Just Cruisin' Along
By Preston Young, MBA
I'm thrilled to finally share a recent voyage that Rachel and I embarked upon – a memorable nine-night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas. Our journey began with a hassle-free drive to Baltimore on a Thursday morning. No traffic snags, just smooth sailing (or driving, in this case) as we made our way to the port.
Before fully immersing ourselves, we grabbed a celebratory drink to kick off our voyage and strategically secured reservations at the ship's specialty dining. We spent the rest of our day going through the protocols of safety, meeting at our assigned muster station, unpacking, eating dinner, and enjoying a show that night.
Fast forward to the next day, which happened to be Rachels birthday. We spent the day lounging by the pool, leisurely exploring the ship's amenities, and stopping at bars along the way. As the sun set, we readied ourselves for a celebratory evening.
This dinner was a unique dining experience that I wish I could have eaten at every night. In our room, was a piece of paper that had a meeting spot on it, the main bar in the middle of the ship. Once we got there, there were glasses of champagne waiting for us. As we sipped our champagne, we met the people we would be eating with on this particular night and mingled as we waited for directions on where to go. Soon, we were led down the ship, through the main dining room and into a private room at the back of the ship.
Enter "Chef's Table" – a private journey led by the ship’s Chef de Cuisine featuring six delectable courses, each thoughtfully paired with a distinct glass of wine. From steaks to lobsters and a medley of seafood offerings, every dish was a symphony of flavors. Yet, what truly elevated the experience was the company – fellow cruisers who turned this meal into a four-hour symphony of laughter, stories, and newfound friendships.
Before we knew it, we found ourselves in beautiful Bermuda the next day. We spent the day at Horseshoe Bay, where the beach is filled with pink sand and clear water, with some awesome rocks, which create little coves. We even ate at a local restaurant that night.
Now, let's talk about our grand pontoon adventure – one that got off to a slightly soggy start due to a bit of rain. But you know what they say, a little rain never hurt anyone, right? Well, let's just say we put that theory to the test. Our brave pontoon escapade lasted a whopping 20 minutes before we decided to call it quits. Cold, wet, but a fun story to tell!
Back on the ship, the next two days we spent at sea where we watched many shows, indulged in some fine dining, laid out by the pool, and hung out with our new friends. Our stop in Nassau was quite awesome and a much different experience than I remember as a kid. Recently, they transformed the cruise port. Now, cleaner, friendlier, and easy to access wherever you may be heading. We took a cab to one of their resorts, called Baha Mar. There, we had access to their beach club, where we spent the day on a waterbed overlooking the beach, with unlimited service of food, fresh fruit, and drinks.
Our last port day was a visit to Coco Cay, Royal's private island. Here, we spent the day in an infinity pool, overlooking the beach. Our newfound friends had booked a cabana, so we were able to benefit there with a water slide, couches, and a personal server.
As our cruise drew to a close, we spent the next few nights up late, laughing and sharing stories with people we had met and planning our next cruise. Nine nights may sound extensive, yet time seemed to effortlessly slip by.