Okay…vacations are seriously the best! And they are truly what gets me through the long, cold, gray, dreary weather here in Poland. And last week’s cruise was just the push I needed to get through the next 44 days until the boys and I head back to the States and our little lake house. I will survive the gray and cold and rain.
I know that not everyone loves a cruise, but we do. It’s easy. Unpack once. Visit several different places along the way. There’s entertainment. There’s decent food. There’s plenty to drink. (My liver is in detox this week.) And last week’s cruise on the Norwegian Epic did not disappoint.
It was out first time cruising on a Norwegian ship and I REALLY liked it…no set times for meals. The dress was a little more relaxed. You weren’t assigned tables for dinner – which meant I didn’t have to make small talk with strangers. The staff was friendly. Water slides for the kids. This may move Norwegian to the top of my cruise line favorites.
We arrived in Barcelona early Saturday afternoon so that we could have an afternoon to relax. We stayed at the Hotel Gaudi very near La Rambla – which was perfect. We dropped our stuff and headed out to find a cafe where we could sit in the sun and enjoy some sangria and tapas.
After lunch we walked around a bit and decided on taking a 90 minute harbor cruise. Grayson deemed this our “cruise before the cruise.” Very relaxing…and not very crowded…which was nice.
Then we started our search for fidget spinners. I laugh as this was the only thing my boys wanted to buy during the entire trip and, thankfully, we found them quickly in Barcelona. They provided a lot of entertainment. We considered buying some additional ones as my young entrepreneurs thought they could sell them for a small profit at school, but we decided to pass. (As it turns out several other kids had the same idea and Monday fidget spinners were widely available at ASW.)
Saturday night had us heading to Tabarlot – a tapas place I had read about that was really close. We highly recommend it! The staff was friendly and the tapas were excellent! The kids loved the cornflake encrusted chicken tenders and I could not get enough of the fried brie bites!
Sunday morning was a sleep in day and then we were off to get on the boat. As the sun was out, we arrived around 11:00, checked in, and boarded by noon! We enjoyed a quick lunch and grabbed a lounge chair in the sun! My idea of heaven!
Monday was our day at sea and unfortunately it was cloudy and overcast. But, we still managed to have a fun day as we participated in lots of activities on the ship! I love that my kids are really good at getting involved in things! Bingo, trivia…you name it, they were up for it!
Tuesday the ship docked in Naples and we decided not to get off as we had done Naples last year. Now, I’m sure we could’ve found some tours to keep us busy in Naples, but I love a day when everyone gets off the ship – and you stay on! The ship is quiet. There’s still plenty of activities going on, but there’s a very relaxed feeling…even the staff seems more relaxed. We spent the day soaking up the sunshine! And that night we went to see the ship’s production of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” – which for a cruise production was really good! (And the costumes were fantastic!) We had a good laugh as the show was suggested for ages 16+ and when we brought our kids the cruise staff made sure to remind us of this and stated that “the kids may be offended” – to which my 12 year old responded, “Yeah…there’s not a lot that offends this family!” Muahahaha!
And with that…I’ll stop for today as I’ve got a date with Marta to get my hair colored! What color shall it be today?