Ellie Likes to Write Letters

We continued our morning routine of Ellie crawling into bed with me so I can snuggle with her for 10 or so minutes before we get up.  She really wanted to snuggle for much longer, but I explained that we were short on time.  I brushed her hair and helped her get dressed.  She was pretty clingy this morning and did a lot of crying.  She didn’t want to leave me.  She knows that this morning routine means I will eventually leave her at school.  Once there (and once I’m gone), she’s totally happy.  But she still doesn’t like the idea of me leaving.

Ryan packed her lunch (sandwich, yogurt, watermelon and grapes) and water bottle and we went on our way to school.  Ellie wanted her morning photo by the sign and then we walked to the back of the school to take off her outside shoes.  Once inside, we put away her lunchbox and water bottle.  The director tried to help with this, but Ellie was adamant about doing it herself.  We chatted with the director and her husband about the website and the photos I took for them.  They seemed very pleased.  They have a few other photos that they want on the website that I didn’t take, so I’m going to edit those photos for them.  This way, the photos all look consistent.  It was time for us to go, but Ellie wasn’t having that.  She held onto me and cried again.  I gave her all the hugs and kisses…but then it was time to leave.  She cried and cried, but she was fine once we left.

Traffic wasn’t nearly as bad today, so we got home in record time. It was 8:30, so straight to work for me.  And Ryan had to pack the van for Dragon*Con.

On the way to pick up Ellie, we chatted about the upcoming road trip to Atlanta.  Ellie is such a good sport.  She’s been taking road trips since she was 4 or so months old.  We’re so lucky to have a kid who is adaptable and pleasant when traveling (and when not traveling, lol).  When we arrived at her school, Ellie was sitting on her nap mat and trying to sing another student to sleep.  She doesn’t take naps, so I guess she was trying to help everyone else nap.  I heard my name, “Mama?  Mommy?  MAMA!!!”  She occasionally calls me Mommy now because that’s what the director calls mothers.

During school, Ellie worked on her letters.  They worked on writing letters and picking out pictures of things that start with that letter.  Her teacher said she’s doing a great job and that she has an amazing attention span for her age.  They also rolled a 3 sided die and would pick out the corresponding quantity of strawberries for the number they rolled.  Ellie also got to do some connecting of dots.  She ended up drawing a vase.

We left school and she put her shoes back on.  She wanted to shovel rocks for what seemed like a lifetime, but we eventually re-directed all that energy and got her to leave the backyard of her school.  She wanted to take her end of school day photo by her favorite section of rocks.  And then another photo by the sign.  She looks so adorable in the below picture…but she also looks like she’s about the throw a rock at me.  I was prepared for anything.  :D

All in all, Ellie had a great day.  She was excited to go home, though.  And she was very upset when she thought we left her Batman flip flops or Spider-Man lunchbox.  Seriously, kid.  It’s like you don’t know us at all!  :P

 

A Busy Day for the Nelson-Campbell Family

I struggled to go to sleep last night, so when it was time to get up, make Ellie’s lunch and wake Ellie up, I didn’t even hear Ryan until he was walking down the stairs with Ellie.  She got into bed with me and we snuggled for a little while, but then it was time to get up, brush her hair and get dressed.  Normally, Ellie goes to school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so she wears the uniform for that day — navy polo and khakis.  Since we have Dragon*Con this weekend, she had to go to school today, so she wouldn’t miss out on any of the three days for this week.  Well, Tuesday’s uniform is a maroon polo and black bottoms.  We completely forgot about the black bottoms…and put her in her khaki jumper.  We did this for a couple reasons:  1) She loves her jumper and 2) we could only find a size 4/5 maroon polo, so we needed something that would cover most of it up.  In the end, it looked like she had two dresses on, because the polo was longer than her jumper!

We also had a bit of an ordeal finding her jumper…but eventually found it in the last place we would ever look.  Isn’t that always how it happens?

We drove to the school and Ellie wanted to take morning photos by the school sign.  When we walked in the back, she sat down and took off her shoes.  When Ryan didn’t close the shoe bucket all the way, she went and closed it properly.  Ryan got scolded a bit.  Ellie walked up the stairs and for the first time, we ran into other parents as they were leaving.  Tuesday is a much busier day!  We put Ellie’s lunch box and water bottle away…and then she automatically attached herself to me.  She knew I was going to leave soon and she was extremely upset.  I held her for a minute or so and gave her bunches of kisses, but then I gave her to the director of the school and we left.  It was hard…but I know that the minute I leave, she’s fine!

