Tag Archives: Norwegian Cruise Line

Vacation

3 Apr

When I think over the past two weeks, each of the days together creates a big huge colorful blur. This blog entry will be more for my personal sanity probably than for your enjoyment, for as the miles click away and we get closer to home, work, and responsibilities, it will be nice to remember the morsels of mercy that God gifted Tim and I with these past several days.

Cole Michael

Cole ~ 1st bday

Our vacation started so many days ago in the home of our precious grandchild, Cole Michael.  Late night snuggles, walks to Dairy Queen and to the city park, scrambled eggs for breakfast, and bedtime routines were some of the highlights leading up to the day of celebration … Cole’s 1st birthday party.  The day was full of excitement as friends and family gathered in to give all attention to this cutie little man who stole our hearts a year ago.   Accessorized in the appropriate bib for the day “Birthday Boy”, Cole’s face glowed with delight as his own personal cake was set before him.  As his gifts were opened, anything and everything with wheels immediately became his favorite toy, and he genuinely seemed excited to unwrap clothing decked out in monkeys!  Grami and Gramps were the official photographers of the day ~ yielding snapshots and video that documented another special day of family history.  Once the crowds subsided and all was quiet, I escaped to the solitude of our futon where much-needed rest enveloped my aching body and churning tummy.  The stomach flu had attacked me early that morning.  While others were enjoying the novelty items such as ants on a log, pigs in a blanket, and other tasty treats, I was feasting on Pepto Bismol.  Our vacation itinerary was picking up great speed the following day and we had 1300 miles to travel before boarding a cruise ship on Monday.  I had to feel better.

And I did.  Leaving behind the sweetest little boy who wonders why these silly people come and then go, we headed south.  A full day of travel on Sunday, followed by an early start the next morning, ended at the Port of Miami around 1:00 Monday afternoon.  Lots of excited travelers and rain greeted us as we gathered our belongings and set sail for the beautiful isles of the Bahamas.  Being the first time cruisers that we were, we felt like little kids at an Easter egg hunt … going here and there, seeing what we could see, eating a little of this and a little of that … hoping to get the golden egg, which for us, was our luggage delivered to our stateroom.  Tim forgot to put his anti sea-sick patch on earlier in the day and it was in our suitcases that had not been brought to our room yet.  By the time the magical little circle was attached behind his ear, we both were feeling a big queasy.  Before we left for our first true experience of cruise dining, I also peeled the sticky off of a patch and walked away confident of having a grand evening of scrumptious food and entertainment.  It seemed like with every passing moment, however, my stomach felt worse, my appetite left me, and the musical drama lasted for hours … or at least it felt like it.  At evening’s end, I was so disoriented and shaky, that I had to firmly hold on to Tim in order to not fall down while walking to our room.  At some point during the wee hours of the morning, I realized that my distress had to be caused by that magical little patch I thought would cure all … so I yanked it off and prayed for quick healing.  Needless to say, what became Tim’s best friend and allowed him to enjoy his vacation had the adverse effect on me. 

March 24, 2010

Tim & I on our cruise

Tuesday morning found us docked in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island where we followed the masses off the ship and into the coastal town of Lucayan Beach.  Having our blue/white cruise ship beach towels along, we spread out underneath overcast skies and enjoyed the sites and sounds of the surf. After our 3 hour shore excursion ended, we made our way back to the ship where we spent the remainder of the afternoon poolside…so grateful when the sun would shine through the clouds and warm the air.  Hours later, we were once again reminded that the sun still shines and scorches fine white skin through cool breezes and clouds.  Tim’s new best friend was now the green Aloe Vera gel. 

Nassau and New Providence Island was our port of call on Wednesday.  Not spending the extra dollars for a cruise ship sponsored excursion, we opted to find a local guide and take his 4-hour tour of the island.  We visited a small inlet row of hometown eateries where conch was the main menu item.  We received a personal demonstration of how the meat is taken out of the shell and cut up to serve fresh and raw in salads.  Lennix, our guide, also treated us to conch fritters, much like hushpuppies, but with conch meat inside.  He then drove us to various areas of the island, showing us great poverty and great wealth, including Paradise Island and the Atlantis Resort.  Several different stops gave us opportunity to shop, to drink fresh coconut milk and take lots of pictures.  It was a fun day … except for the ever-increasing bloat to my tummy.  Oh my … in my quest to cleanse my system from the effects of the patch, I had been drinking a lot of water.  Bottled water on the ship was expensive, so I splurged and bought one, then continued to re-fill it as needed.  Mistake!  Somewhere, I got a hold of bad water and its little gremlins wrecked havoc on my stomach.  Despite the uncomfortable state in which I found myself in for the next few days, I kept up with all the fun and frolic. 

March 25, 2010

Me ... snorkeling

Tim and I set our alarm for early Thursday morning so we could enjoy the sunrise from the deck of the ship.  We were also there to watch as it settled into a ‘spot’ off the coast of the Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, where we would spend part of our day snorkeling in the warm ocean waters. With rented mask, life vest, breathing tube, and flippers, we set out for the reefs and fish.  What an amazing experience to be right there with the fish and sea creatures, trusting the floatation device and air tube to keep me alive as I oohed and ahhed while capturing each Kodak moment with my underwater camera.  Our day in the sun was brought to an end back on board and poolside where we treated ourselves to ice cream cones and Pepsi. 

There are details in between the lines of activities that made our cruise special to us … the cruise director was quite unforgettable with his quirky one-liners, there was food everywhere, all the time, and we enjoyed trying different items on the menus … and we had a favorite quiet spot on one of the outside decks that not many people knew about.  We have also made notes that we will take fewer clothes, a case of bottled water AND Pepto Bismol with us next time.

Friday morning brought us back to the Port of Miami.  Tim and I gathered our belongings and our memories … good and not so good, and headed to our awaiting parked car.  For us, our vacation continued for several more days.  The sunshine of Florida shone bright and gifted us with hours of enjoyment, while an occasional rain brought quiet time and rest. 

The first evening of the cruise my heart took notice of a particular scripture.  I took this verse personally and claimed it throughout the remainder of our vacation as an embrace from Jesus Himself …

You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself.
I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel. 
Numbers 35:34

“He lives!  He lives!  Christ Jesus lives today!  He walks with me and He talks with me, along life’s narrow way. 
He lives!  He lives!  Salvation to impart.  You ask me how I know He lives … He lives!!  Within my heart!”

We are home now.  My heart is full and overflowing as I reflect on the blessings that are mine … and yours, too!!

Happy Easter!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you.
1 Peter 1:3-4

Till next time,
Debbie

 

March 30, 2010

Hollywood Beach, Florida