two weeks ago we left on a 7-night Caribbean cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line and let me tell you, it was heaven. we planned this vacation as an early "hooray we are celebrating our one year anniversary," but once we arrived i didn't realize exactly just how much i needed this relaxing vacation until i was on it. the boat we sailed on was the Norwegian Getaway, released in February of 2014. with a capacity for 4,000 people and a staff of 1,500, anything you could ever dream up to even want on vacation is there for you. from basic to luxury rooms, casual to fine dining experiences, bar lounges, pubs, cafe's, gelato bar, an all ice bar (literally ice, ice chairs and ice cups), a cigar lounge, spa, casinos, theaters, comedy club, jazz club, even a multitude of fully equipped kids centers on board. there is enough to keep you, and your family busy for the entire week, and enough quiet spaces to keep you relaxed as well.
|yes, there was daily pina colada's.|
|sun, sand, salt water, what more can you ask for?|
if you have never been on a cruise before i highly recommend it. i'm not someone who sits still well for long periods of time, so to do an island style vacation in just one place has always had me worried. when we sat down to talk trips and the idea of cruising islands was thrown on the table, and i got a little ecstatic. i like that you can tailor each day to whatever you feel like in that particular moment, and as a Pisces i very much loved the variety of days at sea combined with days on land. the staff on the Norwegian were just exceptional, as we always felt at ease no matter what our needs or questions were. in general, cruising is one of the oldest forms of vacation and luxury travel - and luxury it is.
|enjoying the island of St. Maarten and some mahi, mahi|
we boarded the ship in the Port of Miami and spent our first two sunny days on the Atlantic. we felt spoiled rotten by waking up to the sunrise while having coffees on our balcony, followed by time at the pool and hot tub, being hand delivered an array of tropical drinks. in the evenings those first two days we dined in Japanese teppanyaki and then French Bistro restaurants and followed up our evenings with cocktails at a comedy club and show. On our third day we arrived at the first of three islands, St. Maarten. located in the northeast Caribbean just east of Puerto Rico, it's divided into two territories known as "St-Martin / St Maarten – one French and one Dutch. believe it or not these two territories come complete with separate currency and international calling. we started the day with a morning island tour and history overview, then spent the afternoon salt water swimming and book reading on Orient Beach. we had some of the best mahi mahi i've ever had right there on the beach washed it down with local island beer. at the end of that day, once everyone was boarded on the boat, it headed out to sea again to arrive in the very early morning at our next island, St. Thomas. this island, along with a few others, make up what is known as the U.S Virgin Islands. St. Thomas itself is said by many to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. watching from the comfort of our balcony as the ship docked, this island is surrounded by big beautiful boats and yachts, and tons of tiny ferries shuffling residents and guests from one place to another. seriously, what a dream way to live! on the island of St. Thomas we arranged to take a KonTiki tour boat where we sipped early morning rum punch (yum), while listening to a live steel drum band. we toured this island this time by water, had a very good lesson on local coral, and was then delivered to a private beach for the remainder of the day, where you could sun, snorkel and dive.
|a beautiful day in St. Thomas on a private beach.|
|Blue Lagoon Bay in the Bahamas!|
after one more full day at sea our last island stop was in the Bahamas. of course, extremely well known for the Atlantis resort, the majority of tourists off loaded our cruise ship and headed straight there for the action. we on the other hand decided to take off to Blue Lagoon Bay. sometimes it's nicer to be off the beaten trail and because we did just that, we felt like we had this whole huge island to ourselves. after a 30 mins catamaran trip to the Bay, we met some wonderful people, ate delicious local food and got entertained by some very cute dolphins and sea lions. of course, we wrapped up this day with yet ... more relaxing sun time on a beach. :)
|i love this man and i couldn't have ask for a better early anniversary vacation.|
travelling down south at the end of April i was honestly a little worried about the heat and weather, but it was actually wonderful. it proved to be a great time to travel because it wasn't rainy season just yet, it wasn't overly hot or humid, rates were lower, wait times were shorter, and the boats and beaches are not nearly as busy. overall we hit three spectacular islands and it was yet another perfect holiday. for anyone who might be reading this thinking "it sounds nice but i definitely couldn't do it because i would get sea sick," let me tell you we know a ton of people who suffer from severe motion sickness and yet LOVE cruising. they have found that booking a room in the centre and mid height a the ship always helps, as does using sea bands. also, all boats offers sea sickness patches that is a small sticker that they place behind your ear and will put you at ease for the whole week. i already have the itch to go on a cruise again, and would like to do a summer Alaskan once next.
i love the water. i love the smell of it, the sound of it and the sight of it. there is nothing quiet like watching the sunrise and sunset on the ocean everyday and knowing that there isn't a thing around you for miles and miles.