We drove home and I went to work.  We hit some gnarly traffic thanks to a combination of a train, construction and school starting.  Before I knew it, lunch time was here and we had to head back to school to take photos for their website.  The school eats up natural light, so we had to get creative when taking photos of the kids.  We placed them next to the door, so I could open it and get more light or moved their tables closer to the window and opened the blinds.  Whatever was needed to get the light I needed for the photos.  Also, while I know I’m a good photographer, it was weird to take photos for someone else.  When it’s just for me, I know exactly what I need…and I know how to achieve it.  I don’t think I am a fan of doing photography for hire.  Too stressful!   But, the kids were wonderful and it was so nice to get to see Ellie in her element, especially before she knew we were there.

We went into her classroom and they were going over counting and working on which number is bigger and which number is smaller.  Ellie then went to work on her fractions.  She did 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 and 1/5.  We all moved into the main room and worked on different math problems, as well as sorting.  I’m happy to share that Ellie did not throw all the beans in the air this time.  It was time for the kids to eat lunch, so we left quietly.  We heard Ellie crying, but she only cried for a moment.

When it was time to pick her up and bring her home, she was pretty excited to come home with us, although I think she would’ve preferred to play outside all by herself for an hour or so.  She asked to take her end of day photograph with a new pile of rocks.

Ellie is really blossoming at school.  She has made a couple new friends and the teachers seem to be very fond of her, as well.  She’s a teacher’s pet, for sure.  But, was there ever any doubt?

 

Ellie Loves School — But She Also Loves Mama

When Ellie woke up, Ryan carried her downstairs and she crawled into bed with me.  We snuggled for a while, but then it was time to get up and get ready for school.  I brushed her hair and helped her get dressed.  She wore her khaki skort and a navy blue polo.  She chose a new pair of Batman socks…and her favorite blue shoes.  One of her friends had a birthday party during lunch today, so we only packed some fruit and a water bottle for her.

We drove to school and all seemed well.  When we got out of the car, Ellie wanted to take her morning photo, so we posed by a street light this time.  As we trotted into the backyard of her school, so she could take her shoes off, she still seemed fine.  We walked up the stairs, went inside and put away her washcloths, lunchbox (still Spider-Man so far) and water bottle.  We chatted with the director of the school about some photography she needs done…and as we were about the leave, the waterworks started.  ”No, Mama!  Please don’t leave!  Mama, noooooo!”  And she jumped into my arms.  I told her she had to go to school, but that I would be back after lunch.  She still cried.  The director of the school helped sit her down by the toys and as we left, she screamed and cried and gave me the saddest face ever.  We walked toward the front of the school and the director’s husband (he’s the one working with the design company for their website who gave us more specifics about the photos needed) met us by the front door and told us to quietly come inside the school.  All we could hear was Ellie playing with her friends and laughing.  Once we were out of sight, she calmed down and went back to business as usual.  Mir, the director’s husband, told us a story of when his first son went to school and a similar thing happened.  It was before camera phones and that kind of instant communication we’re all so used to…so when he left the school and his crying son, he just sat at work with a pit in his stomach, because he didn’t know if his son was better yet.  He wanted us to see…or, well, hear, that Ellie was already better, so we wouldn’t feel bad.  It was a lovely gesture.

When home, I got to work and had a lot of emails to answer and paperwork to complete.  Yada yada.  But then, I heard my phone buzz…and the school director sent me pictures of Ellie eating pizza at the birthday party.  See, Ellie doesn’t like foods that get her hands messy.  She gets frustrated.  Also, she’s a pretty healthy eater…so, pizza isn’t really something she’s ever tried.  They cut up her pizza into small enough pieces so they were bite sized and easy for her to pick up and hold.  And she really liked it.  (In the car on the way home, she said, “Mama, I ate pizza!  Yum!”)

