Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 3-4: Nassau & At Sea

Our first full days on the cruise took us to the Bahamas on Monday and then a day at sea on Tuesday while we sailed further south to St. Thomas. 
Day 3 in Nassau, Bahamas (Monday, May 13)
  • Back on cruise ship by early afternoon
  • Lunch at Park Cafe
  • Laid out
  • First formal night for dinner
  • Ocean Aria show in the Aqua Theater
We arrived in Nassau early on Monday morning, around 7:30 AM,  and after quick breakfast, we immediately got off the ship to make it on time for our one and only planned excursion of the trip--a visit to the Atlantis Resort to interact with dolphins.
A full shot of the Allure of the Seas

We took a shuttle van from the cruise port to Atlantis and were dropped off at the main entrance.  I didn't realize how big the resort was until our 15-20 minute walk clear to the other side to get to Dolphin Cay.  It was a gorgeous resort though and you could definitely spend a week there relaxing and enjoying everything it has to offer.

One of the 5 hotel towers and probably the most well known with the famous bridge room

Again, a view of the same building from the beach at Dolphin Cay

We were in the third group of people for the dolphin excursion so we were able to lay out for about an hour before it was our turn

Hanging out

Before we knew it, it was our group's turn to get wetsuits on and head into the water with the dolphins.  We weren't really sure what to expect since we did the shallow water interaction (I wasn't able to do the deep water interaction since I'm pregnant) but it ended up being really amazing and was well worth the money.  On a side note though, we weren't allowed to bring cameras to the dolphin area because their staff would be taking photos.  I figured this would be the case and was fine with that because I really only wanted to buy one photo to have proof we did this.  Well, wouldn't you know that when we went to the gift shop afterwards, you couldn't just buy one photo but had to buy a package with the cheapest one being $70!  We ended up buying that package and dropped $70 on 5 photos--quite the scam they have going but I guess if people are willing to spend the money, they'll keep doing it.  The three photos below are a few of the photos we bought (I took pictures of the photos so I could post them on here).

Todd holding the dolphin

Kissing the dolphin

Todd & I together with the dolphin

After the dolphin portion of our excursion was over, we were able to walk around the rest of the resort and go to their aquarium before heading back to catch a shuttle to the ship.

Most of the pools of water throughout the resort had fish, stingrays, and sharks in them

Back on the ship by about 1:00 PM, we went to Central Park to eat lunch at Park Cafe.  They had made to order salads as well as hand carved roast beef sandwiches and a variety of wraps and quesadillas.

Outside Park Cafe

Todd got the roast beef sandwich and I had a salad

The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging poolside and taking it easy.  We had the 6:00 PM seating for dinner in the dining room each night so we usually would head back to our room between 4:45-5:00 PM so we could start getting ready.

There were two formal nights in the dining room where guys typically wear a suit & tie and women wear nice dresses.  I was pretty limited in my dress selection but was able to fit into a few of my regular dresses and only had to buy one maternity dress. 
Matching outfits in pink

After dinner, we went to the Aqua Theater to see Ocean Aria.  It was only a half hour show but was non-stop with dancing, diving, and acrobats on a trampoline.  It was truly amazing to see everything they did and then to think that they were performing this on a moving cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

A view of the theater with the pool in front

Todd & I

There were two brothers that did a bunch of strength moves and tricks

If you look in the middle of this picture, you'll notice something blurry....that would actually be a diver that dove from that top platform which was 17 meters (or almost 60 feet) in the air into that tiny pool

After the show, we were pretty tired since we had to get up early that morning so we went back to our room.  The next was a full day at sea which we were looking forward to some more time to explore the ship and not have to worry about being anywhere at a certain time.

Day 4 At Sea (Tuesday, May 14)
  • Ran 4 mi
  • Breakfast at Johnny Rockets
  • Crown & Anchor Party in the Aqua Theater
  • Laid out & hung out at the pool
  • Found the "secret balcony"
  • Lunch at the Windjammer
  • Todd did the zipline
  • Ice cream cones at Wipeout Cafe
  • Dinner in the dining room
  • Comedy show
After a quick run, we started our day eating breakfast at Johnny Rockets on the Boardwalk.  Breakfast at Johnny Rockets didn't have an additional charge but if you wanted to eat lunch or dinner there, it was an extra $4.95/person, which isn't bad considering it's still all you can eat.
Another picture of Todd eating

Right next to Johnny Rockets is the Aqua Theater where we had just been the night before.  They were hosting a special Crown & Anchor event that morning that included free drinks.  Since Todd & I have both been on Royal Caribbean cruises before, we're part of Crown & Anchor and went just so Todd could get free drinks.  At one point, he was walking around carrying 4 drinks.

He was down to 3 drinks at this point

A better view of the high dive from the night can see someone standing at the top on the left hand side

This was our first full day of being in the sun and of course after a few hours, we both started getting burnt and decided to be smart and head into the shade for a bit.

Laying out in a black tankini in 90 degree weather was not smart

We ended up finding what we called the "secret balcony" on deck 12.  It had a great view of the Aqua Theater from above and even had about 10-12 lounge chairs.  Most of the other balconies with this view (you can see them on the right side in the picture below) were actually part of some of the large rooms on board.  I think most people assumed they were all room balconies because the rest of the week, we rarely saw anyone else up here.

Watching the Sexiest Man competition

Thanks to my tripod, we were able to get a great picture of us

Before we went back to get ready for dinner, Todd decided to try out the zipline.  It was up on the pool deck and went above the Boardwalk.

Todd waving and ready to go


An ice cream cone was a must by this point

I forgot to take pictures at dinner that evening but did manage to get one in the comedy show later.  Besides Ocean Aria, the comedy show was my other favorite show of the week.  There were 2 comedians on board for that week and each did a 30 min show which were hysterical!  Definitely meant for adults only though.

Inside the comedy club which was on one of the lower levels of the ship and was pretty small

Todd & I looking a little pink from the sun
Up next were some of the most exciting days as we went to St. Thomas and celebrated my 30th birthday on Wednesday and then to St. Maarten on Thursday.


Anne said...

This looks like so much fun! Although I can't believe they charged you $70 for 5 pictures - that's crazy! But I would have paid it too :)

Sarah @ Life, Love & Dinner said...

This looks amazing! The same thing happened to us with the pictures in the Dominican Republic. Then they only took cash and wouldn't let you take your own pictures. Ripoff!