International, Travel

Our Journey in: A Cruise to the Bahamas

It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but it’s been a blessed one at that.

As of the 3rd, Tristan and I have been married for a year, and in celebration, we had booked a quick trip to the Bahamas.  We originally had our heart set on exploring New Orleans, but considering we were putting offers down on a home, we decided a cruise to the Bahamas would be more budget friendly.  I can’t ignore that it was also extremely convenient since room and dining are already included in cruises.

We flew into Miami and had a few hours to explore (see here).  When the time came, we boarded our ship.  We decided to try a different cruiseline, and at the time of booking, Norwegian fit the bill.  One of the key selling points was “freestyle dining” where you get to have dinner at your own time instead of a set time like most cruiselines.  I must add, the service on this ship was great (except for one dining hall, but that’s another story).

Once we got to our stateroom, I went to use the little girl’s room, and when I got out I found my husband sitting there with a dozen red roses and a bottle of champagne sitting in an ice bucket.  He had bought the romance package which I thought would never happen.  That cloud 9 moment?  Yeah, it got a little magnified.  I’m so so lucky.  I just can’t thank him enough for being him.  It really was the cherry on top as that night we got chocolate covered strawberries delivered too.  The next night we got appetizers delivered.  The next morning tea service was done.  It felt like endless spoilage!  Hunny – if you’re reading, thank you for making me feel more special than I could possibly feel!!
The next morning we arrived at Norwegian’s private Bahamian island Great Stirrup Cay which we needed to take a tender boat to get to.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  The food was better here than on the ship too! Hah.  The sand is definitely a bit rough, but the island is under construction so you can’t really complain.  Luckily, we had read reviews about this and brought our water shoes.  Regardless, I was stubborn in the water and went without the shoes because of how annoying it is to swim with them on.  Yes, I ended up stepping on a piece of coral — first time for everything.  I got a small puncture wound to prove it.

Two main highlights – we took our first yoga class… and it was beach yoga!  Our instructor even had a cool accent.  The other highlight?  We went snorkeling and swam next to an entire school of fish!  It was so breathtaking.  I still can’t believe it.  The most amazing part is that while we were calmly swimming around them, larger fish started to swim out and around us.  I guess once they realized we didn’t plan to do any harm, they decided to call us friends too.
Once we were back on the ship, we prepared for the evening where we attended the Norwegian White Hot Party which was actually a lot of fun!  Margaritas and dancing in white outfits on a boat.  Who would’ve thought?
The next morning we found ourselves in Nassau, Bahamas, where we decided to take an overcrowded ferry boat to Paradise Island – the spot of the infamous resort of Atlantis.  Overcrowded may be an understatement.  People were crammed into every nook and cranny of this boat, and once the boat was full of people, I think it was then filled with anxiety.  Luckily, the captain knew what he was doing (I think).  We, like most people apparently, were under the impression that a cheap ticket on a ferry boat was quite a score.  Now we saw why it was so cheap!  At least it makes for an interesting story.
Atlantis for us was pretty much a Caribbean version of Disney World meets Las Vegas.  It was kind of fun but a headache at the same time — and was clearly the big tourist destination of the islands (felt like nothing was free there – hence Disney ;). We checked out The Dig which was their impressive aquarium, then wandered around the resort to see all that could be offered.  It was pretty massive, and we saw the construction site of it’s future competitor.  The island is going to look quite different in a few years! 

We had to see more of the authentic Bahamas, so we hopped on a city tour for the other half of the day.  On this, we saw many city highlights and got to go to the one and only rum distillery on the island.

When we got back on the ship, we found our stateroom all cleaned up with 2 swan towels on the bed.  I always wanted to see these in person 🙂  Guess I can finally cross it off my wishlist!  We took a quick dip in the pool and then got ready for our anniversary dinner at the Italian restaurant on board where we got a special “Happy Anniversary” cake.  This cruiseline really loves to make you feel like royalty.
The next morning we found ourselves back in Miami where we had a few hours before our flight to see what else the city had in store.  
No doubt this was a memorable trip, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to switch from Pacific time to Eastern time so quickly then jump right back into work the next day.  We’re a little crazy in that sense, but we’re very selective with what we do with our PTO.  Don’t know if we’ll be able to do that again though — that need for comfort and convenience is starting to apply here too.
This trip was definitely an amazing blessing, but I can’t wait to see what this upcoming year holds for us.  It’s going to be amazing.
To years and years of more anniversaries and travel diaries.
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