Caribbean Cruise Honeymoon

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March 14th, 2002 was the happiest day of my life; it was the day I was married to the most wonderful man. The week that followed was also very memorable, for it was our honeymoon. My husband Richard had surprised me with a seven day, seven night cruise in the Western Caribbean. I had never been anywhere outside of the state of Oregon and always hoped that one day I would get to travel. I knew that this was going to be the trip of a lifetime.

Richard had gone to a travel agency and found a honeymoon package deal which included airfare and the reservation for the cruise. We also received the honeymoon suite, which was one of the few rooms on the boat that had a balcony. During our flight to Florida Richard showed me the brochures of the cruise. Also included in our package was a bottle of champagne and strawberries, which would be delivered to our room the first night, and breakfast in bed every morning, along with two passes to their exclusive spa.

From the airport we took a limousine to the harbor in Miami where we would sail away for our island getaway. We boarded the vessel and stepped into a city, I had never seen anything so magnificent. The boat contained a fitness center, theatre, nightclub, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, six large hot tubs, a mini golf course, four formal dinning rooms, and a mini mall. I couldn't tell if I was more excited for all the amenities the ship had to offer, or spending the next seven days at see with the same man I would spend the rest of my life with.

Since we boarded the ship late we had just enough time to quickly get ready and make it to dinner. I had changed into my favorite red dress, which was the same dress that I had worn on my first date with Richard. When I walked out of the bathroom, with my hair and make up all done, I saw Richard's jaw drop. He immediately grabbed me into his arms and passionately kissed me. And let's just say we were late for dinner.

When we arrived at the table we were seated with another couple. Immediately the older couple began sharing their life story. Allen and Fran had been married for twenty-seven years. We assumed that they were celebrating their anniversary, but they were actually there just to get away from their four kids. For the hour and half that we tired to eat our dinner they described to us the horror of their children. Two of them didn't even finish high school. Their oldest daughter of nineteen was married and already had two children of her own, and their oldest son, well they had no clue where he was.

They weren't the most encouraging couple, when it came to being married and starting a family but Richard and I laughed it off. When they asked about us, we said our names were Adam and Elizabeth and we were having an affair. They both looked shocked, and quickly left the table. The good news was that we got to eat our dessert in peace. We made a toast with a glass of wine, to twenty-five years and perfect kids, and we spoon fed each other an ivory chocolate fondue garnished with mixed berries.

The following day our first port of call was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The coast was lined with pristine white beaches and lush green hills. And the sun warmed ours faces, as a fresh breeze cooled our bodies. We hopped into a shuttle and went west of downtown Ocho Rios, where we came face to face with Jamaica's most famous waterfall, Dunn's River Falls. We were given a tour guide named Junior who was young and very attractive. His dread locks dangled in his face and he had a very distinct Jamaican accent. Before we began climbing Junior had told us that the cool mountain water plunged 600 feet to smooth limestone beds. The rocky climb was tough but very refreshing. Junior flirted with me the entire time, which was of course flattering. At one point when Richard was trying to take my picture over looking the fall, Junior jumped in and posed with me. Richard was so surprised and jealous that we both just started to laugh. However we did get Junior to take our picture with our waterproof camera of us standing soaked head to toe in the waterfall. At that instant, while I looked out into the endless Caribbean sea, I not only realized how much I loved Richard, but how much I wanted to spend more exotic moments like the one we had climbing the falls.

Just as fast as we arrived in Jamaica, we left. But we still had more islands to visit. The following morning the ship arrived at the Grand Cayman Island. Once again Richard and I hired a tour guide, whose name was Hans. Hans lead us on an all day excursion that began with a four-mile kayak up the famous Seven-Mile Beach. Once we made it to the designated spot we snorkeled amongst the array of tropical fish and coral formations. The salt water was really warm, and there were fish of all colors swimming beneath our legs.

Once we made it to dry land, I felt the soft white sand against my feet. I scooped up a handful in my hand and let it fall slowly back onto the earth in which it came from. The sand on Oregon's beaches could never compare to the smooth grain of the Cayman Islands. Richard and I spent the rest of the day on the beach, enjoying a couple of margaritas, and watching the other tourist snorkel and kayak. We rented a private cabana and as the sun set we made love underneath the warm sun.

Our last port of call was Cozumel, Mexico. We were excited for real Mexican food and good beer. Our adventure in Cozumel began with a four-mile bike ride down the beach and through some of the small villages. We rode peacefully, well except for the incident when Richard fell off his bike, claiming that the chain was loose. He had a little scratch which I could tell was irritating him, but he tried to be tough and ignore it. We then rode to the only park in Cozumel that was open to visitors. It had a fake Mayan replica and a wonderful little taco stand where we ate lunch.

Afterward we met out tour guides Marcos and Brenda, who were taking us and about fifteen other people out snorkeling. We had read that it was the best place in the world to go snorkeling. The water was a lot warmer compared to the Grand Cayman and there were a lot more fish. I could feel them as I treaded through the turquoise water. Being the wander that I was, at one point I decided to swim farther and farther from my husband and the rest of the group. When I finally realized that I had gone far enough I decided to take one more look in the water before going back. And that's when I saw a Barracuda. It was slender with small scales, and a protruding lower jaw, and a large mouth with many large, sharp teeth. Although Barracudas are primarily fish eaters, I knew that they were potentially dangerous to humans.

My heart was beating so fast, and I tried to stay calm as I started to swim back to the group. When I looked back I saw that it was slowly following behind me. I swam a little faster and decided not to turn around. I made it back safe to the area in which the other tourists were viewing the more harmless fish. Richard didn't even realize I was gone. It wasn't until later that I told Marcos what I saw, and he wasn't too happy. I definitely learned my lesson, never swim with the fishes!

Richard and I had countless adventures during the week, and unforgettable moments in the room. When we weren't out exploring the islands, we were relaxing on the ship, sitting in the hot tub, sipping on mango pina coladas, napping in the lawn chairs on the top deck, listening to the sound of the lapping waves against the boat, and dancing to the live Jamaican band. We never used our two passes to the spa; we just treated each other with constant foot and back rubs.

When it was time to finally say goodbye to the paradise that we enjoyed for seven days out at sea, we were sad to leave, but happy to start our lives as husband and wife. On the way off the boat we ran into the couple that we met the first night, who believed the story of our illicit affair. I tried to say goodbye but they just kept walking, and I swear to this very day that I heard the wife say under her breath that we should to be a shame of ourselves. But we did have an affair that week, but it wasn't what the couple had imagined, we had an affair with the Caribbean Sea, and an affair that we shared together and we would always remember.