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Adventure of the Seas

St. Croix, Tortola, CocoCay

We have always sailed with Carnival because of our loyalty status with them and because they are the “fun ships”. However, we wanted to branch out and do something different this year, mainly because we’ve done all of the Caribbean ports that Carnival offers. We wanted something new. We have our friends from Mississippi that we like to vacation with and we all decided to try this one together.

On May 12, 2022 we booked the Voyager of the Seas through Royal Caribbean. I would never in a million years use a travel agent, and we booked directly through Royal Caribbean. I booked a Promenade View Interior for my kids, and an Ocean View Balcony for my wife and I. This voyage was out of Port Everglades to St. Croix, Tortola and Perfect Day at CocoCay.  We were excited to try something new, but nervous. We all felt like we were cheating on Carnival. 

On July 28th, 2022, we were notified by Royal Caribbean that our ship was being replaced and the Adventure of the Seas would be taking its place. No worries, we didn’t know what to expect with the ship change but we went with the flow. It’s time to start planning this vacation! (Though we still had 3 cruises before this one)

Fast forward to June 2023. It’s time for vacation! Raleigh is only 2 hours from us but we like to go early and enjoy the city before our flights. Plus it’s cheaper to get a hotel in Raleigh the night before and leave your vehicle there, than it is to pay for parking at RDU. We left home on Wednesday morning to head to Raleigh. Our first stop when we left home, was in Chapel Hill. I had a gift card from the General Alumni Association for my birthday to Johnny T-Shirt in Chapel Hill. We went to Johnny T-Shirt where I bought a new hat and a t-shirt with Vance Honeycutt (UNC Baseball) on it. Then we walked over to Chapel Hill Sportswear so we could shop some more.

Once we left Chapel Hill Sportswear we walked down to Target so my wife could buy something for the cruise. Then we ventured back up Franklin Street and stopped at le macaron to get some macarons! They were fantastic. When fall comes and I start going to Chapel Hill every weekend for games, she’s going to want me to bring her back macarons.

After we left Chapel Hill, we headed to Raleigh to I had booked the Homewood Suites on Miami Blvd. I tend to stick with Hilton or Marriott properties. I booked a 2 bedroom suite at the Homewood Suites for $171.63 after tax. Parking at RDU in the central lot would have been $160, so it was worth the $11 for a hotel for the night before. The hotel was conveniently located right next to I-40 near the airport. Just 2 exits down from where we normally stay. The hotel was good for a night stay.

After we dropped our luggage off at the hotel, we got back on the road and went to the Mordecai House (moor•de•cay) in Raleigh. We have been here before but without the kids. My youngest son was interested in seeing the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson. He really enjoyed the grounds, and this is a beautiful property.

The Mordecai House is a historic home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Built in 1785, it is the oldest residence in the city of Raleigh. The home has served as a private residence, a boarding house, and a museum. Today, the Mordecai House is a popular tourist destination and is part of the city’s Historic Oakwood neighborhood. Visitors can take guided tours of the home to learn about its history, architecture, and the families who lived there. The home is also surrounded by a park, which includes a visitor center that features exhibits on local history, as well as a gift shop and picnic areas. The Mordecai House is a great place to explore North Carolina’s rich history and experience life as it was in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Once we left Mordecai, we rode down to Crabtree Valley Mall to kill some time. We walked around the mall and my wife went and bought my son some shorts for formal night on the cruise. That’s something we had forgotten. We went in a few other stores, then walked over to Barnes & Noble so my son could look around. He ended up buying a geography book.

By this time, we had killed quite a bit of time, and were hungry and ready for dinner. We rode down to Chili’s on Glenwood near the mall. This is a Chili’s we’ve been to numerous times. I got a sirloin with shrimp and corn on the cob, my wife got a sirloin with broccoli and rice, my oldest got a bacon burger and my youngest got chicken crispers. The total for our meal was $87.74 after tip. We enjoyed our meal and were ready to relax. We headed back to our hotel, stopping at a gas station on the way to get airplane snacks. 🙂 We made it back to the hotel to wind down for the night. Tomorrow would be a big day!

Day 2: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

We “slept in” this morning rather than an early flight. Normally we fly out of Raleigh around 6am, but this flight didn’t leave until 1pm so we had a long morning. We got up and got ready and drove over to the Cracker Barrel in Morrisville, which is where we typically stay. There was a little wait but nothing dramatic. I think we waited 15 minutes for a table. The service was good and the food was great also. It was $66.94 for our breakfast.

