Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A few weeks ago Tom and I took our very first cruise. We LOVED it. I realize a cruise isn't for everyone. If you are claustrophobic or need to be busy all the time, this might not have been the cruise for you. They had lots of things to do like the pool, the water park area, casino if your into that sort of thing, dance clubs open at night, mini golf, ping pong, a track, and lots of things hosted by Carnival like karaoke, comedy acts, etc. We enjoyed just laying by the pool getting some sun, sleep and reading books. I soaked it all up. As many of you know we have a non-sleeper, so it was a chance for us to take a break and get as much sleep as I wanted. The gentle rolling of the ship but me to sleep several times a day. Our cruise left out of Charleston, SC. Tom's mom and sister Teri came out Thursday night to watch our kids. We got up early on Friday and drove down to Charleston. They got us checked in, through security and on the ship pretty quickly all things considered. Then it was onto the ship where we got lunch and toured the ship. We just hung out and chilled for most the first day. That night we met our dinner table. They sit you with random people and all our table mates were quite a bit older then us, but they were nice.

Here we are on the first day at sea. We had one full day at sea and we enjoyed the pool and lounge chairs as much as possible.

Our first dinner on the ship.

Our first stop was Freeport, Bahamas. I know several people that said they didn't' really like Freeport, but we LOVED it. We decided that since we were saving a ton of money by going on a cruise then we would pay to do fun excursions. We signed up for a history tour of Freeport. We had the coolest tour guide ever. His name was Chad. He started out by telling us we were part of his family for the day. He really treated us that way and with only 4 couples and Chad we got to know each other really well. We started at the lighthouse where he told us that when the British took over the Bahamas in the 1700's they moved all the doors to the lighthouses up high. The locals were used to going into the lighthouses and turning out the lights so that boats would shipwreck on the islands and they would be able to take their goods. (I mean the Bahamas WERE peopled by Pirates, those who had been shipwrecked, and slaves who had either escaped or been freed at that point in history...with more liberated slaves to come later on.)

Not the best photographer, but you got us both in the picture :) And this is a Catholic Church that was built to look like it is falling apart. We also learned that the Bahama islands are not volcanic in nature like Hawaii, but instead are made of coral that all fossilized and made the islands. Pretty cool.

We also went to a couple areas that had inlets and underwater caves. We aren't scuba divers though so we didn't get to go in the caves. There is one area of the island where fishermen sell their catch every day and there are huge conch shells lining the whole area. Chad took us to an area of the island that had caves where the locals used to hide out when hurricanes would come before they had cement buildings. They would plant fruit and nut trees near the entrance of the cave to have food while they were evacuated. We passed several churches on the way and at each of them we would stop to wave at members of Chad's family. We ended at a private beach where we snorkeled for a couple hours and then had lunch together.

It may be hard to tell but the water was super clear and we snorkeled past the barrier, and all around the coral so it was a couple of miles of swimming. I am not the strongest swimmer but we had swim belts on which made it tons easier. I normally hyperventilate this first bit my head is under water but Tom held on to my hand and I got over it pretty quickly and was able to really enjoy the experience. This was probably the easiest time I had snorkeling, although I loved the colors and variety of fish in Hawaii more. This was way better then snorkeling in Mexico though!
Our newest family member- Chad. He is hopefully starting his own tour company soon, but in the mean time if you are heading to Freeport, we will tell you what tour we took so you can find him. He is absolutely the BEST.

When we got back to the boat, we had to hurry and get ready for dinner. The first day on the boat a host came around explaining they were doing a new program call Chef's Table where you had an 11 course dinner provided by the Executive Chef. We went ahead and signed up. There were only 6 couples that could go each night. We got to take a tour of the kitchens, help make a dessert, then got served the most amazing dinner. I felt like I was a judge on Top Chef. We had about 5 different wait staff, plus the Executive Chef was in there with us the whole time explaining what we were eating and how he made it. We also got entertained by the ship's magician. It was such a fun experience and something we would definitely do again.

Our next destination was Nassau, Bahamas. We chose to go to a private beach rather then the Atlantis. It is really just a casino with activities. I have seen enough of those in my life that I didn't think there was much the Atlantis could do to top that. And it was very expensive to do any of the activities there. Instead we went to a gorgeous blue lagoon. They had an area with dolphins that you could swim with, you could help train the sea lions, they had an area in the lagoon where you could go on jump on inflatable water toys like a big water trampoline, slide into the lagoon, etc. We also just sat and relaxed here too. The sea lion was our favorite though.

After the blue lagoon we walked around Nassau. It reminded me quite a bit of New Orleans with how the buildings are built.
The last day was another sea day. It was super windy. Can you tell by how crazy Tom's hair is standing up? That was all from the wind. We had a great last dinner with our wonderful wait staff. We are already thinking about where we would like to cruise next. We loved coming home to our amazing kids, refreshed and ready to go back to interrupted sleep.


Anonymous said...

WOO HOO for fun! I have to admit. I am a good sight jealous.

Lorilee said...

So Fun. and you look totally hot. And I love the new background and the fact that i could actually read all your cool info about the trip.

Ryan and Meagan said...

FUN! Isn't that great that cruise ships go out of Charleston??? So awesome. Whenever we are out of school and have a job, that is something we are signing up for! I need that sleep and relaxation! I was hoping to read that you and Tom were hitting up the dance clubs. That would have made me laugh so hard!!! hahaha

You guys are so cute!

Tom said...

Just so you know, we did go to the dance clubs. Greta is an awesome dancer.

Ben said...

Sorry I hadn't checked your blog sooner! WOW...looks like y'all had an amazing time. The water looks great and I'd take the warm weather, it's getting cold here fast!
I'm happy y'all had a great time! You deserve more vacations!

Nikki said...

I am jealous!! It looks like you had such a fun time. Time away together is the best!