Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Date 86 - What a Doll.

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Type: Out on the Town
Cost: $
Planned By: Adam

Play number three in our Playhouse Square Broadway Series season tickets was Guys and Dolls!
Neither of us had seen this musical, but we have heard a little about it. Rather than being at the Palace Theater like the rest of our tickets this one was at the Hanna Theater. It is a bit smaller, but this meant we had better seats! I really liked this theater, and I would love to go back to it.

The musical was a lot of fun. I thought some of the scenes were hilarious. I love the character Adelaide! She was hilarious and had the best solos. We really enjoyed the music and choreography throughout the musical. We were really surprised at how popular some of the songs were from this show. We already knew three or four of them, and had no idea they came from Guys and Dolls.
I would definitely recommend this show, and I'm really happy Adam and I got to see it together!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Date 85 - I'd Rather Be In Bermuda!

Date: Friday, May 3, 2013 - Friday, May 10, 2013
Type: Travel, Vacation
Cost: $$$$$
Planned By: Both

Adam and I have been on two cruises together. Cruising is a great type of vacation because the ship plans almost everything for you. The prices are reasonable and you get to see some great places. Therefore, for this year's vacation we decided to plan our third cruise together!
We really enjoyed departing from Baltimore last year because we were able to save a lot of money by driving. It is only a six hour drive which is very doable. So we searched for other cruises out of Baltimore. We wanted to travel somewhere neither of us had been so we were happy to see that Royal Caribbean had a ship leaving from Baltimore and going to Bermuda! We booked our cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas for early May as our family vacation and anniversary celebration.

