Beach at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

This is what a real vacation looks like

You may have already read about my first-time cruise experience, but I took a whole load of photos that really summarize the experience nicely. They mostly involve drinks, beaches, and smiles. But mostly drinks.

I always stress the importance of taking an ACTUAL vacation. I know many of my readers think I live in a fantasyland where I play hard and work only some of the time. This is only partially true.

But when I travel, I’m ALWAYS plugged in. And I’m FOREVER concerned with social media, and emails, and all the pings and dings that come through my phone from my friends and from my mother who likes to panic every time I take five minutes to respond to her messages. I turned all the notifications off my phone, and yet every now and then, one weasels its way through.

Sometimes you just gotta unwind, let loose, put away that damned smartphone, and relax your freaking face off. Give the world the middle finger! Indulge! That’s why Cailin booked a cruise for us with her Airmiles.

This is what a real vacation looks like. We’ll begin with breadsticks.

The Olive Garden
I apologize for the lack of cropping for this image but I am incompetent. So much so, that I originally wrote “incompotent.” Cailin felt it was her civic duty to introduce me to the Olive Garden, and although all our American friends had a shit fit on Facebook, I gotta say, the unlimited breadsticks were divine.

Miami North End

This was the beach in front of our hotel in Miami’s North End. It was pretty ghetto. I got up and went for an early morning swim in the hotel pool, and some older Serbian ladies just stared and talked about me the whole time.

A crepe breakfast

Breakfast on the first day of vacation must always start with crepes and sugar. Or bacon.

Leaving Miami

I freaking love this photo. There was such an awesome energy onboard when we were pulling out of Miami. People were singing and dancing and cheering and clapping. Everyone was doing The Wobble, which I learned later is vital for understanding Americans, but nobody has ever told me this, or taught me the dance. I’m told the Cupid Shuffle is also essential.

Sunset on board

The perfect moment. A sunset as we’re pulling away from Miami, an airplane taking off, and lots of happy, happy people. Even a kissing couple. Seriously. Talk about timing. Meanwhile, Cailin and I are in the corner hovering over a bucket of Coronas.

Giant jug of booze

It rained all day at Half Moon Cay, so Cailin and I found the Pirate Ship and decided to order giant jugs of Rum Runner punch. We made friends with a lovely newlywed couple here. Alas, we never did get their contact info. If you’re reading, send me a message! In the meantime, check out that guy’s scowl…

Beach at Half Moon Cay

Carnival Cruises owns the island of Half Moon Cay in Bahams. I wish the weather were nicer, because this beach is da bomb.

Pirate ship at Half Moon Cay
This pirate ship was rad.

Mojitos and John Irving

If you ask me what my favourite thing is, it’s a cold drink (usually a beer!) on a warm deck somewhere. Books are a bonus, although I mostly end up people watching the whole time.

A house in Bahamas

A little red to liven things up in Nassau, Bahamas. Nassau is an odd place. I didn’t feel all that comfortable that.

Cabbage Beach in Bahamas

Most of us went to Cabbage Beach near Atlantis. Apparently there were alcoholic coconuts with free refills for $20. We were sad to have missed that.

A pink building in Nassau

This is so Caribbean.

Leaving Nassau

There were FIVE CRUISE SHIPS pulled into Nassau port in Bahamas. FIVE! That’s like, five thousand people milling around a tiny city. That’s Atlantis in the background. It’s basically an entire city in itself. We had to walk through it to get to Cabbage Beach. I know Atlantis is supposed to be this high-end, mystical place, but I don’t think I’d stay there. The thing is massive. They have their own THEATRE.

A rainbow in Turks and Caicos

When your beach day in Turks and Caicos comes with a double rainbow all the way across the sky, you know it’s been a good one. Cailin and I opted for an all-inclusive beach day that included free drinks and food.

Leaving Turks and caicos

The ay was so good, in fact, that I don’t even remember this photo being taken.

Inside the Carnival Victory

This is the inside of the Carnival Victory. It’s basically a circus.

Cruise animals

The cruise staff was incredible. I just cannot stress how good everything was. The housekeeping folks even knew that I have a crippling fear of t-rex, so they made me this dinosaur instead.

Cailin REALLY got into the cruise spirit. Anyone else think her drink cup looks like a sex toy?

And this is what two happy, relaxed travellers look like. Take a good look. Because I am rarely this glowy and almost always five times as haggard.

How do you vacation?

  • December 11 2014

    Looks like you had fun! I miss the warm, tropical, balmy air. Can’t wait for winter to be over! :-)

    • December 12 2014

      SERIOUSLY! Just a few more months to go…hahaha.

  • December 11 2014

    That really looks like an acutal vacation. I’m happy you could relax for a while. I actually just met a Swiss couple who crossed the Atlantic by cruise. They said it was cheaper than a plane, they didn’t have any jetlag at all cause they were passing only one time zone every day and the entertainment on board was incredible. They could try out so many things they always wanted. So for all people who have time to get from Europe to America or vice versa, this could be an option :)

    • December 12 2014

      Oh I so badly want to do that! Do you know what cruise line it was? I met a couple who travelled from Australia to Vancouver! Took over 30 days, but they said it was the best cruise of their life.

      • December 13 2014

        Yes the cruise’s name is Norwegian Epic. I think it started in Barcelona and ended in Miama. During the winder period the cruise does one-week itineraries in the Carribean.

  • December 13 2014
    Shut Up and Go

    That origami dinosaur thingiemabobber! Now that’s some pure TALENT!

    • December 15 2014

      Right?! You should have seen the monkey they made…

  • December 14 2014

    My dad and stepmom did a destination wedding in the Caribbean last year and we all went on a cruise together for it. Cruises really are great for complete gluttony. My sister and I did a booze cruise day trip with unlimited rum and both of us blacked out before it was even over. Neither of us remember how we even got back to the ship, though my dad told me later that he saw us in the liquor shop in duty free and that we should check our rooms for alcohol… sure enough we had smuggled 2 bottles of rum on board! Score! Haha glad you got to have a real vacay. :)

    • December 15 2014

      LOL! That’s amazing! Hahahaha. I’ve done a few all-inclusive resort trips with friends, with very similar results, hahaha.

  • December 16 2014

    I must do a cruise very soon! I’ve heard several rave reviews! Thanks for sharing this great post!