The last week of May 2010, my family and I headed off to New York City to board the Cruise ship Miracle. It was the biggest ship I had ever seen in my life. I was shocked to see how many people were on the ship and how big it was. It took about two hours to get our bag checked in, go to the desk to get checked in on the ship and go through scanners to make sure nothing is getting on the ship illegal and that I was the person I said I was.
When we got on the ship we toured the ship and found our rooms so we knew exactly what floor and how to get to them. After doing that we went up top where it’s nice and open. The day was nice and sunny with some wind. Everyone was looking off into the Hudson River and all the buildings we could see around us. Finally we everyone was on the ship started to move out. We passed the statue of liberty and Ellis Island known for the gateway of immigrants into the United States. After getting through the Hudson River we said bye to land and hello to water.
I was happy to be on the ship and we looked around and all the shops. There were adult shops, clothing, jewelry, a library, a casino, a theater, dancing room, bars, two dining areas and much more.
When the time came everyone on the ship had to go out on the side of the boats and line up as close as we could. The instructors had to teach everyone how to put on their life jackets if an emergency were to happen and where certain people would be going. Each person had a deck depending on where your room is.
That night we all explored but when dinner time came around cameras were out. Every night before dinner professional photographers would set up different backdrops and take photos of family and friends. Everyone would be all dressed up and lined up waiting to get their pictures done. It was a nice thing to get done because we finally got updated family portraits. Some of them were funny and some were serious.
Dinner was amazing. Our family had the same server every night. The menu changed every night as well. The food was always good and captain made an announcement to us all.
That night I found out that all of the workers on the ship are from different places all around the world. They wouldn’t t see their families for months at a time because they would be on the ships for so long. There were people from Europe, Africa, the United States and Australia. It was so fascinating, all I had to do was look at their name tags to see where they were from and their names were all so different.
After dinner our family went to the theater to see what was going on, there was a show but we didn’t stay we wanted to look around and just get used to the boat. The next morning we went to get breakfast. There was everything anyone could every want for breakfast. From pastries, cereal, yogurt, to breakfast pizza, any type of drink, any kind of omelet, and/or breakfast sandwich.
When breakfast was over we went out to the pool it was kind of chilly the next day and all u could see out the windows was water for miles and miles. At one point we saw another ship passing right by us in the distance. On this day we checked out all the activities; we found out where the kid’s activities were and all the shows going on. There was scrapbooking, a kids club for any age, island music playing and a nice relaxing day. Food was out most of the day and ice cream was out 24/7.
That night it rained and no one was up on deck as well as the ship was rocking so bad I almost got sick. Dinner was great, there was dancing and talking to everyone around us. That night we saw a show for kids; my little sister loved it and joined the next day.
On the third day the family woke up, went for breakfast and got out in the sun to have some fun. Island music was playing most of the day and kids were playing in the pools. On the upper deck people were playing ping pong and running around. My little sister Danika went to her kids club and had a blast playing games and looking out at the water. I tried going to the front of the ship but it was so windy there was no way I was going to make it up there, at least not that day. After a while I went to the library and got some homework I had to get done out of the way. We had a day of fun, going to the dancing room and watching other people dance as well as my parents (dad can’t dance) and then dinner and to bed for a long day in San Juan the next morning.
On the fourth day we woke up got ready for the day had breakfast and went up top just on time to watch us going into San Juan It was such a beautiful Place. We saw the fortress on our side. With two guys on this tiny boat trying to catch some fish we waved hello and they just watched; it was funny to watch them look at the huge ship. When we finally got through all of the traffic and got out to the dock we walked around San Juan and found the fortress. It was filled with cats. Cats were everywhere from white and orange to black as black. My family and I called it the island of cats. Grandma made us walk the fortress and we all thought it would lead us to something cool and amazing nope it was a complete dead end. Walking back it was about to storm we didn’t even get half way back and it was pouring. We were drenched and had to run and get under the bridge at the front of the fortress; even though it didn’t do anything we were still all wet. After the rain slowed down and eventually to a stop we walked around town and found a church. My sister and I looked inside and the ceilings were so high and the art on the walls and floors was just amazing. The roads were very small, and the homes didn’t look very healthy at first sight. We didn’t get much in San Juan but we did see all kinds of shops from really expensive to really cheap. But everything was so interesting to look at. How they lived and the colors they used were bright. I saw a house that was bright yellow. The smell was kind of musty. I was scared the people in San Juan wouldn’t understand me and I wouldn’t understand them but there wasn’t a problem with that at all. They understood us very well and most of them knew English. When it was time to get on the boat we were all so sad because we wanted to explore more but it was time to go to the next place. As a family we were happy to though because we came back with a funny memory of walking the fortress to find a dead end and walking back in a storm drenched head to toe the rest of the day in San Juan.
