Friday, May 11, 2012

Three Weeks, Eight Cities, Four Connecting Flights, Two Port Destinations and a Whole Lot of Fun! (Part 1: Bermuda)

Okay, so I promised a trip post and here it is! Sorting through all the photos we took had me wishing I was back in vacation mode (although at this point, it hasn't really shut off yet)! I also realized it would be way too many photos to do just a single post on so I'll be dividing it into three parts: two posts for our cruise and another for my San Antonio adventure. (Warning: Photo heavy post ahead!)

The beach we were most excited about: Horseshoe Beach!

Truth be told, this vacation was a long time coming. Mr. J and I had been trying to plan one since late last year but the dates just wouldn't work with his busy work schedule. We were also flip-flopping over what sort of vacation we wanted to do: an all-inclusive beach resort getaway or a hectic one where we'd get to explore some place new. Eventually, we decided on the best of both worlds: a cruise! We lucked out and got a pretty good deal for the one we went on, plus the dates worked perfectly. It only had two port stops but we got to stay overnight in Bermuda (that's two full days at the beach!) and in Boston so we felt it gave us enough time to explore both places, unlike with other cruises where you only get about 8 hours or so at each port. This was my first cruise experience (and Mr. J's second; he'd already sailed before with family) and our first big vacation as a married couple so it was doubly exciting.

We decided to fly out of Buffalo, NY because airfare would've cost us $700+ flying out from Pearson compared to $500 for the both of us out of Buffalo. That was simply a no brainer. Our flight was an early one and we didn't want to compete with rush hour traffic so we decided to suck it up and drive down and cross the border roughly 12 hours before our flight. We did a park, sleep and fly so at least we got maybe an hour or two of nap time before we had to be shuttled of the airport. We got there a couple hours early so we (luckily!) got bumped up to an earlier flight with premium seats. (Not that those seats made much of a difference on planes that still used propellers; we were just closer to the front of the plane.) At this point I was wishing it was a direct flight to Baltimore (where the ship is docked) but we had to connect in Philadelphia. Now, connecting flights are annoying but not that bad at all if you have ample time in between or if it's one that's not, say, a domestic flight connecting to an international one. But if you're only running on a couple hours of sleep, it's not a very pleasant experience. Needless to say, we were glad to finally board the ship. (Can I just say how craaaaazzzzy that cab driver was who drove us to the pier??) We hadn't had a decent breakfast or lunch and it was already past two o'clock. We looked as tired as we felt in those boarding photos they took. (No, you won't get to see that one. :P) We got our first taste of cruise hospitality with a free lunch (yay!) that we enjoyed on the deck, poolside, while they brought our bags up to our cabins. We also indulged in some "medicine for our vacation" to kick off our holiday: a tall, ice cold glass of Bahama Mama for me and a Mojito for Mr. J. (And this is the part where I shut up and let the photos do the talking!)

  Vacation mode: ON.

Taken from the upper deck of the ship.

 To give you the idea of the ship's enormity, here's the view from the 9th level. 
The white baby grand is on the 4th level.

 Spotted this snazzy control booth while we were sailing into Bermuda.

 Fun artwork like this statue all over the ship!

 The Orpheum Theatre. Great shows every night!

Looks familiar? Posted a version of this photo on Instagram.
The ship at night as we walked back from the beach barbecue.

Saw this schooner as it was leaving the dockyard.
Wish I could've gotten a photo with its sails up!

The dockyard and, across from it, the Clock Tower Mall.

Horse carriage Bermuda style! Those are shops on the right.

Palm trees!

Exotic looking foliage!

There were lots of these trolls around Bermuda.
Apparently, it's supposed to bring good luck to travelers.

One of the shops had these awesome ship replicas. 
I badly wanted to take one home but they didn't come cheap.

What kind of nail blogger would I be if I didn't take (vain) photos of my nails flashing rainbows in the sun?

The beach barbecue buffet. Those ribs were beyond awesome!

The gorgeous beach sunset.

The water was sooo clear! We chanced upon this guy actually fishing just by the ship.
Those fish were huge!

Horseshoe Beach from our towel; just a short bus ride from the dockyard.
(Zoya Tosca on the toes.)
A fast driving bus on the wrong side of a winding road was a bit scary but memorable!

The view on our right (gorgeous pink sand!)...

...and the view on our left. Not crowded at all!

We were so anxious to make sure that we already had all our shopping done that we decided to stay in the Dockyard for the first day. We also had to consider that we needed to be ready for the beach barbecue we signed up for as a shore excursion at 6:30pm. On hindsight, we totally should've hit the beach first and headed out to Hamilton (the city center) but as it were, we got to walk around a lot in the area and just enjoy the afternoon at leisure. The barbecue was fun, doing the limbo and the kids who were part of the cultural show were awesome! Of course, free flowing alcohol wasn't a bad thing, either. ;) Stay tuned for the next port: Boston!

