Friday, August 31, 2012

Beautiful Bermuda

Our time in Bermuda was SPECTACULAR!  The weather was PERFECT (but a little HOT!), the water was clear, and the sand was nothing I've ever experienced before.  When they say "pink sandy beach"...they really mean PINK and SANDY (not rocky or grainy).
 
We were in Bermuda for a total of 2.5 days.  We arrived around 8:00 am on Sunday and sailed off on Tuesday around 5:00 pm.  It was nice that the ship stayed there overnight and we didn't have a deadline as to when we had to be back on board each day we were there.

 
Beautiful Bermuda!

Our ship docked in Bermuda.
Our first day in Bermuda we headed by bus to Horseshoe Bay...Bermuda's most popular, well-known beach.  The sand was soft...unlike any beach in MI, FL, SC or any other beach we've visited in the past.  We set up our blanket and umbrella in a neat little cove and camped out for a few hours.  Allie enjoyed playing in the crystal clear salty water and the pink sand with her beach toys we brought along.  I enjoyed sipping my Rum Swizzle...Bermuda's native drink.  When we asked Allie what her favorite part of the beach was she replied with, "Bus!"










Day 2 in Bermuda we took a water taxi to the city of Hamilton.  Hamilton is known for shopping...although we didn't really buy too much...an ornament for our Christmas tree (I buy an ornament for every vacation we go on) and Allie's big purchase was a Bermuda sticker book.  Allie did have fun browsing through all the clothing at various stores we perused through.

We roamed around for a while and then found a park which we let Allie out of the stroller to run around a little bit. 
 
Some shopping fun in Hamilton.

Checking out the Bermuda merchandise.
 

Admiring the view.

Allie admiring her big purchase while riding on the water taxi!


Our last day in Bermuda we stayed close to the ship.  Snorkel Park was within walking distance so we set up camp at a nice spot on the beach.  There was a slide for Allie to play on and shallow water for her to splash in.  She also liked just relaxing on the lounge chair under the umbrella.  There was a bar and a dance floor and Allie liked to dance to the music...even on the beach.  What a nice way to spend our last few hours in Bermuda.





Bermuda was Allie's first trip out of the county and it's one vacation that I'll hold dear to my heart.  It was a perfect place for her to visit...the beach is right up her alley.  It looks like they'll be many more beach vacations in our future...hopefully. 


 
 
 

Norwegian Dawn

Friday, August 24, we arrived at the Boston Cruiseport with luggage and Allie in tow.  We were about to take a week long ocean adventure aboard the Norwegian Dawn....Allie's first cruise across the Atlantic to the island of Bermuda.

Cruise Itinerary...

Friday, Day 1 - Leave Boston
Saturday, Day 2 - Sea Day
Sunday, Day 3 - Arrive in Bermuda
Monday, Day 4 - Bermuda
Tuesday, Day 5 - Leave Bermuda
Wednesday, Day 6 - Sea Day
Thursday, Day 7 - Sea Day
Friday, Day 8 - Arrive in Boston
 



When I found out we were going on this cruise...I was very excited!  Todd and I have been on a number of cruises...but this would be a totally different experience with Allie tagging along.  There would be no late nights out drinking and dancing...then getting pizza at 1:00 am or later.  Our meals would not be allowed to drag on for over an hour or two.  We would still need to adhere to Allie's napping schedule and bedtime somewhat.  Even with all of those stipulations...I was still thrilled to go and have this experience with her and Todd.  I know she won't remember anything about it...but hopefully the photos that were taken and the stories that are told will help her recall a little bit of her first time cruising. 



Before leaving port, we had to participate in the usual muster drill.  Allie didn't complain one bit when I made her try on her life jacket.  How cute is she?  Then it was time to say bye to Boston...BON VOYAGE!  It was a little windy way up on Deck 13 when we waved to all the onlookers ashore.


Bon Voyage!!!  Bye, bye Boston!

We had a bit of a rough start.  By the time we got on the ship, had lunch, and was settled in our room it was way past Allie's nap time.  She didn't sleep long and was a tad cranky.  Day 2 Hurricane Isaac created lots of waves and Todd and I were feeling pretty sea sick.  I'm hardly every effected by the movement of the ship, but that day....OY!  Allie didn't seemed to notice at all except when she walked down the hallway and kept going from one side to the other and tripping over her own feet.  Luckily by mid-afternoon the storm dissipated and the rest of the week was BEAUTIFUL...we really lucked out on the weather!