We went back to the school during my lunch break to pick up Miss Ellie.  They were finishing up story time when we got there.  Once Ellie realized we were there, she walked over and took us to her classroom.  They worked on continents again today, so the first thing she did was take me to a puzzle map and tell me where Africa was.  And then she pointed out North America.  She also worked on more shapes, letters, numbers and sorting skills.  I’m sure she did even more, but that’s all she told me about.  Her teacher, Ms. Cheryl, took photos of the kids today, so I was able to see what Ellie did.  I loved it!  And, of course, Ellie started a little bit of adorable trouble.  Every time one of them would write a letter, she would tell them to all raise their arms and say, “We did it!”.  She does that a lot at home, whenever she’s particularly proud of herself, so I’m not surprised she told her new friends all about this fun tradition.  Apparently, they did this 6 or 7 times — for 6 or 7 different letters.  And the teacher got photos of the entire thing!

We talked to the director about hosting some fun events

After she showed us what she learned today, she wanted to sing and dance and play with all of the toys.  We let her sing for 5 or so minute, but then it was time to head back home.  We took her end of day photos with her sitting on the rocks.  She sure does love rocks of any kind, lol.

She goes back tomorrow, since we leave for Dragon*Con on Wednesday night.  I bet she’s going to be excited to wear a different color polo.  (MWF is navy.  TTH is maroon!)

 

 

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 3

FREEPORT

We woke up to our customary plate of fruit and croissant for Ellie and prepped for our day in Freeport, the Bahamas. As I’ve mentioned before, we booked excursions through Carnival this cruise, but we recommend booking your excursions on your own, if you can.  It is much cheaper!  They were a little late letting us disembark for this port, but it ended up not being a big deal.  Our excursion for Freeport?  A 3 hour trip on a 107 year old historic German Windjammer Sailing Ship.  Not bad, huh?  We had such an amazing time on this ship.  The crew was excellent and hilarious.  They let Ellie and I Captain the ship, which was a smart move.  We’re already pirates!  It rained during part of our excursion – you could see the rain coming, which was fairly majestic.  When it started raining, we got Ellie below deck with everyone else, while I took photos and explored the ship.  I always recommend bringing a water proof camera, especially to places like the Bahamas. It was nice to have the entire deck of the ship to myself.  I got to talk to the crew and tie a few ropes.  Also got to steer the boat for a while, which was fun.  They taught me how – which you know is right up my alley.  Educational and fun?  Yes, please!  They explained all the dials and digital screens, which I thought was really above and beyond.  When the rain stopped, Ellie and Ryan came back on deck and explored the boat some more.  I took Ellie and let Ryan run around and get a feel for the ship.  She was so good during this excursion.  She got a little hungry, so I breastfed her, which I thought was fun.  And no one seemed to care.  Not that they should, but the Bahamas isn’t the US.  They don’t have to let me breastfeed on their boat, nor do the other passengers have to be OK with it.  I found that everyone I met during the cruise didn’t bat an eyelash when I breastfed Ellie on the boat or during an excursion.  It was a nice, non-judgmental feeling.

WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT: Any seafood is recommended.  Seafood comprises of the majority of meat eaten in the Bahamas.  If you enjoy seafood, try the conch salad at just about any place you can find.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO: I cannot recommend the Windjammer excursion enough.  If you can’t book separately of Carnival, it is 100% worth the excursion price.  Our friends also recommend the Jeep excursion and the 5 mile bike around the island excursion – both through Carnival, although you might be able to book separately.

 

We were supposed to have a beach photo shoot after our excursion but shortly after we were back on land and doing a tiny amount of shopping, Ellie passed out in her stroller and didn’t want to wake up.  We had to reschedule.  They originally didn’t have an opening, but they made an exception for us because, well, every photographer on that ship wanted to photograph Ellie.  They’d fight over her.

We were pretty tired and didn’t want to take a cab to the beach or into town, so we called this port a day and enjoyed some lunch.  We rested and let Ellie sleep until dinner time.  We went to bed early, since we had a 630AM wake-up call for our next port, Nassau.