After we finished eating at Cracker Barrel, we went back to the hotel to pack up. We got our stuff together and went downstairs to catch the airport shuttle to RDU about 12:00. We got to the airport about 15 minutes later, dropped our luggage off with the Southwest skycap then went in and breezed through security (thanks TSA-Pre) and to our gate to wait on our flight.

When we arrived at the gate to wait, the flight before ours was boarding. There was an older lady wanting to board the flight to Baltimore. She had a mask on and was complaining because she didn’t get to board the flight first. She kept hollering and cussing at the gate agent. They explained to her that for handicapped boarding that you needed to pre-register with the airline. She thought she should be first. They ended up making her board last. However, once it was her turn to board, she slammed a paper ticket down on the scanner, then cussed the agent as she started down the sky bridge to board the plane. At this point the agent had enough of this psycho. She said “boarding denied, come back”. The lady started to run down the sky bridge. They chased after her, and a scuffle ensued at the end just before she got on the plane. It took several people to get her back to the top. Finally RDU police came and escorted the lady away from the skybridge so that flight could continue. She kept saying “you’re going to make me miss my flight” but by then, the plane had already taxied to the runway. They ended up escorting her out of the airport. I don’t know if/how she ever made it to Baltimore but if I had been with her, I would have been so embarrassed. This lady was a basket case. Anyway…

Up next was our flight to Ft. Lauderdale. Finally it was our turn to board. We were positions A-21 through A-24. We got on, picked where we wanted to sit, got comfortable for a quick 1hr 40mi flight to FLL. Florida, here we come!

We made it to south Florida, but there was a bad storm in the area so we ended up circling the area for about 20 minutes waiting on the storm to pass so the pilot could safely land. We finally were able to land at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport, and went to get our luggage. We got our luggage and went out to get a ride to our hotel. I always compare Lyft and Uber, and in this instance Lyft was cheaper. I actually prefer Lyft because I get bonus Hilton points for using Lyft. Oscar picked us up in his LyftXL and took us the 7.60 miles to our hotel in 30m. The cost was $33.48.

I had us booked at the GalleryOne which is a DoubleTree (Hilton) property. It’s located at 2670 E. Sunrise Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale. I had us in a 2 bedroom suite with a balcony and ocean view. The cost for the stay was $316.44. The location for this hotel was fantastic, and the staff was fantastic. The water taxi picks you up right at the hotel and will take you along the water taxi route if you choose. There’s also a Publix and the Galleria Mall next door. It’s also about a half-mile from the beach.

We got to the hotel and dropped our luggage off. Prior to our arrival, I was notified of a Hilton Diamond reception at the hotel, so we went down to see what that was. We didn’t stay, just checked it out. Being familiar with the Ft. Lauderdale area, I am familiar with Circuit and had the app on my phone. Circuit is a free ride service in electric vehicles around Ft. Lauderdale. The drivers work for tips. I requested a Circuit pickup and Sean picked us up at the hotel to take us to BeachPlace.

We got to BeachPlace where we went to SurfStyle to look since we love shopping there, but we didn’t buy anything. Then, we went to Lulu’s Bait Shack which is my favorite place to eat in Ft. Lauderdale. We were going to ConMurphy but our friends went there and said it wasn’t good, so we stuck with Lulu’s which we’re familiar with. My wife ordered a grilled chicken meal, my oldest ordered a grilled chicken sandwich, my youngest ordered chicken strips and I ordered fried shrimp. After tip our total was $110.33.

After we finished eating dinner, we requested Circuit to pick us up and take us to Publix. We needed soda for the ship as well as wine. Alvin picked us up and took us to Publix. From there, we walked back next door to our hotel. When we got back to the hotel, we dropped our stuff off and went downstairs to talk to our friends. We spent time down there talking to them. When we were at Publix, they had NO Dr. Pepper. That was crazy. So I hopped on Instacart and ordered some Dr. Pepper and a bag of chips. It was $20.73 for a 12pk of Dr. Pepper and a bag of chips with free delivery on Instacart but it made her happy to have her Dr. Pepper. 

Day 3: Embarkation

We got up fairly early this morning since it was embarkation morning. We sat on the balcony for a bit enjoying the view of the canal. We decided to go downstairs and get breakfast. The boys didn’t want breakfast so it was just my wife and I. I ordered French toast with bacon, and she ordered bacon and eggs. One thing to note, this hotel does not have free breakfast since there is a restaurant on site. The restaurant is Vue on the Water. However if you’re a Hilton Honors member (gold or diamond) then your food and beverage credit works here. Breakfast was $60 for our 2 meals, but after the hotel applied our credit it was $30 for her and I. The food was very good though and good service as well.

