Sunday, August 30, 2015

Honeymoon Cruise

Finally getting around to writing our honeymoon blog!!  I've been wanting to do this for the past couple of months, but I just haven't gotten to it yet.  I decided to break down our honeymoon by the day on the ship instead of writing multiple blogs.  Enjoy!

Honeymoon Day 1

 

Cody and I debated and debated what we wanted to do for our honeymoon and I'm really excited that we decided to do a cruise.  I love how much there is to do on a cruise ship.  This time we left out of Miami, FL and we went on the Norwegian Getaway.  We had been on a Carnival cruise before so we were interested to see how it compared.  We waited a full week after our wedding to go on our honeymoon, and I'm so glad that we did.  It gave us time to settle after the wedding and to pack and get ready for the honeymoon.  I was so exhausted after our wedding night...  I can't imagine how people leave for their honeymoon the next day.  We actually ended up getting to the airport at 5:15am and then we went straight to Miami.  We actually got to the port early and they weren't boarding the ship yet.  


We were anxious to get on board the ship, because we wanted to sign up to be able to go to the The Vibe area of the ship.  It is a private area that has padded chairs and is child free, but access to it is very limited.  They only sell 60 passes for the week and it was $80/per person extra.  This sounded really similar to the Serenity Spa from our Carnival cruise and that was our favorite hangout spot on our Carnival cruise so we wanted to make sure that we got it on this one.  The Serenity Spa area was free on Carnival though.  So we were nervous when we got to the ship and we were boarding group number 10.  We didn't know if we would make it to the customer service area in time to buy it.  Luckily they loaded up the ship in group 1-5, then 6-8, and then 9-11.  We dashed onto the ship and headed straight for customer service.  There was an art guy that tried to stop us to do a survey and Cody was like ahhhhh!!  Noooo don't stop and talk to him!!   But as you can see we made it in time!  The passes sold out in 1 hour.


The pool area on Norwegian is a lot smaller than Carnival's and the hot tubs that were available on the other parts of the ship were always full.  It was really nice to have our own hot tub area.  Since so few people are able to have access to the Vibe it made it so that we almost always had the hot tub area to ourselves.


They also came around and passed out cool wash cloths, fruit, and sprayed us with bottles to cool us off.  There was also a private bar area too which made getting drinks really easy.  One thing that we ABSOLUTELY  LOVED!!!!   was that Norwegian included the unlimited drink package for free when we booked the cruise.  It was amazing to not have to pay for our drinks during the cruise.  It was a completely different experience from our first cruise where we were cheap and worried about spending money on drinks.  It was nice to pop over to the bar and get a drink throughout the day, and then later on at night.  My only regret about The Vibe area was that we just didn't really use it enough.  I feel like we went every now and then, but I'm not 100% sure that we got our $160 out of it.  It was nice to have it when we went though.  There were always comfortable chairs available and the service was great there.


Here is the picture of our room.  We were on the 14th floor on the Aft (or very back of the ship) and we had a balcony.  We were excited when we walked into our room, because the room seemed bigger than our room on our Carnival cruise.  Although this could be because we had an upgraded balcony room this time.   


Here is a picture of our balcony.  We had lounge chairs on our balcony.  We realized that with an Aft balcony that our balcony was bigger than most other balconies.  The other ones just had room for two sit down chairs and a table.  I really enjoyed having a balcony room.  It really made a huge difference to our cruise experience.  It was especially nice when we were sailing away from port.  It was also just nice to pop out and look at the view.


Here we are right when we got to our room.  You can see the Miami skyline behind us!  So happy to be on our balcony!


Here is our house keeper Sudesh.  Cruise ships charge automatic gratuity on your rooms to pay your house keeper, and it is amazing the service that you get.  Sudesh was very attentive to us.  He always said hi to us, and he was always on top of getting us new towels and cleaning our room.  I think that they really try to show that they add value to you, because they are getting paid the gratuity.  


My favorite part of coming back to our room for the night is the towel animals!!  I think they are super cute and they make me really excited!!


Here is another one...



Everyday you get a new one.


I love that they add the little extra touch of adding eyes onto them!  They were hole punches.


One night we came in and there wasn't a towel animal on the bed!!  I won't lie...  I was a little bit sad/disappointed.  I really enjoyed seeing what type of towel animal I would get every night.  Then as we were getting into bed...  Cody goes "Oh look!"


Hehehe!!!  We had a rat towel animal up by our light!!  I was so excited when I saw him!  The next day I told Sudesh that he was sneaky, and he said yes... I wanted to trick you.  You're so used to getting your surprise every night, and then one day you think you aren't going to get one... and then you are that much more excited when you find him.  And it was so true!  I was completely thrilled to see him up there haha.