NASSAU

We woke up a little late for this excursion, but it ended up fine.  Well, late for us is not arriving 15 minutes early.  But, we’re crazy about punctuality.  When you’re on a boat that leaves with or without you, it makes you very cautious about timing.  We waited for the excursion to start, which included a bus tour around Nassau, a boat ride to our glass bottom boat and then an hour or so touring about the waters and looking for fish, turtles and sharks.  Fortunately, we were able to see all of the above and more!  (Including a deck chair that someone is obviously missing!)  While on the bus tour, we were taken to the highest peak in Nassau so we could see the entire island.  We learned a great deal about the city, as well, from our hilariously informative bus driver.  And, of course, we did a little shopping.  When we arrived to the pier where our first boat was docked, we were greeted by another hilarious tour guide.  He pointed out all the famous people and their opulent homes.  I mean, Oprah totally needs two huge mansions next to one another.  Don’t we all?  Ellie really enjoyed this part of our excursion.  She loves wind.  Seriously.  Swinging on a swing, being spun in a circle.  Anything that causes the wind against her face feeling she loves?  She’ll giggle for an hour over it.  So, a boat ride — she was in heaven.  Of course, she wanted to walk around, but that wasn’t in the cards.  When we got to our glass bottom boat, we met another charismatic guide, which led me to believe that Bahamians are very charming people.  And that when tourism makes the majority of your industry, you are a culture of well trained entertainers.  We saw so many beautiful schools of fish, lots of turtles and a few sharks.  It was a very successful excursion.  Oh, and in a small, enclosed space, I breastfed Ellie there, too.  So, she was breastfed in Hemingway’s house, on a 107 year old ship and in a glass-bottom boat.  A breastfeeding adventure!

When we made it back to the port, we decided to go to the boat and get ready for our photo shoot.  Of course, Ellie passed out again, but we couldn’t miss this opportunity.  So, we got her ready anyway.  We all got our bathing suits on and made our way to meet our photographer, Tharesh.  When we met him, he was suffering from a cold of some sort.  Poor guy!  He said the beach was a 15 or so minute walk away and off we went.  Once we arrived at the beach, it was gorgeous.  And we found an area that was fairly secluded, even though there were two cruise ships at port.  We took about an hour to get all the photos we wanted…and then played with Ellie in the sand and water for a little while longer before making the trek back to the boat.  It was Ellie first time at the beach and I am certain she had the best time of her life there.

On the way back, we stopped for a snowcone and a little shopping.  We found a number of amazing finds and even better deals!  And then we headed back onto the ship to get ready for dinner.

Two Days at Sea

Our at sea days are always filled with lots of walking around the boat, lots of shopping and lots of eating.  We had a second Formal Dining night, which we were accidentally prepared for.  We tried out the Red Frog Pub, which was delicious.  We also found a great grill place on the 5th deck.  We took lots of photos of Ellie and us and Ryan even got some of his gambling done.  We can have it all!

We met Tharesh on our last full day at sea and saw all the beautiful photos he took of Ellie and us.  It was such a pleasure meeting him.  I’m so glad he was available to photograph us.  Ellie grew very attached to him.

We also booked our next cruise, which we’re excited about.  Even more excited now that our friends have also booked with us, so we’ll have friends to share the experience with!

All in all, our first international trip with our 13 month old daughter, as well as her first cruise, was a success.  She had such a fun time and so did we!  We can’t wait to cruise again!

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 1

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 2

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 2

FIRST DAY

After eating a little lunch on Lido, we went to our room to try and unpack.  You know — the boring stuff no one wants to deal with, but we all have to!  We knew there was going to be a security briefing around 3PM or 330PM, so we decided to tour the boat a little while we were waiting for it to get closer to the briefing time.  I found a number of fixtures that I really fell in love with during this tour around the boat.  I also got acquainted with the 4th and 5th decks which would end up being my second homes (photos and shopping!).  Ellie decided the briefing was not her cup of tea.  My normally extremely happy baby wanted to scream the entire time we were there.  Really, she wanted to run around and didn’t want to sit still or be held.  This was our first real experience with the crew on the Magic.  They came over to her and played peek-a-boo and were just…great people.  They kept her entertained while I listened to the briefing and Ryan held her.  This would be the constant level of service we received on the Magic, with the exception of one bad waiter.

