Trying to remember every detail of the cruise is going to be impossible. My BFF and I had planned to keep a travel journal, but we never did seem to find the time. By the time we arrived to the cruise terminal, three of our group had already boarded the ship and were enjoying some fun in the sun! We were held from jumping in line at the terminal because they were getting backed up. After a short wait – we went up the elevators and went through the boarding process. About an hour later we stepped on to the ship and found our INCREDIBLE cabin! We had splurged on an Aft Wrap balcony cabin and it was well worth the additional expense! We need that little bit of extra room, and the balcony was perfect for watching the sun rise and set and star gazing late at night.
After unpacking and changing, we met up with our classmates and headed over to the Lido Deck pool to wait for our Muster call. That was an experience unto itself .. trying to get hundreds of adults to stay quiet at the same time. We were told – No Talking – No Cell Phones. I of course was live posting to Twitter and Facebook the entire time. hahaha! After our safety briefing we were dismissed and headed over to our Sailaway Party and to meet up with the other classmates aboard the ship. We were totally silly, waving to everyone as the ship pulled out of port. We toasted the class with a bottle of Dom Perignon, sipped wine, and stood out on the balcony watching Virgina slip away in to the sunset. We passed through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel as it grew dark and then it was time to head down for Dinner. We did a little creative shuffling to get the two gentlemen in our group to sit at our table – and I am VERY thankful they did! We shared so many laughs around that dinner table over the week.
Nightly Dinner in summary really comes down to three things: Great conversation, many laughs and Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Elegant night was on Tuesday – we all looked smashing!! It was fun getting all dressed up for dinner. Then we had a special night at the Steakhouse on Thursday as a group – I will tell you more about that in just a little bit.
Here’s our daily itinerary
- Tuesday was a Day At Sea – which really translates in to a day poolside tasting yummy frozen adult beverages.
- Wednesday – a Day in Nassau. We went on a fantastic walking tour called Bites of Nassau.
- Thursday – a Day in Freeport. We went to Junkanoo Beach Club.
- Friday – a Day At Sea – see above
Here’s the review I just wrote for our Bites of Nassau Tour :
As a Class Reunion Group we decided to take the Bites of Nassau Tour on the recommendation of another classmate, and we’re glad we took her advice! A short walk from the cruise terminal to the start of the tour. Our Tour leader, Nick, was funny, personable and knowledgeable about Nassau history and food. He was able to answer every question I threw at him – from the history of Carnival to the sounds of local music. We sampled so many tasty treats and visited historically relevant locations around Nassau. While we had a storm pass through, it didn’t stop the tour from moving forward. I was still able to snap a ton of photos! My favorite stop was of course the Chocolate Shop! I would HIGHLY recommend this tour – and be sure to ask for Nick as your guide!
This tasting tour was incredible. I sampled Conch Fritters – my very first Sea Food! We had a drink called Switcha – a lime ade drink legend to switch your bad mood to good once sipped. It was DELICIOUS! We stopped at the Greycliff Mansion – where Jay Z had proposed to Beyonce – and was fist owned by the Pirate Captain John Grey. We sampled the local soda and beer at the Cigar Shop, and then headed over to the Chocolate Shop for the most incredible candy! We stopped at several historical buildings, and sampled Greek Salad, Conch Chowder and Tomato Soup, all sorts of Island Spices, and finally RUM CAKE! I can’t say enough good things about this tour – be sure to check it out if you’re headed to Nassau.
Thursday at Junkanoo Beach Club in Freeport was just as amazing. The water was so BLUE and clear and warm! We had chairs and umbrellas right at the shore line, and just settled in to enjoy a few hours of sunshine and good friends. We were due back to the ship by 2:30pm – so it was a half day for us. We stood on the ship deck between 2:30 – 3:00pm to watch for “runners” (aka late cruisers) – but it seems that everyone made it back on time.
We all attempted to behave ourselves at the Steakhouse on Thursday night. I think we did a most excellent job of it up till the time dessert arrives, and one classmate asked innocently: “What does this look like?” in reference to a Chocolate Spiral and well placed tea biscuit. If you are thinking in your head a “swimmer” – you are correct! Oh we laughed so hard!!!! It’s a wonder we weren’t kicked out of the place. That one moment pretty much set the tone of mischief for the rest of the cruise!
We stopped at the Magic Show that night, and my lovely friends volunteered me to assist in one of the tricks. I reluctantly walked over to center stage and embarrassed myself to death. The first trick involved dice .. and the magician guessing which one was face up after been tossed around in a glass. The second trick was a Mind Reading one. He asked me for my phone number … and I responded “Oh … I don’t give strange men my number on the first meeting.” (hahaha .. yeah .. no one else laughed either). He stood and stared in to my eyes while scribbling on his notepad, turned it over and asked “Is your number on this notepad”? And sure enough it WAS!!! The magician then said while stuffing the note in his pocket “I’ll keep your number secret if you keep mine” … and I mouthed “Call Me” with the international call me hand signal and a wink, as I walked off stage.
Friday was another day at Sea. My BFF and I had appointments at the Ship Spa for a Ginger and Lime scrub and massage. We all actually ended up spending a lot of time at the spa throughout the week – having purchased a week pass to the Thermal Suite and Therapy Pool. It was so nice to just relax in these heated rooms and pool – away from the crowds at the Pools. I had never had a massage before – but I went in open to the experience and left ALL inhibitions aside. The masseuse used that Ginger and Lime scrub everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE! There was no place on me left unexfoliated. AS my BFF said, “I think I’m now engaged to my masseuse!” The massage was so incredible – my skin felt soft and moist, and my muscles so lose and relaxed. We spent the rest of the day pool side, too relaxed to move too much!
Friday night we decided to have a Pajama Party in our cabin to use up all of the wine we had leftover. There were 6 in attendance, and 6 bottles of wine to consume! Two of our classmates cut out after the first 6 bottles were finished, while the other two hunted up another 2 bottles of wine. We stood out on our balcony watching the ship drift closer to the Virginia coastline, looking up at the stars, and thinking we never wanted that night to end. One classmate looked up and shouted (and I paraphrase as I was in the loo when this happened) “Look there’s a Flying Fish -make a wish! Up by Orion’s Belt”. Of course we did not see a Flying Fish up that high in the sky .. but I think we all made a wish any ways. A little later the question was asked “What would happen if we tossed something off the side of the ship?” That was my cue to write a message and put it inside one of the empty wine bottles. Sealed up with a screw cap … and handed it off to another to toss overboard. We hesitated just for a second – knowing MY DNA was inside that bottle and HIS fingerprints on the outside of it. But only for a second – and over board the bottle went! When else were any of us going to be able to send a Message In A Bottle? I hope one day someone finds it and lifts up a glass of Champagne to the GRHS Class of 1985 – and all the fun we had on our trip.
I ended up chugging the last of the wine and sending the gentlemen off to their own cabins at 3am. I needed a few hours of sleep before our arrival! Someone gave me a warm hug on the way out … and after a short conversation with my BFF roomie .. I drifted off for a few hours of very sweet dreams. I am sure I forgot to share some details, and will add as I remember. We had the time of our lives this week – creating memories that will last us all a lifetime. I will FOREVER love these dear friends of mine. And we have plans for January 2017 to do it all over again! Will you join us?
Next time you’re looking up at Orion’s Belt – close your eyes and imagine a warm sun, calm seas, and a soft breeze hitting your face – and make a wish on a flying fish!