Van Dyk Mortgage July 2017

July 2017

Letters From The Hart Give us a call! 239-437-4278 or visit CRUISIN’ Our Family Vacation on the Biggest Ship in the World Corporate NMLS # 3035

Last month, my family, my in-laws, and I finally got the opportunity to get away from it all, out on the open ocean on the Harmony of the Seas, part of Royal Caribbean’s cruise line and the biggest ship in the world. Between the shows, the delicious food, and the activities, the whole family agrees that it was one of the best trips we’ve ever been on.

Our first stop was St. Marteen, a beautiful island in the Caribbean. We boarded a catamaran licensed by the Golden Eagle Tour Company, who I can’t possibly recommend enough if you ever get the chance to check them out. The kids got some time snorkeling around the island, then we parked out on the beach and everybody jumped in the crystal-clear water. On the way back, the crew were singing and dancing and just going crazy. And, of course, drinks were provided the entire time, which just added to the fun. It was an absolute blast. A day later, we stopped at Puerto Rico and checked out some old forts that had been erected on the island. If I did the cruise again, I’m pretty sure I’d stay on the boat during the Puerto Rico stay; it just wasn’t worth it. None of us really enjoyed the scenery or the vibe.

We embarked at Fort Lauderdale, followed by a couple of days cruising across the sea. While on the boat, we were never bored. The whole setup was totally unreal. There were four open stories in the middle of the boat, with dozens of shops and restaurants and bars. When you walked through it, it felt like you were strolling through the halls of a swanky Vegas casino. A bunch of times, I had to stop and remind myself, “We’re on the ocean right now!” The whole thing was a gargantuan floating resort, but with more to do than any resort I’ve been to. Kneeboarding machines for the kids, putt-putt golf, ping- pong, water slides — they had everything. And the food was incredible, I swear the kids had two hamburgers every time we went to lunch, and I ate better food than I have in a long time. We saw a full Broadway production of “Grease,” which my wife loved, these three amazing singers known as the Texas Tenors, and a few great comedy shows. One of my favorite moments of the entire trip was watching the kids crack up at one family-friendly comedy night, just dying of laughter. It’s cool to see your young kids’ senses of humor, to see them actually getting the jokes and howling with laughter.

Then, we stopped at Labadee, sort of a fenced-off Royal Caribbean section of Haiti. They had this enormous water park that we all got to mess around in, with the kids bouncing off these crazy inflatables and splashing around. All in all, it was a highly successful trip. Everybody had the time of their lives, tried

all kinds of new things, and ate like kings the entire vacation. Really, though, it was the company that made the trip. Every worry-free moment I get to spend with my family is very special to me. Waking up every morning, ready to take the kids on a new adventure — I’d do it again in a heartbeat. – Tim Hart NMLS #354676

VanDyk Mortgage | | 239-437-4278

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