January 13, 2016

Caribbean Cruising {Wanderlust Wednesday}

Hello, friends. How are you today? I am quite sore after team teaching the BODYPUMP96 release last night. It was an awesome class and my sissys and Le Husband were there to cheer me on which was fabulous. I have another class on Thursday and I'm ready to rock it out. 

Today for Wanderlust Wednesday I'm sharing pictures and a quick recap of our amazing post Christmas cruise in the Caribbean. Few quick facts: This cruise was put together to celebrate Mama B's 60th birthday in style. We cruised on the Norwegian Dawn because it fit the dates we wanted best and had the best price. Embarkation and debarkation was out of New Orleans which gave us a fun city to play in before we left. I can break down statistics more if you want, but this is more of a recap then explanation. 

After a wonderful Christmas day we were up early for our flight down to NOLA on the 26th which is Mama B's actual birthday. Our flight was quick and easy and I even got a free drink for bringing a gift to the flight attendants, whoop. We landed around 1pm, grabbed lunch, walked around the French Quarter, took a quick nap then cleaned up of Mama B's birthday dinner at Arnauds. I CANNOT recommend this place enough for dinner, it is delicious and the service is fantastic. Back in 2012 we randomly stumbled upon this gem and visit it every time we are in town. They did it up for Mama B and it was fun giving her a special night. After dinner we walked through the Waldorf to see the Christmas lights and snapped a quick picture. We all quickly went to sleep to prepare for the cruise the next day.

Embarkation Day 12/24: Guest weren't allowed to board the ship until noon, so we woke up early Sunday morning and grabbed some beignets from Cafe Du Monde, they were so tasty. Once we had breakfast it was time to grab an Uber and head to the ship. My aunt gave us all crazy tshirts to wear when we boarded and EVERYONE loved them. My mom got a lot of attention which was nice. The boarding process was quick and soon we were in our balcony view rooms and on our way down the Mississippi. Dinner our first night was in the open dining room and we sported our tshirts once more for one last cheers to Mama B. We also brought our own decor too. The food was delicious and champs was flowing which was fun all around.

After dinner we grabbed a few drinks, saw the kickoff show and got the lay of the land on the ship. It was a great first night and start to a fun week out of cell phone and internet range.

Day At Sea 12/28: Our one day at sea was a fun mix of relaxing, pool time, food time and workout time. Yes, we worked out almost every day and I used the group room to practice my new BODYPUMP release with the family. It was a gorgeous day so we snagged some chairs by the pool an d enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the deck. I may have enjoyed two ice cream cones, but hey, I was on vacation right? We had dinner at the Venetian again and again it was quite delicious. I like that Norwegian doesn't lock you into a time, but I miss having the time to create a relationship with the servers. The production dancers and singers on Norwegian are fantastic and we really enjoy going to the shows. Le Husband and I also spent some time in the casino and there are some strange people that gamble on ships, golly gee.

Cozumel, Mexico 12/29: Tuesday was our first excursion day and the weather started off a bit dreary but was then gorgeous. Le Husband and I had already been to Cozumel and played on the beach so we did the catamaran cruise with our family. It was one of the later excursions so we were able to work out, eat and then head off to port. Y'all, this catamaran and snorkel excursion was awesome! The Mexican crew really knew how to make it a party and the ride to our snorkel sight was a ton of fun. The water was crystal clear and the guides were so incredible with my grandfather. T-Bone is 90 years old this month and still acting 80. He wasn't able to snorkel as well as he hoped, but the guides just helped him float along so he could see everything. After our hour of snorkeling we were taken to a beach and water park with obstacles that was a blast. Seriously, we all acted like were kids and had so much fun attempting all the different Ninja warrior apparatuses. Too soon it was time to go home, but we kept the party with free beer and margaritas and lots of music. The crew kept our drinks full and even brought us to the front for a dance party.


T-Bone got in on the dancing, please don't mind my duck face. I promise I was acting to the song, don't judge, okay? Everyone on the catamaran had a great time and we even led people in the Wobble and Cha-cha slide. I can't recommend this excursion enough, it was the PERFECT start to our four excursions.
 

 

Our group was the last to arrive in port so it was a quick turn around to clean up and head to dinner. Le Husband and I did our own thing for dinner and ate at the French Bistro that was similar to our Alaskan cruise. The food was delicious and it was nice to a have a lil date night together. Once dinner was over we met up in one of the lounges for the Dancing with the Production cast contest. Babyspice was jonesing to participate so we did our best to stack the deck for her to get her name called. Meaning, we all put our names in and if our name got called she'd pretend to be us. Well, wouldn't you know she was the 2nd girl called and then BOOM, so was Sportyspice. Since we all hate attention you know they were the first ones to lose.