Day 1:
Embarkation was slow at first because they didn't open the lines until about 1:00. Because we got there around noon we were close to the front of the line and got on the ship before two. We immediately ate lunch, got a drink, and checked out our room. We booked an inside cabin, and it was pretty small. It had a nice little couch, a king size bed, a flat screen TV and the smallest shower I had ever seen. There wasn't much storage, but we were fine with our accommodations. Next, we attended the muster drill (which went smoothly) and the sail away party!! It wasn't as much of a party like we had experienced before, but it was still fun! We got our luggage fairly quickly, and unpacked. Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We ate every dinner in the Main Dining Room. Having a three course meal every night was fantastic. The starters, entrees, and desserts were all very good. I wish I could eat in a cruise ship main dining room every night, but then I'd probably gain a lot of weight. The first headliner show was a comedian, and he was very funny.
Day 2:
This was our first sea day. The boat was moving a lot. We didn't get a great night sleep because our room was creaking all night and we both weren't feeling very well. We got breakfast and the ocean calmed down around lunch time. After lunch we soaked up some sun, for me a little too much sun because I got a pretty nice sun burn. Then we took a nice long nap. We woke up in time for the first formal night, and got dressed up and went to dinner. After dinner was the Captain's Celebration in the Centrum, with complimentary unlimited champagne! After the celebration we went up to the Viking Crown Lounge, and discovered something wonderful. The Viking Crown Lounge had a martini happy hour from 5PM-10PM every single day. You'd probably think that it really wasn't a good deal, but wait... Each martini was $5.95!! These martinis were regularly priced from $8.25 to $10! You'd also think it would be so busy you couldn't get a martini.. Nope. That place was always dead, we always got a nice spot at the bar to talk to the bar tenders. After this discovery we went there most nights for a martini or two. The show this night was a hilarious impressionist. Adam fell asleep, but I thoroughly enjoyed his show!
Day 3:
We slept in. It was very very nice to sleep in. We got breakfast and laid in the sun. Then had lunch, and our ship docked in Bermuda at 3:00 PM. Somehow we were two of the first twenty people off the ship. For this short day on the island we decided to explore the Dockyard. First, we got a drink at the Frog and Onion Pub. Adam got one of their brewing company's beers and I got a Golden Frog cocktail. They were both good! Then we walked through the Clocktower Mall. There was some interesting shops, and we even found the official tip of the Bermuda Triangle in there. After the mall, we took a long but scenic walk to Black Bay Sea Glass beach (I found directions on This beach was amazing. I knew from my research that it was full of sea glass, but I didn't realize how large the glass would be and how much there really was! We took a few pieces back with us. Last, we went to Snorkel Park during happy hour which got us in for free (normal $5 per person). We got a drink and sat on the patio and watched the water. We got ready and headed over to dinner, then got a martini, and attended the Love & Marriage show. This show was our favorite because it uses audience participation. It is like the Newlywed Show, and it was hilarious!
Day 4:
This was our full day in Bermuda and we wanted to make the most of it. We each got a two day transportation pass, which let's you use any public transportation for two days. We hopped on the ferry to the capital city of Hamilton. We walked around Front Street and looked at all the nice shops. Then we got lost while trying to walk to Fort Hamilton. Eventually we carefully read the map, and found it. It was a pretty cool fort with above ground cannons, underground halls, and a dried mote with flowers and trees. Then we walked around a park and read part of a story about Tiny the Tree Frog. We never figured out what happened to him, but we thought the park was beautiful. Next, we caught the number 10 bus to the Swizzle Inn for lunch. We shared a pizza and a jug (pitcher) of their famous Rum Swizzle! The pizza was delicious, and we were really excited for it because our ship DID NOT have 24 hour pizza available!!!! The Rum Swizzles were very strong and very tasty! We loved this place, and would definitely return if we ever find ourselves back in Bermuda! After lunch we got back on the bus and headed to the historic town of St. George. We walked around another park where we found beautiful flowers and a great moongate that we took a picture inside of (I read online that its good luck to take pictures in moongates in Bermuda). Then we walked around King Square and the harbor. Then we set off to find the Unfinished Church, but instead found St. Peter's church which was also interesting to walk through. We got lost trying to find the Unfinished Church and just decided to look for Tobacco Bay our last St. George destination. It took us awhile to find it, but we succeeded. It was a gorgeous beach! Beautiful rock formations and clear blue water! We didn't stay too long because it was hot and we were tired. On our way back to the harbor to catch the ferry guess what we found... The Unfinished Church! It was unfinished, but cool, and also in bad shape so we couldn't wander inside. We made it to the ferry and enjoyed a nice ride back to the Dockyard and our ship. We got back to the ship ahead of schedule so we took advantage of everyone being off the ship and swam in the pool that we got all to ourselves! Then we got ready, went to dinner, and skipped the show (a magician) because we were exhausted!
Day 5:
The ship was scheduled to leave at 6 PM. We took our second transportation pass and rode the #7 bus to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. We climbed to the top of the lighthouse and had a beautiful view of the island. We couldn't go out on the open ledge because it was extremely windy, but there was an inside ledge to see the view from. There are 185 steps up to the top, but periodically there were floors with information about the lighthouse which we found interesting. We bought some souvenirs at their shop and went on our way. We got back on the #7 bus and took it to Horseshoe Bay Beach. This is a huge pink sand beach. The water was choppy with lots of waves, but we ventured in, and had lots of fun wave jumping! I saw online that that all the south shore beaches connect, but I forgot my map of the trail/beaches so we just decided to wing it. The first couple beaches were easy to walk to, and easy to find the walking trail. All of the beaches have amazing lava rock formations along the side. After a couple beaches we ended up rock climbing around and on these formations to get to the next beach. At one point it was very dangerous, I cut my tow and I wanted to turn back, but Adam was persistent and we made it. I'm glad we did because the next beach was Jobson's Cove which was breathtaking. The sand was extra pink and the water was a lighter more beautiful color blue. The last beach was Warwick Long Bay, and I was very happy to have finally made it. Overall it was treacherous, but a wonderful adventure!! After our walk we got back on the bus and headed back to Dockyard. We wandered around a little bit, got pictures of things we missed previously, and took a ride on the courtesy train shuttle. We got back on the ship in plenty of time before departing back to Baltimore. We got ready, went to dinner, then watched the show. This night's show was "All Access" featuring the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. It had a nice variety of music and dancing and we liked the performance. Then we rushed up to get our martini before ten.
Day 6:
This was our second at sea day. Royal Caribbean didn't have very many activities for our age group planned. It seemed like they had a ton of activities for children, teens, older teens, families, and senior citizens. Not much was going on for young adults. We mostly laid out, took a nap, and ate this day. One of the fun things around the ship to do is the rock climbing wall. We both tried it out, and had a lot of fun with it. Neither of us had any trouble making it to the top. This night was the second and final formal dinner of the cruise. We got dressed up and went to dinner. We went to the Temptations Tribute show after dinner. It was a good show, and we knew about half the songs, but it definitely wasn't our favorite so we went up to the Viking Crown Lounge and had a couple martinis. We weren't exhausted this night so we had some fun taking random pictures around the ship while everyone else was asleep. Then we tired ourselves out and went to sleep.
Day 7:
This was our last day and it was also a sea day. We spent a lot of time eating and laying in the sun. We watched the International Flag Parade on the pool deck. A bunch of the crew came out to carry their countries' flag to celebrate, and I thought it was really cool to seem them all so proud. Surprisingly, there were only 23 crew members from the US! Later, we went to the Broadway Trivia and got 14/20 questions right. Then we went to our last dinner, which was delicious as always. We also went to the farewell show, which had a comedian who was funny but focused on jokes for an older crowd. We said good-bye to our favorite bar tenders with one last martini in the Viking Crown Lounge and sat in the Centrum and waited for the Aerial Show. I have never seen an aerial show, and it was amazing! I was fascinated and extremely impressed by their ability to do some of those moves! We made one last trip to the late snack buffet and went to bed (I think we went to this ever night for nachos and burgers).

We got off the ship early on Friday, and were on the road by 7:30AM. We got home to our precious baby, Obi around 1:30PM.
Overall, it was a great vacation. We enjoyed the ship even though they didn't have a lot of activities for us. We loved Bermuda, and will probably try to go back someday. We are very happy with the entire experience, and can't wait until our next vacation.. too bad we have to keep working in order to go on another one!!!
If you would like to read about our previous vacation on the Carnival Pride check it out here.