For my birthday this year, I decided to venture onto my first cruise with Rey and 2 of my good friends from college (Natasha and Connor). Having never been on a cruise, I expected our 4 day vacation to be all about visiting the 2 islands on the itinerary, which were Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay (Norweigian’s private island) and taking advantage of the excursion packages offered by the cruise line. However, to my surprise, the funnest parts of the vacation were actually on the cruise ship itself. From the 24/7 unlimited food and beverage selections to the cheesy but surprisingly entertaining games, I enjoyed every second of the cruise. Since I can’t tell you about everything we did, here are my top 5 moments on the Bahama cruise trip.
Nearly 24/7 Open Bar
Okay, this was by far the best advantage of choosing Norwegian Sky for our Bahamas vacation. All of the alcohol was FREE. While the liquor selection wasn’t top shelf, it also wasn’t bottom shelf. Well-known liquor brands like Tito’s Vodka, Fireball Whiskey, and Bombay Sapphire Gin were served in endless amounts, so while the drunkenness was prevalent, the hangovers were not. Well… except for the last day when Rey had 10 too many pina coladas. The open bar concept also helped shape the demographic, which consisted of A LOT of bachelorettes, families with parents who most likely snuck away from their kids after 10pm, and packs of men looking for their Caribbean soul mate.
White Hot Dance Party on the Pool Deck
After a long day of day drinking, the perfect end to the night was people watching at the White Hot Dance Party, which was basically an EDM/hip-hop party on the top deck of the cruise. For this event, people of all ages flaunted their all-white attire, danced shamelessly on the ship deck, and even canon-balled into the pool fully clothed. Sounds like a basic pool party, right? Yes, until you think about the fact that you’re in the middle of the Caribbean hundreds of miles away from land, partying with strangers who seem to have forgetten this very fact. Best part? Late night eats are right next door. You can bet that an ungodly amount of french fries were consumed each night.
Late Night Comedy Show
The comedy show was surprisingly hilarious and probably the best show hosted by the cruise line. The game shows and music sets were good as well, but definitely not as outstanding as the comedian. We may have gotten lucky, since I’ve heard horror stories from other cruise ships, but at the end of the day, there were so many activity options on the cruise that you were bound to find something you liked. So whether you like stand-up comedy, live music, bingo, or meditation sessions, there was always something happening on the cruise to fit your mood.
Senor Frogs and Post-Party at Junkanoo Beach
When we finally landed onto Nassau, our priorities were to consume drinks and find a beach. However, we did not expect that we would have to pass through crowds of locals trying to sell scooter rentals and taxi rides to commercial beaches. We nearly got into a taxi until we realized we had no cash to pay for the ride and that there was a beach 10 minutes walking distance from the dock. Once we got passed the tourist trap, we found ourselves at Senor Frogs next to a local beach called Junkanoo Beach. For those who don’t know what Senor Frogs is, it’s a chain found in almost every Spring Break destination in the U.S. where the drunken masses congregate to consume Bahama mamas and pina coladas together. After dancing it out with the locals, we walked a short block over to Junkanoo Beach where people were either sunbathing on the white sand, swimming in the crystal clear water, or playing a friendly game of beach volleyball. But seriously, the water was what really made the Bahamanian beach stand out the most.
Snorkeling on the Private Island (for free!)
The day after Nassau, Norwegian took us to their private island, Great Stirrup Cay, which I personally thought was more enjoyable than Nassau. The only people on the island were the people we came on the cruise with, so it was a lot more relaxing without any of the tourist traps. Best thing? Free drinks, free food, and free snorkeling! Disclaimer: the snorkeling was only free if you brought your own mask. In between two rocks, we were able to swim with small schools of fish and even saw some crabs sunbathing on the rocks. There were other activities you could’ve done on the islands (e.g. parasailing, jet skiing, etc.), but we were perfectly content with just taking advantage of the amazing weather and natural scenery.
After our 4 day mini-vacation, I have a new love for cruises. The experience is so worth the money you pay. Outside of the $500 we paid for the entire cruise (so basically $166 a night for lodging, food, alcohol, and entertainment), we only spent around $50 more each on drinks at Senor Frogs and cigars from the local cigar factory. Plus, you never have to plan a thing because the cruise line takes care of everything for you. That truly is a vacation well-spent in my book.