May 23, 2011

Cruising Back from Vacation

I wasn't sure about this vacation. We knew we wanted to go on a cruise and while I tried to book the Disney Wonder it was completely sold out until the Fall. So we researched and came up with this 10-day cruise from NYC to the Caribbean. Good in theory, but 10 days of togetherness in a 205-square foot cabin - I wasn't so sure.

So we headed out of New York City and boarded the ship under very heavy security. The Intrepid was docked directly next to us and Nico was fascinated by all of the small airplanes and submarines on display.
Crossing the harbor, we passed the beautiful Lady Liberty. Such an amazing sight. We told Nico the story of how his Nonna (grandma) came through Ellis Island when she was about his age. He couldn't believe his Nonna was ever 5.
The very first day at sea it was warm and Nico headed straight to the pool.
And proceeded to go up and down and up and down that slide 5 million times.
This was a Nickelodeon Cruise so we got to meet Sponge Bob, Patrick Star, Dora, Diego and his favorite - Fan Boy and Chum Chum.
He got called to be on stage during the Nickelodeon Slime Time Live show. He hammed it up and wasn't a bit intimidated by the hundreds of people looking at him. Actually, I think he was loving the attention.
Participating in the kid's Pirate Parade onboard.
And running, running down those long hallways looking for our cabin. Do you know how many times Mama said "Nico stop running, Nico be quiet there might be babies sleeping, Nico mind the people around you, Nico say thank you, please, let the ladies off the elevator first." Reminding him of his manners is like a full-time job. But we refuse to give up. He will be polite (even if I die repeating myself). Ha!
Learning to play shuffleboard for the first time.
After 2-1/2 days at sea, our first port - Puerto Rico! I have never been so glad to see firm ground in my life.
Climbing, climbing, climbing Fort San Cristobal in Old San Juan. Nico loved touring the dungeon, sleeping quarters and cannons in this old Spanish fort. The views from the top were beautiful.
The cobblestone streets of Old San Juan. One of my favorite places in the world. I can "feel" the history here. It's a place my grandparent's brought me to when I was right around Nico's age, so this was a special spot for me.
He doesn't eat grilled cheese, snubs pizza and hates hamburgers. But a spicy Puertoriccan empanada from a street vendor - that's a yes? And then he went on to eat a second one.
Look at that grin - all because he got his father to pick him up and carry him up those stairs. We had the most delicious dinner in that restaurant - one of my favorite memories and meals.
He learned to snorkel and give that lovely fake cheese smile in St. Thomas. Ha!
Pretending to go overboard in St. Maarten.
This was one our favorite experiences of the entire trip - swimming with the dolphins! They are beautiful animals and to actually swim in their habitat and learn to give commands was amazing. He is still talking about that dolphin and keeps telling everyone that he went inside the dolphin tank - but it's okay because he's a trainer now.
And yes, I went on the trip too. I was really bad about handing the camera over this time. I'm grateful that the ship's photographer took a bunch of family photos or I'd have none.
Nico learned so much, laughed a bunch, met friends from around the world, had a lesson in navigation, swam with dolphins, had his passport stamped, met a real ship's captain, participated in a live stage show, discovered snorkeling and when asked what the best part of the cruise was ----he said to me "my Dad didn't go to work for 10 whole days and spent all of his time with me."
And that concludes this EPIC post. Thanks for staying with me! I have a few new projects and pages coming very soon.


  1. What a trip! I can tell that you and your family had a BLAST! :D :D :D

  2. Looks like soooo much fun! And your pics are gorgeous! Can you please come with us to the beach and take all my pics? LOL

  3. This looks like a lot of fun! Love your pictures!

  4. LOVE your photos, and your story-telling skills Nancy. Your posts are always well-writtenand entertaining. Looks like a great trip - now I want to go on a cruise!