Um, sike! Babyspice made it into the top three and was only voted off because the dude still in the competition was SO BAD everyone wanted to see him keep dancing. Wouldn't you know Sportsypice made it to the finals and boom, that girl too the championship home. It was a hysterical evening and so much fun watching my sissys have fun. I've attached a video for your viewing pleasure. 
video

Roatan, Honduras 12/30: One of the main reasons we picked this cruise week was THIS destination. We had heard so many amazing things about Honduras beaches and they did not disappoint in the least. For our excursion we did the beach snorkel party, with food included and even though we had just snorkeled it was a completely different experience. Our guide took us out for a good 45 minutes on a tour and then we were able to snorkel as much as we pleased until we left. The water was crystal clear and the marine life gorgeous and so unique. We saw all kinds of fun fish and some were so close we could touch them. One even kissed Babyspice, haha. There were a ton of people on the beach but it never felt crowed, the staff was extremely helpful and provided security for our things which was a load off our minds. Everyone was able to do their own thing and it was nice relaxing in the sun, snorkeling and playing volleyball.



How beautiful is this view? I did not want to leave Honduras, it was such a beautiful place and we had such a wonderful day together. And no one got sunburned, wooohooo! The evening was spent in the casino, watching another show and getting some rest for our next excursion.


Side-note: I love cruise towel animals, the are fabulous!

Belize 12/31: To be honest, we were all kind of torn about our Belize excursion. Everyone talks about the beaches, the jungle and the zip lines and we really weren't sure exactly WHAT we wanted to do. After researching we decided on kayaking in the jungle, right off a water park. This was the one port we had to tender which was a bit of a pain, but at least it was only one day. Since we arrived to the port early we spent some time shopping and taking token tourist pictures.



It was about an hour trip to the park and our guide spent the whole time telling us about the country of Belize. He was amazing and so knowledgeable, I felt like I could write an essay after we arrived to the park. Once at the park we walked along the nature path, ate an authentic Belizian lunch and played in the pool or sat in the sun.

Or sat on a chair when a big iguana decided to make an appearance. Homie was HUGE! #notafan

Originally we had hoped T-Bone would be able to kayak, but none of the kayaks provided enough back support so he hopped out of Le Husband's boat. I had partnered with another family so Le Husband could take T-Bone and I was a bit bummed I was already out on the water and could jump in his boat. It was SUCH a fun adventure paddling throughout the jungle waters. Every four boats had a guide so there was a lot of learning while paddling. This gave us a really unique view of the country and I'm really happy we chose it over zip lining.



Everyone took a slight nap on the way home and it was needed before the long process of tendering. If there is anything to knock the cruise line for it was their lack of tender boats at the end of the day. We waited for about 45 minutes to get on one, but were able to make our NYE dinner reservations. Everyone scrambled to get a snack and then get dressed in our New Years outfits. Dinner was delicious and we all enjoyed a bottle of wine and champagne together. After dinner we watched an incredible acrobatics show, then hit the lounge for the classy NYE party. There was a band and they played fabulous music, we even got T-Bone on the dance floor which was awesome. I'm not going to lie, we were all struggling to stay awake but were excited to ring in the New Year together. Norwegian did a great job making it a fabulous NYE and I loved all the fun decorations everywhere. We made it to midnight and then everyone went back to the rooms to pass out because we had to meet at 6:50am for our Mayan Ruin trip the next day. #woof

video

Costa Maya, Mexico 1/1: We were up way too early for a two hour bus ride to the ruins. It was nice to get a nap but the travel time was a bit frustrating. However, once we were there it was quite amazing. So crazy to think about how smart [but dumb when it came to killing] the Mayans were so long again. It was really neat that we were able to actually walk through the ruins and touch them. Even though it was hot it was still a fun time and we all enjoyed our day of culture and history.




Let's GO BUCKS!

Le Husband even got into the yoga action, you go dude!

The ride home included another nap and then it was time to eat and hit another show. Wouldn't you know my DAD was somehow roped into their American Idol show as a judge? Seriously, my family gets involved in everything. Le Husband had a really good night at the casino and it was fun watching him crush it at the roulette table.

Day at Sea 1/2: Our last day at sea was kind of a bust. It was windy and cool so there really wasn't any sun bathing. I ran through another BODYPUMP class with the family and we all made the best of our last day one the ship. So, yeah, we basically ate all the food, read all the books, ate all the food and just chilled out.

