To escape the cold weather, Kevin and I decided to travel to somewhere warm for our first international trip together. After much deliberating on WHERE should we spend our hard earned dollars, we decided that a cruise would be most worthwhile.
We embarked on one of Norwegian Cruise Line's newer ships, the Breakaway early morning on Saturday, December 7th 2014 at Pier 88 in Manhattan. The reasoning behind our choice was purely for two reasons: ONE) it left from New York City, so it was a quick 30 minute drive to the Pier for us and TWO) it was everything you needed in a vacation without the hassle of planning.
Everything was provided for you on the cruise -- your hotel, your dining choices, your entertainment, and your transportation. Click below to read more about my review of the NCL Breakaway!
( EMBARKING )
To start it off, I'm going to just touch quickly about embarking. My father was nice enough to give us a ride to Pier 88 around 9 in the morning. We arrived there with no traffic, and paid the corkage fee for our wines after security at a small table off to the side. I had all our documents and passports in my hand and easily accessible in my backpack, so I figure not digging through my bags for these things saved us a little bit of time. We didn't wait long -- maybe an hour or two (mostly because we were very early and sat the closest to the doors) before we were one of the first people on board.
We opted to carry on all our luggage, which wasn't very much and decided to sit down at a restaurant for our first meal (which allowed us to avoid all of the craziness that is the buffet on the first day).
( THE FOOD )
The food on this cruise was nothing short of amazing. Now, especially when I'm not cooking or cleaning, I'm not much of a picky eater. The ship has tons of dining options -- both complimentary and paid. Kevin and I, deciding on trying to stick to a smaller budget, opted not to partake in any of the paid dining options. Instead, we stuck with the complimentary eateries and dining options.
And let me tell you....the food is plentiful and the food is gooooood. They have three main dining rooms with rotating menus for lunch and dinner, and a huge buffet with plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even late night snack. I think Kevin snuck off to the buffet for their late night snacking options at least two times (that he admitted to) throughout our cruise while I was sleeping.
I tried to keep track of what we ate and take pictures so I could compile it into a huge detailed review...but...if I'm being honest, we had a couple of drinks throughout the day and eaten so much that at some point, I failed to keep track and photograph our food.
( BEGINNINGS + PORT CANAVERAL )
The weather on this cruise was not that great. The first day and a half was rainy, chilly, and a bit dreary, since we were making our way down the east coast to our first port in Port Canaveral. These first day and a half were spent drinking, roaming the ship and exploring all its nooks and crannies. TIP: If you aren't a well seasoned cruiser or prone to motion sickness, bring Dramamine or ask for some at the front desk. During the first two days, the ship was rocking SO much I thought I was too drunk until I woke up sober and nauseous. We had a mid-ship balcony, so I can't bear to think of what the aft and forward-facing rooms were feeling while we were rocking more than a honeymooner's bed...
During one of the days, we stumbled upon its game room which was actually the perfect thing for a day we couldn't spend outside on the decks. It had chess, checkers, scrabble and allowed Kevin and I to spend time with each other...plus having a bucket of beer while we competed didn't hurt!
( GREAT STIRRUP CAY...NOT & NASSAU )
I'm a little jaded that we couldn't tender at Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian Cruise Line's supposedly beautiful private island)... you would think that for the money they spent on this place, they could've thought of a way to ensure we would be able to make it to this port of call. Due to rough waves, we missed their private island and instead made our way to Nassau to dock overnight.
However, not to dwell on the upsets, we decided to spend our night wandering around Nassau. Now it's not too shady compared to wandering about New York City's streets at night, but I can see how if you're not from New York City, you would be a little wary. At night, Nassau is a little empty with most of the tourists and people from the ship opting to stay around the docks. If you venture a little out, you'll have hoards of cabbies trying to hook you into get a ride with them. Just politely decline or ignore them (the NYC way) and keep walking.
During the day time, it's bustling with tons of people and the shops are open. Kevin and I weren't interested in purchasing things, so we decided to walk around and stumbled upon Junkanoo Beach. It isn't exactly the cleanest beach, but compared to New York City beaches, this was perfect. It isn't too crowded and there are a few vendors around, this is a great place if you're just looking to hop in the water for a bit and waste an hour or two before heading back on your ship.
Plus the beach is right next to Fat Tuesdays which is a place infamous for their strong and large drinks.
And I mean strong.
I ordered a yard of (honestly I can't really remember) something.... on their menu and it honestly overwhelmed me in the time it took for me to consume it. While walking back to the ship, I had a local humorously comment, "She looks drunk!" to which Kevin replied, "Yep she definitely is!". I think I was swaying a little, haha.
After we got back to the ship, I had to take a nap for two hours. Not a good idea. My head was pounding after I woke up! I had to eat something greasy just to soak up all the alcohol.
( AND EVERYTHING ELSE... )
Now I'm not a gambler, but I like to hang out in the casinos just for a little bit and try my luck. Now the penny slots guarantee a lot of fun for just a little bit amount of money! Whenever I go places with a casino, I have a budget that I allocate just to gamble, so if I lose that amount, I'm okay with it.
The penny slots provided over six hours of fun (in the course of two days) for me with just only $40 dollars! I thought I was doing quite well since I hit a streak and got up to about $160 dollars...but KEVIN DECIDED TO PLAY and for the two machines he sat on, he won $300 each. The first machine was one that I wasn't winning on, so I had him play on it. He got bonus after bonus and ended up with about $300....
The second machine was one with a high jackpot. After only pressing the lever twice, he managed to hit it!! For another $300! Beginner's luck, huh...Not fair...
At least he was kind enough to pay for the charges that we put on the room. :)
We took the week as an opportunity to sleep in, eat, and drink to our heart's content. It was a great and relaxing experience for Kevin and I to hide away from technology and just really enjoy the view and sit out on our balcony.
Lost in the middle of sea for a couple of days was the best thing to end 2014 for me. It was a redefining moment so that I could remind myself to be calm and let the waves of life slowly carry me to a predetermined destination I call my future.
until next time,