Seeing as our honeymoon turned out less than what we had hoped and dreamed for, we decided that for our first anniversary we would try again. A second honeymoon if you will. (We even told people it was our honeymoon to try to really enjoy the whole experience, which got us a room upgrade thank you very much!) After doing lots of research, we were not going to end up in a hotel with blood stains again, we decided to go to the Dreams Nuevo Vallarta. We had been to the Dreams in Cabo San Lucas a few years earlier and absolutely loved it, so we figured it was a fairly safe bet. And I mean, who can say no to this view!
The property was beautiful, our room was awesome, and we were definitely enjoying this honeymoon do-over much more than the first experience. Of course we had done more research and purchased fake wedding bands to help ensure this would turn out better than the last. We were truly enjoying the time together and the break from reality.
We decided to spend most of our time at the resort, but that for our actual anniversary we wanted to do something special. We decided on a dinner cruise and show. We would board a boat around 5pm, take a one hour cruise to a nearby island where we would enjoy a romantic Mexican dinner and a traditional show. The excursion showed pictures of beautiful beach sunsets, awesome fire and dancing shows, amazing food and a romantic date. Sounds awesome right?!?
The night of our anniversary, we got dressed up and took pictures on our balcony before heading to the boat dock. As we got to the excursion office it started to lightly rain. But the boat had a cover so we figured a little rain wouldn't hurt us. We listened to a comedian who was entertaining the group before we boarded and before we knew it we were setting sail to our island dinner. We took a few pictures on the ship and the crew started handing out tropical drinks. I was so excited for a fun anniversary experience.
On our balcony before heading to our anniversary excursion
Just boarding the ship, before the storm started
About 20 minutes into the trip, the light rain turned into a downpour, which turned into the worst thunder and lightning storm I've ever witnessed. Bear in mind I was raise in upstate New York on Lake Ontario, where thunder storms roll in off the lake on a weekly basis in the summer, so I was used to thunder and lighting. I also happen to be terrified of thunder and lightning. Before I knew it, we were sailing through 20 foot waves, water was rushing in the boat with every high and low the boat hit, and I could see lighting strike the water all around us. The boom of the thunder was so loud I could feel it in my chest. Tears started pouring down my face as Dan tried to comfort me and other passengers clung to their loved ones and children.
I was screaming at the crew telling them how unsafe this was and how badly I wanted off the boat. All I got in return was a "you're fine, we have life jackets, take a shot!" I've never been so sure we weren't going to make it back alive in my life. Half of the passengers got sick from the rocking of the boat, and everyone was in disbelief of what we were experiencing, except for the crew. When we finally got to the shore of the island, after what felt like hours, rivers of water washed away the paths. To get to where our dinner was, I trudged through mud holding on to Dan and crying the entire way. My dress was soaked, I was upset, and I was scared.
One of the storms that blew through the next evening (thankfully this time we watched it from our room instead of a boat in the middle of the ocean)
Smiling because we were so thankful to be almost back to land and still alive.
The stormed lightened a bit, but never fully disappearing. The entire thing lasted over 3 hours. We sat through dinner and the show and made it back to shore. I've never been more thankful to be off a ship. After getting back to our hotel, the power was out and there were tree limbs and debris everywhere. When we first got off the ship I had wondered if the storm had just seemed so horrible because we were in the middle of it, but seeing the damage and loss of power, I was sure of how bad it truly was. I'm not sure if living through that and experiencing something so terrifying was meant to help me realize how thankful I am for Dan or how much I love him, but I think that could be done in less traumatizing ways, just saying. After that experience and our honeymoon, we decided we may need to plan more laid back, low-key plans for our future anniversaries, especially since we want to celebrate many many more.
Do you have any travel horror stories?