Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Trip Begins...

I must mention that our lovely vacation began even before we set sail out of New York City Harbor. A flight into NYC meant a definite visit to see our good friends, Ben and Gabby (aka Design Mom). Ben and Wes go waaaay back and even after we wives joined the picture - there were many, many good times. This overnighter with the Blair family was no exception! So cool, so cosmopolitan, so hip, so smart, so fun - and let's not forget their awesome kids! We had some laughs and enjoyed every minute (even the 144 minutes of battles between the Autobots and the Decepticons).

We boarded the SS Noordam Saturday afternoon and sailed down the Hudsen river past NYC, Ellis Island and the State of Liberty. Amazing views! We were scheduled to be at sea until Monday morning so we settled in for plenty of eating, sleeping, reading, watching movies, and exploring the gigantic ship. It was very fun and relaxing. There was also a very nice church service held on Sunday. It was hymn/testimony meeting where anyone that wanted to could share why they loved a certain hymn and then we would all sing that hymn. Two that I remember were "America the Beautiful" (see below) and "Master the Tempest is Raging" (we were getting some pretty strong wind and waves at that time!).

Let me give a little bit of background about this cruise and how we got on it. The company Stampin'Up had reserved the entire ship for their top sellers and their families but ended up with a few hundred extra rooms. They donated 185 rooms to members of the Utah National Guard that had served time in Iraq and they also donated some rooms to charity groups so they could sell them off and keep the profit. The rest of the rooms were sold for an amazing $600 a couple! We were able to take advantage of this great deal because Weston's friend Brad knows the owners (they actually live in our town). There ended up being about 1900 people on the ship - most of which were Stampin'Up associates. They really were a lovely group of people and made the trip all the more fun. Also, we cruised with Brad and Kristen which was an absolute blast!

Life aboard the Noordam

Wes ran into one of his best friends from high school that he hasn't seen for about 10 years!

Wes and I on one of the two formal nights.

The ship was over 900 ft long!

This is our cabin. Every night our cabin steward would turn down our bed and leave a chocolate along with a room service breakfast menu and a schedule for the next day's programs.

Also, our cabin steward would leave a towel sculpture on our bed every night. Cute!

As anyone who has been on a cruise knows, it's all about the food...(most of these pictures were taken the night of the chocolate extravaganza)

There was plenty of fun on the ship - a spa, nightly entertainment, an ongoing karaoke contest, games, lectures, cooking classes, etc. But let's not forget the delightful island of Bermuda! I will save that for my next post.


Anna said...

Wow, what a well deserved break! Sounds so fun.
Okay so here is a stupid question, don't laugh, but did you get sea sick. Rob laughs at me when I tell him I don't want to go on a cruise because I don't want to get seasick, but I don't!

Kip said...

It sounds like you had a fantastic trip! So fun! I am always impressed how you and Wes try all kinds of interesting activities. You're not afraid to get out there and meet new people or have new experiences. By the way, I had no idea that you could do so many things with a towel ;-) (Can you replicate any of those sculptures?)

Emily S. said...

Not a stupid question! Actually, we all wore scopolamine patches during the times we were at sea and did fine. The boat also gives out complimentary dramamine :-)

Jen said...

Wow, what a trip! I can't believe those chocolate sculptures. If only I had such talent. I have never been on a cruise but look forward to taking one someday. Can't wait to see pictures!

Julie said...

What a trip. The food looks fantastic, and you and Wes look like you were having a great time.

Diana said...

Um, I'd go anywhere that had a chocolate extravaganza. You guys do look very happy and rested.