One of the best things about cruising is the sunrises. We normally get up at 5:15 a.m. for work (and I can't reset my internal clock for vacation), so naturally I had to step outside on the balcony during our first morning at sea to catch a glimpse of the sun on the horizon...
On a cruise you have access to some type of food 24 hours a day. While there is a huge breakfast buffet on the Lido Deck as well as breakfast served in the main dining room every day, we always order room service when we're at sea... because we can!
On Carnival ships room service breakfast = continental breakfast, but that's fine by us. Especially considering that we enjoyed our coffee, fruit and muffins before heading up to the Lido Deck to eat a "real" meal. Yes, way too many calories were consumed on this vacation. If you cruise, I recommend that you take the stairs as much as possible while onboard! You'll need the exercise.
We were at sea for two full days before we reached our first port in Florida. The weather was perfect and we spent a whole lot of time doing absolutely nothing...
Doesn't he look happy and relaxed?
We'll admit that we're pretty laid back on cruises. We spent our sea days reading, sleeping, sitting in the hot tub and drinking wine. If you're more energetic there's plenty of other things to do. But we're lazy on vacation.
We went to a wine tasting on our first day at sea ($15 per person upcharge). Oh, and the photo has a red tint because the wine tasting took place in David's Steakhouse, which is located in the funnel of the ship. The glass over the restaurant is tinted red to match the exterior of the funnel.
The wine tasting included six wines and small bites of food to accompany each wine. It was a nice way to chill out on a Monday afternoon and we met some cool people. We're avid wine drinkers, so we didn't really learn anything, but it's always fun to taste wine and eat food with good company.
Sushi was available on most nights...
A sushi cart was set up in one of the lounges and they had a rotating menu of three rolls. We hit up the sushi bar before dinner and enjoyed a few bites and a drink from the bar. It was a nice pre-dinner pick me up.
One of the cutest (and silliest) parts of the cruise is the towel animal phenomenon...
Every night we'd return to our cabin to find a new creature. It always makes me smile and it's one of those things that makes cruising different from a land-based vacation.
Speaking of returning to your cabin, they clean your room at least twice a day, sometimes more often! You wake up, shower, go walk around the ship and when you come back your room is clean! Then, you take an afternoon nap, get dressed, go to the pool and your room is cleaned AGAIN! After dinner you return to chocolates on your pillow and a cute towel animal.
In Florida we rented a car and visited family. In the Bahamas we spent both days on the beach. No running around, not fancy excursions, just a nice, relaxing beach day... with blue water!
In Nassau we paid to access the private beach at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort (about 20 minutes from the port by public bus). It's $25 per person for a day pass. For this price you get beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and flotation devices to use in the ocean or the pool. There are lifeguards, it wasn't crowded and there's also several restaurants on the property. There's a swim up bar, at least two pools and a hot tub. It was a great day and I'd do it again.
In Freeport we went to another private resort beach, but somehow we managed to get in for free. I guess they liked us!
The surf was a bit rougher on the day we were in Freeport, so we didn't spend much time in the ocean. Instead we layed under a palm tree and ended up getting sunburned - boo!
E had to get a taste of Kalik, one of the Bahamian beers. We can buy it back home, but it's difficult to find.
As much as I love the sunrises on cruises, the sunsets are something special, too...
That's how we spend seven days doing (almost) nothing. I know that not everyone likes cruises, but it really works for us. I'll share some of our favorite meals (my favorite memory) from our cruise in my next post!