Our Bahamas Cruise
When we were talking about honeymoon destinations, our initial ideas were very far off from a cruise. I have never considered myself a cruise type of vacationer. I prefer the rough and tough world of backpacking from place to place, hopping on trains instead of a boat, and getting lost in foreign cities without any guides.
We had ideas like Ireland, London, New York, and even Japan was mentioned a few times. I had my heart set on Prince Edward Island, but eventually we came to the agreement that, although we both love each other very very much, perhaps Kevin's first international experience and our honeymoon shouldn't be the same thing. I think it was probably the right choice.
Neither of us had even been on a cruise. I didn't know what to expect, and I was a little bit worried about the location - extremely humid climates and I have a history of not getting along (i.e. the Philippines hair fiasco of 2009). But we both agreed on it and managed to find a great deal that we couldn't pass up.
Now, as a disclaimer, I am fully aware that these pictures are probably some of the worst I've ever taken. My camera was being weird and actually ended up breaking almost immediately after this trip. I was getting frustrated and just wanted to focus on getting pictures, not necessarily quality ones. So even though the pictures are kinda lame, at least the memories aren't!
We cruised with Carnival, and I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Maybe it was because it was our honeymoon, maybe it was because the food was endless, or maybe it was just the fact that I basically didn't have to worry about anything. Whatever it was, I found myself having a pretty good time.
Our cabin was just the right size for us, there were enough amenities to keep us entertained, and my biggest problem was just that I was not used to vacations where the focus is to relax. I might have been bored every once in a while, but I got through three books in five days, so it was all worth it!
We went to a lot of the shows (which were great), lost a little money in the casino (not so great), and spent a lot of time in the sun. We went mini-golfing in the wind, watched a lot of movies, and stayed in the water for more than an hour when we were on one of the islands. That was probably the best part - the water. It was just like you'd hope Caribbean water would be: clear, blue, and warm.
We were pretty lucky to have it cloudy most days were were there. It was still very very hot and very very humid, but it just meant that the sun wasn't quite as strong and that I didn't get that sunburned. Kevin cannot say the same.
Did I mention that the food was really good? Because it was. Really good.
While in Nassau, we decided to take a formal tour - something I rarely do. Kevin surprised me with this food tour excursion, and we figured that it would be considered a success if it meant we got food.
Our first stop wasn't quite ready for us, so our driver took us to this old fort and we spent some time walking around and looking at the little souvenirs. Since this would be our only time to shop for any we picked up a good amount. Mostly for our families, but Kevin couldn't keep himself from walking away with a conch shell that now sits in our front room.
Our first stop was this super cute little seafood restaurant where we got a full demonstration on how to harvest and prepare a conch. Kevin would probably hate me saying this, but he was the brave soul who partook of the....uh...reproductive organ of the conch. They say it brings good luck and fertility so...win-win?
Everything here was really good. We don't drink alcohol so the Bahama Mamas went untouched, but I loved these deep fried seafood balls. They were a little spicy and the flavor was a lot stronger than I would have expected.
After our meal we toured the John Watling's Distillery. As you can imagine, this was a blast for two non-drinkers like ourselves.
It actually was pretty cool. Although we didn't take any of the rum offered to us, it was interesting to learn about the history of the place. Plus, we got to see where some of Casino Royale was filmed, so that definitely made it all worth it.
The well was probably our favorite part. And the fact that you weren't allowed to take photos in the actual distillery because the flash might make everything explode. No biggie.
Our final - and sweetest - stop was a chocolate factory! They also make cigars, which we saw first...but that wasn't as awesome. They gave us a really cool and pretty informative tour. The best part was just that we got to eat a lot of chocolate. I find that, no matter how humid or hot it is, good chocolate is always delicious.
I failed to take pretty much any pictures of or on the boat, but all the interesting stuff was on land. Although I had a fun time with the food tour excursion and don't regret doing it, I don't know if I would say it was really worth the money. If we go again I would prefer to check out more of the area on my own and discover some new things.
All in all, though, I can say that I enjoyed cruising! Backpacking and less organized travel is still my preferred method, but I would definitely be down to go on a cruise again someday. It's nice to relax and have everything taken care of for you once in a while.
The only way to really enjoy it, I think, is to just embrace the whole kind of cheesy and crazy aspect of it. There are always going to be some interesting characters, but if you just embrace it and roll with it, you'll have a fun time.
I know that a lot of people go on a cruise for their honeymoon, and it totally makes sense. You want your honeymoon to be a time where you just get to be together, and be happy together. I'm so glad that we made the decision that we did and postponed a bigger trip until next year.
That being said, I can't wait for 2017 and the adventures in travel it will bring!