The Muster Drill on Norwegian was completely different than Carnival's.  They had people meet in designated restaurants on the ship.  Our meeting point was in the Tropicana restaurant.  They had us check in and then we got to sit down.  They announced all of announcements over a loud speaker and we could actually hear what they were saying.  On Carnival they had us line up 3 or 4 rows deep outside in front of the lifeboats and someone just talked to us.  I couldn't see or hear what they were saying.  So I was very very impressed with how Norwegian handled their muster drill.  I felt like it was a much better and practical idea.

They gave us a highlight version of all of the major shows and attractions that were coming up during the week, and then they gave us a daily sheet with a detailed list of the next days activities every night.  I thought that this wasn't very helpful, because in order to go to most of the big events you have to reserve them pretty much that first day or they will be filled up.  It was hard to plan when we wanted to do things and make our dinner reservations without knowing all of the other activities that were going to be available during the week.  On our Carnival cruise they had big enough entertainment venues that anyone could just show up and have a seat.  The entertainment venues and restaurants on Norwegian just weren't anywhere near as big.  So you really had to plan and book everything ahead of time.  It is a good thing that Cody and I are planners and researchers or we would have missed out on a lot of things.  If you don't like to plan out things in advance than I'm not sure if Norwegian is the right cruise line for you.  Even with Cody and I having that natural planning tendencies it was still an inconvenience to us sometimes too.  Maybe if they would have had all the daily schedules posted online ahead of time than we could have properly figured out our schedule.  But having to book the big events and dinners ahead of time without not knowing what the "smaller" events were going to be was a little annoying to me.  In that regard, I prefer Carnival's flexibility more because we would get our dailies and then we'd be able to just show up to any event we liked and they had room for us to get a seat.


On the first night of the cruise the Illusionarium show is free for passengers that bought the ultimate dining package (which Cody and I did).  So we made reservations in advance and got to go to the 5:30pm showing of the show.


The food was really good at the show.  The show itself was really hyped up... and I thought that it was just ok.  It was perfectly fine to go see if it was free, but I wouldn't have paid to go see it.  Basically it was about a guy that was auctioning off things that belonged to his ancestor who happened to be a magician.  He ended up calling back 4 master magicians from throughout time and they competed for the title of grand master.  I won't lie... I thought that I could figure out how most of the magicians did their tricks so I was only somewhat impressed.  There was one group that read the minds, and they had people in the audience hold up items and the woman would guess what it was.  I was pre-told to try to have something unique on me and that they would come to me... so I had a band aid in my purse and I held it up.  The guy actually came over to me and picked me out of the audience... but the woman didn't quite guess it right.  :(  So... I don't know...  it seemed like she got everyone elses.  The woman was Russian so maybe she didn't understand what a band aid was.



When we first got on the cruise we went on a tour of the spa.  We actually had our luggage with us, and I accidentally ran one of the worker's toes over...  and she was super mad at me!!  She even remembered me later on and yelled at me for messing up her toe nail polish!  Whoopsie!  Luckily we got away from her pretty quick and we got a tour of the facility.  The tour ended with us getting a mini free massage... which was basically a couple trying to convince us to get a massage with them later on in the night.  It totally worked!  They told us that massages on the first day were cheaper than during the rest of the cruise.  We had been talking about getting a massage at some point during our honeymoon so we figured we mind as well do it while the price was cheaper.  We bought a hot stone couples massage for 8pm on our first night.  It was Cody's first massage ever and I've only had one once before too.  It was soooo nice!  We both thoroughly enjoyed it.  The man and woman that gave us our massage were amazing.  They were funny and nice, and very good at massages.  We had a full body massage with the hot stones, and I'm 100% sure that we will be getting a massage again in our future.  They did try to sell us some pretty expensive products at the end of our massage and they were trying to teach us how we could use the oils to massage each other at home.  They made it sound really good and tempting, but it was like $200 for their oils/lotions.  So we ended up passing on that, but it was a great experience overall.


The welcome abroad show wasn't really a show...  it was just a preview of all of the other shows that were going to go on during the rest of the week.  I  was a little bit disappointed by that.  Also the main theater was about 1/3 of the size of Carnival's theater.  So anytime that we wanted to see a show we had to book it in advance.  Some of the shows you had to book almost at the beginning of the week to be able to get into it.  They also did not switch comics throughout the week like Carnival did, and they only let you see the comic one time throughout the cruise.  So, I'd have to say that we probably liked Carnival's entertainment more than we liked Norwegians...