After the briefing, we went back to the room to let Ellie decompress and take a nap.  And then, off to dinner.  I’ve always enjoyed the food on the ship.  Some people don’t, but I really think they just aren’t trying enough options.  Every ship I’ve sailed on has so many options, it is hard to imagine you can’t find SOMETHING you like.  You can have food on Lido (including MANY options), you can dine in one of the additional cost restaurants, which are always delicious, you can dine in the main dining area.  If you decide to dine in the main dining area, I always recommend you choose ANY TIME SEATING or YOUR TIME SEATING.  There will be that one day you fall asleep or want to see a show when your scheduled dinner time is, etc.  I’ve never had a long wait with Your Time Dining.  Most of the time, there is no wait at all!  And this gives me the flexibility to eat whenever I’m hungry.  Also, if you’re cruising with Carnival and you like chocolate (heck, even if you don’t like chocolate), you have to try the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake.  It’s not the healthiest thing, so don’t eat it every day!  Our first dining experience introduced us to Anastasia, the host in our dining room.  She would become one of Ellie’s favorite people.  It also introduced us to an expert level of service that we’ve come to expect on these ships.  We also became fast friends with the maitre d’, which is never a bad thing.  Numerous waiters, drink servers, etc. came by to visit Ellie.  She was like the ship mascot.  By the end of our cruise, she made more friends than I think most people have in a lifetime.  And they all wanted to keep her.  We got so familiar with them, that they would walk by and Ellie would put her arms up for them to pick her up.  And they would.  We made some lifelong friends on our short trip — thank goodness for Facebook!

FIRST AT SEA DAY

Our first at sea day was spent running around the ship and getting more acquainted.  We attempted breakfast on Lido, but quickly learned it wasn’t a great option for us, so we instead went to the Punchliner Brunch in the main dining room which showcases short performances from all the comedians on board the Magic.  Oh, and ridiculously delicious (and hilarious) food options.  The Brunch was only available during At Sea days, which worked well with our schedule.  We also put Ellie on a leash and let her run around on deck 12.  She climbed on deck chairs and banged on the glass that separated her from the ocean. We took lots of pictures and prepped for our first port, Key West.  We also had our first Formal Dining night, which we enjoyed.  We love the opportunity to get dressed up on the cruise.  We so rarely get dressed up!

KEY WEST

Before leaving for our cruise, I researched our ports.  It’s something I like to do.  We booked an excursion for Key West, since we were traveling with Ellie and didn’t want to have to take care of anything ourselves – no chance to get overwhelmed.  In the future, we wouldn’t do this again.  Key West is an easy port to get around without needing assistance from the cruise line.  All you need is a smartphone and an idea of what you want to see/do. Key West has an extremely interesting history and I wish the city would embrace it’s older history a little more than the more modern era things (although still interesting).  The pre-Cayo Hueso history is extremely intriguing, but I guess there either isn’t enough information or interest for that to be a bigger part of what you see and hear about in Key West.  We toured the city and got to hear about the Navy and Presidential visits.  And, of course, lots about Hemingway.  We went to Hemingway’s house and played with the cats.  I also breastfed Ellie in his house.  Wonder if his wife would’ve thought that was tacky like the ceiling fans she had removed.  And then, the food.  Conch fritters, key lime pie, peel and eat shrimp – we had to try a little bit of everything.  We also shopped for some souvenirs, including delicious paprika and loose leaf tea.  This was our longest time at a port – and we really toured the city.  It’s a small island and we walked across and around most of it!

WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT: Try conch fritters (Mallory Square Street Stand), key lime pie (Sarabeth’s Kitchen)

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO: Visit Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Harry S Truman Little White House, Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West Cemetery, Key West Lighthouse, Visit the 0 Mile Maker and more!

 

An aside: A girl was beaten up by her boyfriend during our first at sea day.  They were arguing and fighting and he decided to make it physical.  A number of neighbors filed noise complaints, so guest services and ship’s security went to their cabin and found the girl on the floor after the boyfriend hit her face/head into the furniture numerous times.  He was detained until we arrived to Key West, where he was promptly met by police there and taken into custody.  The girl stayed on the ship with us for the rest of the cruise.  I saw her only once – brave, brave girl.  I’m glad she stayed on the cruise.  She got medical attention while at Key West.  I was impressed with how quickly and expertly Carnival handled this situation which could’ve gotten way more out of hand.

When we got back on the boat, which was a painless process, we got ready for dinner.  We were pretty hungry, even though we snacked during the day.  Miles and miles of walking will do that to you!  After that, we retired to our room.

Next, I’ll tell you about our time in the Bahamas.  I am officially a Bahama Mama.  :D

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 1

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 3

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 1

I think there are two types of people in the world: people who love to cruise and people who hate to cruise (or hate the idea of cruising).

