Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bermuda Part 1: Just blogging

Because I have had some posting troubles lately with blogger, I will first post the blog about our Bermuda Cruise trip**, and then post separately with just pictures. :)


Bermuda – Spring Break 2011

Sunday 4/17
We left for the port in Baltimore at about 1pm or so and got on the boat shortly after. Going through the baggage checks and lines really didn’t take as long as we expected. We started our cruise off by getting some lunch and exploring the boat a bit, since we couldn’t get into our rooms until 2:30pm. I immediately felt nauseous and took Dramamine shortly thereafter, despite my original idea of not taking it and seeing how it went. We later went on an official tour cruise to see the boat. 11 floors of everything you could imagine: mini golf, 3 pools, 2 hot tubs, a full gym, a huge curvy water slide, a piano bar, a casino, several buffets and restaurant areas, a glass elevator, spacious rooms, and to our pleasant surprise: extremely nice and polite staff! They were quite honestly one of the best parts of the trip! Our main housekeeping lady called us by first name the whole trip! She even filled up our cooler with ice without us asking, to keep our bottled waters cold! :) That night we went to a lounge and listened to the cruise band play some jazz and we tried some fruity drinks, complete with little umbrellas. We went to dinner afterwards: I had tilapia with fresh salsa and Dan had a steak. Not too shabby! Then we saw a comedy show and then called it a night.

Monday, 4/18
I felt very nauseous this morning, I guess because my medicine had worn off. Not a great way to start the day, but it got better. We had breakfast at one of the buffets upstairs and then explored the boat a bit more. We took an afternoon nap (the Dramamine really left me drowsy, so I couldn’t get enough sleep on this trip) and then went to the gym to workout. Working out on a moving elliptical machine while the boat was moving – not a good idea! I felt even worse, had to stop, and then went back to the room. Later that night, we went to a show called “Jazzin” which was perfect because it revolved around jazz music, which we both love, so that was fun.

Tuesday, 4/19
During breakfast this morning, we sat at a table with people who lived in Savage! The children went to Bollman Bridge (where I attended and later substituted). Small world! This was our first day on Bermuda! We walked around a lot, talked to some tourist help centers, and then took a bus from the Naval Dockyard (where we docked) to Horseshoe Bay, a popular beach spot on the island. Although Bermuda is known for its “pink sand” up close, it’s really just white sand with lots of pink specks from the coral reefs. But it’s still very pretty! The sand is so smooth and fine, it feels like you’re walking on powder! That night was the first night we found a towel animal when we got back to our cabin! (During several nights, the housekeeping staff will make little animals out of the towels and leave them on your bed for you). We ended the night by visiting the adults only area (open 24/7!) and hung out on the hammocks, just relaxing. Ahh, vacation!

Wednesday, 4/20
This was our big Bermuda exploration day! We first explored some of the shops and places in the Naval dockyard, and then caught a ferry to Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda. We walked all around the town, and then by the suggestion of a very nice local man, we walked to Fort Hamilton, this diamond in the rough sort of place at the top of the town. It had very old cannons and stone walls. There were lots of gardens within the fort, and there was actually a group of schoolchildren playing there when we went. It was gorgeous. At the top of the fort, you can see the entire town of Hamilton. We had lunch at a really nice Irish pub and then took a bus to St. Georges which is on the other side of the island. This area is more known for the history of Bermuda, where despite Fort Hamilton, Hamilton is more known for shopping and restaurants. IN St. Georges, we were amazed at how many different churches and religious buildings we found! In addition to that, we loved seeing the bright neon colors of all the architecture in Bermuda! I couldn’t help but take pictures, because I just loved all the color! Many of the churches we saw had been there since the 1800’s! After a long day of exploring there, we took the ferry back to the dockyard and went back to the boat for dinner and a workout. All in all, we spent almost 4 hours of the day just walking and exploring! It was tiring, but wonderful!

Thursday, 4/21
This was our 3 and ½ year anniversary! This cruise was supposed to be our 3 year celebration, so it’s only right that our 3 and a half anniversary happened to be during our cruise. Today we went to a different beach, called “Church Bay.” This beach is well known for all of the reefs and sandbars, and is supposedly the best place to snorkel on the island. When we got there, we saw several dead man of war jellyfish on the sand, so we stayed clear of the water. We still enjoyed the sun and peacefulness of a secluded beach though. The water is soooo blue there! It’s hard to capture such a hue like that with a camera! We came back to the naval dockyard after a while, and then went to this other beach area that has lots of water sports and an outdoor restaurant. We laid on the beach after having some lunch, and of course right before we talked about doing some paddle boating or kayaking, the clouds start getting darker and it looks like it’s going to rain. The sun disappeared and it was colder. So we didn’t get to do any water sports, but we did a lot of exploring and relaxing on the island, which was our main goal for the vacation anyways, so it was ok. Before we got back on the boat, we had our picture taken under the MoonGate. We had seen this symbol all over the island and I finally asked someone about what it meant. Apparently couples who walk through it are blessed with good luck for their relationship. The picture is on Dan’s camera of us, but I did include one of the MoonGate itself so you could see it. I love old traditions like that!

Friday 4/22
Our boat left Bermuda Thursday night, so this day was a day at sea. The waves were VERY rocky today, and Dan even asked to have some Dramamine because it was getting to him. The waves supposedly got up to 8 feet at one time! Yikes! This was a pretty casual day: saw a show called “vroom” that included music and dances from several different decades, and some more delicious frozen drinks (Dan and I tried several different ones throughout the cruise).

Saturday 4/23
We packed all of our things this day, and unfortunately because of the weather, couldn’t spend much time outside on the boat like we wanted to. So instead we had a lazy day, and read our books a lot, took some naps (yes, naps plural!), took some pictures of the boat, and watched a movie in our cabin.

Sunday 4/24
Our last day! Although we were sad our vacation was coming to an end, we were happy at the prospect of being on still land soon! We had a nice breakfast with some people from Baltimore, before getting our things and waiting to be called to debark the ship. We waited for about 45 minutes to be called, but once we were called the whole process of getting off the ship and back onto US territory was pretty fast. We left the port around 10am or so, and our vacation was over.

****Also, I didn’t write down the day that we did, but we also went to the casino. We only tried the slot machines, and we had NO idea what we were doing. But we had fun pretending to play them well! Don’t worry, we only spent about $5.00 so no real penalty on our part!

All in all, we loved Bermuda and would definitely go back. Personally, given that I needed to take motion sickness medicine every day and still had trouble with it, I don’t know if I’ll be looking for cruise vacations anytime soon. I won’t rule it out, but I think I’d prefer just flying once instead of being in constant motion for days at a time. We got the most out of our trip, and best of all we relaxed! We weren’t stressed at all, we barely talked about work, and we had some good ol’ couple time together!

**For those of you who knew me during my senior week/beach week years, I used to keep notes of what we did every day so that I could write about it all on my Xanga when I got home for us all to remember. Well, I did it this time too...only this time instead of with pen and paper (I forgot to bring some) I took notes on my ipod touch each day about what we did. I'm a nerd, I know. But I'll be glad to have this read over later on to remember what we did on our trip! :)

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