In early March, Matt and our friend Billy were talking at work about possibly taking a cruise. Matt briefly mentioned the idea to me in passing. Of course, I love traveling and was totally on board with the idea (cruise pun!). Then the next day, Brynne emailed us a list of potential cruises for March/April. I don’t think I was expecting to go so soon, but that didn’t keep me from being incredibly excited!
Brynne had friends who had been on cruises before and they gave her some information about how to find good deals on cruises. After a little research and some prior commitment switching, we decided to go on a western Caribbean cruise in early April!
In less than a month, we planned everything. It’s soooo unlike Matt and I to do things on a whim, but when you add in a couple of friends and a vacation we just couldn’t say no!
It was really perfectly timed. My weekends from now until the middle of the summer are super packed and I won’t be able to spend as much time with Matt, so this vacation was a great time to relax and spend some time with Matt before things get crazy for me.
We chose to cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. We had heard great things about them and were excited to experience our first time not only on a cruise ship, but our first time in a tropical location!
Our ship’s name was “the Epic.” It made for many puns on the ship. Haha. Our cruise was also a “freestyle cruise” which meant that we were pretty much able to do what we wanted when we wanted. I think on some cruises you can be assigned a dinner time or have assigned seats in various restaurants and shows. Ours was not like that it all, which we really enjoyed. We had no timetable or schedule. We could read and nap on the sun deck until we didn’t want to anymore. We had a choice of restaurants and could pretty much eat anytime we wanted. The “freestyle” side of it was really enjoyable.
So, for my first vacation post, I just wanted to show you guys the ship. I had no idea how incredibly huge these ships were! Our ship had around 18 decks. There were so many amenities and things to do onboard. There was a spa, a gym, jogging track, shuffle board area, theater, comedy club, casino, ice bar, cigar lounge, library, basketball court, waterslides, over 10 restaurants, enough staterooms to hold 4600 people, then even more rooms to house 2400 crew, and not to mention all of the behind the scenes areas like kitchens and maintenance areas. I mean seriously, this thing was massive. It’s crazy.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from our days at sea!
I couldn’t even fit the whole ship in my frame: that’s how massive it was!
Our stateroom! On the left is the “toilet room” which is pretty self-explanatory. Haha. And then to the right you have the shower. Yes, the shower does open up right to the room, but there is a curtain you can pull across the room that would separate the shower/toilet room from the bedroom area if you prefer to feel a little more privacy (we read that as a major criticism of the rooms, but for us we didn’t care at all. Haha. Yay for being married!).
Another criticism we heard was that there weren’t enough lounge chairs for everyone. We didn’t seem to have that problem. There was lots of room!
We even found the “quiet” sundeck which is where we spent a lot of our time, and it was relatively empty!
We spent a lot of time doing this: applying sunscreen! Other than small patches of burns here and there, we all did really well with minimal sunburn discomfort!
A great (and bad) thing about the cruise was free 24/7 ice cream! We paced ourselves, don’t worry. And isn’t that a great picture of Matt! Such a good looking man! 😉
Drinks however weren’t so free. Haha. This is Billy’s “drink of the day.”
Matt enjoyed the ping-pong despite the wind. Haha. And I learned how to play shuffle board!
This area of the ship was really cool because you were low and could really see the water. It was also neat to see the lifeboats. Such a comforting site!
Sunsets over the water were very pretty!
Food. Lots and lots of food. That’s all I can say. Haha.
We also found the board game area. We became Chinese Checkers pros. Not really, but we did spend a lot of time there.
The hallways were long!
The Epic apparently has the “largest chandelier at sea.” It was pretty and made for some fun photos!
The ship had 3 waterslides! ! I love the progression of these photos! Whose splash looks bigger? Haha!
One of the waterslides had this bowl where slide around until you go down the tunnel into the pool below. It was really fun!
The basketball area was pretty cool too.
Everything was so pretty! You think you’d get tired of just seeing the ocean, but I didn’t. It’s so beautiful, vast, and powerful. Such a testament to our Lord!
Our first stop was Jamaica! Check back for that post next week!