Cruising with NCL Escape

DSC_0039

One of my favorite things to do is to cruise.  Since 2007, I have been cruising every year.  At the beginning of the month of July, we went on our first cruise with our son.  Our son was 8 months old during the trip.  I was scared at first but then I was okay. We had my in-laws coming on the cruise.

We went on the new Norwegian Cruise Line ship called the Escape. It was an amazing ship.  We love cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line because they are a freestyle cruise.  They are a very clean ship.  You have to sanitize your hands when you first get on the ship. Throughout the cruise, there are sanitizes everywhere.  Every restaurant has them.   Every time you go to the Garden Cafe up on Deck 16, they say  “Washy Washy Happy Happy”.  I love hearing that.

Restaurants- Some of the restaurants are complimentary (Garden Cafe, O’Sheehan’s) and some are specialty where you have to pay extra for.  I will blog about the restaurants that we went to.

  • Garden Cafe- This is up on Deck 16 and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This cafe is all buffet style. There is a great variety of food to pick from and many favorites.  There are beverages that you may order but they also have coffee (regular and decaf), a variety of teas, water, and juice (orange, cranberry).  We went here every day for breakfast and few times for dinner and lunch.
  • O’Sheehans Neighborhood Bar & Grill-  This is an awesome place to eat. It is located on deck 7.  We went here a couple of times for lunch.  They have amazing wings and nachos.  All their food choices are great.
  • The Manhattan Room- This is located on deck 6 and it has a wide open space. There is a dance floor in this room.  The dinner menu changes every day with a nice variety of choices.  We went to eat here on the first night.  It was a long wait to get inside and we had made reservations a few months ahead.  Dinner was also taking a long time.  We think it was due to the change of the crew for the week.  Everyone did not know where they were serving.  My son was not able to handle a 2 hour dinner.   Overall it was a great dinner with great food.
  • Moderno Churasscaria- This is located on deck 7 and it is Brazilian style.  They come around with different kinds of meats and you can pick if you want to eat it or not.  They also have a salad bar which was nice.  A very filling dinner.
  • Teppanyaki- This is located on deck 5 and it Japanese Hibachi style.  You get a show and dinner at the same time.  My son loved the show even though he doesn’t really understand what is going on.  He enjoyed the singing and making noise.  I had a wonderful martini but I do not remember the name of it.  It was so good.  The food was amazing as always and very filling.
  • Bayamo- This was located on deck 8. It was a small restaurant and one of the specialty restaurants that are from a Iron Chef.  It was seafood oriented.  My husband and I are not into seafood but I had the lobster and it was delicious.  It was a Latin inspired seafood restaurant.
  • Le Bistro-  This was located on deck 5.  It is a French restaurant and it was very good.  The other NCL ships have this restaurant but the food on this ship was a lot better. I had a mushroom soup (to die for) and chicken for dinner.  For dessert, I had fondue for 2 and it was amazing.  Very happy with the food.

Guppies Program – this is a a new program to NCL.  It is a program for children ages 6 months to 3 years.  They have activities for the children as well as a room for them to run around in.   There was a paid part of the program but we did not use it because we had my in-laws helping us on the cruise.  We did go to a few hosted activities which were free.  It was really nice because I was able to see what you can do with a young child. It was also nice because there was a space for them to play in and be able to roam the room.  They used all safe products on the ship from edible paint to chalk to crayons.  My son did a lot of eating.  The last day, they had a Farewell Disco where the children played with instruments.  We went not knowing what to expect and I was amazed at how my son used the instruments that I ended up ordering him some of the instruments so that he can have them at home.  The crew that words with the children are amazing.  They are very friendly and loving towards the children.  My son loved the host for the week.

Views- There are no words that can describe the views that you get when you cruise the open seas.  They are breath taking.  You see nothing but ocean and it is so calming.   When you get to the ports, you are able to see the islands.   Sailing by other islands is also breath taking.  Sunsets are amazing to watch.