Once we finished eating, we went back to the room to get ready to head to the port. We got ready and went downstairs to request our Uber. Donato picked us up at 10:30a and took us the 5.41mi to Port Everglades which took 17 minutes. The cost for the Uber with tip was $31.76. We got to Port Everglades and through security and found out way to the terminal.

Donato unloaded our luggage and gave it to the porter. I gave him $5 and in we went. From this point, Royal Caribbean was leaps and bounds above Carnival in terms of embarkation efficiency. We had The Key which is a perk you can buy with Royal Caribbean. We had a special line with nobody in it. We stopped at the first lady who took pictures of our Passports, then sent us upstairs to wait. We sat down in a priority area for about 3 minutes, then they started letting us on the ship. It literally took less than 10 minutes from the time I stepped out of our Uber until I had a foot on the ship. I could not believe how fast and efficient it was. With Carnival, you go through MULTIPLE checkpoints. Also something I really enjoyed about embarkation with Royal, is that their boarding passes are digital. With Carnival you have to actually print your boarding pass. It’s 2023, there’s no reason to print anything for vacations. I do not stop at a hotel lobby to “check in/out”, I do not print airline tickets, and I really don’t want to print boarding passes. I want to be paper free, especially on vacation. Good job with this Royal Caribbean! 

As soon as we embarked the ship, they asked us to go straight to our muster station, which we did. Since the kids were in their own cabin, we had 2 muster stations to visit but they were close. Carnival shows you how to put on a life vest. Royal tells you that’s your station, and to go there in an emergency. That is pretty much it. It honestly took less than 20 seconds at each muster station. We were finished 2 muster stations in under a minute.

Once we finished muster, we went to drop off our soda and carry on luggage at a designated area for guests with The Key. We did this, and headed to the main dining room where we had a special lunch for The Key guests, which included the Chops steakhouse menu. We all ordered filet mignon and shrimp, which was fantastic.

We finished our delicious lunch, then went to our cabins. They were nice, though they are smaller than Carnival. Also the balcony is not an open balcony like Carnival ships, though more like a cove balcony on the Dream, Vista & Excel Class ships. That’s actually our preference but if you like open balconies, you may not enjoy them. There was a lot more storage in the cabin, especially the bathroom. Also Royal has actual shower doors instead of the cheap curtains. The kids cabin was an “interior” but had a huge window looking into the promenade deck. They enjoyed that.

While we waited on sail-away, we toured the ship and checked things out. Meanwhile, a storm came up and it was BAD. In fact, the captain said it was hurricane force winds. He had the thrusters at 100% to keep us against the dock. There was even an ECHO ECHO ECHO alert going out. It was really bad. It didn’t last long at all though.

We finished checking out the ship, then sat on our balcony to watch sail away.

After sail away, we just relaxed around the ship for the rest of the day until it was dinner time. We got ready which we had “my time dining”. Royal Caribbean is totally different with their “my time dining” than Carnival. With Carnival, you can eat anytime between 5:15 and 9:00. When you’re ready to eat, you check-in on the Carnival Hub app. When your table is ready you receive notification on the app. You go to the dining room and straight to your table. Carnival has a fantastic system in place and “my time dining” is truly my time dining. With Royal, you have to make reservations ahead of time and the earliest I could get was 6:45pm, way later than we normally eat. Also when you arrive at the main dining room, you stand in line, then wait for your table if it isn’t available yet. There was also only one main dining room on this ship, that was 3 levels. With Carnival you have two MDRs on most ships that are 3 levels. When it comes to the main dining room, Royal is way behind in efficiency. That was our biggest complaint.

On night 1, we had Eri as our head waiter and Nita as his assitant. Royal Caribbean only has 2 people on the dining staff, whereas Carnival has 3. We really liked Eri and Nita and requested them each night. Every night we sat at the same table of theirs. After dinner which we very much enjoyed, we went to the “Welcome Aboard Show” in the theater which was fun. After that, we were beat as it had been a long day. We headed back to the cabin where we’d crash for the night. Tomorrow was a sea day so we could sleep in a bit.

