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7.9.12 To Bermuda and Back!

I meant to post about our trip before it happened, but things just got super busy before we left. It was the first time I've been out of the country in years, and also, the first "big" vacation I took with Dave. We've done some trips like Washington DC and LBI before, but this was "bigger."

I posted under 100 pictures to an album on facebook, and for now, I will use pictures from there to show the trip. If I remember, I'll post the others in here at some point.

Here is some information about the trip:

We sailed on the Norwegian Star, out of New York City.

The trip details - We left on Sunday evening, arrived in Bermuda early Wednesday morning, left Bermuda Friday early evening, arrived back in NYC early Sunday morning.

We got a really nice stateroom with a balcony. It was a bit small since it was a stateroom on a ship and not a hotel room, but the balcony was pretty sweet.
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I ended up buying all of the photographs that the ship photographer took of us. Because I hit the magic number, I earned a CD of all of the shots in digital format. Awesome!

Here is our embarkation shot:
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As we sailed away, Dave and I walked around all of the upper decks and watched the New York skyline go by. We also got pina coladas to drink as we made our way into the open ocean. My travel agent sent us chocolate covered strawberries, which was super sweet. They were delicious! That night, there was a show with some previews of all of the upcoming shows, and Dave was pulled up on stage to make this sort of "man pile" of all guys holding each other up.

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Monday the 2nd was the first full day at sea. There was always a lot to do at sea, and I wrote down what we did each day, but I don't have that in front of me and as I type this so they all seem to blend. So, on sea days, we had yummy food, played shuffleboard, went to see a daytime show of a magician that was really cool, hung out by the pool and went in the hot tubs. There was lots of live music at various points in the day, so we did that often as well. All of the shows were really good - each night there was a show, and I *think* we made it to each major show, but missed some of the comedy/improvisation type shows.

Monday evening was also formal night on the ship. Since we cruised Norwegian, it was really "formal night if you want it to be formal night," but we dressed up. That night, we got our pictures taken by the cruise photographer and then ended up having to wait to get into the main dining room (which didn't happen on the other nights). While we were waiting, the Hotel Director who we had met the previous day and really hit it off with Dave, took us to one of the specialty restaurants on board as his guests, and we had a great Italian dinner and free wine.

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The second sea day, July 3rd, was the first full sea day. In the evening, we went to the regular main dining room - and continued to eat all of our dinners there, even when in port in Bermuda. The dinners in Bermuda were very expensive, and there weren't that many great restaurants near our ship. The food in the complimentary dining room was really good, so there didn't seem to be any point to eat elsewhere!

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The following morning, on July 4th, we arrived in Bermuda. I cried when I saw land in the distance - not like, boohoo sobbing and complete waterworks, but my eyes definitely teared. I was super excited, and happy to sea land, and I was able to call my mom and say hi and ask about Turbo and all that kind of stuff. It was just really neat to slowly approach land and watch it get bigger as time goes by.

We got off the ship, and there was a kiosk for watersports very near our ship. Dave immediately decided that he was going to go jetskiing, and I walked around the shops and sights while he did so (it was an hour excursion). He came back, and we went back to the ship for lunch and a quick nap. Then, we went to the Royal Navy Dockyard and Maritime Museum for sightseeing and our dolphin swim!

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The dolphin swim was absolutely amazing. The two dolphins with us were Ely and Marley, mother and daughter. They were so sweet, and so smooth and so much fun. They made cute little noises, did tricks for us, and we got our pictures with the dolphins, kissed them, and just had a blast.
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After the swim, we wanted to find a place called "Glass Beach" (that really might be called "Black Bay") and it was a bit of a challenge since not all the locals knew about it. We eventually found a woman and her son, and the boy walked us there. It was AMAZING. The entire ground was filled with pieces of sea glass, and we collected a lot.

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The following day, July 5th, we woke up super early, ate breakfast, and took the earliest bus out of King's Wharf to Horseshoe Bay. Horseshoe Bay is a really nice beach for swimming and snorkeling. The sand is pink, the water is crystal clear, and it is just beautiful.