Hammie asks: Have you ever been to Bermuda? Where's your favorite beach getaway?


  1. OMG, this looks a stunning holiday destination, I would have to win the lottery for a chance to get here! The cruise ship looks awesome, I am not so good on water, we went on a cruise around the Aegean in Greece and was so sick didn't see a thing , so try and keep away from them, loving the colours you wore on your feet and hands too, can't wait for the next one :D

  2. Looks like you had a great vacation! Never been to Bermuda but want to eventually

  3. Those pictures are AMAZING! I've never been to Bermuda but it's definitely somewhere I'd like to visit in the future. The husband and I are also heading on our first BIG vacation since getting married. We're heading to Hawaii for the first time - and like you both, we're heading south of the border from Vancouver to Bellingham to save on the flight.

  4. Beautiful pics, glad you had a great time, like Jo not sure I could do a cruise! I badly need a holiday, last one was 6 years ago, and that was honeymoon!!

  5. I want to go NOW!!! It's so beautiful Carmela! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. So glad.

  6. Thanks, Jo! Oh, wow. That must've been terrible! Was it still bad even with motion sickness medication? We actually went through a gale while sailing and I had a quick bout with seasickness myself. (We were sailing through 25ft waves!) Thank goodness for Gravol!

    You must be so excited for your upcoming holiday! I know I'm excited for you! Hahaha! :D

  7. Oh, it was, Naomi! I just wish it was for longer. ;) I hope you do get there; it's gorgeous!

  8. Thanks, Agnes! I can't take credit for the photos though because it really was such a stunning place; there are just no bad angles. ;) Wow, Hawaii! Yay you! That's definitely on our places to visit list!

    Isn't it crazy how much cheaper it is to just head south of the border for cheaper air fare? Well, I wish you safe and happy travels! (P.S. If you can, I would LOVE to see photos! :D)

  9. Thanks, Esther! Well, if you get really seasick, motion sickness medication helps A LOT. I had to take it all the time during the latter part of our trip when we encountered rough seas. Otherwise, I totally recommend the cruise experience. After being pampered and meeting so many lovely people (we even met a family from Wales!), it was hard to go back to the daily grind!

    Oh, wow, now here's a lady who definitely deserves a holiday! I hope you find time soon! :D

  10. Yes! Let's go NOW!! :D Oh, it definitely was. And the people were so warm and friendly, too. You definitely have to go someday, Marisa (but in the mean time, Jamaica! Oh my, I'm so excited for you!) Aww, thank you! :)

  11. Oh these photos are INCREDIBLE! Thank you for sharing... the pure and clear water in the photos is so relaxing that I feel like I went on a mini getaway myself ;)
    I will admit the troll threw me off of my "relaxation mode"... what a funny looking dude ;)

    Your nails were gorgeous... but my Dear Lady... so is your stunning wedding ring and band!!! I don't think I've seen it before and it is so unique and LOVELY!
    Glad you relaxed!!!

    I haven't gone anywhere exotic except for the Dominican... it was eons ago and I don't think I should even count it ;) Time to start traveling again :D

  12. Nice!
    i follow you on bloglovin, follow me back? xx

  13. Yayyy for Jamaica! I definitely want to visit Bermuda sometime. Even more after seeing your pics!

  14. I see that you didn't paint your hubby's toes in time for the beach excursion. Next time, right? His 'little piggies' won't escape that easily. :P

    Thanks for posting photos of your trip. It's fun to see what you saw. I haven't been on a vacation anywhere outside the country in a while, so it was cool to be able to vacation vicariously through you. Lots of interesting and quirky things you came across. (I had no idea about the trolls bringing travelers good luck! Haha, seems so random!)

  15. Glad you like them, Marta! We actually forgot to take more photos as we were so enthralled with just enjoying being there. I could've taken more beach photos but it was so relaxing reading in the sun. :P

    Hahaha, that troll was creepy! It was pretty big, too, although there were a lot of smaller ones everywhere. (You have Mr. J grinning ear to ear with that! It was his design. :D)

    Indeed! Maybe you can check out those Disney cruises? A friend of ours was looking into it recently and she said there were some pretty good deals. :)

  16. Hahaha, he got off easy this time! ;) Maybe a fine glitter top coat would've been cool tho, now that I think of it...

    You're welcome, Mary! I wish I could bring everyone there with me! That troll took me aback, really. It was the biggest I've seen in the area and could pass for a child (albeit a hideous looking one, hahaha!)

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