However...  with that said...  I have to say that we had an absolute blast at the Howl at the Moon Dueling Piano Bar.  It completely made our cruise.  We went to it every night that it was available.  Basically there were a couple of performers on pianos that would take song requests from the audience and then they would play the song!  They were incredibly talented and they were pretty funny!  Every time that someone bought them a shot they would have a social toast and they would ask if they should do a clean toast or a dirty toast...  every time the crowd asked for a dirty one!  They had some pretty funny toasts...  I wish that I could remember what they all were.  There were a couple of songs that got requested every night.  One was Piano Man and the other one was Bennie and Jetsssssss.  You got to remember the sssssss  part because they really focused on that.  I thought the entire time they were singing that they were saying Penny and the Jets!  After hearing the song a couple times I was singing along with them, and I was definitely singing Penny... imagine my surprise when I got home to download the song and realized it was Bennie!!  I also really love the song Piano Man now.  Every time I hear it, it takes me right back to our cruise and how much fun we had at the piano bar.  The one guy changed the lyrics to the one part and said "Lily is a friend of mine.... she gets me my drinks for-a-deeply-discounted-price."  I don't know why... but that is one of the lines that I really remember and that I thought was funny.  We really took advantage of having our unlimited drink package here.  It was pretty much a drunk fest, and I actually got up there at one point and was dancing haha!    My favorite performer was Nate. He is the younger guy playing the piano, and he played some of the weirder songs.  Like he was able to perform rap songs and he was really funny.  This was actually his last cruise for 3 months and he was heading home to his wife.  The woman, named Laurie, was also super talented!  She sang all of the ballads and was a power singer.  She brought people to their feet a few times.  The older guy was alright...  I liked it the most when it was Nate and Laurie performing together.  Other crew members from the Grammy experience or the Legally Blonde show would come in sometimes and help play instruments or sing.  It was without a doubt our favorite part of the cruise, and it was the most fun that we had.  I am super excited because I hear that a dueling piano bar is coming to Cleveland soon!  Although I'm not sure if it will be the same, because we won't be able to get free drinks and walk right down the hall to our room afterwards.

Honeymoon Day 2


Every morning we had breakfast at the Garden Cafe.  It was right below our floor and it was our main choice for breakfast everyday.  There was another spot open called the Flamingo Buffet but it was mostly latino style food and it was a very very small/limited buffet without many options on it.  So the Garden Buffet felt like our only real option for breakfast, because everything else opened up later on.  It was pretty much the same food consistently in their everyday, but they had a pretty good variety.



I spent most of the day hanging out at the Vibe.  Cody went to a slot tournament and he came in 3rd place.


Cody had read about a place where he could get a lobster roll but it was only open on sea days from 12 to 2pm.  It has in the "water front" area and was actually located outside.

 

The lobster roll was $10 and it wasn't that big.  Cody said that it was good though.



Something unique on the Norwegian cruise ships are plunge water slides.  Basically you stand in them and it counts down from 5 and the bottom drops out and you go zooming down the slide.  The first time I went to go on it I was by myself because Cody wasn't interested in it.  I had to walk back to my room, because I didn't realize you couldn't have anything on you... even a wedding ring... because it would come off due to the pressure on the ride.  I think it would be a great addition to the cruise ship if they had lockers near that area, because it's really inconveniencing to have to go upstairs to drop off all your stuff.  I ended up riding the slide  3 or 4 times.  It was definitely a thrill!  I won't lie as it was counting down I was a little bit nervous about it!  And I don't get nervous about hardly any rides anymore so that was a neat feeling for me.  I'll tell you more about my CRAZY!  experience when I finally convinced Cody to come on it with me on Day 4.


We went to Cagney's for the first time.  We actually end up going back there another 2 or 3 times.  Cagney's was the fancy steak house on board of the ship.  You had to make reservations in advance and sometimes it was hard to get in.  Luckily we knew this ahead of time and made most of our reservations in advance.  


Here is what Cody normally ordered.  He got these kobe beef sliders and he thought that they were amazing!


Every night we ordered filet mignon and lobster!  It actually wasn't on the menu, but we ordered the steak and asked if we could get a lobster on the side.  They asked if we were on the ultimate dining package and we said yes... so they said that they would be willing to do it.  The package was only $120 per person for the entire week.  We definitely feel like we got our moneys worth from this!!  I would say that with the ultimate dining package that Norwegian has better food than Carnival.  However, if you don't buy this package... then I would say that the food that Carnival includes on their ship for free is way better than the included food that is on Norwegian.  We never even considered going to one of the included restaurants during this cruise.  We absolutely went to a different specialty restaurant every night. 


Cagney's also served a oreo cheesecake that Cody absolutely loved.  I'm not really a cheesecake person.  Cagney's had a lot of other dessert options, but it wasn't anything that I really liked.


