We left last Sunday morning (really early, like 5:30am early) to fly to Jacksonville, Florida where our cruise was leaving from. We went with our friends Mitch and Amanda, who live across the street and another couple, Matt B. and Angela. Matt, Matt B., and Mitch have known one another since they were much younger (they went to school together) and over the years Angela, Amanda, and I have become close friends. We knew we would be in for a great time being all together and we sure did!
We got to Jacksonville around 10:30 a.m. and headed to the hotel pool to catch some rays and later went to eat dinner. We ate at this amazing restaurant in Jacksonville called the Millhouse. They had some amazing food and drink specials. What a great way to start off the trip!
Monday we headed to the cruise terminal and got on board around 2 p.m.. The weather was beautiful so we headed to the deck and enjoyed a few drinks and some sun. That night we began the first of many amazing dinners in the "Sensation" dinning room. Afterwards we headed to the casino where Matt ended up winning $300!
The next day was a "day at sea" which basically meant we had all day to play on the boat. We ended up waking up really early every day during the trip so we got up, ate breakfast at the fantastic buffet and headed back out to the deck to lay out. The boat had entertainment and contests all day every day so it was very hard to become bored. Matt B. entered a cocktail contest and made a "Matteo Special" drink. He didn't win, but I think he looked the best making his drink and it tasted great! The weather was extremely hot that day the sun drained our energy, so we headed in early that day and took naps. Captains dinner was later that evening which meant we had to dress up. Not only did Captains dinner entail dressing up, but it entailed eating the best food of the whole trip. Lobster and steak galore! I had never had Lobster before and I can now say I'm a big fan!! I think all the boys had several plate-fuls that night.
The next day we arrived in Key West. We had booked an excursion to do a "pub crawl" which meant we went on a tour to five bars and got free drinks at each. It was neat because the tour guide didn't take us to regular touristy bars but more unique, out of the way, ones that locals frequent. None of us had been to Key West before and we all loved it. We all agreed our next big trip needs to be to there. I wish we had more time to sight see and check out more of the island.
The next day we went to the Bahamas. We didn't book an excursion for the Bahamas, only knew we wanted to find a beach and grab a few drinks. So we found a taxi driver who drove us to Cabbage Beach which was on Paradise Island. It is the same beach that the famous Atlantis is on and we were told it was rated in the top ten of the best beaches in the world. It was pretty, but I don't think it compared to Jamaica. But hey, maybe I'm biased. It rained about 20 minutes while we were there and we grabbed some shelter under a tent that was nearby. The rain came and left quickly and we enjoyed just relaxing on the beach. We met a local man there and he talked to us for a long time and the island and about their culture. It was really neat to hear about the differences between the Bahamas and the USA.
The next day was our last full day and it was another "day at sea". We all just used our last day to relax and take it easy. We spent a lot of time playing on the water slides which were on the boat and just laying out. We enjoyed our final dinner together and went to see some karaoke and the late night adult comedy show.
Sat we were up early and flew back to Birmingham. We arrived back around 1:00. It was bittersweet to return home. I wanted to see our dogs and rest but I also didn't want to leave the days of laying out, eating all the food I wanted (that was amazing!), and seeing great places. But here I am at home so now I guess its time to get back to the daily grind. I'm not sure how productive I'll be at work tomorrow after being off for so long! :)
For some reason I am not able to post pics on here so I'll try to make another blog ASAP with pics to follow.