My dad spent two years in the Navy, and my childhood was filled with his stories from the sea. He would talk about standing on the side of the ship, watching and contemplating the vast expanse of the ocean. The exhilaration of sailing in to a new port. The adventure of exploring a new destination. These stories fascinated me and captured my imagination.

When Gina and I started talking about the possibility of going on a cruise, this was the first thing I thought of. Not the entertainment, or the food, or even the warm temps. I thought about life on the sea, just like my dad had experienced so many years ago. After several months of waiting and planning, the time finally came to board the ship, and I was not disappointed. For the better part of two days, all I wanted to do was go out on the deck of our room and watch the ocean. We breathed in the air, listened to the waves, looked for distant ships, and stood in awe of the vast expanse. In this regard, it was an experience not matched by any other in my entire life.

When it comes to taking a vacation, I have to say a cruise is a wonderful way to go. There are many activities to do on the ship. Sam and Nate were especially fond of miniature golf  and the endless supply of softserve ice cream. Gina liked the pools and the towel animals. Me? I liked the ocean. And the ice cream.

Our first two days were spent at sea. These two days went surprisingly fast, and there is so much to do on the ship to pass the time. Our first stop was in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We then went to Grand Cayman, and we spent our final day in Cozumel. I would write an entire volume on each day, but in the interest of time I will let the pictures do the explaining.

The cruise was a perfect way to spend the New Year, and I can't think of a better way to spend time with family and relax at the onset of a busy semester. We ate, we laughed, spent time in the sun and water, and most importantly, we shared memories that will last a lifetime. The boys are already asking when we will do it again, which is  a good sign.