Caribbean Cruise Aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas
We just got off a seven day Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. Of course we had a fabulous time, even though the weather wasn’t that great. It’s hard to have a bad time on a cruise! This one left out of Tampa and stopped in Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. Although the Rhapsody is one of Royal Caribbean’s smaller ships, there is still plenty to do. This was also one of the best crews we have ever experienced on a cruise. They were all so nice and helpful. The first two days aboard were a bit chilly and rainy. We used this time to do more of the ship activities because it was not good pool weather. We actually ended up having a great first day aboard going to trivia, games, and different seminars throughout the ship. (We also spent a lot of time at the Schooner Bar.)
The Year of the Rooster
The Chinese animal zodiac is shengxiao in Chinese and means “born resembling”. It is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its corresponding attributes. There are many stories about how these animals came to fruition, but common belief is the animals simply represented dates on the calendar. It is said the Jade Emperor created a race of animals and the first twelve to win the race would be chosen. Prior to the race, the cat and rat were best friends. The rat promised to awaken the cat so they could arrive at the race early. The rat forgot and ran into the tiger, horse, ox and other animals that ran much faster. So the rat offered to sing for the ox if the ox would carry him across the river. The ox agreed assuming he would automatically win the race. The rat slid of the ox at the end and ran ahead to become the first lucky winner of the race. The other animals arrived and that is why they follow the rat on the zodiac calendar in the order of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Rooster, Rooster, Dog, Pig. The cat overslept and was too late to participate and hated the rat from then on. This is why every time they meet, the cat will chase the rat.
Port of Call: Nassau, The Bahamas
A popular stop on a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise is Nassau. Nassau is famous for Paradise Island which is home to the Atlantis Resort. Paradise Island is a three mile stretch of land that protects Nassau’s harbor. Nassau is the capital city of The Bahamas, and there are lots of really fun and interesting things to do here even if you are only here for the day.
Nassau was contested by the English, French, and Spanish, so there are lots of different cultural influences around the area. There are several museums that showcase the different parts of Nassau’s history, including historic villages that were settled by liberated slaves in the 1800s. Perhaps the most intriguing part of their history, though, has to do with pirates. Blackbeard himself resided in Nassau and you can learn more about Nassau’s history with pirates at the Pirates of Nassau museum, which is a must-see. There is also Pirate Republic Brewery, which is the only craft brewery in The Bahamas, where you can grab a beer after taking on the pirates.
It’s very disappointing when you go on the vacation you planned and saved for and it rains the whole time. We have experienced this before and it’s super frustrating. Most recently it rained the entire time Ashley was in Georgia for New Year’s weekend. Not a great way to start 2017. You might feel like you are stuck in the hotel room all day, but it doesn’t have to be like that! While the rain might alter your plans, you can still have a great time and explore the city you are visiting. Grab your ponchos and have fun.
One of the biggest obstacles to traveling is money. When planning a trip, the costs can start to add up and it can be discouraging. We are no strangers to this and have done a lot of things to save up some extra cash for our trips. We also are on the lookout for things we can do for free so we don’t have to spend a lot or any money either at home or while on our trip. Every little bit helps! It helps to have a game plan when starting to save for travel. Here are 50 tips that we compiled that can help you get started saving up for your next trip.