We spent our mornings at sea at the pool.  We managed to sneak Allie into the adult pool here and there until we got kicked out...but not until our last day...thankfully.  Allie had fun playing with her toys, going down the slide, splashing the water, and just laying out in the warm sun with me.





 


Allie got quite the tan on our trip and probably gained a few pounds too.  At lunch (and dinner...and snack before bed) Allie would usually eat an ice cream cone and a cookie for dessert.  Ice cream ended up on her hands and clothes a whole lot more than it ended up in her mouth. It's hard to eat ice cream neatly in 90 degrees!
 
Cooooookie!  ...or "tookie"
 
Enjoying an ice cream by the pool
 
 
Being in the sun all morning pretty much tired EVERYONE out and when Allie napped, Todd and I usually napped as well.  I sure am going to miss those afternoon snoozes when I head back to work.  We spent our afternoons exploring the ship and playing in the Under 2 Zoo which contained lots of toys for Allie to play with...and some friends as well.  We had a room with a balcony and Allie spent some time relaxing out there with a good book.
 
It was hard to keep up with Allie on the ship.  She wanted to walk by herself EVERYWHERE...push the buttons on the elevator by herself...and go where she wanted to go (not necessarily where we were supposed to be going).  Allie was little Miss Independent.  Allie received so many compliment about how cute she was...she was little Miss Norwegian Dawn.
 






 
 
 
We ate dinner in one of the two main dining rooms almost every night on board.  Allie behaved pretty well on MOST nights.  After a couple meals, Todd and I learned a few things about having dinner on a cruise with an almost 2 year old. 
 
1. Starve Allie before dinner so she is hungry and willing to sit in her high chair and eat her dinner. 
2. Do not mention the show until everyone is done eating their dinner...otherwise, that is all Allie will talk (whine) about the ENTIRE MEAL. 
3. Bring the iPad as a last resort just to keep her attention so we can make it through dessert (we actually only had to pull it out one time during dinner).
 
The food was excellent and we were ALL very pleased with our meal choices for dinner.  I especially liked dessert...I made sure to order two desserts at every dinner...I am on vacation after all!
 
All dressed up and ready for dinner.
 
 

Allie enjoying her FAVORITE meal for dinner..."hotdee" (hot dog), fries with "ketchee" (ketchup), and "mash potatees." 
Allie gobbled up her fries and mashed potatoes at every dinner. 

Our last dinner aboard the Dawn...notice Allie's fries and mashed potatoes


After dinner we always made time for a little dancing.  Allie is quite the dancer these days and will bust a move the minute she hears a beat.  It didn't matter if we were in the lounge or up on the pool deck...if music was on...Allie was dancing.  She received so many compliments about what a great dancer she was...and of course how cute she was too.



FINALLY!  Another of Allie's favorites...THE SHOW!!!  All three of us went to the show (or attempted to) every evening.  Allie LOVED the show.  She was very attentive when there was a lot of dancing, singing, and lights.  She usually sat happily on the steps with Todd or I (in the back) and clapped when everyone else did...and danced when the music was upbeat.  There was only one show that she wasn't quite interested in throughout our 7-day voyage.  (That's pretty good!)  Todd and I were happy we got to watch the performances every night.

 
 
The show was ALWAYS followed by trip up to the buffet for Allie's bedtime snack.  She usually snacked on grapes, fries...and ice cream (again). 
 

 
 
At the end of the day, a little surprise usually awaited for Allie back in our room.  She looked forward to seeing what new animal would be sleeping with her each night. 

 
Elephant!

Dog!

Penguin!

Cow!

Mouse!  ...and a goodbye note from Mike (our room attendant)


Allie didn't get seasick and didn't fall overboard....a successful cruise in my opinion!   I had the best time and this was the perfect way to wrap up the summer...however, coming home to lots of laundry and ba-zillion work emails is very overwhelming.  I would rather be floating in the 90 degree sunny Atlantic Ocean, or sipping my Rum Swizzle on the pink sandy beaches of Bermuda.  Check out our time in Beautiful Bermuda!!!
 
I'll always have these fond memories of our first cruise as a family of three.  I feel so blessed and proud of us for taking this trip with an almost 2-year old, Allie girl!