Cody and I had been married for a week when we went to the Newlywed game.  We really thought that we had a chance to make it as the contestants for the people that had been married for the least amount of time.  They went around in a circle and were looking for the people married for the least amount of time.  We were winning, but then after everyone had gone a couple stood up and said that they had only been married for 3 days.  That would have meant that they got married on a Thursday, and I totally didn't believe them.  I think they just wanted to be the contestant and that they lied about it!  Then they went up there and the guy was a total stump!!!!!   He just blanked out and took forever to answer the questions that was being asked of him.  Cody and I were so mad.  We really wanted to play!  However... after what happened at our wedding shower... maybe I'm glad that we didn't go up there haha.  Basically for the show they had the couple that had been married the shortest amount of time and the longest amount of time (59 years!)... and then they had all other couples try out.  They had to do an impression of Tarzan and then get the people in the audience to voted for them.  They held this show in the Atrium which was a very small area and didn't have much seating.  There were a lot of people that wanted to see this show and I don't think that they had the right venue for it.  If you didn't get to the atrium a half an hour before any type of show/event that you wanted to see there... you mind as well forget it.  You weren't going to get a seat and there wasn't even really anywhere to stand without blocking people's view. I think that Norwegian needs to seriously consider how small their entertainment venues are and make adjustments on future ships that they build.



After that we went to the comedy show.  Same type of situation... it was a small venue and they actually had lines of people waiting on standby in case people didn't show up.  The funniest guy was actually the opener!  He had some funny jokes...  He had cruise ship humor.  He was like everything is much more exaggerated on a cruise ship...  Like normally you fart and you have so much space that it's not a problem... but god you fart in the cruise ship room and it's like AH! You horrible person!  Maybe you had to be there, but I swear our cruise ship room was about the size of our bathroom at our house and what he said is so true! He had everyone cracking up.  Also he was saying that he wanted to go on the plunge water slides but he was scared because he was a big guy.  He said he didn't want people to be taking pictures of him in the slide #stuck like a Norwegian.  Haha!  He was funny!  He was funnier than the headliner guy.

Honeymoon Day 3


The Mojito Bar!!  I'm pretty sure that this was Cody's favorite part of the ship.  He had read reviews online of how good the raspberry mojito was so we had to search the ship for the mojito bar.  Turned out they were AMAZING!  We both loved them, and I'm pretty sure this is mostly what we drank all throughout the cruise... especially during the day.  


We tried other flavors besides the raspberry, but we both realized pretty quickly that was our favorite.  Towards the end of the cruise the one bartender even saw us coming and knew what drink that we wanted.  The only down fall to the mojito bar is that it takes quite a bit of time to make a mojito.  There is a lot of mixing and shaking, and pouring through a filter.  Then they also made a pretty presentation on the drink, with a sugarcane stick, leaves, and raspberries.  Even though it took a little bit of time to get the drink we both loved it and it was totally worth the wait. 


The Deal or No Deal show was the biggest rip off on the entire cruise!  Except... maybe for the bingo show!  Ah!  They say that everyone wins a prize... but that is not true.  One person gets called up on the stage and gets to play and actually get a deal.  Everyone else has a pop out board with the case numbers on it, and you have to match the number being called up on screen.  The more matches you get the better prize you get.  If you get 1 match you don't get anything, 2 matches you get a scratch off/instant win ticket, 3 matches and you get a free 6X8 picture, 4 matches $50, 5 matches $200, 6 matches $500, 7 matches a free cruise for two, 8 matches $5,000.  After each round they show on the screen how many matches people in the audience have.  No one had more than 5 matches during our show.  Cody and I realized that it was pretty much a huge waste of money.  It cost $20 a person to play and the prizes that most people won were 1 scratch off ticket (which you could buy 6 for $20) or souvenir picture... which costs less than $20 too.  I wouldn't waste my money going to it again.  But there are a ton of people that do play.  Every game had enough people playing to fill up the whole theater and most people bought more than one card a piece. I think that it was a HUGE money maker for the cruise ship.  Same thing with bingo... I can't believe how much money people spend playing bingo or buying instant scratch off tickets. 


That night Cody and I went to Moderno.  Basically people come around with all kinds of different freshly cooked meats and they put some on your plate.  They also had a huge salad bar area there too.


They give you cards to put on your table.  If it is flipped on the green side that means that you still want the servers to bring you meat.  If it is red that means that you aren't ready for meat at the moment.


At first it felt like we were sitting there forever and no one was coming... and then it was like they ALL found us!  They had different types of steaks, a couple types of sausage, chicken, lamb... any type of meat that you wanted.



