We're back from our cruise, and I've finally stopped sulking about it being over long enough to tell you about it.
Back in November (and just days after getting back from our Australia trip), we booked a 4-night cruise to Key West and the Bahamas with Lee's sister and brother-in-law and his cousin and her husband. And we've been counting down the days ever since. Teresa and Greg and Missy and Charles have 6 kids between them, but this would be a trip sans kids, so we were almost more excited for them to get to have some "me" time than for ourselves.
We flew out of RDU bright and early Monday morning, headed to Miami. We got to the port much earlier than the boarding time, but were pleased to find that the ship was ready and waiting for us to board early at 11am.
We set up camp on deck and wasted no time acquainting ourselves with the buffet, the bar and the pool.
As more people boarded the ship throughout the day and the pool deck got more and more crowded, we quickly realized that this is a "spring break" cruise. We knew when we booked the cruise for the second week in March that it would be spring break. In fact, we planned it that way since Missy takes classes and Lee teaches some online community college classes, so that our trip would coincide with their spring breaks.
However, the last time I went on a cruise was during spring break (back in senior year when I was an actual "spring breaker") and I don't remember it being dominated by spring breakers. I remember there being a lot of old people and little kids, and a few other spring break groups.
Well, our cruise was probably 90% spring breakers. At first we were worried about what we had gotten ourselves into. But it actually worked out fine because the atmosphere was awesome, they were super entertaining to watch, and they provided some serious eye candy.
I don't remember girls OR guys looking like that when I was in college (and mind you we're only talking about 4 years ago). Most of these kids were from Florida though, so maybe that's why?
Anyway, we set sail and said hasta la vista to Miami.
Our first stop on Day 1 was Key West. We weren't there for very long, so we walked around a bit, did some shopping, had a bite to eat at Margaritaville, and enjoyed being able to enjoy some cold beverages on the street.
I didn't get any pictures of it, but one of my favorite stops in Key West was the Kino sandal factory.
Kinos are leather sandals made right there on Key West, and the locals swear by them. At $12 a pair, they're super affordable. You go in, see a style you like and ask to try them on in your size. If they don't have your size? They'll say "hang on a second" and go in the back and whip them up for you. All the ladies bought a pair (and some for the folks back home) and we kept seeing girls on the cruise wearing them throughout the rest of the trip.
Then it was time to get back on board and set sail for Nassau. Our entertainment for the afternoon was the belly flop contest. This picture does a good job of showing what the pool deck looked like for the majority of the cruise:
That night was formal night, so we all got dolled up:
Day 2 and we arrived in Nassau around lunchtime.
Our first stop was the straw market, where we navigated narrow aisles filled with trinkets and fake purses and haggled with the aggressive saleswomen.
Next it was a harrowing bus ride to "Da Fish Fry" -- a strip of restaurants and outdoor booths. We had conch fritters, fried shrimp, beers and margaritas at this little gem:
Then we wandered around watching the guys making conch salad.
(I just love this picture. Doesn't this girl look so ditzy? Believe me, she was. That, or she'd already had one too many margaritas.)
After Da Fish Fry, we strolled back down to the port along the beach.
The guys had to have their picture taken with every cool grill they saw.
Along the way, we stopped for rum punch at this little beach hut and watched some volleyball.
Things started going downhill (or uphill depending on how you look at it) at this point.
Rum in the Bahamas is strong. And we were feeling good.
Lee and Teresa stopped to get another drink at this little hut.
Unfortunately, they told us that because of the spring break crowd, the Bahamian police weren't allowing them to sell alcohol on the beach that week. Fortunately, they ran across the street to the liquor store to buy rum for our drinks anyway. It was all very sketchy and wonderful.
By the time we got to Senor Frogs, we were in a great frame of mind.
So was this guy, who had a 5 minute conversation with Charles but was never able to fully open his eyes the whole time:
That concludes picture time from Senor Frogs, in order to protect the
I'm not saying that there wasn't any dancing on bars or an appearance on the main stage, but I'm not saying there was.
There is a picture of Lee and this guy though:
And one of our ship at night:
We got back onboard, had a (mostly) civilized dinner, and then turned in early as responsible old people do.
Next up was a relaxing final day on CocoCay, which is a private island owned by Royal Caribbean. It was absolutely beautiful.
And before we knew it we were on our way back to Miami.
It was an awesome trip, with some awesome people. The weather couldn't have been better and we didn't run into a single glitch on the whole trip.
Now, if only we hadn't been victims of the "the average person gains one pound per day on a cruise" statistic. But what's a cruise without pizza at 1am, 5-course dinners and buffets morning noon and night, huh?