There are many bars on this ship if you are a drinker.  My favorite bar was the Sugarcane Mojito Bar.   I was drinking a Raspberry Guava Mojito.  It was so so good.  There’s trivia every day on the ship.  They have every day trivia or specialty trivia.  We went to a couple of them: Big Bang Theory Trivia, Superhero and Villians Trivia.  There were a lot of them.  We did not go to the shows o  the ship because our son was to young to go and he would get fussy.   There are shops on the ship.  They sell jewelry that you are able to find on the islands but they are cheaper on the ship.  They have liqueur, NCL merchandise, watches, perfume and so many other things.  My favorite was the photo gallery.  Every night at different locations, you are able to take professional photos for free.  You then can go to the photo gallery and look at them and then purchase.  I take my son’s photos so I wanted to pick up photos that someone else took.  They had a wonderful package of 10 photos for $149.  That is a great deal.  The photos we purchased came with a USB of the same photos.  We also took professional photos with a studio.  They are on the ship and there are different ways of doing the shoot. You can do them in the studio, at the ports or around the ship.  We chose to do them in the studio because of our son.  We did not have to purchase anything but once we saw the photos there was so stopping us.  It was a little pricey but well worth it.  We also received a  USB with all the photos that were taken.   These are just some of the things that are on NCL Escape.  I hope this inspires you to cruise with NCL.

          Cruising 

Cruising the big blue seas.

Calm and peaceful.

Mind blowing.

Relaxing.

Amazing sunrise and sunset.

All you can eat.

Tanning by the pool.

Drinks at hand.

Always an adventure.

Different animal towels.

Photos every night.

Gambling on the open seas.

Virgin Gorda

DSC_0853

 

Virgin Gorda is the second largest British Virgin Island.  It is a beautiful island.  This island has a national park called The Baths.  The national park has three parts to it: the Baths, Cave and Devils Bay’s.  In order to get to The Baths you have to go through about a ten minute walk. This walk is not easy.  You walk on dirt as well as rocks and some tree stumps. Make sure that you wear water shoes when you go to this National Park.  Also make sure to have water with you because it is a Caribbean island so it will be hot and you will need to drink your water.  Make sure to also take your time going through this path and just enjoy the scenery.  The first stop is the Baths but we did not go to The Baths.  It is a beach with huge boulders.  These boulders are believed to be volcanic rocks.  They are huge but an amazing view.  We went to the caves.  The caves you are not allowed to enter after 4:30 p.m.  I do not really know why, we did this part of the tour on our own.  The first part of the caves you need to get through 2 boulders very close to one another. My husband who is 6 feet tall had to crawl in order to get through.  It is a tough part of the National Park.  It is important that you are in good health to do the caves part of this National Park.  Once you get past these two boulders, you walk into the caves which are amazing.  When you look up, there are boulders everywhere. They are placed on top of one another. It is amazing how nature has places this boulders together to create these caves.

DSC_0858

DSC_0861

 

As you continue walking through the caves, make sure that you are wearing your water shoes because you have to climb boulders which are slippery and thin stairs.  Once again make sure that you are in good health condition.  It will be a challenge if you are not.  Once you leave the caves, you walk through boulders which are under a foot to 3 feet of water.  Make sure you are careful because these boulders are slippery.  Also if you are short like I am, make sure that anything that can not get wet should not.  I was in waist high water.  Once you get through the caves and climbing over boulders you get to Devil’s Bay.

 

Devil’s Bay is a beautiful beach.  You are in a small beach covered with boulders everywhere you look. It is the most amazing tour which I did.  The beauty of this National Park is beyond words as well as photographs.  The water is crystal clear.

image

image

Once you are ready to leave this beauty, you have to walk back to the start.  This walk is about 15 minutes.  Make sure that you are cooled off from Devil’s Bay and make sure you have more water. This walk back was very tiring and hard to do in the heat.  We stopped a few times in order to rest because it was hot and with the sun shining on you it does not help your walk.  There are many cacti a.  Once we got back to the start, there was water and rum punch waiting for us.

Tips

  1. Water shoes or climbing shoes
  2. water camera
  3. Backpack- if you want to carry anything valuable, I would recommend a backpack. It is easier to walk around with.
  4. water

Magen’s Bay Beach

DSC_0668.jpg

 

St. Thomas has a wonderful beach called Magen’s Bay Beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has clear a beach and it is very peaceful.   There are bathrooms on site.   You can take a safari bus which is open bus so hold on.  The driver will take you on top to view Magen’s Bay from the top down.  It is the most amazing view that I have seen.  Here is a photograph of this view.