We are cruise people.

Our first cruise we went on was our honeymoon cruise. We went to Progreso and Cozumel. Our second cruise was a family cruise to Alaska with my Nanny. And this most recent cruise took us to Key West, Freeport and Nassau.

On Sunday, January 13th, we got up extra early and drove down to Galveston, which is the port closest to us.  Embarkation day can always be a little stressful.  When you arrive at port, you are met with a lot of mixed emotions.  People disembarking from this ship you’re about to live on for a few days are always a mix of relaxed and frantic, happy to be home and depressed to be home.  And then you have your fellow ship mates who are often stressed with the process of getting their luggage where it needs to be and starting the embarkation process.  For Ryan and I, we’re professional travelers, so we don’t get too worked up about the process.  When we arrived at the port, we checked our luggage, so we didn’t have to deal with it.  I always recommend checking your luggage.  We saw quite a few people trying to bring their luggage with them — it’s not worth the stress.  Carry only what you need for your first few hours on the ship (since when you board, your stateroom will likely not be ready yet).  Also, since your stateroom is likely not ready when you board, you don’t want to be stuck carrying all of your luggage everywhere you go.  Once we checked our luggage, we made our way through security and to the check-in area where they give you your ID card for the ship.  With Carnival, it’s called a Sail & Sign Card.  We got our boarding pass, which let us know we were group 7 — and we found a quiet area to sit where Ellie could run around and be her silly self.

When they called our Boarding Group, we made our way on the ship.  We entered on the 3rd Deck (Lobby) and headed to the Lido Deck, since our stateroom wasn’t going to be ready until 1PM or so.

My first impression of the Carnival Magicit’s a very young ship.  You can tell that by the decor, but also the smell. Our previous ships were built in 1991 (Carnival Ecstasy) and 2001 (Norwegian Star), so the Carnival Magic’s youth really struck us as noticeable.  It’s also a very large ship.  130,000 tons to be exact.  Our previous ships were 70,367 tons (Carnival Ecstasy) and 91,740 tons (Norwegian Star).  This ship was so big that we actually didn’t visit ALL of the areas we could’ve.  We missed a few things.  Whereas on our previous cruises, we were experts of every open nook and cranny available towards to end of our stay with them.

Lido Deck is always chaos during embarkation.  Do not let this bother you or give you a bad impression of the ship you are on.  This has been the case for every cruise ship we’ve been on — and in no way reflects the crew of the ship.  It is totally a reflection of us, as passengers.  Since our staterooms aren’t ready right away, most people go straight to Lido to get some food. And while this is the biggest ship I’ve ever been on, it doesn’t have enough seating room for EVERYONE on the ship, so finding a table ends up being a bit frantic.  We walked straight to the back and found a table with ease.  A clue for any newbie to cruising.  Another hint, if you’re traveling with young kids who need a highchair, they are typically in the back of Lido, as well.  We got some fruit and meat for Ellie and Ryan got us some stir fry and veggies.  One thing we disliked — they changed the cups to these tiny plastic things.  1) I hate drinking out of multi-use plastic cups.  2) I also dislike very small cups.  I ended up buying a water bottle that was cheap and adorable, so I could have my own bottle to carry around.

Our staterooms were ready earlier than expected, so we all headed down that way to decompress and plan our day.  The room was bigger than we expected.  We don’t spend a lot of time in our stateroom, so we always get the cheapest room available.  The best deal?  A porthole room.  You pay the same for a porthole as you do for an inside cabin — and you get a view (and typically, a slightly bigger room).

When Ryan and I take a cruise on a new ship, we like to familiarize ourselves with the boat.  We recommend you do the same during your first day, especially if you’re not hungry.  Avoid Lido upon embarkation and tour your boat. Get acquainted with the important locations and walk around as much as possible.  We also look for the quickest routes and the least busy areas, so we can avoid the crowds.  On a ship as big as the Magic, that’s equal parts easy and difficult.  You’ll find lots of empty areas, since the ship is huge.  That being said, popular areas seem much more full than on a small boat, because there are WAY more people on a huge boat.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about our first dinner and our first sea day.  I’ll also post about our first port, Key West.  

 

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 2

January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 3