That night at dinner there was lasagna I remember that because it was spinach lasagna and our waiter started to connect on what I liked and didn’t and told me I wouldn’t like it so I got lasagna and chicken that night. But I loved the lasagna it was so delicious and I wish I knew how they made it. Our waiter knew exactly what kind of bread I wanted and what drink I was going to get. It was amazing.
Every night after dinner we would go to our rooms to see what animal the cleaners made out of a towel. It was pretty neat. Our first night was an elephant, second was a dog, third was a frog, and forth was a turtle. Danika was always so excited to see them she would run to our rooms with the key and see what was created next.
The fifth day we woke up in St. Thomas. The day was kind of crappy. It was raining and the clouds were very dark. But the air was humid and warm. That day we went shopping for a little while and then my dad, older sister Aryona and I all went back towards the ship for scuba diving. We got on this boat and traveled way out in the ocean to this tiny island that no one is allowed on because environmentalists have forbidden anyone to go on it. it’s an island where animals can live and no one can run it. I was really scared to go out because I’m not the best swimmer but we put on these flippers and goggles as well as life jackets. When looking in the water it was really dark because the sun wasn’t out it was really gloomy. But when we opened up the hatch to walk into the water u could see all types of fish, blue yellow orange and from really small to huge fish bigger than my head. At first going out in the water I panicked but they gave me a tube and everything was great. The guy warned us not to open our mouths at any time and he was right. The water was so gross it was so salty u wanted to throw up. We saw and sunk in ship and a shark that had no teeth one of the owners went down and swam through the ship and all these fish came out. There was a starfish that we all got to hold as well as this pokie ball. It was like a porky pine but in the water it was so cool. The water was kind of choppy because it was raining and windy but no one cared we were already in the water getting wet and the instructors said it was safe to go out at this point. It was so much fun.
Talking to the instructors on the way back two of them are married and studied abroad for a couple of years. The married couple had everything before they moved to St. Thomas. The guy worked at a business making a lot of money and the lady was still going to school. But they said they just weren’t happy. Money wasn’t what made them happy. After that experience I realized that happiness is more important than money and in order to get where you want you have to work for it. I mean there are some things money can buy like college. But otherwise money isn’t everything and there are people that aren’t greedy. After we got off the boat my sister, dad and I went back to the ship. It was time to board and my mom, younger sister and grandma were already on the boat. While the boat was being loaded up with everyone I realized I made another great memory. Spending the day with my sister and dad I hadn’t done that in a long time and it felt good to be close to them again.
While the rest of the family went to dinner my older sister stayed behind and slept for a little bit. We had a fun night with dancing and getting to know more about the waiter that we had. More about his family and that he only gets a certain amount of time with his wife and kids and then back on the ships. He also stays on the ship for a certain time and just sends his family money. Some of the workers on the ship aren’t even allowed to get off of the ship because they don’t have passes or visas.
That night we went to go see a show in the theater and it was great. There was dancing and singing and a comedian as well.
The next day was our last island Grand Turk. It was the best day nice and sunny hot and the water was clear as day. When we got there I could see the ocean on the other side of the island. That’s how small it was. There wasn’t much to do there but we went on the beach for a little while and went shopping at the stores that were there. But then we found a better place to go. Margaritaville, it was so much fun they had the biggest pool I have ever seen. There was a DJ and contests going on. People and kids were swimming talking and getting along. The food was amazing and my family and I had a great time. We spent the whole day there and then had to board the ship.
My family and I knew the time was coming to an end. We watched the sun go down and the ship move away from the island. This was our second to last dinner and my parents went dancing and to a bar on their own while the kids went and did their own thing.
The next day was a ship day it was our last day there and it was nice and sunny. I got some sun but finished the rest of my homework. This trip was very important to me because my family is Hispanic and came from Puerto Rico. It was nice to see where my grandfather was from and my heritage. To learn and see their land and living area, what they have to offer. It was a beautiful place to go and I would go again. If I went again I would want to stay more time. To learn more about their language and be more affiliated with what they are all about. I learned that money is everything, that even though outside of this ship people have a hard time with diffusion of other cultures.
But on this ship thousands of people from different cultures, states and languages come together for weeks and months and get along. I am glad to be able to tell this story to others and have sentimental connection to this vacation.
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