Our entertainment options tonight weren't that great for us.  First we went to a photography class.  I was pretty excited, but there were like 10 people there and they were all old people.  The class was pretty much about how to turn the camera on and focus on snapping pictures.  It was a super snooze fest.  I felt bad, but Cody kept telling me that we should go.  It was super boring so we did end up sneaking out.  We tried to go to an animal towel folding class instead, but it was in the atrium and we couldn't get anywhere close enough to see it.  We went to play the quarter game that we won major on at Carnival.  On our Carnival ship it was on the side of the ship and when the ship moved it would help rock the machine and drop the quarters...  no such luck on Norwegian.  They placed the machines right in the middle of the ship, and it basically ate our money every time we played it.  Cody did end up winning $150 playing slot machines though!  The Grammy Experience (pictured above) was not what I expected it to be.  I thought that they were going to play songs that have won Grammys, or that there would be memorabilia from the Grammy's in the room.  No such thing.  Basically it was a girl that had been nominated for a Grammy singing her own songs that no one had heard of.  I had no clue who she was.  Her songs weren't bad, but it was a pretty subdued quiet atmosphere and it really wasn't our thing.  I expected it to be more like Howl at the Moon, but it was pretty much the opposite.  We ended up leaving after a little bit.
 


That night we had reservations to see Burn the Floor.  It was basically pretty similar to Dancing with the Stars.  There wasn't any talking and it was people dancing on the stage.  The dancers were well trained and had some impressive moves... but again... it really wasn't our thing.  We were both a little bit bored with it.  I feel bad saying that... but I would have preferred something else.  I think it was aimed at an older crowd than us.


We tried to get to go to "Friendly Feud" or something similar to Family Feud.  It was so packed that we could hardly see the people up on stage, and there was no way that we were going to get to play... so we left again.  Darn... it was kind of a strike out for entertainment that day.  But it was alright.  We still had lots of activities that we did, and we knew that we were going into our first port the next day so we were looking forward to it.  We also knew that Howl at the Moon would be back the next night, so we had something to look forward to the next day!

Honeymoon Day 4 - St. Thomas



After researching Cruise Critic I saw that Godfrey Tours were highly recommended for tours of St. Thomas.  It was a family business and they charge pretty decent rates for the day.  We reserved them ahead of time and went on the tour.


There are a lot of tour companies that have trucks with additional seating attached behind them.  Almost every single tour company looked like this one.


They dropped us off by a flee market for several hours of shopping and exploring on our own.  We looked around at the flee market, and almost bought some things but then we decided to look around at the shops in the area first.


The first thing that I realized about St. Thomas is that there are 325 jewelry stores right in the main area that people shop in, and every single shop wanted Cody and I to come into their shop!  People were standing outside and calling to us to come into their shop.  People would be in a different area and would offer us a free gift for stopping into their jewelry store and would show us all of the sales that they had in their stores.

The most popular items that they were trying to sell were hook bracelets or items with Larimar stones in them.  The hook bracelets are popular in the Caribbean and they tell people what your "love life" status is.  If the hook is facing towards you than you are taken, if it is pointed away from you than you are looking for love.  The Larimar stone is only found in the Caribbean and unique to the area.  We ended up buying a heart shaped Larimar pendant for me as a souvenir to our honeymoon. 


The views in St. Thomas were stunning!  It was the most beautiful island that we went to.  St. Thomas is actually the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands and it is 19 sq. miles long.  The U.S. Virgin Islands are made up for St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John.


We went up to the mountain top for their "World Famous Banana Daiquiri."



Not going to lie... I didn't like mine.  :(  I ended up taking a few sips and throwing it away.  I guess I was too used to raspberry mojitos.


But the views from up there were amazing!  It was so gorgeous!


You can see the island in the water a little ways out.  This was called Buck Island, and every Caribbean island has their own Buck Island.  Our tour guide told us that the Caribbean was a major stop for slave ships.  Slaves were put on the Buck Islands in the Caribbean for 4 to 6 weeks after having been on a boat starving for 3 to 3 and 1/2 months.  They were brought to the island to be trained to fit into their lives of slavery.  They were usually given new names and Caribbean birth certificates, because slaves from the Caribbean were more valuable than ones from Africa. Our tour guides were really interesting and had a lot of knowledge about the island and the history of St. Thomas.


Next we went to Coki Beach.  There are two main beaches in St. Thomas.  Magen's Bay which is the largest beach.  It is shaped like a heart is very popular for weddings.  There is also a couple dollar fee to go onto the beach.  Coki Beach is free to go to, but it is pretty small.


Cody and I only went there for a few minutes before leaving.


I love sticking my feet into the water, but neither one of us really like swimming in the ocean.  We decided to take advantage of most people being off the cruise ship and go on the slides on the ship.  Plus we had early dinner reservations at Cagney's that night.