Day 4: Sea Day

We woke up Sunday morning after sleeping in a bit. We called my youngest and woke him up so we could go to breakfast in the main dining room. The breakfast on the ship in the main dining room is really good, and fast. After we ate, there was a trivia game that he wanted to play. My son is VERY smart and he is obsessed with geography and flags. He’s in all AP/ Honors classes at school and loves that stuff. Todays trivia was identifying flags of the world. There were 20 flags to identify. As soon as the trivia host handed out the papers and said go, he started. He was finished his paper in 3 minutes. Everyone else took the entire 10 minutes and worked together as a family. He worked solo and knocked it out in no-time. Once time was up, papers were checked. He got 20 out of 20 correct. The second place was a family that worked together. They got 12 out of 20 correct. Proud dad moment!!

After we finished trivia, we went to lunch in the main dining room. This is one thing Royal has that Carnival doesn’t, is lunch in the dining room with a good menu. Carnival doesn’t offer lunch in the main dining room, ever. I ordered mozzerella sticks, a fried chicken sandwich and coconut cake.

Once we finished eating lunch, we went to let him get in the pool for a while. We sat there and watched him relax in the pool for a bit until he was done. I am not sure why he wanted to get in the pool. We have a huge pool in our back yard he can swim in anytime he wants. He normally doesn’t swim in the pool on ships. He enjoyed himself though. From the pool, we went to get ice cream, then spend some time and money in the arcade. We played in there for a bit, then decided to go back to the cabin and take naps until dinner.

Tonight at dinner was formal night. I was nervous about this because I didn’t know how Royal Caribbean handled their formal nights. Carnival dropped “formal” about a decade ago and now calls it “cruise elegant” night. I do not dress up, especially on vacation. I wear shorts/t-shirt and sandals to dinner every night with Carnival and wasn’t sure how it would flow on Royal. Thankfully it was the same. I was able to wear my shorts/sandals to formal night and didn’t have to dress up. whew!

After dinner, we went to a show in the theater. It was singing and dancing, which was good. Royal shows are much different than Carnival. Royal is more singing/dancing where Carnival is more of a storyline. Carnival has much better shows than Royal Caribbean I believe. After the show, we went to the cabin to crash for the night. 

Day 5: Sea Day

Today is Monday and our second day at sea. This day was a bust for my wife because she woke up not feeling well so she stayed in the cabin. I got up and went to breakfast in Windjammer then I went to a show in the theater and walked around the ship to take pictures. Finally about noon my youngest woke up and I went to get him from his cabin and take him out. We went to lunch in the main dining room, then he wanted to play putt-putt. Him and I played a round of putt-putt, then went to Johnny Rockets to get milkshakes. The milkshakes at Johnny Rockets are really good! I do prefer milkshakes on Carnival though. They just taste better. After Johnny Rockets, him and I went to another trivia, then went back to the cabin to relax on the balcony until dinner.

We got ready and went to dinner when it was time. We had dinner, then he was ready to go to the arcade before going to the cabin. I dropped him off at this cabin, then went to a comedy show. The comedian was Cary Long. He was okay. Honestly the comedy shows on Carnival are MUCH, MUCH better and the comedians are much funnier. Carnival also has multiple comedians each voyage and they have an adults only show and a family friendly show. On Royal Caribbean, there was only 1 comedian and it was all family friendly. He also only performed I think twice. Carnival wins the comedy battle, hands down. However, Royal Caribbean has their comedy show in the theater where there’s plenty of seating whereas Carnival has their comedy shows in the lounge where seating is limited. If Carnival would move their comedy shows to the main theater, it would be perfect.

We did make a quick stop by the casino after the show. The machines on Royal are very tight. As we ventured around, I was looking to see what people were winning and it was very low amounts. We walked out winning $120 but that was it. I see much more being paid out on Carnival. Also the casino is very very condensed on this ship. It is very hard to walk through and it’s pretty small. The décor is much better than Carnival around the casino, but that’s about it. I like on Carnival it’s a pathway through the casino and the machines are spread out. There’s also more machines on Carnival and the payout is much higher.

After the casino, we went back to the cabin to call it a night. Tomorrow was an early day and our first port of call.

Day 6: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

This port day has its own dedicated page. 

Once we got back to the ship from our day out around St. Croix, we took showers and sat on the balcony to watch us sail away from the port. After sailaway, we went down to dinner. After dinner, we went to Studio B to watch the Cool Art, Hot Ice ice skating show. This was VERY good and one of the best shows I have seen on any cruise ship. These skaters were amazing. Carnival has nothing that could compare to that. From there, we called it a night and went to bed. Tomorrow was another early port day.

