This has been one of the strangest (and most fun) weeks ever. I know most of you are also on Facebook, so you probably know all about our foggy adventures on the cruise. If you do, skip the next paragraph!
For anyone not on Facebook, let me catch you up... We left last Thursday for our annual no-kids, much-beer, Buckeye Cruise for Cancer. This is a charter cruise full of Ohio State fans and all the money raised goes to the Urban and Shelley cancer fund and the James Cancer Hospital. It's a really great cause and these people are doing some AMAZING things to help understand and treat cancer. This year we raised 2 million dollars. All while on vacation. Pretty awesome - right!
Anyway, this is our 3rd cruise and they are all super fun. We spent Friday at sea. Saturday we went to an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel. If you are ever on a cruise stop in Cozumel, check out Papitos... very nice place and the food/drinks MORE than met our expectations. (That's code for we all, but mostly Bob, got over-served by way of a 24" margarita and some other appropriately beachy beverages.) Sunday was another at-sea day, which are my favorite kind of relaxing days! The next morning, Monday, we were to get back to Tampa and head home.
When we woke up on Monday morning, we were greeted by thick fog and announcement from the captain that our arrival in Tampa would be delayed because the port was closed due to poor visibility. This happened a couple of years ago too when we were delayed about 45 minutes while the fog cleared. So we decided to head up for some buffet breakfast and wait it out. Our next announcement started to paint a picture that was not at all the same as the other fog delay we had been through. They gave us all free wifi and started talking about what restaurants and public areas would be open throughout the day. Odd... but we were still blissfully unaware of our real situation.
As the sun came up it became clear (well actually the opposite of clear) how thick the fog was. You could not see ANYTHING. The visibility was probably less than 100 feet. We took advantage of the free (albeit very spotty) wifi and found out, to our GREAT surprise that we were no where near Tampa. We were all the way down by Key West. Odd... We found out that once we started moving again we still had 4-5 hours of travel time. Hmmmm....
Bob and I had driven to Tampa so we were actually in much better shape than most of the people on board. There was quite a lot of scrambling to rearrange travel plans. Many people lost flights and spent $$$ on new ones.
Around 10:30 it became clear that the fog wasn't going anywhere and neither were we. We bought a bucket of beers and settled in. Sometime after lunch we got an announcement that the weather service was saying that the fog was going to be in place until 1 AM so we were going to stay where we were until that time, with plans to arrive in Tampa early the next morning. We bought another bucket of beer.
We had dinner that night and enjoyed our extra downtime. The ship, surrounded by the thickest fog I've ever seen, was very creepy. I kept waiting for the Black Pearl to appear. But the Royal Caribbean crew and our fellow Buckeye passengers could not have handled the situation better. It really is an experience we will never forget. We survived the Great Fog on the BC4C 2015. And yes, there WILL be T-shirts made to prove it!!
We went to bed that night prepared to get up and off the ship the next morning.
The next morning we woke up to thick fog and an announcement from the captain in what can only be described as a weirdly Groundhog's Day moment. Our fellow passengers scrambled once again with flight arrangements. Royal Caribbean was SO helpful. They set up direct lines to all the major airlines and did whatever they could to help. We... bought another bucket of beer.
There were many announcements throughout the day. There was discussion of taking us to Miami as the fog was SO persistent. There were many assurances that there was plenty of food and "supplies". We relaxed and had fun.
Around lunchtime the captain announced that we had moved to the top of the priority list of all the vessels waiting to get to port. The coast guard was going to let us start moving up the channel. It was a little scary because you really couldn't see anything at all. We had 2 or 3 little coast guard pilot boats leading us through the water and making sure we didn't run into anyone else. There were boats of all variety scattered about the ocean. Freaky! We enjoyed the trip in our favorite spot, the Solarium, with a bucket of beer.
We made it to port around 7 PM on Tuesday. So our vacation was extended by a couple of days and I can't even pretend to say it wasn't pretty cool. We were able to relax and enjoy because my parents are THE BOMB!!! They were so helpful to us in so many ways. I never once worried that the boys were OK even though I know Berber and Pappy were exhausted. They also helped us make phone calls and rearrange appointments that we were missing. I am so thankful for them! They are awesome!!! And Zane has not stopped talking about Berber since we got home. The boys had a blast getting to spend some special time with them too.
So I'm not sure how we will ever top the BC4C 2015. It may just go down in history as one of the most memorable vacations we will ever have. But you know what... I think we'll try to make some more Buckeye Cruise memories in 2016! (PS - Join us!!! It's the most fun vacation you will ever go on! If you are interested, let me know and I will make sure you know when they release destination and booking information for next year. It will sell out again.)
Here's a little picture of the fog from the ship. Fog is actually really hard to photograph... lol
PS - We didn't drink buckets of beer the whole trip. Sometimes we had Cosmos and sometimes we had pina coladas and other times we had wine. :)