So here is the CRAZY water slide story that I promised you earlier... Cody and I went on the water slides together.  He went on the blue slide and I went on the green slide... no problems.  We both met at the end of the slides and decided to go back on.  I had a bathing suit that I guess could get stuck on the water slide so they kept making me wear a board on my back.  While we were waiting in line a girl said that she wasn't going to go on the slide, because she wasn't sure if she weighed enough to make it down the slide.  She said that she saw a little girl not make it all the way down the slide and she was trapped in the middle.  She said that she had to climb out an emergency opening in the slide.  She totally jinxed me!!!  I had been on this slide about 5 times before this occurrence and I never had a problem... but wouldn't you know... I go on the slide this time and there was a slight incline at one point, and I didn't have enough momentum to keep going.  I just stopped in the middle of the slide.  I won't lie... I don't really like enclosed water slides to begin with, because I feel like I can't breath in them.  So you can only imagine my horror at being trapped inside of this one!  Mind you... this only last a few seconds until a big wave of water came at me and pushed me back up the way I had started on the slide.  It flushed me out!  I just kept thinking find the emergency opening that the girl had just been talking about. I finally found it and there was a worker there that helped me out.  I went to walk right over to Cody.  I saw him at the end of the slide looking around for me... like where the heck is she? But the guy told me that I had to walk ALL the way around.  By the time I got to where Cody had been he was gone and it took me a few minutes to find him.  Of course he laughed at me.  I can't believe that happened!  Needless to say... that was the end of my water slide experiences for the rest of the cruise.



That night we ate dinner outside at Cagney's.  It was a gorgeous night.  It always got windy outside of the ship at night, but they had wind barriers set up and that made it possible to eat outside.  I think that this is Cody's favorite picture of our honeymoon.  :)




One of the deck areas turns into Spice H2O at night which is basically an outside nightclub.  Unfortunately this was on the Aft of the ship and directly 2 floors above our room.  The base and music was so loud that our room was vibrating from it.  Talk about annoying!  All of the other entertainment on the ship ended around 12:30am, and there were some nights when we had to get up early the next day.  This music was playing until 2am and it was suuuuper annoying!!  We hated having this nightclub right above our room.  We will never make that mistake again!
 


On the 4th night Norwegian had a firework night.  I was excited to see it... along with every other person on the ship... we were packed like sardines in the H2O area.  There were so many people that we couldn't move.  And the fireworks were a little lack luster.  Here you can see how they looked.  There was one little firework at a time and no finale to the show haha.  Nice idea Norwegian...



After that all three comedians on the ship had a show going on in the theater.  Again the opener the funniest out of everyone, but it was a fun show.  After that we went to Howl at the Moon for the rest of night and that was a blast.  We had a lot of fun and loved listening to all music and all the commentary from the people performing.  

Honeymoon Day 5 - Tortolla/Virgin Gorda


Our next day was in Tortolla which is part of the British Virgin islands.  Cody and I researched things to do in Tortolla and we realized that there is pretty much nothing to do there.  Basically everyone talks about going to other islands that are nearby.  So that is what we did!  Everyone talked about going to the Baths in Virgin Gorda.  We almost did a tour with the cruise ship, but we had read reviews about Eggbert tours and that they were really good and half the price of the cruise ship ($45 a person).  So we decided to go with them.  We actually didn't book the tour in advance, and we hopped off the cruise ship and started looking around for Eggbert.  Luckily he was the first person that we ran into so it wasn't an issue.  We took the hour and 15 minute trip on their boat to The Baths.


Here we are on the boat.  I think this is the only day of the entire vacation that I almost got sunburned and had to put on sun screen!


The Eggbert tour didn't give us any information about the area or provide any commentary.  It was basically just transportation to and from the area.  We ended up renting snorkeling equipment and started to snorkel for a while.  Cody had trouble with his mask leaking and he really didn't enjoy snorkeling so we decided to start inspecting the cave area of the baths.


We had to carry our snorkel stuff with us, because we had already bought a 1 time use locker and we didn't want to have to buy another one.  And good thing we kept the snorkeling gear on us because we needed it!!


We used the rope in this picture to help us climb through the caves.  There were a lot of people waiting in line so we couldn't really come back that way.  We ended up walking all the way through the caves and we came out at a beach that we weren't familiar with.



We ended up having to swim back to our beach, so like I said before I'm so glad that we didn't ditch our snorkeling gear!  I don't know what we would have done in that case...  However, I don't know what all of the other people did...  But we thought our only option was to snorkel back the way we came.  I don't have a good sense of directions and I had no idea which way we needed to go.  Cody pointed and said he thought that we had to go towards the right.  So we hop into the water and we start snorkeling our way back to the other beach.  Except that it was taking us forever to swim all the way around these rocks!!  At one point, Cody told me that we were lost and that he wasn't sure if we were going the right way.  I'm not going to lie... I hate getting off the beaten path/being lost in nature.  Here I am panicking that we aren't going to make it back to the boat in time and that we are going to be stuck an 1 and 15 minutes away from Tortolla.  I'm like "Omg... we're going miss the cruise ship!!"  At first it seemed like there wasn't anyone else around us, but finally I spotted a couple of kids on top of the rock.  I asked them if they could see the main beach area and they told us that we were going in the right direction... so we kept swimming and swimming until we finally got back to our beach.  Luckily we had plenty of time before our boat left to head back to Tortolla.



