Last Friday morning I boarded the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas, a three night/four(ish) day cruise to the Bahamas!
As someone who has lived in Florida their entire life, it is funny to me that this was only my third cruise. By far, this one was the most entertaining, most relaxing, all around fun times I have had on a cruise yet.
One of my closest friends, Missy is getting married in just a few weeks! To celebrate her last days as a single lady, I, along with the bridal party, planned a getaway that seemed to come right at the perfect time.
I absolutely love cruising. I practically grew up around water, with my dad taking our family out on our boat every weekend. Naturally, I love sailing away into the open water – granted a large boat complete with a sun deck, all you can eat meals, and a fun group to hang with is involved.
There is something about being completely disconnected from everything at home that is so refreshing. We all know I love my social media outlets, but everyone needs a little break from it every now and then.
When planning what to do for Missy’s Bachelorette celebration, we originally wanted to go to The Florida Keys. To make a long story short, it was getting too complicated (and expensive) to plan, and we all agreed a cruise would be our best option. That it was, my friends!
For just around $300 a person, we enjoyed a three night stay aboard the ship, all of the delicious food we can eat, entertainment including comedy, game and dance shows, and two days to disembark at Nassau and Coco Cay, Bahamas. The only thing you are responsible covering once on board is any alcohol or excursions you choose to do.
Missy found a great off-site parking lot to leave our car that was only $5.99 a day, compared to the $20 charge to park directly at the port. With a quick shuttle ride, we arrived at the port about an hour and a half before setting sail.
Day 1: Setting Sail Before the Veil
By the time we found our rooms, our luggage, and got through the emergency drill procedures, it was just about time to get ready for dinner. We wanted to be ready early enough to enjoy some time walking around the ship and celebrating our bride.
I have known these two literally for twenty-five years.
Both Missy (center) and I were Maids of Honor for Brittany’s Wedding back in November of 2010. After growing up with these two, it is crazy to think we will all be married ladies soon.
Now, it was our turn to celebrate her big day just around the corner!
Although I usually have a small case of motion sickness, I did not fell a thing this time around. Just before dinner, we caught the sunset and it was gorgeous.
On a cruise ship, you choose your group dinner time: an earlier one at 6 p.m. or a later one at 8:30 p.m. After signing up for the first dinner my first time on a cruise, I will attest that the later dinner shift is the best option. This way, you have more time to enjoy the sites, are not rushed to head down to your room to shower and get ready at 4:30 or 5 p.m., and can take your time and enjoy the scenery, shows, and bars on deck first.
The first night, the entertainment previewed what was to come with a short comedy show and a description of the featured shows.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, the guy on the far right is Derek. He has been a close friend of Missy’s for years and is absolutely fabulous and hysterical. He is also really good at taking group Bridal Party photos.
Day 2: Nassau, Bahamas
Brittany was my roommate, and both of us were on the same page of turning in early and getting some rest the first night in. By 8:30 a.m. the next morning I felt great and headed up to the gym to get my workout on before another day of eating and drinking whatever I wanted. <- Ha.
When I got to the gym, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of machines, the spin class that was going on, and – of course – the stunning view.
Four miles on the treadmill went by in a flash staring out to the open blue ocean.
After turning into a sweaty mess, I hopped on over to the “girl” free weight section and taught myself a condensed twenty minute barre class. I miiight have gotten some strange looks, but it was totally worth it.
I hate feeling like I am gaining weight on a trip – especially if there is a gym accessible – and on a cruise that can happen relatively quickly. After just one workout, I felt like a million bucks and ready to take on the day at sea.
We all met for a late breakfast around 10 a.m. in our suits and headed up to the sun deck to enjoy a few hours of bliss before porting at Nassau.
As we sailed into the Nassau territory, we caught a glimpse of Atlantis, an amazing resort, spa, casino and water park.
I have actually been there before, but only for a few minutes on my very first cruise. Apparently they don’t like when people who aren’t staying at the resort use the water slides. Whoops! Oh, high school.
Soaking up some sun (after using a 30 SPF sunscreen of course) never felt so good.
As much wonderful and indulgent food was around me on the cruise, I kept going back to what made me feel the best: lots and lots of vegetables.
Below is a perfect example of a hearty “snack” I had at least once a day between meals. A handful of different fresh vegetables drizzled in some kind of Italian or Vinaigrette and a side of plain penne noodles with a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese became what I craved.
Mmmmm mmmm mmmm.
With our bellies full and our matching Bachelorette t-shirts on, we made our way off the ship to walk along the shore.
Before we left for the trip, we had the idea to order a matching tank for the group, and I threw together this little diddy below…
It was a complete surprise to Missy and she loved them!
Along our walk, we stumbled upon fresh conch and starfish for sale. As beautiful as they were, I could not help but feel bad for the little guys.
Eventually, we made it to a little place called Senor Frogs. If you have been to the Bahamas before, I would bet that you know exactly where I am talking about.
They recently opened a location in Orlando off of International Drive, but nothing compares to the first one I had been to in the Bahamas.
The restaurant is notorious for drink specials, Mexican food, dance contests and way too much of a good time.
I would also be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy a frozen pina colada or two.
By the end of the afternoon, we were all jamming out to “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and we really were. Happy as clams in our balloon hats, the bride-to-be and I were.
That must have been before the on-stage embarrassment we put her through. She took it like a champ and we had a blast celebrating the weekend away!
Stay tuned for part two of our trip coming soon, covering her big night out and a day in Coco Cay!
Have a great weekend! 🙂