Nickelodeon All Access Cruise Pt Deux
After spending the first three days on the boat, we were all ready to be on land and put our toes in the sand. We started off our morning as usual, but I made sure to tuck a couple extra boxes of Cheerio’s in my bag for our trip to the beach. Two sand buckets, three bags, three towels and two toddlers and we were ready to board the tender that would take us to Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.
I cannot express how lovely and desperately needed this day was. After the grueling winter that we’ve endured on the East Coast, the sun on my skin felt better than ever. We spent about three hours on the beach, in the perfectly crisp water, and playing with our great friend Carol (New York City Mama) and her three boys. Lunch was provided by Norwegian, buffet style, and there were rafts, snorkels and other gear available to rent. It was peaceful and perfect and we left at just the right time before it got too crowded.
Though the ship travelled to and docked in Nassau, the capitol of the Bahamas, the kids and I stayed on the boat for the fifth day. Many of our fellow travelers visited Atlantis, but again this was an expensive and exhausting adventure that I just wasn’t about to attempt with the two kids.
We checked out the “sliming deck” which was where you could go to get slimed if you wanted. Jack and Zoe were thoroughly freaked out by the green goop, so I resorted to using it as threatened punishment for mean voices and temper tantrums.
Most of the morning was spent in the kid’s pool area, which had an elephant water slide and about a foot of water. The kids spent a long time here and had an absolute blast. It was the perfect size for them, and with the ship virtually empty they had the area nearly to themselves. We spent the rest of the afternoon snacking and dancing to the live band playing on the pool deck.
I took the kids to a nice, sit down dinner on this night. I happen to really enjoy eating good food in civilized settings, so I was willing to pay what was supposed to be a $10 cover for my meal and an extra $10 for a glass of cabernet. Both Jack and Zoe also tend to behave better in less hectic restaurant settings so I was at peace with the little splurge. We all ate and slept well that night.
All of the extra expenses on board such as alcohol, soft drinks, espresso drinks etc. were charged to our room card. Things like this tend to bite me in the rear because these “little expenses” always add up quickly. I was also disappointed to find that there weren’t child friendly cups anywhere on the ship… there was a standard kids menu offered in every restaurant, but no plastic cups or lids in sight. There were many water spillages daily, to say the least. Maybe we’re just clumsy?
The following two days we were at sea on our way back to New York City. We spent a lot of time with Carol and her boys, both in the Kid’s Club and exploring the ship. On the sixth day, some of my fellow press members were invited to interview the Nickelodeon network stars aboard the ship. I interviewed Jennette McCurdy of iCarly, Ciara Bravo from Big Time Rush, and the voices behind SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star, Tom Kenny & Bill Fagerbakke. The latter two were hilarious, especially when they spent a good 5 minutes saying “Momma’s Gone City” over and over in a Southern twang. I didn’t get this on video, sadly. Anyway, they are pretty amateur videos but the personalities are entertaining.
Jeannette McCurdy who plays Sam Puckett on iCarly
Ciara Bravo, plays Katie Knight on Big Time Rush
Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke, the voices behind SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star (PART 1)
Tom and Bill (PART 2)
We spent a good deal of time while at sea in our room. The balcony was great fun, especially just after they washed the windows. Fortunately and unfortunately, there were only about 7 channels offered on the TV set, including one channel that played the same few episodes of Dora, Diego and the WonderPets on a continuous loop. Without a DVD player or movie ordering options, we really didn’t spend much time watching. So we went outside…
…and visited the soft serve lady once a day. I dearly miss the soft serve. The staff on board the Jewel was incredible. We were always greeted with smiles and they were friendly and eager to offer help. Our cabin was came up so well every day, all three of us got so excited to go back to a clean room after a spending a few hours away.
Overall, the experience was positive, albeit a little overwhelming. I encourage you to check out Carol’s review as she is a travel writer and did a very thorough and accurate job explaining the trip. We would have all fared better had the trip been cut a couple of days short, as the two days at sea got very tedious. The Nickelodeon characters weren’t around as much as we had expected, and the activities and general content was geared mostly towards the elementary crowd. Once we got our groove, we had a lovely time. We were very happy to see daddy on the seventh day though.
I continue to be astounded at the opportunities I am offered through this little ‘ol blog of mine. Experiences that I normally would not be fortunate enough to find have come my way and those moments shared with my kids have brought me to tears. This trip was exemplary of that. I loved going to sleep each night listening to their soft breaths and waking to happy, excited voices each morning. These hours on the cruise and on the beach in the Bahamas, just me and them, were unforgettable. I’m so grateful to have been able to travel with my children in this way and show them things that I’d never even seen before. With each adventure that I take with them, we learn a little more about each other and find our Zen quicker, and I become a little more confident in my parenting skills (though, there were definitely some alternately defining moments as well). It’s all a learning experience, and I’m content and grateful for that.