DSC_0504.jpg

 

When you get down to Magen’s Bay Beach, the white sand is beautiful.   The clear water is warm.  The view at the beach is amazing and breathe taking.  While we visited the beach, I couldn’t get enough of it.  Here are some photographs to show you how beautiful the beach is.  These pictures do not do justice for the real beauty of the beach.

 

DSC_0591.jpg

DSC_0592.jpg

DSC_0600.jpg

 

 

Magen’s Bay Beach 

White beach

Clear water

warm

peaceful

rocks

Travel Charm Bracelet

I love Pandora charms.  Every birthday, Christmas and special event, I receive Pandora charms.  I have about 10 Pandora charm bracelets each with a different meaning.  One of my Pandora charm bracelet that I cherish and enjoy getting new charms for is my traveling charm bracelet.  I collect different charms from all the places which I travel to.  My bracelet has 3 different sections.  One section is for places in Europe which I visited. The second section is for places in the United States that I visited. The last section is for places that I visited in the Caribbean.   For each place that I have visited, I also take a lot of pictures.  I enjoy photography, so I have a few charms that represent traveling and photographs.

Europe Travel Charms

  1. Paris- Eiffiel Tower
  2. London- Big Ben
  3. Prague- Charles Bridge

United States & Canada Travel Charms

  1. Canada- Maple Leaf
  2. Montreal
  3. Boston
  4. Newport- Pineapple

Caribbean Travel Charms

  1. Puerto Rico
  2. Mexico
  3. Mexico- Sombrero
  4. St.Thomas
  5. Tortola
  6. Bahamas

Other Travel Charms

  1. Passport
  2. Suitcase
  3. Globe
  4. Camera
  5. Globe clip

 

Here is a photograph of my Pandora travel charm bracelet. I hope this inspires you to create your own charm bracelet that means something to you.

image

Ocean

My husband and I just got back from a cruise to the Caribbean. It was amazing. Our 8 month old son came with us and it was just amazing. We love to cruise!

As I was sitting and just watching the waters it was nice to not think about anything. Every day we have all these worries that get in the way of us just sitting and relaxing.  As I was staring into the ocean I was at peace. I haven’t felt this way in a while and it was just so peaceful to sit and think about all the wonderful things in my life.  Sometimes we just need to get away and remember why we have all the things that we do. We go through life in a rush. There’s always a bill to pay or an event to go to.  Just watching the ocean and seeing nothing but water, helped me come back and be in tune with everything that I had.  It was nice to just sit and stare at the beautiful and peaceful ocean.

Here are some photos to help you relax and think about what you are most grateful for in life.

Melted crayon art

A few years ago, I made melted crayon art. It was a lot of fun.  As a teacher, I had a lot of crayons and didn’t know what to do with them. I found melted crayon art on Pinterest and decided to try it.

Here is a list of things that I needed:

  • canvas board
  • hair dryer
  • crayons- at least two packs of 24 crayons
  • glue gun with glue sticks
  • magazines to place on the floor to cover your art working area

Here are the steps to creating you’re own melted crayon art:

  1.  Place crayons on the canvas board any way that you may want. I chose to create a heart shaped melted crayon art.
  2. Glue gun the crayons in their places so that they don’t move. Be careful it does get hot. Work quickly as a glue gun melts the glue and drys quickly.
  3. Once you glue you’re crayons in the canvas, get your hair dryer ready.
  4. Position the hair dryer close to the crayons and make sure the hair dryer is on high.  Move the hair dryer back and forth and be careful as the crayons start to melt.
  5. Continue using the hair dryer until you finish melting all the crayons. Make sure to not melt them all the way. While using the hair dryer be careful because the crayons get hot and so does the hair dryer. The crayons also started splatting everywhere. Make sure you have the area you are working on covered. Melted crayon is not fun to clean.
  6. You are now done. Let your art cool and than decorate your home.

Hope these steps are helpful. Below are photos of what my melted crayon art looks like. I have it my home on display.  Enjoy and I hope this inspires you to create your own melted crayon art.