Debarkation Day 1/3: We all heard the ship dock bright and early since we were on the starboard side and everyone headed to have one last meal together. Le Husband and I chose to stay a few days in NOLA but the rest of the family went home on Sunday. It was so sad to see everyone leave and I was quite bummed it was chilly in NOLA. We found a yummy dinner place to eat and then just passed out because we were so exhausted from vacation, haha.



Day two in NOLA 1/4: We woke up when we wanted to and then hit up the WW2 museum again. If you remember my previous recap of a NOLA trip, we spent four hours in the museum and guess what? We spent four more this trip. Le Husband really wanted to see the Tom Hanks film Beyond All Boundaries and it was incredibly moving and sad. I cried, they did a fantastic job bringing you through the war and I have never been more proud to be an American. We walked through the Road to Tokyo and the Road to Berlin and it was almost overwhelming with all the information. I love history and we really enjoyed being inside since it was quite chilly and I had no cold weather clothes #packingfail.

After our tour we ordered a coke float, headed back to the room for a nap and then took forever deciding on dinner. We randomly decided on pizza and found the most delicious lil join in the French Quarter. By that time we were both ready to be home and just wanted to hit the hay before our morning flight. 

It was a fabulous vacation but one I needed a rest after for sure. I'm so glad we were able to have a great time celebrating Mama B and that we wore green shirts that blended into the green screen. #onlyus

If you have any questions about the cruise please feel free to hit me up in the comments. I'm more than happy to go into more detail if you wish, I just didn't want to overwhelm everyone with too much detail.

Linking up for Wanderlust Wednesday.

39 comments:

Pamela {Sequins and Sea Breezes} said...

I love cruises! You get to see so many fun places and don't have to worry about food, transportation, where you're going to stay. So perfect! Sounds like you guys had a blast too! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

BLovedBoston said...

What an awesome vacation! Can we talk about how you and your sisters all have amazing abs haha! Belize is definitely on my list of places to visit! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Linsley Schneider said...

It looks like you had an awesome time! I am dying to go on a trip like this. I will live through you until we can get away!

Carly Blogs Here said...

so. much. fun! Plus, getting to hang in New Orleans for a bit before and after makes it that much better! It's so cool that you were able to visit Belize and Honduras- two places I think most people are less likely to just make a whole vacation out of. What great memories for your entire family!

kerri @ cheshire kat said...

what an amazing trip! honduras looks so pretty! and being able to see a bit of nola too, that's fantastic :) glad you guys had a super memorable time!

xoxo cheshire kat

Sara said...

Sounds like a great time! Hubby and I have been tossing around the idea of a cruise, may have to start looking more seriously.

Shay from Great, Now What said...

Gah! It looks beautiful. Y'all got to stop at awesome ports of call- I didn't know that cruises went to Honduras!

Elle Sees said...

what a thoughtful and wonderful idea for her! i was looking forward to your recap, so i'm glad you got this recap up! looks like an amazing time full of memories. i went on a cruise once as a baby, which totally doesn't count, and then booze cruises--you know, like for the night, which don't count either i guess, lol. i need to get on it and book one!! thanks for sharing this with us!

LMW said...

Fun! So glad you all had a great time and so jealous. Love the pic of you with the iguana. Seriously funny.

Katie @ Running With Wine said...

Your grandfather is the cutest!! I can't believe he is still going on cruises and doing fun things at his age! Your cruise looked so amazing! Can you send me the link you used to book? I want to go on a cruise this spring and this is the best one I've seen so far!

Emily said...

Wow, what a cruise! Y'all were really able to do a lot and go to a lot of places. Cruises are the best! My husband is so weird about going on one which I cannot comprehend?!?! Haha.

Also, you and your sisters all have rocking abs. But I'm sure y'all already know that ;)

Meghan @ Me as Meghan said...

Sounds like an awesome vacation!! What a fun way to ring in the new year. Its so nice that your family loves to do big trips together! The beach in Honduras looks amazing, the water is so blue. I would love to be on the beach today!

Trac~ said...

Mr. A. and I took that SAME cruise out of Galveston on the Triumph (or Magic - can't recall which one) last September and LOVED it. Cozumel is always great, Roatan was AWESOME and the beaches gorgeous and we had a BLAST Ziplining through the Jungles of Belize! Neither of us had ever ziplined before, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! Mr. A is terrified of heights, but seemed to handle this well. So glad you had a great time! Thanks for sharing the pictures. :)

Kelsey @ The Peacock Roost said...

What a fun family trip! This looks awesome!

Kristina (Ms.Modify) said...

Wow it looks like you had an amazing trip! I've never been on a cruise, but think I need to add it to my list!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

What a great trip with your family - I think I love T Bone. I'm glad he could go and do as much as he could!

