As a travel agent, I sometimes have the opportunity to take advantage of last minute discounts on various vacations. This summer, I was able to take a VERY last minute 4 night Bahamian cruise with my husband on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. Completely unexpected and completely unplanned! As in, I called my husband who was out of town on business and said, “Um…so do you want to leave for a cruise next week??” His response…”Are you serious?!” Once he realized that I was indeed serious and I got the ok from him, we started scrambling to find childcare for our 3 boys. Big thanks to family members and friends for helping us pull this off!
Cruising is one of my absolute FAVORITE ways to vacation! I often have people say to me, “I can’t go on a cruise because I would get motion sick.” Full disclosure, I have bad motion sickness, however, I have never had a problem with it on a cruise. I take a Bonine daily and hardly ever feel the ship rock. I also always tell clients that if they are worried about the motion to take Sea Bands, Ginger gum, and any kind of non-drowsy motion sickness medicine that they prefer. Location of your stateroom also plays an important part. I have found that you feel less movement in the dead center of the ship. Because of this, I always book my stateroom and most of my clients a Mid-Ship stateroom category.
One of my favorite things about a cruise…the food of course! All you can eat at all hours of the night, yes please! It’s very possible that I ate a plate of piled high nachos at midnight every single night. Why not?! When on vacation, right? We also always purchase the beverage package, because lets face it, pretty frozen drinks on cruise ships are expensive and they add up! For us, it’s worth it to purchase this package because between the beer, wine, frozen drinks, and specialty coffee that we consume, we would end up spending WAY more money if purchasing out of pocket on the ship.
Key West, Florida
Our first stop port was Key West, Florida. We were so excited about visiting here since neither one of us had been before. We hopped on a tram after departing the cruise ship and it took us to the very popular Duval Street. Walking down this street is a must in Key West. We spent the entire day here! We started the day with a stop at the Smallest Bar in Key West. Tiny, but so cute! Between stopping at bars, walking down to the Southernmost Point, eating lunch, and shopping, it’s a full day experience! My husband was in heaven with all the cigar options and I was in heaven with the Pina Coladas at Flying Monkey Saloon. I probably could have sat there all day trying the MANY different types of daiquiris that they have, but then again, I might not have made it back to ship if I had.
Our favorite bar that we experienced was Blue Heaven on Thomas Street. Oh my goodness, if you visit here, ask for Britannie to make you a mojito. This is my go to drink, and she made the best one I have ever had! Sitting at their outdoor bar, in the shade, listening to live music, feeling the breeze, knowing that you are on vacation in Key West…perfection. Tip: Expect a wait if you are planning to eat here due to it’s popularity!
We stopped for lunch at Caroline’s Café on Duval Street and had an amazing Grilled Mahi-Mahi Sandwich and Caroline’s Famous Fried Fish Sandwich. Both were great, but the fried fish sandwich won both our votes. And of course who can resist Key Lime Pie for dessert?
We ended our day in Key West with a visit to Sloppy Joe’s Bar. If you aren’t familiar with this bar, this historic place has been open since December 5, 1933, the day that Prohibition was repealed, and offers live music, dancing, sports watching, and a separate tap room. After going through several name changes, a favorite patron by the name of Ernest Hemingway, suggested the name Sloppy Joe’s Bar and it stuck. Each year this popular bar hosts an annual Hemingway look-alike contest. This is one of the MANY events in Key West that celebrates the birthday of Ernest Hemingway. There were so many other things that I would have loved to have done and seen in Key West, but the day was almost over and it was time to head back to the ship.
Our next port was Nassau, Bahamas. We decided to take a taxi over to the Atlantis Resort and spend some time walking through The Dig and Aquarium. You do have to purchase a day pass to visit the Atlantis and you have MANY different options to choose from. Most people wish to visit the very popular Aquaventure Waterpark as it is a great time for kids! Even though we had been to the Atlantis before, the last time that we were there was about 10 years ago and SO much has changed! I really wanted to walk the entire property and take pictures since I have had more and more clients interested in visiting this resort lately. I loved seeing all of the fish and sharks in the Aquarium and Dig. This is a great resort for both families and adults only. The Cove Tower has an adult only pool and beach area, so if you need to escape for a while, this is your hiding place!
Seriously, if I could do back to back cruises, I would! Maybe someday when the kids are grown, my husband and I can be that little old couple that just cruises year round. Bucket list…World Cruise! Until then I guess I’ll just look forward to our next sailing…in 3 weeks;)!