It's time to Cruise! Hello Miami!

Community Highlights Seafaring It's time to Cruise! Hello Miami!

So once upon a time (ok not last summer, but the summer before), I was a travel agent. I love to travel, so I figured, why not sell travel and share my passion with other people... and work from home on top of it. Turns out selling travel is selling cruises (I have never been on one) and tons of cold calling. Not a fun job. However, I managed to sell just enough cruises to earn a free one on NCL for myself. Well, free as in there are still taxes, port fees and gratuities, but still cheaper than even going last minute.

So my time to use my cruise was coming to an end... and especially with blackout dates, I needed to get it booked! I asked my mom to join me and originally we were going to take a Caribbean trip starting in San Juan, but the free cabins were booked out. So the next option was a cruise to the Bahamas and Cuba. Not a bad second choice! Plus, on the Norwegian Sky, beverages are included (woo hoo free mojitos!) so it was an even better deal.

Our trip started a couple days early. The cruise didn't leave until Friday, but the plane tickets to Miami were significantly cheaper leaving on Thursday, so we decided to spend a night in Miami. Turns out Minnesota also decided to throw us a going-away blizzard, so we ended up spending a night with my aunt in Bloomington on Tuesday so we didn't have to drive through the Wednesday blizzard. We flew out of Terminal 2 which is normally super quick cause there are only a couple airlines that use that terminal. I've actually never had to wait at all, in security or to check in, at Terminal 2, so arriving at 640 for an 825am domestic flight is PLENTY of time.

Except when it's not. This was the check in line at Terminal 2. It went through the entire airport, got to the end and then wrapped around. I had time to wait in line for coffee and we drank our entire coffees before even getting up to check in. Rookie mistake... I had priority check in due to having a Sun Country credit card (they changed the perks in January and I never even looked into it until we were mostly through the line).

But we made it on the plane! Bye snowy Minnesota!

We got to Miami and of course, it was lovely Miami temperatures. Sunny, about 80... perfect.
Hello Florida!

We got to our Air BnB and checked in and left our stuff in our room. It was the most unimpressive Air BnB I've ever stayed at. I've been in the habit recently of booking them as they are cheaper and always turn out to be so nice. This one... not so much. I'm used to them being little homes or apartments, where you feel like you've just arrived home. This place was like a crappy Motel 6... super outdated furnishings, no carpet, the tv was just sitting there unusable, air con that had been manufactured a million years ago and was super noisy, and the maid (so the owner said) came in our room after check in and destroyed the bathroom. The towels, which had been folded and hanging on the rail, were unfolded and hanging over the shower doors, almost like someone came in our room and used our shower while we were away. So not cool. I complained about the noise, plus someone being in our room, plus the tv not working... it was pretty crap.
However, we went out for lunch and happy hour. We found a restaurant with Cubans and Mofongo (both delicious) and then found a restaurant with happy hour. They had cheap appetizers, but we had already eaten before I found the place, so that was a bit of a bummer. We had a nice time sitting in the sun with mojitos and wine though. Good start to the trip!

Friday was the day our ship left. It didn't leave until 5pm, but you have the option to check in as early as 10am. We decided to check in around 1030 and get on the ship right away. May as well start eating the free food and seeing what there is to do! It was super fast though cause we were so early... no lines to wait in which was awesome and we found chairs to sit in until we were able to board the ship.

Once we got on, it was time to check the place out. There were quite a few drawings happening for free things like spa treatments and such, so of course we tried (and failed) to win those.
The pool area. We spent a lot of time here throughout the cruise.

First mojito down! And our room for the cruise. Just an inside cabin, I didn't upgrade cause I figured we would just sit outside on the boat if we wanted to. And that was just fine in the end.

Mojitos in the shade and Miami from the boat deck.
My friend Devin told me the mojitos were the best cocktails on the ship. So true. All hand made, not premixed. Most of the bartenders even muddled the mint, lime and sugar! And all for free :D

Sunset right after we set sail. You can see the Miami skyline still.

This was my favorite sunset photo of the trip. I love my new camera!

We found a little photo booth... let's get this cruise started!
Our first night in the lounge checking out the nightly performance. There's a lot of entertainment on these ships... you're definitely never bored!

This featured blog entry was written by rhwanderlust from the blog Rachel: Wanderlust, Travel, Adventure.
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By rhwanderlust

Posted Tue, Mar 12, 2019 | USA | Comments