Tuesday, November 29, 2011

sail away, sail away.

i have never been on a cruise before. for me ... doing so was more of a fantasy. i get motion sick very easily and the thought of being on a ship for days on end made me nervous. all i could think of was how incredibly sick i got on the deep sea fishing trip i went on when i was younger. no thanks.


fast forward to a few months ago ... my cousin and i decided we were going on a 4-night cruise. i figured i could take dramamine and wear those oh-so-stylish sea bands ... right? well, all nerves aside ... my sea bands did me well.



sail away, sail away.

the sail away party could be described in three words. beer. music. and dancing. it was all i had ever envisioned a sail away party would be. you know, if there had ever been a time that i envisioned such a thing. the moment you realize you are worry free for the next few days ... as you sail away into the horizon = serenity.

bethany's pics 097-montage-wm

that night we went to dinner, saw a show and perhaps got a wee bit nauseous. we went back to our cabins to endure the motion of the ocean. luckily ... night one was the worst and the rest of the trip was not as bad.

to our surprise, our bed had been turned down and teddy bear was waiting. before we embarked ... mason had given his daddy his teddy bear to take on our cruise ... because he loved him. aww ...


each night we also had towel animal creations waiting for us. it became a guessing game as to which little guy we would get each night ... on our last night, we put in a special request for a monkey. and we got him ... but, i think he was a grim reapin' monkey.


day two. we ported in freeport. i guess we did not really know what to expect, but when you know you are porting in the bahamas ... you envision white sandy beaches and little bahamian shops.

sunrise coming into freeport

freeport = not so much. more like ... big concrete slab and taxi drivers waiting to take you somewhere, as if you have any clue where to go or who to trust.


we approached an older trustworthy-looking gentleman and asked for advice as to where to go. we knew we wanted a beach and so he told us to "go wait over there". we soon learned that you cannot get a taxi cab with less than 10 or so people ... all jammed into a small van that feels like it could break down at any moment. our driver, david, was awesome though ... he taught us all about the bahamian culture.


we made our way to junkanoo beach. and all i have to say is that crusty old van ride was so worth it. junkanoo was heaven on earth. silky smooth sand. crystal blue water. the hum of jet skis in the midst. and drinks in hand. a true tropical paradise.


the minute we stepped onto the beach, we were bombarded by locals. i will admit ... they were very nice and quite entertaining. my cousin and i had a hard time telling the women no ... they all had their sob stories and we felt so bad for all of them. their stories were all true, no?

"pretty lady, you want braid? how about necklace? there's lots of competition ... please buy from me."

"get your tshirts! blue light special ... buy one, get none. life time guarantee ... call
1-800-BAHAMAS direct."


i could spend a lot of time at this place. at i sat with my feet in the sand and a drink in my hand, i couldn't help but imagine weekly trips to junkanoo with the kids. one can dream, no?


we basked in the sun for a few hours and then hailed a van taxi to town ... where the marketplace was. we shopped a bit ... and got everything we needed to top off our tropical paradise. you know ... where else do you get to drink from a coconut? my cousin had to have it.


we made our way back to the ship for a night at sea. we took in sunset from the upper deck and i got ballsy with dinner that night ... seafood. i really do not like seafood. but for samson ... i ate seafood.


samson was our waiter. we.love.samson. he was hilarious and made dinner one of our favorite parts of the cruise. he is from india ... we enjoyed getting to know him and learning more about the culture in india. oh ... and he about had a heart attack if we tried to order a hamburger or something else not-so-gourmet ... so, seafood it was on this particular night.


day three. nassau.

sunrise coming to into nassau

getting off the ship in nassau was so different than freeport. everything we wanted was right there. shops, restaurants, bartering with locals. but first up ... snorkeling.

could the water be any more gorgeous?


we took a huge catamaran out on the water with 100 or so other people to go snorkeling. we sat on the bungee cord nets in the front, elevated right above the water ... that was fun and everyone ended up with tic-tac-toe butts. ha.

once we anchored, we all put on our snorkel gear and hopped in the water. oh wait ... my cousin geeked out at the last minute and did not go. sad.



oh my goodness, we laughed so hard at each other. i don't know why it was so funny, but it was. kyle couldn't get his mask on and my life vest ended up choking the hell out of me because it wasn't strapped tight enough to my body.

but once we got ourselves together, we were good to go. gotta say i expected to see more color ... the reef didn't have much to offer. nonetheless, it was still a fun experience.


once we got back to the ship and showered ... we took on nassau. it was refreshing to shop in the stores and not be called a pretty lady every two seconds or be badgered to buy things. some of their gift shops were insanely cute and i'm kicking myself for not buying a few of the things i saw.


then we took on the locals. and again ... my cousin and i felt so sorry for all these women. it was late afternoon, so many of them had their children sitting there with them ... clad in school uniforms and all. they were adorable.


as we walked through the streets of nassau, we met winston. he had a woodworking shop that he wanted to show us ... or possibly he wanted to sell us uh, something else. we snapped his pic and kept right on walkin'. 


at sunset, we headed back to the ship for dinner, drinks and shows. the dancing and singing shows were great ... but tai, the girl that hosted superstar live: karoake, was hi-larious. oh my gosh ... we laughed so hard at her. she basically is there to help and sort of make fun of the people singing. we loved watching her show.



as we waited for dinner, we had fun with my camera at the atrium bar. asking another person to take a picture while shooting on manual settings and using focal points = almost pointless. the staff person who offered to take our picture then fell deeply in love with my camera and just wanted to keep shooting us. she was pretty funny.


camera recovered and given to our boys = even more pointless. but still cute, fuzzy and all.


love this girl.


damn. there i go flashing signs again. did i seriously think to myself .... "self, it would look awesome if you double flashed peace right now."

ha ... such a loser i am. but i still love this girl. my baby cuz.


day four. fun day at sea.

a whole lot of this ...


and this ...


and a very happy 12th anniversary to my husband. my best friend. my love. 16 years we have been together ... that seriously seems like an eternity, but we must be doing something right because i love this boy more today than ever before. love him.

bethany's pics 313wm

so when is the next cruise?


  1. Looks like fun! We are going on our second cruise in February for 8 days! Wohoo!!!

  2. Your pictures are amazing! Cruising is my favorite way to travel and this post gave me the bug! Happy Anniversary!

  3. Happy anniversary. That does look dreamy!

  4. Your description of Freeport was RIGHT ON! I have been there and you took me right back, I too, was almost convinced to have my hair braided 4 different times. I also went on a parasailing ride that almost killed me...literally! But, we never found the beach you found, if I am ever there again, that is where I will be going! Glad you had a great time and Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby.

    Kelli @ livinglifewithes

  5. Oh WOW!! That's all I can say....... :) Gorgeous photos!!

  6. Jealous! I would looove a cruise. You guys look like you know how to have a holiday!