We hiked back up the path and made it to the Top of the Baths.  They had a fresh water pool there.  I won't lie.... it felt like heaven after having been in salt water all day.  It was so incredibly refreshing to hop into the pool and to dive under into the fresh water.  It was a tiny pool but it helped get the salt water and sand off of us.  Despite it all... looking back it was actually a fun day.  I like trying new things and I liked the snorkeling.  I prefer scuba diving, but I liked it.  However, as we were riding on the boat back towards our cruise ship we both agreed to take a good look at the baths and wave goodbye, because we both decided right there and then that this was probably going to be the last time that we ever made the journey to go out there.



That night we ate in Le Bistro which is a French restaurant on the ship.  I ordered a french drink there that was listed as one of their specialities.  I think that it was a martini and it was waaaay too strong for me!  I felt bad wasting it, but there wasn't anyway that I was going to be able to drink it.  The food there was pretty good.  I had mussels and duck.  Cody had lobster, shrimp, and scallops.  They also had a good dessert menu, and we ended up getting a chocolate fondue dessert.  


That night we went to see Legally Blonde the musical.  I've always like the movie and I was pretty excited to see the live show.  I think that I enjoyed it more than Cody did, but he didn't really have any complaints about it.  I thought that the songs were really catchy... and even 3 months later I'm still singing the catchphrase of how they started most of the songs  "Ohhhh my god you guuuuuys... Oh my god!"


Of course we went back to our favorite spot!  Howl at the Moon.  Once again we had a blast!

Honeymoon Day 6




The next morning was full of activities.  We went to a future cruise presentation, and they talked about the different cruise options that Norwegian offers.  They also discussed the new upcoming cruise line that they are coming out with in the next couple of years.  They talked about the improvements that they are adding to the ships.  I'd be interested in seeing what those cruise ships are like and where they are sailing.  Cody and I are in the market for a cruise in July 2017 to Alaska so we'll see what cruise line we will go with.  Next we went to the international crew talent show... which I thought had a lot of promise.  We had been watching all of these shows and we knew the talent of the Howl at the Moon group we were hoping that crew members with a lot of talent would be at the show.  Turns out... not so much...  it was mostly the cleaning crew and cooks performing and to be honest they were only alright.  Next was the final bingo...  at the Deal or No Deal game that we played they gave us a free card for the final bingo game so we went there and played with the free card that we had.  We didn't waste our money to buy more playing cards.  It was funny whenever someone was close/had only one more ball that they were waiting for the bingo director told them to stand up.  And then everyone would boo the standers.


After all of that we spent the remainder of our day at the Vibe and Spice H2O.  While we were at Spice H2O we spotted the two performers from Howl at the Moon!!  They were sitting next to us, and we were kind of snooping on them talking with some other people.  Cody was too shy to tell them that we had been to all of their shows and that we were big fans haha.  So we ended up not talking to them.


That night we went to Teppanyaki which is a Hibachi restaurant.  It had a LOT of promise at first.  The show was good and the food looked great!!  But the portions were unbelievably small!  I ordered steak and shrimp and I only got 5 shrimp.  Also they almost didn't give us any veggies!  The veggies is usually my favorite part of hibachi, and they sliced up a zucchini, carrot, and onion and they gave everyone one slice!  They cut that slice in half and said that it was an appetizer.  I've never been to a hibachi place where I've literally gotten 8 pieces of vegetables.  The food that we got was good, but we ended up leaving hungry.  I can honestly say that is the first time that has ever happened to me at a hibachi place.


Norwegian is known for their glow parties.  They had glow face paint and all kinds of stuff to wear that glowed.  They told everyone to come dressed in white.  Just like the fireworks it was super packed.  It was supposed to be a dance party but there were so many people that we couldn't even move.  Based on that we didn't end up staying too long at it.  However, we did have fun that night at a comedy show.  The opener asked the crowd who had been to Nassau before.  Then he asked of those people who were getting off of the ship tomorrow and funny enough no one was going on shore.  He said exactly we consider Nassau the Detroit of the Caribbean.   

Honeymoon Day 7 - Nassau Bahamas


Cody and I have always wanted to go to Atlantis in the Bahamas.  At one point we actually considered going there for our honeymoon, but eventually decided against it.  We had heard that Nassau wasn't a very safe place unless you went to Paradise Island which happens to be where Atlantis is located.  So based on that we decided to book our first ever cruise ship excursion.  It honestly didn't feel that much different from when we went on tours on our own.  Unfortunately the excursions where we could go into the water park were already sold out MONTHS before we went on the cruise.  We actually booked our excursion to get access to Atlantis and it's beach months in advance too.


