Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Best Vacation Yet! (Part 3- Cruise!)

After Barcelona, Cody and I embarked on our first cruise together! It had been years since either of us had been on a cruise, and neither of us had been on a Norwegian Cruise Ship--we didn't know what to expect, but we were hoping for the best!

Once we embarked, we were happy to find our room and start to check out the ship. The ship was beautiful, and we were stunned by the size and comfort of our room, with a balcony to boot! The last time I went on a cruise, the room literally had bunk beds that folded out from the walls and a tiny port-hole; not this time! This room was all luxury. That first day we just explored the ship, tried to figure out where all the restaurants were, played some ping-pong on the pool deck, and even took a tour of the biggest (and probably most expensive- whew!) spa on the sea. We chose to eat at one of the included, and more casual, restaurants for dinner, called Taste. We were both happily surprised with the quality of food, too. There are a ton of restaurants to choose from that have a cover charge, so we were shocked that the included restaurants left nothing to be desired! We ended up going to see The Blue Man Group that night, because, how could we skip it?! It was a lot of fun and tons of laughs, but at some point the ship started rockin' and Cody and I both decided it was time to get out of the dark theatre and get to our balcony before we felt sick. The bed, oh that glorious bed, was appreciated after spending three nights choking on cigarette smoke in the apartment we had rented in Barcelona.

I felt like I was on the cleanest, softest cloud in heaven, so Cody and I slept-in super late, knowing that our first full day on the ship was a day at sea. Once we finally woke up, we had missed breakfast in the restaurants and instead went up to the pool buffet for some lunch. Then it was time to lay out and relax some more- there is always great people watching at a crowded pool, and the adorable plastic-surgery couple dancing all around the deck to every song didn't disappoint! Everybody seemed relaxed and happy, and there were barely any kids around causing a ruckus (I found out later that there was all-day care for kids on the ship, which explained the happy adults!).  We didn't spend too long at the pool before we decided that we wanted to entertain ourselves with something else, so we went down to the Irish Pub, Sheehan's, for a pitcher of beer. We ended up watching tennis, playing Deer Hunter (flashback to Morehead BW3s), and other video games, as well as air-hockey! Before we knew it, we were two orders of buffalo wings and fries and two pitchers of beer down. We went to the casino to keep the fun flowing and managed to break even after a couple hours of blackjack. Relaxing in the room sounded just right, so we lounged around until we got hungry again, and then went to get ribs from Sheehan's and watch a Beatle's tribute band. The ribs were shockingly tender and tasty- totally unheard of! It ended up being red carpet night and a dance party on the upper deck club, Spice H20, so after a wardrobe change, we went upstairs and danced with the rest of the party people. Everybody moved inside while we were downstairs changing and fixing a drink, so we wandered into the ship's club and were disappointed to see everybody from upstairs just sitting around looking antsy. We decided to get the dancing going again; within a minute of us getting out there, everybody was up and moving again! We danced as long as our feet could handle, and then headed back to our room.

Day three of the cruise was our stop at Naples, so we pulled each other out of bed in the morning to disembark and catch a ferry to Capri.  I originally went to the Island of Capri during my Sophomore year of high school when I went on a school trip to Europe. Ever since, I had been dying to go back, hopefully one day with a significant-other because it was such a beautiful and romantic place! My wish came true, and my wonderful hubby obligingly made this second trip even better than the last by renting us a private boat tour for two! We spent two hours boating around, dipping into caves and coves, and being told the stories of the island. Our tour-guide Christian was a character; just a lively, Italian boy of nineteen, full of fun stories of his own (I'm sure you can imagine). By the time we got back to shore, we felt we had seen what we came to see, so we picked up some pizza and ferried to Naples. I think our night before caught up with us, and we decided to go back to Taste for dinner and then spend the evening playing Scrabble at the Martini Lounge. Then we settled in for one last sleep in ultimate comfort and I was reaffirmed that I don't need much space to live happily; I just need that space to be a Norwegian Epic Balcony Suite and for Cody to share it with me ;)

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