Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cruise So Hard

Happy Tuesday! By far the most boring, worthless day of the week in my opinion, but hey we’re almost through it...

I suppose you want to hear about my trip? I’ve been putting off this blog entry because I mean, how do you cram a seven day cruise recap into a couple paragraphs? I’m not sure, but I’ll try.

Last February I volunteered at the Polar Bear Plunge for the Special Olympics of Maryland; a bunch of my coworkers and I braved the frigid February weather and watched thousands of people hurl themselves into the artic Chesapeake Bay for fun.

oh kait you look like you're having a blast.
Little did I know that while I stood with my face plastered to the space heater, my name was being entered into a raffle with all of the other people who had volunteered from my company. About a week later, I received an email informing me that I had won a free cruise to the Bahamas!

Another reason to volunteer, my friends. What goes around comes around.

Fast forward to last Sunday. My sister, Bri, and I boarded the Carnival Freedom in Baltimore with no idea what to expect. Neither of us had been on a cruise, neither of us had been to the Bahamas.


Things we learned:

The buffets will be the end of you. There are several of them, everywhere, almost always open. Of course the Pizza Bar and Ice Cream Bar were open 24/7.

Lemonade, water, tea, and coffee are free, and juices at breakfast. Any other beverage must be purchased.

they gave us these limoncello shots at dinner presenting them like they were free...
turns out they were $8 each.
The elevators on the ship are slow, and let’s be honest, unnecessary. Bri and I made a vow within the first hour to take the stairs at all times – even if it meant going from floor one to ten. 
Never got on an elevator once.

Going back to that beverage thing – alcohol is not hard to carry on in your checked luggage. I’ll leave it at that.

the giraffe that I requested
 Our house keeper was the sh*t, and left us awesome towel animals every evening. He knew our names even before he met us, and by day three knew to ask me if I was ‘going to exercise?’ when he would see me in the halls during the day.

awesome towel monkey
At the actual sit-down restaurant, ordering as many starters/entrees is A-OK – actually, some may even say it’s encouraged. Needless to say, we each ordered two plates of lobster on Monday night.
 
so good.
It is actually quite hard to drive a scooter. Not only that, it is hard to drive a two-person scooter on the wrong (left) side of the road on a foreign island.  I promise, helmets stayed on the entire time.

Banana coladas taste the absolute best out of freshly carved coconuts, while on the beach. The Bahamas may have the best rum in the world. Good thing I brought back a bottle.


 Dolphins love swimming beside cruise ships – at least they loved ours. We saw four our second day at sea; they hung around all morning just outside of our balcony. I would insert a picture of them below, but that picture happened to be snapped on my sister’s phone, which…

Disappeared. Let’s just say that Nassau ate it. It was sacrificed to the beach. Oh well.

Carnival offers a crap-ton of excursions that you can pay to go on, that in my opinion are severely over-priced. Most one hour snorkeling packages averaged about $75, but Bri and I finagled our way into a $20 cab ride to the beach, and $15 to snorkel at a beautiful reef for three hours. We saw sting-rays, barracudas, the whole deal.


I managed to sneak in workouts five of the seven days, my favorite being the morning I got up early and watched the sunrise as we slowly made our way into the Bahamas to dock.
 

it's hard enough to elliptical on a moving cruise ship. it's even harder to snap a picture while doing it.
someone give me some props here please.
Overall, an awesome week with the sis. We learned a lot about the whole culture of cruises, and feel much more equipped if we ever were to go on another. Nonetheless, it was good to get back in Baltimore on Sunday and slowly ease my way back into routine. It made me realize how much I love my routine, and that the world actually doesn’t end if I break it for a week.


Cheers to cruising!

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