On the ride to Atlantis I could understand why the comedian called Nassau the Detroit of the Caribbean.  Just looking through the harbor we saw probably 10 or more boats just capsized and rusting out sitting in the harbor.  Also the areas seemed to be rowdy.  We felt safe on our bus tour, but I wouldn't go out adventuring in Nassau.


We finally arrived at Atlantis!!  We were so excited!  They gave us a wristband which specified which areas we were allowed to go in.  We actually thought that a tour of the entire property was included in our tour, but it turns out they were just escorting us to the beach.  We thought that we bought an Atlantis tour and beach pass.  So I was really disappointed that we weren't going on a tour.  I guess that they give free guided tours in one of the towers so we headed over there.  We had just missed the last tour by like 15 minutes!!!!  I was so upset that Norwegian didn't explain this to us, and they took so long to get us to Atlantis that our we didn't have the time.  We tried to just walk over onto a tour and listen in.  But they gave everyone a headset and the tour guide talked softly into a microphone so we couldn't hear anything.  :(   We ended up going off on our own and just looking at everything.



They have a nice aquarium at Atlantis that we got to walk through.


It was neat to have the water above us.


They had a lobster exhibit with the BIGGEST lobsters I have ever seen in my life!!!  They were huge!!!



I'm not sure if these pictures do them justice or not.


We ended up sneaking into the water park area.  There is a person that checks your wristbands and they were in conversation with another group... so we just kind of walked past them.  At that point no one was checking wristbands anymore so we probably could have gone onto the water slides and stuff, but I felt too guilty to do that.  Plus we had all of our stuff with us.  We did enjoy walking around and looking at all of the rides.  The giant pyramid ride that Atlantis is known for looks really awesome.  At the end of it you are in a tube and fall into a lazy river that is underwater.  It is kind of like the picture above when we were in the aquarium.  All kinds of fish and things are swimming above your head.  It looked like it would be really cool.  Cody and I are already talking about someday going there when we have kids.  The theming of the park is done really well.  We also headed to the casino and we played a wonder woman game that we saw at the Bellagio in Vegas.  We ended up hitting and winning a little bit.




We had fun at the Bahamas.  It was awesome to get to see Atlantis.


Our ship was in the perfect position for an awesome picture.  You can see us with the Norwegian Getaway behind us.  :)

Back into our room on our balcony before sailing away.  We had perfect view of all of Nassau and we could see Atlantis in the background.  We were being silly and taking all kinds of pictures.

Kissy picture!

Hanging out on the balcony.


Cody with Atlantis in the background.


Atlantis in my hand!  You have no idea how long it took us to make this picture!!  Haha!


That night we had our final dinner of the cruise at Cagney's again.  You just can't beat filet mignon and lobster!  The food on our cruise was amazing.  We thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend buying the ultimate dinning package.  We felt that it was completely worth the money that we paid for it, and I can't imagine how our cruise experience would have been without it.



I don't feel that I've talked about these mojitos nearly enough in this blog, because we were seriously at the mojito bar NUMEROUS times a day.  We absolutely loved these drinks.  I am so thankful that the unlimited drinking package got included into our booking.  I'm not sure if we would have paid $160 a day for us to buy this ourselves, but it sure was nice to have it included.  I would say that the offers like these that Norwegian passes out are definitely a huge perk and makes it worth booking with them.  The package totally changed the dynamic of our cruise.  Drinks are at least $10 a piece on a cruise ship and they showed us what our bill would have been every time we order a drink.  It was almost always $22 with the tip.  During our Carnival cruise we were really conservative about how many drinks we had because $22 a drink really add up quickly.  It was really nice not having to worry about that on this cruise.


I feel like I've talked about the Dueling Piano Bar a lot... but it was the most fun that we had on our cruise.  Every night that it was playing we went there and hung out for the night.  And every single time we had a great time.  I couldn't say better things about it.  I hope that Norwegian keeps this on all of their cruise ships.


Overall, we had a BLAST on our honeymoon.  Cody and I are both doers.  We like having things to do and we like relaxing a little bit.  A cruise was the perfect fit for us. I'm torn on whether or not I would go on another Norwegian cruise.  On one hand... the food was excellent and the rooms were nice.  Also them including the unlimited drinking package could definitely help convince me to cruise with them again.  On the other hand... I didn't like how little flexibility the ship offered and I didn't like having to book everything in advance.  I also think that the overall quality of shows and entertainment on Carnival was better.  I've heard people say that Royal Caribbean is actually the best cruise line and that they have good food and entertainment.  So maybe in the future we would try a cruise with them and see which one we like the best.  But regardless... we still had a great time and I'm so happy that we were able to go on another cruise together.