Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Hi everyone! And welcome back to my blog :) I feel like it's been so long since I last posted (although its only been like a week lol) but, its with good reason! Last week I went on my second Caribbean cruise and I wanted to share more about it here! We have started (since last year) that around Christmas time , we'll be going on a cruise! I really hope this tradition continues because it is absolutely magical during the holidays! You could read about the cruise I went on last year HERE!

Anyways! This time around, we opted for a shorter cruise consisting of four days. We also decided to try out and experience a different cruise line. Last year, we went with Carnival on their Carnival Vista ship, but this year we went cruising with Royal Caribbean on their Mariner of the Seas ship! It was amazing; super luxurious and tons of activities to do. Since the cruise was only four days, we only stopped at two ports: Nassau, Bahamas and Royal Caribbean's private island called Coco Cay! Another thing to point out is that we booked this cruise a little under two months before we actually went (which is kind of last minute for me). I say this because its always a good idea to book a cruise almost a year in advance, that way, you have a good amount of time to pay for it! :)

Before I get started on the stops, I want to talk about the cruise ship itself first! It's a very grand ship with lots to offer. There's a total of 14 decks and at the top deck is where all the fun and action is. They had two water slides, tons of pool areas, a private adult area with jacuzzi's and bar, a basketball court, mini golf and many other water activities. The most memorable thing we did on the ship was called the "Sky Pad". It's kind of like a trampoline, where you get strapped down and you jump up and down as high as you can. I was totally terrified while doing it, but I did it anyways lol. There was almost an option to do it with a virtual reality headset (my bf did it) but I didn't do it because I wanted to actually see what I was doing. They also had a ice skating rink! I thought that was so random, but cool at the same time. They had a couple shows in there, as well as two sessions of ice skating.

Now let's move on to food and drinks! If you have been cruises before, you know that purchasing drink packages on a cruise can be ridiculously expensive. For instance, for our four day cruise it would've cost us around $400+ for a drink/alcohol package...insane! My bf is the one that does most of the drinking anyways it wouldn't be worth it, especially since they make each person purchase a package anyway, its just outrageous! The good thing is that you are allowed one bottle of wine per person to bring on the ship. We brought one bottle and my bf brought three discreet pouches of rum LOL. You could get them here....very easy and effective and it definitely saves you money!

Now as far as the food was concerned, we weren't impressed at all. I believe this happened because we had such high expectations from the last cruise we took (Carnival food is awesome btw). I cannot say the food was bad because it wasn't, but there was just no variety. Breakfast and lunch was almost the same everyday and it was usually the american style selections. The only meal I looked forward to was dinner because every night was different, but even then there was reason to complain. My bf is a vegetarian and they had very limited vegetarian options. I was kind of surprised because my bf cannot be the only vegetarian on board, and I thought this ship would adhere to that. Every night, he basically had to eat some type of fish because he simply did not have another choice lol. Other than that, the rest of the experience was great and we made awesome memories!

Now let's move on with the stops:


Our first stop of the cruise was in Nassau! The ship was docked there the entire day which was pretty cool, so we didn't feel rushed at all. For this particular stop, I did purchase an excursion via the Royal Caribbean website. I tend to stay away from the excursions they offer because they are usually pretty pricey, but the one I got I found it was actually totally worth it. It was a dolphin encounter at Dolphin Cay at the Atlantis Resort plus free access to Aquaventure water park at the Atlantis resort as well! I thought this was a steal because any dolphin encounter in Miami (even in key west) is usually around $170+ per person. As well as purchasing a day pass to visit the Atlantis hotel, it will set you back around $150 each! The excursion we purchased was $199 per person for both things!

Visiting the Atlantis resort has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl so it was so so cool to finally see it in person. It was everything I thought it would be and more! It was even more magical because of the Christmas decor everywhere. So since we bought the excursion, we were basically at the hotel the majority of our time, because when we left from the Atlantis resort it was around 5-ish and by then almost all the shops and places around Nassau were closed! We were so bummed but that just gives us a reason come back ;) made our way to the Aquaventure park and spent our time there in the River rapid lazy river. We also got the chance to get on some of the water slides, that was one of the best parts! My favorites were the ones where you had to sit on the tubes because I knew those would be less scary ;) lol!!! There was even some slides where you went "under-water" and passed an area where the sharks were swimming! I took some really great videos on my go-pro that I'll share once I download them! We also spent some time in the beach at the Atlantis resort, it was also really really beautiful !

At Atlantis Paradise Resort!

After that, we went down to Dolphin Cay for the dolphin encounter! This area is truly incredible. It almost looks like a beach in front of the resort but its just strictly for dolphins and their trainers! I am so surprised I didn't cry because this was another thing that's been on my bucket list for a long time and it finally came true! :) When we got there, we were asked to wait by the beach until it was our time to start. After that, we had to proceed to put everything in a locker, which was really upsetting because I couldn't take any video or pictures with my phone :( UGH. After that, we had to put on a wet suit for the encounter, which was awkward because the suit felt so so tight that I felt it barely fit me lol. The dolphin encounter was a group setting. So it was my bf and I and about 6 other people. I couldn't believe how close I was to a dolphin! They are really amazing mammals, and incredibly smart. I couldn't even believe how well-trained he was! Our dolphin was a male and his name was Julian. We were able to pet him and also feed him fish. We were only allowed to pet him beyond his face and blow-hole. Apparently they do not like being touched around the face, which made sense to me because I wouldn't like people touching my face either LOL. His skin felt rubbery and soft at the same time. His most strongest muscle is around his fin which helps him swim around 25 mph! We all took turns petting him and feeding him and there was a person there taking photos of us. Which I later learned the photos taken were so damn expensive! UGH, they really want to suck out every penny they can from you! I think it was around $100 for six photos and almost $300 for all of the photos the person took! I only purchased two photos and that set me back $67! Although, I do have access online to see the rest of the photos, but they all have watermarks. All in all, it was an experience that was so worth every penny and I'll never forget it!

The best day! :)


Coco Cay is Royal Caribbean International private island! Half of the island is currently under construction because they are building a huge wrap-around water slide, and a few other unique attractions that'll be ready sometime around May 2019. Although this was happening, it did not ruin the experience of the island. Coco Cay is an island with no ship dock so to get to the island, we had to go on a tender boat/ferry to reach it! Once getting there, the first thing I noticed was that it was extremely touristy lol. Bars everywhere, a huge market to shop, excursions, etc. On this stop, I did not book any excursion in advance to we just decided to wing it and see what we could do. Since we were so tired from the day before in Nassau and Atlantis, we just decided to lounge on the beach. The was cold but it was one of the best beaches ever. Especially because the water was extremely shallow and you could walk out far out into the ocean and the water would still be knee length, it was awesome! We rented a lounge mat and I used it all on the water the entire time. There was also a floating bar nearby as well where we walked up to it and got some drinks. We were only here till around 4:30p when the last tendering boat was passing by to take us back on the ship. I would definitely come back to the beaches and to see the new additions they are currently building on the island!

Thanks for stopping by to read :)
til next post!

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