Day 7: Tortola, British Virgin Islands

This port day has its own dedicated page. 

Once we were back on the ship from our fantastic day in Tortola, we took showers and sat on the balcony and watched sail away. As we were sailing away we passed by many of the 50 islands that make up the BVI, including a private island with a house on it. After some research, I found that house is called “Aerial BVI” and is a private retreat owned by Britnie Turner. You can go stay at that house starting at $950 a night. It was beautiful though!

After we finally got past most of the little islands, we got ready and went to dinner. Once we finished eating, we went to the “Friendly Feud” show which is a knockoff of Family Feud. This was in a lounge and seemed very unorganized. Carnival wins at this, as they actually have a license to use the “Family Feud” name and set like Family Feud. We ended up leaving early from this, and went to the theater to see Jimmy Hopper perform. He was good and gave a good show. He’s a regular in Las Vegas so it was your typical Las Vegas style show. No complaints though, he was really good. Tonight was “70’s night”, so after Jimmy Hopper we went to the promenade deck where there was a deck party inside with the dancers up on the platform leading a deck dance. That was fun.

Once we were done at the deck party, we went back to the cabin to get ready for bed. It had been a long day and we were tired. Tomorrow is a sea day!

Day 8: Sea Day

Today was a sea day so we got to sleep in a bit. When we finally did wake up, we all went to the main dining room for breakfast which was good. After that, we went to the arcade so my youngest could play some more. Him and mom spent time playing in the arcade, and then we went to Johnny Rockets to get milkshakes. After milkshakes, we went to play putt-putt again, then table tennis. It was a fun afternoon around the ship. Since we had The Key, we had private reservations for rock climbing, ice skating and Flowrider. However neither kid wanted to do this, so we went to a Q&A with the cast members which there the ice captain and dance captain answered questions from the audience. After that, the captain had an hour long Q&A as well. This was VERY interesting. We always skip talking to the captain on Carnival because all of the captains with Carnival are Italian. You can never understand what they’re saying. The captain on this ship was Canadian and you could understand him. It was nice, and VERY informative. I am so glad I attended this.

Once this Q&A ended, we went to the cabin to get ready for dinner and relax.

After dinner, we went to “Can’t stop the rock” show in the theater. This was supposed to be a rock show, I think. However, most of the songs were not rock. It was very disappointing and Carnival definitely has the best rock show. The performers weren’t bad, but it wasn’t the rock show we were used to seeing on Carnival.

We watched the “Can’t Stop The Rock” show, then went to Studio B to catch the end of the “Battle of the Sexes” show. That was probably the funniest show we saw the entire voyage. It was great. After the “Battle of the Sexes” show, they had “The Crazy Quest”. This is very similar to “Quest” on Carnival, except much, much more tame. It’s a G rated version of “Quest”. If you want a family friendly show that you could take your kids to, then “The Crazy Quest” on Royal Caribbean would be fun for you. If you want an adults only, more fun show, then “Quest” on Carnival is for you. We prefer “Quest”.

After “The Crazy Quest”, we went to get pizza then to the cabin to crash for the night. Tomorrow was a port day at Coco Cay.

Day 9: Perfect Day at CocoCay

This port day has its own dedicated page. 

Once we were back on board for good for the day, we relaxed for a bit then began to pack our stuff up. This was our last night on the ship and we hate the last night. Royal asks that your luggage be out by 10pm, earlier than Carnival. Since we’ve been eating late and going to things after dinner, we packed up before dinner so we could enjoy our night. What a sad thing to do.

We went to dinner, then we went to the farewell show. Jimmy Hopper performed again at this. Afterward we met with Kabir our cruise director (former Carnival CD!!) and Grace. They were awesome the whole cruise, and I really liked them. We also met Jimmy Hopper afterward. From there, we went to the library which was near our cabin where we’d hang out with our Mississippi family for a bit. We met them on a cruise back in 2017 I believe it was. We’ve been cruising with them ever since, at least once a year. Even during Covid when cruises were paused, we all flew to Cancun and vacationed together. I am not sure if we’ll cruise with them again next year due to personal issues, but 2025 we’ll definitely be back at it. Perhaps on Royal Caribbean? We shall see.