Honduras beaches look beautiful.

I hate wait/travel issues.

Simply Alexandra // My Favorite Things said...

This looks SO fun. I would love to go on a cruise with family. My husband and I did one together a few summers ago and had a blast. I would love to take another one. I LOVE all kinds of travel, but sometimes it's good to have a low budget, low planning intensive kind of trip inbetween the more indepth ones. My hubby is definitely wanting to get back out on the water. :) XO -Alexandra

Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld said...

So much fun!! I've been having the itch to travel lately and this is making it so much worse!

Brianne said...

That looks like such an awesome trip! All of these posts about cruises are making me really want to take one. Preferably somewhere warm right now lol.

Jaclyn @ Love And Bellinis said...

What an awesome trip! I've never been on a cruise, but have always wanted to try one!

Life with Lolo said...

Holy smokes, what a trip!!! You did so much and got to explore such cool places! I think I need to add this to my must take trip list. It sounds amazing!

Emily said...

What an amazing vacay with your fam and the best way to celebrate your Mom!!! Sounds like you got tons fun activities done and visited such beautiful places! Dying to go on a Caribbean cruise now! lol

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

Oh my goodness, y'all made so many fun memories on this trip! I love that y'all flew into New Orleans and had the chance to spend a few days there enjoying the city! I was so disappointed that we didn't have the chance to see the WWII museum when we were there last time because I've only heard the best things about it. That's awesome that y'all did kayaking in Belize and didn't kill each other! We went kayaking in Hawaii and our guide called them divorce kayaks before we even got on. We had a fun time, but we did argue a little bit because my husband kept on purposefully driving us into the trees, I swear!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

Oh how I love cruising, and that you started off your trip with beignets from Cafe du Monde! I did this itinerary a few years ago, and it was amazing! I agree that Roatan was my favorite! What an amazing way to celebrate momma's birthday <3

Green Fashionista

emily @ a little bit of emily said...

This cruise sounds like SO MUCH FUN! And can we talk about how cute your grandpa is? Really, absolutely precious. What a wonderful time with your family and celebrating your mom!

Bitzy said...

What a fun vacation, and great pictures! The dancing video isn't coming up for me though =/

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

hahahaha the green shirts and the green screen! i wondered why you all were see through. i laughed at your duck face, no judging here, i do it all the time being silly. oh well ;) this seriously looks like an absolutely amazing time, what a fabulous way to celebrate your momma. you're making me so excited for mine!

Cara (Kindly Unspoken) said...

Wow, looks like such an amazing trip with the family! And I'm so jealous of how exceptionally fit all of you are. :)

Courtney@PancakesandSparkles said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time celebrating your mama and ringing in the new year. I have never been on a cruise but definitely going to try it asap seems like a fun way to see a few different places! Always wanted to go to Honduras!

Katie Elizabeth said...

Aww, what a perfect way to celebrate your fabulous mama's 60th! Your family sounds like an absolute blast and please let me know when the next vacation is because I'd like to tag along, ha! Glad you all had such a great time!!

Jen said...

What an amazing trip!!! :) I love all the photos.

Laura Marie Keenan said...

This trip looks epic! I really need to go on a cruise!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

The cruise looks awesome! That monkey towel is adorable, too :)

Evelina said...

This cruise seriously sounds like the best, ever! I love that you saw the historical ruins and the party on the catamaran looks awesome. Bonus that no one got sunburned! I always do!

Courtney B said...

Oh my goodness, what an amazing, amazing trip!! Now I'm dying to go to the Honduras (and New Orleans!) what a FUN experience to do this with your family! And woman, your body is rockin'! Oh how I wish I could workout with you, ha!

Traci Taylor Hart said...

Wow! Looks like y'all had a blast. What an amazing trip. Your grandfather is adorable! I've never been to the WWII Museum in New Orleans but I have heard great thing about it. Need to make it a priority next time! Shopping, eating and drinking usually come first for me in NOLA.
Traci
waltzmetoheaven.com

Amanda {Kids and Cabernet} said...

Looks like you guys had a BLAST! I loved all of the pictures - crushing is so much fun!!

Amanda Elizabeth - Meet @ the Barre said...

You guys seriously know how to party! I want to travel with you. Plus, clearly y'all know how to stay active, these pictures make me want to do some sit ups in my office right now!

Sara Elizabeth said...

You guys are seriously the most fun!!! I can't even believe how much fun you all had.... and how adorable is your 90 year old grandpa?! He's totally my favorite with his trying to snorkel, kayak and basically do the most!! What a fantastic trip! I've heard amazing things about Roatan too!