Vacation Sagas

2007 Caribbean Cruise Trip Report

Pre-Cruise At Sea Montego Bay, Jamaica Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Cozumel, Mexico At Sea / Post-Cruise

Photos from our trip will be posted here:

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Pictures of You

Pictures of you,
Pictures of me,
Hung upon your wall for the world to see
Pictures of you,
Pictures of me,
Remind us all of what we could have been.

Friday, September 14, 2007 Pre-Cruise Preparations

'Twas time for another sailing adventure, this time to the Caribbean: Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel on Carnival Cruise Line's ship, the Conquest. At the start of our drive to Galveston, we headed toward the rainy remains of hurricane Humberto with Tropical Storm Ingrid on it's way east of Puerto Rico. It fortunately continued in that direction.

For starters, the participants were me, Bonney Bott, and my friend Lesley McGhee,

Bonney Lesley
Cabin 2431

seven other cruisers who had also gone on the last Cancun cruise: James and Silvia Beene, Bobby and Barbara Adair, Johnny and Debbie Adair, and Olga Oberwetter,

James Beene Silvia Beene Bobby Adair Barbara Adair
Cabin 2459 Cabin 2441

Johnny Adair Debbie Adair Olga Oberwetter
Cabin 2471 Cabin 2455

and new cruisers this time, Patsy and Rich Stroud and Randy Young.

Patsy Stroud Rich Stroud Randy Young
Cabin 2423 Cabin 2455

One of the horrible chores to be done before leaving on vacation is being forced to consume everything in the refrigerator that will spoil before you return. Unfortunately, I was up to the challenge. That accomplished, I waited for Lesley's arrival after she worked Friday morning, and we drove to a local Italian restaurant that has the best calzones! Yum! We returned to my house, watched a little TV, and went to sleep really early (in contrast to my recent schedule).

Saturday, September 15, 2007 The Journey Begins

Bookmark Bookmark

Our goal was to get an early morning start (that means by 9 AM) toward Houston, actually Pearland where my brother lives, where we planned to spend the night.

The first logistical problem was fitting all the luggage into the trunk of my car. Since we weren't flying and because the cruise line had no limits (within reason), I knew I'd packed more than I ever would need or use. That's two large suitcases, one small suitcase, and an even smaller bag with a dozen small bottles of water and a six-pack of Dr. Pepper just for me with Lesley's large suitcase added in.

After an uneventful drive (that's often good), we arrived in Pearland at my brother's home. Since about nine other family members were visiting for the weekend, Lesley and I were to stay in the exercise room on those inflatable mattresses. We were to meet Olga at dinner and bring her back with us, also. So, Lesley and I spent our first half hour arranging and getting the air mattresses filled. There were two twins and one double size mattresses. This was when we discovered the double had a leak that had been pinpointed and taped, but still leaked slowly because the spot was on the fake fuzzy edge. The tape wouldn't stay stuck. Determined to tackle that problem later, we rested and visited until it was time to leave for dinner.

A souvenir bookmark.

Meanwhile, Patsy and Rich had ended their drive in Galveston where they stayed at a turn of the 19th century bed and breakfast. The furnishings there fascinated Patsy.

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Patsy on the porch of the bed and breakfast. Patsy at the bed and breakfast. Crochet sofa doily!

Saturday, September 15, 2007 Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen
12637 Westheimer - Houston, TX 77077 - 281.679.8300

Our evening plan was to meet at Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen for dinner. We started gathering at six o'clock, some of us not knowing that Sara had settled on six-thirty as the official time. Sara had made reservations, so we didn't have to wait long to be seated. But, it took forever for everyone else to arrive, namely Bobby and Barbara who were bringing Sara with them from League City!

We had fun visiting and taking photos. Joining us were Olga's sister-in-law and nephew, Bobby's brother Charlie (Class of '67) and his wife Ginger, and Ginger's brother Bill and his wife. Also joining us were Randy Young, Deanna Todd Osborn and David Osborn. Patsy and Rich were spending the night in Galveston and didn't want to drive in the dark, so they weren't there. Also, James and Silvia had already made plans to visit with friends in Houston.

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Bonney and Lesley. Randy, David Osborn, and Olga. Sara Lacy, Johnny, Debbie, and a passel of other Adairs!

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Olga and relatives and Sara. Deanna Osborn, Bonney, Lesley, and Randy. Bobby and Barbara.

It took another eternity for us to get our meal, that I personally was not too impressed with, but we had a great time talking. I wish more classmates from the Houston area had taken the time to join us. My brother, John, and his wife Debbie (yes, another John and Debbie) were supposed eat with us, but at the last minute they got a better join a group in Bush's suite at the Astros game.

When our meal was over, we transferred Olga's suitcases to my car, getting in a little practice on the packing issue, and headed back to my brother's. Once we had Olga securely in my vehicle, it was time to explain to her that the night ahead at my brother's would be a lot like camping out and that we would be spending the night on leaking air mattresses.

