Finally getting some pictures up of our cruise, which I will have to do in a couple posts. This is us pulling into Miami after 16 hours in the car. We left after church on Easter, and drove and drove and drove. We made it to Miami around 7 am with plenty of time to spare for our no-later-than-3 boarding time. The girls were AWESOME in car. They slept and played and watched movies and did super super great the whole way.
Since we did arrive early and had to wait for Janet and Kemper and Uncle Ben to arrive (they were driving from San Antonio and left right after church on Sunday too), we drove around and by accident found our "big big boat" as we now refer to it. It wasn't the biggest at the port but with all those flowers, it was the prettiest :)
We headed to the coast (passing by the big big boat on the way) and found.....the beach! The girls were thrilled to be out of the car and it was a BEAUTIFUL day. It was also Joni's first time in the ocean.
Hadley could barely contain her excitement...well there was actually no containing, she was super excited. Joni on the other hand was a little skiddish of the waves coming at her. She preferred to stand right at the edge and watch.
Getting on the boat was quite the process but we were all so excited to be there it didn't matter. Some crew members greeted us with flowers and a band was playing....super cool.
So first things first, check out the big big boat and see what kind of awesome fun things there are to do. Naturally the Hubers needed to get a couple of golf swings in....never too young to learn.
The first day always includes a practice run for if some reason unbeknownst to us, we need to ditch the big big boat and get on the lifeboats. There are designated spots for everyone (note people outside the window) but since we had young children, they told us we could wait inside. Hadley and Joni took that to mean: playtime in the big window. It does make a decent slide I suppose.
One of the decks has a walking track....we stood here when the boat left the dock. The terminal was a glass building and if you looked really closely you could see your reflection.....
Setting sail....saying goodbye to Miami, hello awesome vacation!
Our housekeeper guy (I'm so sorry, I know there is a nice word for him but I can't remember it at the moment), we will call him Steven (because that was his name), really went out of his way for the girls and making our room nice everyday. Every night he would come in make them some animal out of towels...this was our first night so they each got one...Hadley's was a bird and Joni's was a hamster. More of Steven to come....
The crew was amazing too. This guy just cleans off the table but here as Joni was eating her watermelon, he decided to cut it up for her too. I was appreciative, as was Jo.
The first full day on the boat, Nana and Papa and Ben went scuba diving so Andy, the girls, and I hung out on the boat. Here is the Kid's Zone. They have this area for kids and their parents to come and play anytime during the day. They also had an area that was a "Parent Free" zone where you can drop them off.
Hadley and her books.....fun tents and tunnels? No....books. We didn't stay very long because we were on our way to the pool!
....and since we were docked, there was no one on board the boat and we had the pool almost entirely to ourselves. This is the kiddie pool (and hot tub) which the day before was a mad house. For those of you who have never been on a cruise, you sail mostly during the night so that during the day you are docked at a port....we stopped here (Freeport, Bahamas), then Nassau, then our cruise line's private island. The idea is that you get off the boat and pay extra for "excursions" or shopping or site seeing. We opted for swimming and playing and having the boat to ourselves :)
Sometimes, we would come back to our room, and Steven would have placed Gigi (Hadley's monkey) and Joni's sheep in fun places. So cute. The girls got a kick out of it!
One of the on board activities was family pizza making. Hadley picked her toppings out....
then we waited while they baked....
then we enjoyed.
More looking around our big big boat.
There were 2 restaurants and 2 buffets to choose from for all our meals, plus some other places to eat too. We mostly ate at the buffet that was located on the back deck (below) but we also tried the restaurants. This cruiseline (Norwegian) is known for its freestyle dining...you could eat whenever and wherever you wanted...and we did ;)
This is actually the last morning so I have Miami behind me but we loved eating outside, but in the shade.
Joni coloring (with Papa's help) waiting for our food one night.
This was my dessert one night and so sorry Mom, the only picture of food we got the whole time!
A giant rabbit? from Steven.
And an elephant....note Gigi on the pillow in the background.
An an owl I'm guessing. Note the pacifier that is now no longer with us!!! We thought it would be much harder than it was. She has been using it only for naps and night for probably a year now but no more no more!
So since Nana and Papa and Uncle Ben don't get to see the girls that often, we didn't take them to the Kid's Zone except for one time. Joni was too little but they were doing face painting and I thought Hadley wouldn't mind being away from us for one hour. All I had to say was the word PAINT and you know it, she loved it! She came back looking like this.
Waiting in the dinner line one night....twirling in her own little fun world.
More swimming....the water was actually pretty cold and this day we were going going all day and by the time we decided to go, it had cooled off quite a bit so we didn't stay in long.
The night life on board was fun too. They had a big show every night and always something going on....trivia contests, live music, dancing, games, etc. One night they had Dancing with the Norwegian Stars (Norwegian crew member and a guest) and this night was Friendly Feud. Kemper was picked to play...hehe.
It was such a great trip! Thanks Ben so so so so much for everything! I know we can say thank you over and over and it still won't be enough! So happy we got to spend the time with you....in the Bahamas no less! After we got off the boat, we went to a park for lunch before we had to take Ben to the airport.
Sad sad days....saying goodbye.
The rest of us didn't have to be back right away so we got to enjoy some more time together. I think the trip was a success. Sleeping like little angels!
We found a small Children's Museum and made it our one last fun fun thing before heading home. They had a touch tank...
And lots of other fun things for the girls....
More fun cruise pictures to come......love to you all!