Day 10: Debarkation / Ft. Lauderdale

This is the saddest day of any voyage, on any cruise line – Debarkation day. 🙁 They kick you off of the ship, which is sad. We woke up early to get the last of our things together. We also had a special debarkation breakfast as The Key guests, so we went to the main dining room for our breakfast. The breakfast was very good. While we were at breakfast, they called The Key to debark which was one of the first groups. We finished our breakfast and walked right off of the ship. We went to the terminal, got our luggage and out we went. Royal Caribbean is leaps and bounds better than Carnival when it comes to debarkation. With Carnival, everyone is congregating and hanging out in public areas and you can’t move plus it takes FOREVER to get off of the ship. With Royal Caribbean, it was so smooth and there were no lines, no waiting, nothing. It was as smooth as embarkation. I could not believe it. Since we have Passports, we went through the Passport line which uses facial recognition and out we were. We were officially back stateside.

We walked to the rideshare area where I would request our ride to our day use hotel. In this instance, Uber was the cheapest. Gustavo picked us up on his UberXL and took us the 3.90 miles in 10 minutes to Riverside Hotel on Las Olas, for $24.09 after tip. 

I had reserved the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas through dayuse.com. The cost was $134.47 for a classic 2 queen bedroom. The Riverside Hotel is a historic landmark hotel that was built in 1936. It has been updated and renovated over the years, but still maintains its old-world charm and atmosphere. The hotel is located in the heart of Ft. Lauderdale’s downtown, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and nightlife. The hotel offers a variety of accommodations to suit all needs, from standard rooms to luxury suites. There is also a rooftop pool and terrace, fitness center, and several on-site dining options.

We dropped our stuff off at the hotel, then decided to go back to SurfStyle to buy some shirts and hang out around the beach. I requested Circuit to pick us up, but after waiting 10 minutes I cancelled it and just requested an Uber. Adrian picked us up in his UberX and took us the 2.21 miles in 7 minutes to the beach, for $7.71.

We walked down to SurfStyle and bought about $100 worth of shirts, and my youngest bought something for his grandma. From there, we walked up to Las Olas Park where they were having their weekend market going on. They had the best looking fruit and other goodies. We ended up buying quite a bit of fruit and goodies. My son tried dragonfruit, and my wife bought some blackberries, blueberries, strawberries. My oldest son and I bought smoothies. We also bought lots of cookies from KukieMunchster. Those cookies were DELICIOUS!!! From the farmers market, we went up to CVS at BeachPlace to buy airplane snacks. We sat at the beach for a bit, before requesting Circuit to pick us up and take us back to the hotel. Jean picked us up in Circuit and took us back to Riverside.

At the hotel we dropped off our goodies we purchased at the beach, then decided to go find some lunch and shop a bit. We stopped in the Yeti store as well as SaltLife and made some purchases. We then went to B-Square Burgers & Booze for lunch. The service was very mediocre but the food was fandamntastic. My son ordered a hamburger, my wife got steak frites and I got a spicy chicken sandwich. It was great! It was about $75 for lunch. We then walked back to the hotel room where my son and I would rest a bit, while my wife took a shower.

We had a 4:00 flight to Raleigh, so about 2:30 we packed up and got ready to head to the airport. This time, Lyft was cheaper. Delroy picked us up in his LyftXL and took us the 4.88 miles in 17 minutes to Ft. Lauderdale International Airport for $24.89. I dropped off our luggage with the Southwest skycap and we breezed through security. We made our way to our gate where we’d wait on our flight.

While waiting, 4 guys came and sit across from me. Those 4 guys were UNC baseball players!! I talked to them a bit, and one was Vance Honeycutt. On day 1 I mentioned I bought his Air Honeycutt shirt in Chapel Hill. I told him I bought his shirt, talked to him some, then it was time to board the flight. They were flying back to Raleigh with us.

We made it back to Raleigh with no issues, very uneventful. There was a birthday on the flight, so the flight crew turned off the lights in the cabin, had everyone turn on their call bell to make the blue lights come on, and we all sang happy birthday to the passenger. It was really cool for Southwest to do this.

We landed at RDU, called Homewood Suite to send their shuttle to pick us up. They got there fairly quickly, picked us up and took us back to the hotel so we could get our car. We were on the road at 8pm. We did stop at Chick-Fil-A in Chapel Hill on the way home for dinner. Then when we made it to Greensboro realized the NC GOP convention was taking place at the Koury Convention Center, so we hit a lot of traffic there since Trump and Pence was in town. We made it home by 10:30, got unpacked, took showers and hit the bed. We had an amazing vacation, had lots of fun but as Dorothy said, there’s no place like home.

Next cruise is in 30 days, time to start preparing!

Laila