Thursday, January 31, 2013

Weird disposable shots and helpful cruise hints.

I haven't rocked a disposable camera since 2005, but it was the only way to document the aquatic life we encountered below the ocean's surface in Grand Cayman. So we bought one. It was only like $17 and took a whopping 28 pictures. Don't judge.

Allow me to remind you of this gem which Dill so expertly captured:

Most awesome moment ever. NOT.
Dill snapped some fishies, too. These guys were everywhere. Good thing I'm not scared of fish.

I took this of Dill in our kayak.

The following took place in Costa Maya, where we couldn't find a beach so we made due in this rocky, shallow area of water just beyond SeƱor Frogs. It was actually fun once we got over the shoreline rocks and onto the sand. Most people were afraid to try so the water wasn't even crowded ... though we still couldn't avoid photobombs. You can't help but get strange people in all your shots when you use an old-school disposable. No option to view the picture after it has been snapped. First world pain, if I've ever heard any.

Dill (with a girl touching her bum in the back. Maybe picking a wedge?)

Me, accompanied by a girl looking a little timid in her lifejacket.

So, now that you've had the chance to live vicariously through our pictures and my inane blathering, you might want to take a cruise of your own! Well, if you do, keep on reading because these helpful hints might be of service to you along the way. Remember -- I make dumb errors and tell you about them so you don't have to!

The DO's and DO NOT's of CRUISING!

-Watch the cruise prices and book when it's cheapest
-Plan at least one shore excursion
-Try lots of new foods
-Take a bazillion pictures
-Get to know your service (attendant, waiter and assistant waiter) and be sweet as pie to them
-Sleep in and take naps when you're tired
-Bring your own alarm clock or an alarm clock app that doesn't change time on international waters
-Wear sunscreen so you don't get cancer
-Take anti-nausea medication if you're prone to the pukies
-Make friends with those who share your dinner table*
-Carry plenty of cash for taxis, cash-only vendors, tips, etc.
-Schedule your return flight with PLENTY of time to get to the airport and through security
-Whatever the heck you want


-Rent bicycles in Mexico unless you enjoy the thrill of near-death experiences
-Rely on your cell phone for the time because it will be significantly different when on international water**
-Have your hair dyed red four days before your trip
-Gorge yourself on food to the point of illness
-Allow your fears to hold you back from trying something new and fun!
-Lose your wallet or allow someone to steal it
-Drink water in foreign countries unless it's bottled
-Allow anything to stress you out
-Miss the ship as it leaves a docking point -- BE ON TIME!

*Our dinner-mates were the BEST! LaVerne and Gary, Evelyn and John, Marietta and Ed. Three seasoned couples from Chicago who have known each other for decades. They are professionals when it comes to cruising because they go all the time. We absolutely LOVED them. They were so funny. I mean, hysterical. I couldn't contain my laughter while listening to their hilarious tales. And when Dill was too sick to enjoy lobster night, they made me feel right at home. I loved hearing about their kids and grandkids and the stories of their past, all embellished by their fantastic mid-western accents. We really became friends by the end -- Dill and I cheered on LaVerne in the slots tournament and they all convinced me to do another round of karaoke on our last night. They were great, sitting in the front row, hooting and hollering for me. My biggest fans! I'll be honest and say I was a little nervous to eat with random people we didn't know. But it ended up being so much fun. We couldn't have chosen better dinner-mates!

**After our ship left Fort Lauderdale, we quickly realized that on international water, our cell phones changed to Greenwich Mean Time. That is the standard global time and it is 5 hours LATER than Fort Lauderdale's time and 6 hours later than Mexico. We were always so confused about when to set our alarms for the following morning. What if our ship crossed into Mexican waters before our alarms were set to go off? Then the clocks on our phones would change back to the correct time and the alarm would never sound. We might sleep through our excursions. It was a situation.

So one night, Dill had the brilliant idea to set my phone's alarm to go off on the ship's time -- 7:00 AM, and his to go off on GMT -- 1:00 PM. We wanted seven hours of sleep and it was about midnight when we went to bed so it made sense to my brain. Some time later, my alarm went off. I wearily looked at my phone -- it said 7:00 AM. Remember ... our room didn't have a window, so I had no idea if it was dark or light outside. I just knew it was 7:00 AM. I felt like I hadn't slept at all and my eyes were totally bloodshot, but the clock doesn't lie, so I got up, turned on the light and started getting ready. About halfway through doing my make-up, Dill sat up in bed, looked at his watch and said, "Jenna. IT'S 2:05 AM!" I said, "No it isn't! My phone went off! It's 7:00 AM!" We argued for a minute more when I realized yes, it really was 2 AM and I really was going to have to wash my face all over again. What craziness. This is why I advise bringing your own alarm clock. Or just have the front desk place a wake-up call to your cabin phone. But don't rely on your cell phone. Or your sun-fried, food-coma brain to do math.

Maybe this is a problem only regular cell phones have. Smartphone users -- which comprises probably 99% of you decent people -- might not have to deal with this. But it's better to be safe than doing your make-up at 2 AM like a psychopath.


  1. i LOVE your bathing suit!! it's nice and long but still so pretty!

    1. Thanks, Meredith!! I picked it up at Dillard's back in late August ... marked down from $100 to $25! SWEET deal!

  2. Love your post! Great advice. Hubs and I don't have smart phones yet either. So you're definitely not alone.

  3. You now, I've never heard of someone going on a cruise and NOT liking their dinner buddies! It makes me want to go on a cruise just so I can make friends with eccentric old couples, right? I even know a family who met another family on a cruise and they started booking more cruises together after that so they could be dinner buddies again. I need this to happen to me! To do: find cruise buddies.

  4. Girl, you make me laugh! Seriously. I have waken up before and sworn it's 6 or 7am and it's 230am... uhhhh! Once my dad said, "Katie, it's really 2am." I would of been all sorts of messed up on the cruise.

    And yes, poor girl had a wedge.

  5. You are seriously hilarious. And those tips are actually quite helpful! I love the disposable camera shots too :)

  6. Interesting, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a standard global time let alone that it was called Greenwich Mean Time. haha that's funny about the 2AM thing though. I would have loved to see your husband's reaction when he saw you getting ready in the middle of the night.
    Thanks for doing the Do's and Don't list by the way, I'm definitely going to save these for later. I've never been on a cruise but we are going for Christmas next year and this will be sure to come in handy!


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