Friday, January 30, 2015

Caribbean Running Cruise - we're on our way!

Independence of the Seas
What is it about going on vacation that means you are crazy busy at work for the week before you go? But never mind -- today we're flying to Fort Lauderdale, and tomorrow we set sail!
You may recall that we hadn't really thought about going on this trip -- we loved our Alaska Running Cruise, we adore John and Jenny, and we loved our Inca Trail Adventure... but it wasn't until a Manhattan-tinged evening with J&J that we thought, well, you know, we do love a bit of winter sun...
Even then, this almost snuck up on us... probably because we're absurdly spoiled and had a couple of other trips in between! So a little hurried packing, some last-minute house tidying (can't let our cat-sitter, Andrew, know that we live in squalor!), and an early morning Uber to the airport... and we're on the flight
It's funny... flying on a Friday to Fort Lauderdale means that the plane is FULL of people going on cruises. We can hear others talking about their itineraries, listing ports, etc. -- and clearly, a lot of people are on our ship. I didn't spot any obvious running cruisers, however -- but I wouldn't be surprised if there was someone on board with us!
In the last week or so, people have been asking us about the cruise, and where we're going. I think both of us were a little embarassed to realize that we haven't *really* thought about it much. I mean, we're not driving, we're just passengers! And we know the basic set-up: we get to a port, get off the boat, and run. :) It wasn't until two days ago that we read through the cruise info...
So, in nutshell, here's our itinerary:
Saturday, January 31 - we set sail aboard the Independence of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale at 5pm. We'll have a welcome reception with John, Jenny, and our fellow runners, and then head to dinner.
Sunday, February 1 - we have a morning session with Jenny, then the rest of the day free while we're at sea. Apparently, there's a football game on in the evening? We'll also do our first run -- a 3-mile deck run. At night. With glow necklaces. (Now, I LOVE a deck run -- looping around the ship as it's sailing is pretty awesome. But add in glow necklaces and I'm pretty much in heaven. Spoiler alert - I've brought my Brite Pink RUN HAPPY calf sleeves for this one!)
Monday, February 2 - another sea day, we'll have an afternoon session with John, but we're otherwise free. Dinner in the evening, drinks after.
Tuesday, February 3 - we have an early morning race briefing, then we have a "scenic 10K" in St. Maarten. Should be a lovely day -- we arrive at 8, start running at 8:15, and then have until 6pm to explore the town. (Apparently, there's a local liqueur called "Guavaberry"...) Dinner, drinks, repeat.
Wednesday, February 4 - we have an early morning race briefing, then we're off the ship in Basseterre, St. Kitts for a traditional Hash House Harriers 10K trail run. To get to the start, we'll pile in buses for a 25-minute ride, run in a botanical garden, then celebrate with a traditional Hash House Harrier ceremony and BBQ lunch. We have the rest of the day to explore -- apparently Basseterre has beautiful 18th-century architecture -- before the ship sails at 5pm. Dinner, drinks...
Thursday, February 5 - another early morning race briefing, then we're off on a Pirate-themed Amazing Race! 10K-ish... if you don't get lost... but we'll have a chance to explore San Juan, Puerto Rico as we go. We have less time in this port -- the ship sails at 2pm -- but we *might* just make it out to the Bacardi distillery... Then dinner, drinks, the usual.
Friday, February 6 - sleep-in day! Our race briefing is at 9am, and we'll be off the ship at 10 and start our relay race shortly after. We'll be running four miles each... assuming our little legs haven't given out on us by this point! We'll spend the rest of the day relaxing in Labadee, Haiti -- Royal Caribbean's private paradise. Back on the ship before 6, then dinner, drinks, and some celebrating.
Saturday, February 7 - our last day at sea, and pretty much open. We'll have our award ceremony and farewell reception starting at 3, then dinner, then ... there will be DANCING.
Sunday, February 8 - it's back to reality, as we disembark (debark? surely that's something one does to a tree?), and fly home to Seattle.

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