In Pearland, we found my brother and his wife back from the ballpark, his daughter Ashley, Debbie's daughter Shannon, husband Kevin, and their four children, Debbie's son Shane and his two daughters, and another child whom I don't believe belongs to the family! They were all spending the night, too. Thus, our need for the inflatable mattresses.

Since it was late, we went upstairs to the exercise room where our three mattresses mostly deflated, and the other two rather saggy. Olga was given her choice and selected the double, which was also the flattest. We got ready for bed, played with John's fancy chair that vibrates, massages, and kneads your back, legs, and arms, then pumped up the beds again while wallowing on top, holding the pumps to inflate them. With three on the floor, there wasn't much walking room left. Olga, Lesley, and I were laughing so hard at the comical scene that our sides hurt. I guess you had to be there.

I stayed up and read while Olga and Lesley tried to sleep before they had flats. I was still trying to adjust my sleep schedule, and didn't get to sleep until about 3:00 AM. Then I woke up at 6:00 AM with only three hours of sleep and found Olga struggling in her sleep, trying to regain the center of the bed...about three different times. So, I had to take a photo. It was difficult not to laugh out loud.

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Olga trying not to slide off of her deflating air mattress.

Sunday, September 16, 2007 All Aboard

Olga and Lesley were up at a reasonalbe time. While Olga was putting on her finishing touches, Lesley and I went to a local donut shop for coffee and sweets for the rest of the family. By eleven o'clock, we were on the road to Galveston, even though we weren't supposed to check in until 1:30 PM and it was only a 45-minute drive from where we were.

We knew we were early, but did a drive by of the ship and noticed several people already there dropping off their luggage so we did so, also. I had pre-reserved parking near the docks to get a discount, so we parked there and walked a few blocks to the Strand where Olga and Lesley had noticed a "Coffee" sign. When we went inside, we found it was not only coffee, but candy and ice cream, too. I headed straight for the ice cream and the others followed, all thoughts of coffee lost somewhere along the way. As you can tell from the photos below, Olga recovered nicely from her dream wrestling.

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Galveston, at last. Olga.

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Bonney and Lesley, the ice cream bandits.

We visited a few of the tourist shops and returned to the parking lot to gather our carry on bags and catch our shuttle to the ship. The lines were excessively long and didn't start moving for another half hour. I'm guessing there were at least 1000 people in line. By the time we could actually view the customs counters, the line must have been about 200 ahead of us. Fortunately for me, by that time, they split off people with non-U.S. passports...meaning Lesley...and since we were traveling together, I got to go to the short line (only 1 person ahead) with her.

In my zeal of over packing, my purse and carry on must have weighed fifty pounds combned. I didn't realize I had injured a tendon in my forearm until that evening when I was trying to cut my food and noticed I had little control. Even with Lesley's help carrying a couple of things (that's why I bring her along), my load was too heavy.

Our itinerary consisted of departing from Galveston and after two days at sea, arriving in Montego Bay, Jamaica for the day. Then a day in Grand Cayman, Cayman islands, another in Cozumel, Mexico, another day at sea, and arriving back in Galveston.

arrow Itinerary


Our departure on Carnival Conquest was September 16, 2007, returning September 23, 2007.

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Carnival Conquest.

When we arrived at our cabin, we found Bobby and James lingering in the hallway, waiting for their luggage to be delivered to the room. I teased them and said since they were there so early, all their suitcases were at the bottom of the bin they put them in to load them on the ship. Lesley's and mine were waiting for us upon our arrival.

We unpacked most of our stuff and then went-a-wandering in search of food, which is normally available in the buffet restaurant area. Nearby, we discovered the 24-hour pizza bar and had our first of many slices during our cruise.

Since this was Lesley and my third cruise with Carnival, we became gold card members. This status provided us a few perks that included a bottle of champagne. But, since we don't drink, we gave the bottle to Patsy and Rich.

An unavoidable chore on any sailing is participating in the evacuation drill. Unfortunately, no matter how you prepare for it, nobody looks good in an orange life jacket.

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Olga gets ready for the drill. Barbara, Johnny, and Debbie. Lesley and Bonney.

When the ship left Galveston at 4:00 PM, we were going at a rather fast pace that made our ride somewhat bumpy. It wasn't enough to make people sea sick, but cruising at a slower pace would have been much more relaxing. Rich had his GPS with him and clocked us going about 21.9 knots. Unfortunately, Debbie and Johnny's cabin was over the engine, so they also had unwelcomed noise in the cabin.

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Sometime before dinner Debbie and Johnny played the first bingo game and Debbie won 1/3 of the $1000 pot, to leave with $335. They must have rounded up.

Patsy and Rich explored the ship taking photos.

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Our dinner reservations were in the Monet dining room where we met our waiter Raymond from Trinidad and assistant waiter Tatyanna Petlenko from Ukrane.

Pre-Cruise Next -> At Sea Montego Bay, Jamaica Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Cozumel, Mexico At Sea / Post-Cruise

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