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The above picture was taken in a cove to the side of Horseshoe Bay - the actual horseshoe portion is much larger, but we really liked this little side cove a lot.

After a few hours of swimming and snorkeling, we took a bus to Hamilton, the capital city. We did some shopping and then went out to lunch at the "Pickled Onion." After lunch, we took another bus deeper into Bermuda to go to the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo. The flamingos were my absolute favorite (and I've been thinking about seeing these flamingos since we booked our trip, since I remembered seeing them in Bermuda in 1991).

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After the zoo, we went deeper still on the bus to the Crystal Caves. We only toured one out of the two caves, and that was really neat as well. By that point, we were super tired, and went back to the ship to shower, nap and eat dinner.

The last day in Bermuda, we decided we wanted to try out another beach, and then head back to Horseshoe Bay since it was so pretty.

We started out at Church Bay.

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And then moved onto Horseshoe Bay.

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We had to be back to the ship by 4:30 pm, so we wanted to make sure were didn't go too far out and miss the curfew (cause the ship sailed at 5:00 pm). After the beaches, it was back to the ship for lunch and a nap. Then, we went on a banana split raft that was pulled by a speedboat. It was really exciting, and a nice "finale" before we had to board the ship one last time. The boat actually went out around where the ship was docked, so it was neat to get one last excursion in as others were boarding.

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Dinner was at the ship's restaurant:

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And that night was an awesome show of (ex?)clowns who did great juggling and balance tricks. The next day they held a juggling workshop, and Dave and I learned how to juggle. We clearly need a lot more practice, but we got the basics down and had some nice rotations.

With Sean and Max of "Sharkbait," the jugglers/clowns/performers.
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The next day was a full day at sea returning back to NYC. We juggled, hung out by the pool and hot tubs, and just relaxed.

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And the following morning at 8 am, we were back in the NYC harbor.

It was truly a wonderful trip - we got to do and see so many exciting things, and were really on the same page as for timing for each beach/trip/excursion. I had purchased the Nikon J1 camera before leaving, and it really was a great camera to have along on this trip. The pictures all came out well, and each night we enjoyed loading them onto my laptop and looking at them.

It's nice to be back home, but it was really a fun, relaxing, exciting week. We met so many interesting people and I keep looking at the pictures since they make me happy.

However, sadly, as soon as we got back and had been back an hour or two, Dave started to throw up. :( He had a 101 fever, and it is now down to 100 and just feels like complete crap. I feel so badly for him since that sucks. We don't really know how he got it, but he just picked up a bug somewhere. Here's hoping he feels better quickly!!


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
Your trip looks awesome and you look fabulous in all of these pics! Looks like an amazing time, makes me want to book a cruise ;) Hope Dave feels better soon!
Jul. 9th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It really was a lot of fun. I knew I was going to enjoy it, but I REALLY enjoyed it. I think what also helped was that the weather was absolutely fabulous. Before we left, weather.com said it was going to rain all 3 days - but that didn't happen. Our weather during the cruise portion was nice too. There was a thunderstorm one night and a windy night, but again, nothing too awful.

Where would you like to cruise? I'm already looking at all the sites to see where I can go next!!
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
I've went on a Caribbean Cruise a few years ago, I'd like to go on Alaskan Cruise next if I ever get the chance.
Jul. 9th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
Oh! I also meant to say that cruising, at least for Bermuda, is super economical. We passed a hotel that looked neat, and I just looked it up - $700 a night is the STARTING price. Other rooms were $800 and upwards of $1000. The cruise included all food, but not alcoholic drinks and some specialty stuff. The fare is for the trip there and back, the meals, and a place to stay for all nights (you sleep in your cabin while the boat is in port). For Bermuda, the prices range from $499 to Over $5000 a person. Most "really good" rooms fall in the range of $1000 - $1500 a person.

