Wait a minute, didn't she say a Canadian cruise? Yes, that is right. The next day we checked the status of the cruise and noticed a "slight" itinerary change. The cruise would now be going up north to Canada, rather than Mexico, due to the blasted swine flu! Needless to say, we were rather upset at first; however, after accepting the inevitable, we became very excited to visit a place we probably would never have considered otherwise and it turned out to be a gorgeous and most enjoyable trip.
So we drove from Provo to Orange County, California on Saturday, May 9th. Zach and Kaari are both originally from California and luckily Zach's parents live a short drive from the port we were to be departing from the next afternoon. The drive to California itself turned out to be quite the adventure. To make a very long story short, as soon as we drove into Las Vegas, Zach's van completely stopped working and we were somehow able to coast off of the freeway and right into a parking area. For some reason, in that same empty parking lot, there was a towing man sitting in his truck having a smoke break. The towing man came over and helped as best he could; however, none of them really knew what was wrong with the van. Eventually the tow man was called onto his next job, but said he would offer his services if we ended up needing to be towed anywhere.
We had left Provo rather late as it was and this setback was not exactly what we needed. We had planned to arrive in California at 10 pm, but that wasn't looking possible at this rate. We knew we needed to get to California by the next day to make our cruise departure; we considered trying to find a way to get it fixed, getting a rental car, or even flying. None of these options sounded very good because none of us were keen on spending anymore money than we already had for the cruise. After many phone calls, a hand from a possible mafia member, renting a Toyota Corolla, and a huge fight, we were on our way again to California four hours later with the now (kind of) working van followed by the rental car. We arrived at Zach's house at approximately two or three in the morning. Unfortunately, not one of us thought to take a picture of the fiasco.
Now on to the positive side of the trip. We were very excited to board the cruise ship; neither Jason nor I had been on a cruise before. Due to the swine flu upset, Jason was able to upgrade our room to one that had a window. Not only that, but each passenger was given a $100 credit on the ship. Overall, we spent the week relaxing, eating, playing Nertz, watching shows, and getting fried on the way back.
The main lobby and elevators
The indoor pool
The food was absolutely amazing and unlimited. We often got multiple entrees and desserts. We had a great time getting to know our waiter and waitress, who ended up being a married couple who met working on the cruise ship.
The cruise made two stops, one in Victoria and one in Vancouver. Both turned out to be very beautiful cities and both are places we definitely want to visit again in the future. In Victoria, we spent the day walking around the quaint and historic city and visited the famous Butchart Gardens.
...stay tuned for a posting on the Butchart Gardens and our day in Vancouver...