Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I love it when we're cruisin' together.

Remember how we just celebrated 10 years of wedded bliss at the end of last month? Well, a decade of marriage is a big deal, and we knew long ago we wanted to memorialize it with a big vacation somewhere exotic.

I still have never been to Hawaii, so originally, we thought we'd go there. But it turns out it's REALLY expensive to fly there, and then you have to plan for a hotel, food, car rental and activities. Basically, it was going to cost too much for us to go to Hawaii.

But you know what doesn't cost nearly as much but is just as exotic? A 3-night cruise to the Bahamas! And since we had gone on a Caribbean cruise three years ago, we knew we'd have a blast. So, we went ahead booked it, waaaaay back in September.

Well, last Wednesday, the time had finally come for this epic vacation, and I couldn't have been more ready to jet with my hunny! We hired my 19-year-old sister to stay with the kids, so we were confident they were in good hands the entire time we were gone.

We flew to Orlando, nearly missing our connection in Detroit due to the delayed flight out of Phoenix. I mean, we literally RAN 50 gates at the Detroit airport and narrowly missed the plane. My calves were burning like crazy, I had to pee so badly and I was dying of thirst by the time we got there. It was horrible.

That night, we got into Orlando around 8:30. We had pre-arranged our shuttle services and hotel with a company called Go Port Canaveral. Highly recommend this! It was so nice not to have to worry about if we'd be on time to our hotel, cruise port terminal or the airport.

We ate at this restaurant called Fish on Fire, just a short jaunt down the road from our hotel. It was kind of divey but also delicious. I got a seared ahi tuna sandwich with a side of hush puppies and enjoyed every bite.

The next morning, the Port Canaveral bus arrived and took us to our ship. The second I stepped on the Enchantment of the Seas, I felt like I was coming home! Haha. I seriously love cruises. Can't say enough good about them. And Royal Caribbean is awesome. It's more upscale (read: cleaner and nicer in general) than Carnival, but not as pricey as Disney.

On the top deck of Enchantment, just before departing

Before the ship left the port for the day, the onboard spa was offering tours. The tour was about 10 - 15 minutes long, and if you completed it, you got an entry to win some spa credit. There were a few prizes for $50 and $100 credit, and one prize of $200. I guess the odds were ever in my favor that day because I WON THE $200 CREDIT! I couldn't even believe it. I immediately booked a fancy seaweed wrap massage for the next day.

Dinner on the ship was as amazing as I remembered it. I love that every meal is gourmet quality and most importantly, prepared by someone other than me. HA! I had prime rib, New York strip steak and garlic tiger shrimp. But I think my favorite item was the sticky bread and butter pudding I ate for dessert on the last night. Holy wow!

Our room was on the same floor as Centrum, which was this fun hangout spot where the band played. It turned out to be really fun. I tried not to covet the white Yamaha baby grand every time we passed by.

Our ship stopped at Nassau, Bahamas on the first day. We had no plans but to walk around, see the sights and shop.

Most of the buildings there are painted in bright, fun colors. It really added to the tropical island aesthetic.

We enjoyed hanging out at this World War II memorial among the palm trees.

That night, dinner was formal dress. We got all fancy and enjoyed some steak cooked to perfection. I even sang a little karaoke, which is always fun. We also went to the dance club and realized how old we are. The US rugby team was on our ship, and they were CRAZY in the club! I heard they had a game in the Bahamas that day so they decided to take a cruise to get there. Smart!

Dress: Forever 21, here

The next day, we headed to Coco Cay, the cruise line's private island near Nassau. What a little tropical paradise!

We had booked a kayaking shore excursion beforehand. The weather was on-and-off stormy, but we were excited anyway. We love to kayak!

The kayaking tour started off pretty easy in the calm, shallow water. At one point, a giant ray swam right under our kayak! It was exhilarating.

A little bit later, the rain started to pick up. Our guide had us stop on a beach for a little while, but it continued to rain and a lot of the members of our tour looked miserable. So, we headed back to the kayak station a little early.

The trip back proved to be pretty difficult! The wind and rain had picked up quite a bit and we struggled to stay on course. Some people in our party were blown to shore and chose to drag their kayak down the shoreline instead of rowing back because it was too windy to even attempt going back out. Dill and I managed to survive. It was quite an adventure!

After we got back to the shore, we decided to wade out into the cove pictured above and see if we could find any fish. We had no trouble at all! Tropical fish of all sizes and colors swam freely around our legs, not scared of us in the least. I couldn't stop giggling at how funny it was to have all those fish around me.

At one point, I saw a "long thing" in the sand near my feet and asked Dill what it was. He told me it was just a stick, so I stepped on it without a thought. Turns out, it was another stingray! It  emerged from the sand and chased me for a little bit. I screamed so loudly I probably scared it. He turned around and swam the other way as onlookers laughed at my reaction.

We also enjoyed a (very expensive) coconut while on the beach. They looked so refreshing, we couldn't resist. It wasn't really worth the $9 it cost, but it made for a cute photo prop.

As always, it was hard to go back home once the trip was over. But it made me super-excited to start thinking about our next cruise. For our 15-year anniversary, we plan to take all our kids and maybe even try a Disney cruise that time! Only five years away!

I feel like I'm something of a cruise expert now, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask!


  1. I want to do a cruise for our 10 too!!

  2. I've only been on a crappy cruise (it was like the cheapest cruise you could go on). I am dying to go on a real cruise especially after seeing all your pictures.

    1. Absolutely! Go on Royal Caribbean. You won't regret it.

  3. Which did you like better, the Carribean or the Bahamas? My hubby and I want to go on one this year! Also, do you feel like 3 nights is long enough to do everything you wanted to do?

    1. Hi Emilee!! I liked both the locations equally. I think there were more shore excursion choices in the Caribbean, though.

      Three days was enough this time, but I think only because we'd done a longer cruise before. For your first, I'd say do at least 4 nights!


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