Edited at 2012-07-09 08:45 pm (UTC)
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
The problem with cruises for me is that because I live in Ohio, I have to fly to get to the cruise, so that is one of the biggest expenses. My uncle that lives in Florida goes on several cruises a year because they are so cheap for him, but if I went I'd have to pay an extra $600 just to get there!
Jul. 9th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
What an exciting vacation! You look beautiful on your pictures! :)
Jul. 10th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! We really enjoyed it a lot and were lucky to have great weather all days while in port. There was a night we sailed through a thunderstorm, but even that wasn't terrible.
Jul. 10th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
Lovely photos Alex :-) xx
Jul. 10th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you Sandy! :)
Jul. 10th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
Wow! Your trip sounds amazing. Love the pictures. The hubs and I just may go there, or the Bahamas.....not sure yet. Poor Dave, hope he feels better .
Jul. 10th, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
It is really beautiful. If you can find a cruise, it's more economical as well. The hotels in Bermuda are super expensive (we looked at one that STARTED at $700 a night!)

I'm looking into the Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean as well for future vacations. I feel like now I have the ability to take vacation days for work, I want to travel more!!

So, I say you should go!!
Jul. 10th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
Love these pics, and the FB album!

They're making me super nostalgic. I miss our vacations! We had so much fun on our cruise. I can't remember if I knew you then, but when we got back from it, I lost the memory card with all the pics! (I hadn't downloaded them to my computer yet.) I was absolutely devastated. Frank ended up finding it lost in my car (?!) over a year later. I was ecstatic!

Augh, I miss lounging on the beach next to beautiful water. I know it's going to be at least a few years before we take a 'real' vacation again. For that matter, it's already been over 4 years since our last one. Downside of being a student, I guess, and now that I'm (mostly) done, Frank's just getting into the swing of things. A little less than 3 years until he's done. I can't wait!

I hope Dave feels better. What a rotten way to end a wonderful vacation!
Jul. 12th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
I remember you posting the pictures after you found the card, but I don't think I knew you at the time you actually went on the trip.

Funny story, too. I met a woman on the cruise who was there with her husband and 15 year old daughter. I entered your blog contest, and it must have come up in her feed cause she sent me a fb message saying she entered as well. Kinda cute - like, not everyone fully knows how to use fb and the internet, ya know? But I thought that was funny. Hey, maybe she'll buy jewelry too!

I really don't travel a whole lot either. We went to Washington DC in, oh, 2010? And usually it is just LBI for a long weekend. So, it was nice to be away for a full week in a "real" destination!!
Jul. 12th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
You & Dave make a gorgeous couple. Looks like you had a great time!
Jul. 12th, 2012 01:44 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!

It really was a lot of fun. I miss it so much already now that I'm back to my normal life.
Jul. 12th, 2012 12:48 am (UTC)
glad to hear you had such an awesome time! you look gorgeous in all your pics, btw!

i absolutely love the flamingo one and i agree, your pictures are great quality!
hope dave feels better soon!
Jul. 12th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
Thank you!!

The flamingos were so adorable. I've been thinking about seeing them ever since I booked the trip. So, that made me super happy.

As I saw in your fb comment, the sea glass was so fun too. It really blew my mind and I filled a large star dish with it and it makes me happy to look at it. :)
Jul. 15th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
really enjoyed seeing the pics! sounds like you had a wonderful time and I would LOVE to swim with dolphins!
Jul. 16th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Thanks - it was really blast. The dolphins were amazing - I'm so glad I booked that as soon as I booked my trip. It was definitely one of, if not THE favorite aspect of the entire trip.

Love your icon - the flamingos were pretty cool as well.

This was my first "big" vacation in years, and I just loved every moment of it!
Jul. 30th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
Awww, I was hoping you guys would have an excellent time! I always do! And thanks again for the postcard, if you didn't get my inbox message. ♥

I assume these were taken with your new camera? (Aside from the one you posted that the ship photographers took, of course LOL) It looks like it takes AMAZING shots. I especially like the one of you guys at Horseshoe Bay . . . looks like it could be on a postcard or in a book or something! :D
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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