!
 Can you spot our friend?
 See our friend again?
 Our friend is hiding.
 Jess with our friend
 Emma & Carly with our friend
 They look like sister missionaries haha
 Becksteads sleepy
 Goodmans sleepy
 Bobby hungry. 
Guy Fieri burgers for lunch on the ship, then relax and get ready for our second formal wear dinner night.
 Proof that I like shrimp now.
Putu in the colorful jacket, Joey in the middle, and Maharyana on the right.

After dinner we went to the Getaway Island beach party show with music from the Beach Boys and others! Watch the video to see how high James can spike the beach ball into the air!
Oh and some parts of the show were in 3D!
There was a really cool juggler on the show!
The same dancer who taught the dirty dancing class found Carly in the audience and took her up on stage to dance at the end of the show!
After the show we played some games (shocker I know)!
May 22-Day 7 on Cruise
Sea Day! Slept in and had breakfast in the formal dining room. Our regular servers were there-Joey, Putu, & Maharyana! I reserved us some chairs by the pool and read my book while they played volleyball. Swimming in the pool and going down the slide was so fun-everyone kept staring at us because we were actually playing and they were just sitting around. They probably thought we were drunk because they have never had good clean fun on a cruise sober! I think they were jealous of us haha. Here are some GoPro pictures thanks to Joel. We all timed each other on how fast we could go down the water slide. I don't remember who won, and I don't know why there isn't a picture of James, but he did go down the slide!
 Emma again
Carly again.
We layed out on the deck, played ping pong, played mini golf. We had the amazing Blue Iguana mexican fish tacos, pizza, fondue, and ice cream for lunch!
James and I went to Disney sing along trivia and I got 24/26 correct! I missed the Alice in Wonderland and Parent Trap songs. Some of them were hard!
Oh here are some pictures we took when we were hanging out on deck!
Note the hot chocolate that Sam is drinking.
We had dinner in the dining room again and our servers did a goodbye dance for us! We went to 2 comedy shows, the first wasn't too funny, the comedian called on us and the Becksteads since we were sitting in the front and tried to make a joke about Mormons but it didn't really work. The next comedian was hilarious! He called on Bobby and the Goodmans because they were in the front. After the comedy shows we played games including Five Crowns (fav) and Monopoly Deal (a new fav). We stayed up late and consumed large amounts of ice cream to end our cruise!
 Tall ice cream for a tall guy!
Because I can't remember which night we did this, I'm posting one of our best videos here. DANCING IN THE CLUB! (The bouncer totally asked for my ID but I didn't have it so after we all explained we were definitely over 21, he let me in) We were the only ones dancing and I'm sure everyone thought we were drunk and crazy when really we were sober and hyper, and eventually people started joining us on the dance floor! Haha it was sooo fun! I wish I could have downloaded everyone's videos from the entire cruise that they took, but you'll just have to do with this.
May 23-Day 8 End of Cruise
We had an early breakfast and got off the ship. We said our goodbyes to the Ramptons and then squished the Becksteads and the Goodmans and all our luggage into Dad's Ford Escape! We drove to the NASA Space Center in Houston and did the Blue tour. We saw Mission Control and the Apollo 13 rockets. It was really cool but we were all so exhausted! We saw an older missionary couple taking a tour there too. We see the missionaries everywhere!
See how tired we all look!

Definitely back in Texas 
Mission Control! 
 Photo in Mission Control room
 So tired.
 Poor James is so exhausted.
Wish the Ramptons didn't have an earlier flight than us so they could be have been there. After the Space Center we grabbed some healthy lunch at Wendy's then dropped the Becksteads off at Houston Hobby airport and the Goodmans off at George Bush airport. Then James and I drove 4-5 hours in the pouring rain home to McKinney. Thank goodness we had nice weather all during our cruise thanks to Mom's prayers!
We absolutely LOVED our cruise vacation with our med school friends. We are so blessed to have them in our lives! Thanks for making it to the end of this gigantic long post!


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