Two weeks ago, Drew and I embarked on our first cruise experience together, along with Drew’s parents April and Jim. Drew had gone on a trip with his parents back in high school, but this was my first time. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled. I thought that being a college graduate meant my opportunities for Spring Break trips were over, so getting to take a week’s vacation mid-March (which also happens to be the time of year that you really need a break the most!) was a real treat.
We drove halfway to Florida on Saturday, stopping in St. Simon’s for the night. The quaint island reminded me instantly of years’ worth of family vacations to Southport and Bald Head Island in North Carolina I’d had growing up. It was nice spending time in a place that moves on its own time, and wasn’t enthralled in the hustle and bustle of the real world. When my cell phone first lost its signal I felt a mild panic attack coming on. Second later, I smiled, and turned off my phone. I was officially on vacation.
Monday morning we boarded the ship (I was careful not to call it a “boat,” as I’d been warned that they really don’t like that), which was a lot smoother process than I’d thought. It boggled my mind that over 2,000 people would be on one ship but after seeing the size of the Majesty of the Seas, it all made perfect sense. We celebrated our first moments onboard with a Bahama Mama, complete with bright colored umbrella and light-up souvenir glass. One of the things cruises are best known for is their ability to feed people, good food and lots of it. It’s a good thing that Drew and I logged a 4 mile run back in St. Simon’s because after one look at the very first buffet, I was definitely going to be eating well!
We spent two days at sea, and another two at Cocoa Cay, Royal Caribbean’s one private island in the Bahamas, and Nassau. While in Cocoa Cay, Drew and I went snorkeling. The water was freezing but we had a lot of fun floating around and looking for fish. We spent the remainder of the day lounging in hammocks reading, strolling along the beach, and (surprise, surprise) eating lunch at the beach cookout. We spent a lot of time in Nassau, which was a lot bigger than I’d expected, shopping in the straw market, eating lunch on a restaurant patio, and taking a glass-bottom boat tour through the Bahamas.
One of the highlights of the trip was Thursday night, when Drew and I were selected to represent the newlyweds group on a spin-off of the old Newlyweds show, called the “Love and Marriage” Gameshow. Both the men and women took turns answering questions about one another and their marriage, while the spouses sat backstage in a soundproof room. Whoever got the most matches won a bottle of champagne. While Drew and I didn’t win, we received a swag bag filled with a lot of goodies, and got quite a few laughs out of the audience (mostly at our own expense, of course). Once we got back to our room, there was a DVD recording of the gameshow from the show’s host, the cruise director. It’s a nice memento to have from our cruise!
Other highlights from the week include: eating chocolate cake in bed at 11 p.m., watching the Belly Flop contest (Kentucky men represented well!), a comedy/magic show, April judging the World’s Sexiest Man contest (she endured like a champ!), towel creatures, every single delicious dinner with our wonderful server Bim, the late night luau on the pooldeck, seeing “Breadfish” on the glass-bottom boat tour, walking through the sweets shop in St. Simon’s and gaining 10 pounds just inhaling all the sugar, and celebrating April’s birthday with not one, but two desserts Wednesday night.
I felt mixed emotions driving back home to Atlanta on Friday. I was happy to be returning to dry land (I had a few bouts of sea sickness during the trip) and couldn’t wait to pick up Theo from the boarder. Still, it had been wonderful to spend some time away from work, technology, and our busy lives. I certainly could have stayed in the hammock back in Cocoa Cay for a few more days and wouldn’t have minded one bit ;-) Jim and April, thank you both so much for allowing us to take this awesome trip with you all. It was very much needed after several hectic weeks and work for Drew and me. We made so many memories and have so many great pictures to show for it!