I can’t believe it has been exactly a month since we left for our family vacation to Bermuda. Seventeen members of my extended family sailed on a 7-night cruise to Bermuda on the Norwegian Dawn, so I will divide and organize this little vacation series by the different days spent at sea and those spent ashore so that I can share all of my experience and adventures without making the posts too long. You will find some fun resources along the way, like webcams from the places we visited and links to my favorite shops and such. It has been quite awhile since I have actually sat down to write a full blog post, so please pardon the rustiness of my writing as I dust off my thoughts and get back into the groove. 🙂
Our trip began on Friday May 8th with a morning of reggae music and last-minute packing at home. It has become a family tradition of ours to play Bob Marley in the kitchen on the morning that we leave for vacation so there was a lot of excitement brewing with the coffee as we got ready. Since our entire party was so large, we split into two different groups to travel to Boston. Around 10:30, nine of us piled into one shuttle for the hour-long drive to port. I love the excitement that comes with the beginning of an adventure, so my heart was so full. We arrived to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal around 11:30 and began checking our luggage and going through customs and security. The entire process of filling out required day-of documentation and being photographed for our ship ID took about an hour, and then we made way to the gangway to board the ship.
The bow of the ship was facing downtown Boston, while the aft overlooked a cargo area. Here you can see all of the luggage being loaded into the ship, along with food and other provisions for the week.
Once we had made our way onboard, we enjoyed lunch in the buffet on one of the upper decks. I shamelessly had a slice of chocolate cake for lunch, along with a bowl of seafood chowder.
After lunch, we explored the ship a bit and sat out on the pool deck for awhile to enjoy the sunshine before the mandatory safety drill.
Around 2:30, my brother Cameron, my cousin Josh and I ventured down to Deck 8 to visit our stateroom for the first time. I was delighted to find that my suitcases had already been delivered so I began to unpack until it was time for the safety drill. Cameron and Josh were making fun of how many outfits I had packed, but I didn’t mind because I was pleased to have options and layers in case the weather was cooler. We had taken the same cruise five years ago and I remember underpacking and being cold all week so I wanted to ensure that I was prepared this time. At 3:00, they chimed the alarm and we were required to report to our muster station for an overview of what to do in case of emergency. We arrived right on time but we were one of the last staterooms to check-in, as the room was already full when we got there. The presentation took about fifteen minutes and then we returned to the upper deck area to find a place to enjoy the sailaway party.
I was so excited to set sail and unplug for the week. I also almost lost my hat to the wind a few times. Around 4:00 we pulled away from the dock and began our journey to Bermuda. The sailaway party was full of so much excitement and music as the Boston skyline got smaller in the distance. My favorite parts of that time were teaching my grandparents the Cupid Shuffle and watching planes fly into Logan Airport from overhead.
We enjoyed our first evening with dinner in the dining room and the welcome show in the theater. It was so enjoyable to have a full menu to order whatever we liked. I love to eat so I will share my dinner choices throughout my recaps 🙂 I had french onion soup and a chicken caesar salad, along with spaghetti bolognese and warm bread. For dessert, I devoured a mini chocolate lava cake. After dinner and the show I found that it took quite a bit of time to get used to the feeling of being at sea. To lessen the feeling of rocking back and forth, I finished off the night with some quiet time journaling and laying down in my stateroom.
Saturday was a day spent entirely at sea, full of relaxation and reading in the sun. I revisited Make it Happen and worked through several chapters on the pool deck, accompanied by ice cream cones and pina coladas. It was mild but still a bit chilly in the wind, so I accidentally skimped on sunscreen and ended up with quite the sunburn by late afternoon. I was cozied up in the same lounge chair for about six hours and it was one of the most restful times of the entire trip, minus the sunburn.
Throughout that day, and the entire vacation, it was so refreshing to look out at the horizon and see nothing but bright blue sky and ocean. I’ve never been crazy about going to the beach or sailing at all, but at some point during those seven days I fell in love with the sea.
We met in the dining room for an early dinner as a family where I had french onion soup and salad again, steak with a loaded baked potato, and chocolate mousse for dessert. After the meal, I stole away to the quiet deck for a bit of quiet time and prayer. Some of my best thoughts come out of time when I am in wide open spaces, so I really enjoyed that a lot.
When the sun began to set, I bundled up in layers and got a cup of tea to keep warm while my family gathered to watch the sunset. Sunsets are one of my most favorite things and I had never seen the sun set over the ocean before. It was really special to share that with my family in a quiet corner on the deck and to have some time where it felt like we were the only ones there, along with an officer from the ship who had a charming British accent and happened to be walking by.
After the sunset, everyone went their own way to their various activities for the evening. I went dancing with my cousin Maygan and then we played shuffleboard out on the promenade until it got late. Just when we were about to return to our rooms, we bumped into my mom and joined her for a late-night snack in the atrium. We laughed so hard as we recapped our events from the evening over espinaca and lemonade, the perfect ending to such a lovely day.
My next recap post will talk about my time in Bermuda, so stay tuned for that in the next week or so 🙂