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Let us flash back January 15, 2020 when I had a complete mental breakdown and booked a cruise to “celebrate*” my 35th birthday. I was pumped and wouldn’t shut up about it. I even wrote a post about how much I was planning to be as obnoxious as possible about it. Nothing is worse than I am after I’ve booked a cruise.

Then the pandemic started rolling in and instead of a cruise vacation, all I could see was a giant question mark. And then that question mark became a giant X and it was all over. No cruise for me.

Initially I had taken the future cruise credits over a refund because I had hope that I’d be back at life in no time. And then the shutdowns began and I needed the money more than I needed a future cruise.

It would be over a year before cruising resumed and about ten months after that before I would be setting sail again.

This was all just a long-winded way of saying that the reason y’all didn’t get an update last week is because I was on a cruise.

I cracked a couple months ago and decided that I needed a reset. Things haven’t been the greatest and getting out of town seemed like the best idea. It didn’t quite work but it was a start.

A story for another time.

The point is- two years after I was supposed to celebrate my birthday at sea, I finally was able to do so.

*Oh, I should note that the reason I put celebrate in quotes is more because I’m really over the idea of birthdays. Not because I’m bummed about getting older but more because I find the concept of a big commotion about it exhausting.

FUN FACT: My first cruise was for my 30th birthday and it was on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. Now, seven years later, I celebrated my 37th birthday on the same ship. This is actually the same ship I would have been on for my 35th but, again, pandemic.

Not gonna lie, it was good to be back. We had The Key which is basically Royal Caribbean’s fast pass so we were among the first people to board the ship. The process was a breeze. From parking to stepping on board the ship was about 15 minutes.

The biggest stress was getting COVID tested prior to boarding the making sure the results came in time. I ended up getting two tests done since I was afraid I would not have the results from the first in time to set sail.

But there was nothing to worry about.

True to cruise tradition, I snagged a Smoky Rita as my first drink back. That would be my only one for this trip but it was damn good and I nearly cried drinking it.

I don’t think I ever wrote about it but I had discovered back in 2019 on that cruise that I was allergic to tequila. Nothing that will kill me but I end up breaking out in hives if I have too much, so I limit my intake.  Bit of a bummer since I love margaritas but such is life.

It was a pretty low-key first night if I’m being honest. I’m a wildly boring person and all I wanted from this trip was the chance to relax and recharge.

After dinner we did take in the ice skating show “Freeze Frame” which was a lot of fun while being WILDLY anxiety producing. I can barely walk without tripping over my feet so watching some of the things the performers were doing on ice skates blew my mind and had me freaking out that someone was going to die.

I believe that’s the sign of a good show. Some say “leave your audience wanting more” while these performers said, “leave Josh with mild cardiac episodes.”

Bravo/a to all!

I have more stories to tell but I wanted to leave y’all wanting more… and I didn’t want this post to be too long. So here’s some photos from the show!

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