Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beautiful Bahamas!

O.k be prepared for a lot of photos...a lot of beauty...and some fun stories too! I'm cramming the rest of our cruise into one ginormous post because I still have so much to blog about from the rest of our trip, 4th of July, and other summer fun!
So here we go...

Norwegian Sky Day 2- The Grand Bahama Island
Enjoying some early morning pool time before heading off the ship for a snorkeling excursion!

Mark and I love snorkeling! It is one of our favorite things to do together! And we have done some great snorkeling on Mauii and twice in Cancun in different locations. So we were so excited to go with John & Jill in a new place!

The water was pretty choppy this day as we headed out in the ocean on a fun catamaran with a water slide and rock climbing wall!

But we still saw a lot of fish! Huge schools of bright yellow, blue, and purple fish and some amazing coral too! Each place we've snorkeled has been a bit different- Maui had more different types of fish and really interesting creatures and colors. Cancun had less fish, but we saw some really cool ones like eels and blow fish. And the Bahamas definitely had the most fish in one area! Hundreds would just swim right by you and touch you along their way! Awesome!

After seeing just about every fish in the sea, we got back on the boat and of course Mark had to try out the water slide immediately! It was pretty fun to watch!

After splashing into the ocean Mark had to swim the whole length of the boat and climb back on the back! I'm always amazed at what a strong swimmer he is! But the slide was a blast and totally worth a few laps!

We saw this old ghost ship on the boat ride back to Freeport!

Unfortunately, Jill got a little sea sick from the rocky water and was more then happy when we were able to get off on dry land!

This man and woman played the keyboard and sang for visitors as they walked around and shopped on the island! So fun!

Look how small they look compared to the massive ship! Our room was on the fourth deck on this side of the ship! We had the best location, at the end of a hallway, right by the elevators and just across from John & Jill!

Dinner that night...
Check out John's 2 entrees! This man can eat...he put us all to shame! Except for one lunch- He declared ME the winner! I put down 3 pieces of pizza and a whole plate of freshly made for me- fettucini alfredo! I just can not resist quality Italian!

And here's what we had for dinner that night...I had pork tenderloin and Mark had gnocchi!

After dinner we had a VERY fun night at a comedy show, "The Perfect Couple" game show, "Dancing with the Sky Stars", and Karaoke! We had a blast and laughed a lot! Our best night of entertainment the whole week!
On Wednesday morning our ship anchored out by NCL's private island- The Great Stirrup Cay!
The beach was gorgeous despite cloudy weather!

We played in the water, layed out in the sun, and had a yummy lunch of barbeque ribs on the beach! Jill and I enjoyed hours of catching up and reading magazines while the boys explored the island! We left just in time because it started raining really hard as we rode the tender back to the ship!

As always, we showered, got dressed up and headed out to our favorite restaurant:
We all tried Escargo! The snails were a bit chewy, Mark and Jill really enjoyed them and said they tasted like stuffed mushrooms!

More views from the back deck!

Mark loves the side shot...artsy!

After relaxing on the deck we headed back in for Jeopardy, an open mic. comedy night, and...
at 11:00 p.m. we went to the White Hot Party!

They had a D.J. and dancing, snow falling, & ice sculptures! It was a great time!

All the white really glowed!

Thursday: after a late night out, we slept in, had our favorite fresh made waffles for breakfast, went to the pool, and then headed off the ship and onto the island of Nassau!

We had a fun afternoon walking around the island of Nassau and doing some shopping!

Aren't we cute?!

This was the prettiest island we visited!

Climbing some palm trees!

After walking around on the island for 2 hours we headed back to the pool deck for some yummy drinks! Unfortunately, I got an unexpected present from a seagull smack on the top of my head and had to jump into the pool to get cleaned up! Nasty! Probably the one and only low point of our cruise week! Ha!

The Atlantis Resort- for another $200 to $300 dollars you can visit their water park or swim with dolphins! Mark wanted to go there so bad, but it was just a little too pricey for us at this point in life! Maybe someday his dream can come true!
Can you tell just how clear and aqua the shallow waters of this island are? Amazing!

Posing before our last dinner! Mark and I both had awesome steaks that night! Best meal of the week- Yum!

Later in the evening we went to a very bad version of "Family Feud" called "Friendly Feud"! It turned out not to be so friendly as the contestants got upset and quit because the host didn't really know how to play the game! Ha! Mark and John ended up leaving half way through because it was so terrible! Jill and I stayed and stuck it out...as awful as it was!

Then we hit up Karaoke again...but this time Mark sang! He sang "Brown Eyed Girl"!

The lady leading the Karaoke Night even got up and sang with him! She was really fun!

After Karaoke we stayed for an Adults only Quest Game Show! It was a scavenger hunt in the bar and all because Mark wore a bra and lipstick and John & Mark dirty danced, our team won 2nd place! And what did we win for all of our crazy efforts- a deck of NCL playing cards each! Woo hoo!

Sadly, then came Friday morning- the end of our cruise! We woke up, had one last incredible buffet breakfast, and headed off the ship! Disembarkation was very simple and easy and soon enough we were back in Miami and on our way to the airport!

After tearful goodbyes we were on the plane and flying off to Chicago! It was such a great week! I can not say that enough! And we were just constantly reminded of the beauty of God's creation, the blessings of true friendships, and our gift in marriage! Although we were sad to say goodbye to the islands and to the Sloothaaks, we were really looking forward to seeing our boys!

We were delayed a bit at our layover in Memphis, which stunk, but the looks on our boys faces when they saw us that evening made it well worth the wait! Heath was so excited and Nolan got this shy ear-to-ear smile that wouldn't go away! He hugged and hugged me! It was the best!

They had a great week with my family! (Thanks Mom, Dad, Mal, and T.- they made memories they will not forget!) They were also a bit sleep deprived from not sleeping as well in a different place and kinda cranky from being spoiled and busy! But it didn't take long to get back into our normal routines and schedules once we got home! But not before 2 more fun-filled days in Chicago...more on that to come tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!


thesloothaaks said...

Wow! Good job!!! I'd go back tomorrow if I could! Love you!

Cara S. said...

Again, jealous. Love all of your island fashion!

boschkp said...

Glad you enjoyed your cruise. Ken and I loved our Carribean cruise several years ago. It is a different way to travel!