Welcome to my Flirty 30 Vacation Series!
For my birthday in April, my family and I traveled the Western Caribbean aboard the Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas for seven nights to celebrate my birthday! We also celebrated my Mom and Aunt’s birthdays, who are turning 70 and 65, respectively.
This was the first time I had been on a cruise in almost a decade, so I felt like a first timer. And that meant I packed EVERYTHING!
Our cruise was from Sunday April 15 to Sunday April 22, departing out of Tampa, Florida, and going to Key West, Cozumel, Belize, and Costa Maya. Belize has been on my bucket list since I can remember, so this was the perfect itinerary!
We arrived in Tampa late Saturday night and stayed at the Best Western Tampa, which was only about a ten minute Uber ride from the airport. I loved that we stayed the night in a two bedroom, two bathroom suite. My mother and step-father stayed in one room, while my son (TJ), my best friend, and I stayed in the other. It was the perfect amount of room for the five of us. Plus there was a 24 hour IHOP next door!
On Sunday I ended up spending the morning at the airport because TJ’s suitcase got lost during our plane change. Southwest was really great about keeping me in the loop on where it was, and they ultimately offered to deliver the bag directly to the cruise port.
Boarding the Cruise
My biggest mistake when going through the boarding process was not packing any snacks or activities for the long lines. TJ was restless and hungry by the time we made it to the check-in counter, and then there was an issue with my card, so he had to stand around waiting. Needless to say, we were both a little short tempered by the time we boarded the ship (hence, the lack of boarding video footage in the vlog below).
But my spirits were instantly lifted when I got to the cabin and our room was decorated for my birthday! There was a magnet on the front door, as well as birthday decor hanging from the ceiling and stuck to the mirror. And finally, I got a birthday photo frame and a beautiful card from my Mom.
After that surprise, my family and I met at the Windjammer buffet for lunch, and that food was delicious! I don’t know if it’s because we were all hungry, but all of us (even TJ) ate every bite on our plates. And the rest of the day went much smoother after we all had full stomachs.
Of course, I was able to catch a bit of the fun on video! Check out the entire playlist of vacation videos on YouTube over the next week or so.
Coming up next in the Flirty 30 Vacation Series:
- Authentic Cuban Mojito Making Class in Key West
- Swimming with Dolphins in Cozumel
- Butts Up Cave Tubing in Belize
- Chaccohben Mayan Ruins in Costa Maya