You had me at dreamy ocean blue. This was definitely one of Cozumel beaches at their best! Today, we will spend time at one of the all-inclusive resorts, Mr. Sanchos, in Mexico!
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The day started with a mess of bed hair like I haven’t seen in a while. I was reminded by my head that I must have partied a bit more than I expected to last night when I woke up. Coffee from the Creamer is a must, and breakfast of grits and fruit in the main dining room will do the trick today.
It’s back to the room to change into suits and pack up the essentials in the beach bag. I am so excited, I have been to another all-inclusive resort for the day and they are a lot of fun. So it will be great to see this one too.
I make it all the way down to deck zero, behind all the magic. It is not a typical guest area, they are not going for pretty or good show here. It is an all white area, floor to ceiling, with no pictures. In the end it doesn’t really matter and I understand why it’s that way. Just that I notice details, this is where everyone gets off at ports so it was surprising it doesn’t have a little color life.
With my required room card and license in hand, I head through the security check point, down the ramp, and onto the pier. I’m actually always thinking I might drop my room card into the ocean between the ship and the pier as I walk down the ramp, not today though thankfully!
We have arrived! Hello Mexico, it is nice to see you again! Mexico returns greeting with a warm breeze and a sun kiss! The skies are perfectly clear and I absolutely know this is going to be a great day!
Our group of eight make our way through the port streets of Puerta Maya, to get to our taxi. We pile into a large van and make our way to Mr. Sanchos All-inclusive resort. Its $45 for this place, all you can drink and eat. Near the entrance, we are greeted by local vendors selling their goods of all kinds, hand painted figurines, sombrero or other hats, backpacks, purses, henna tattoos, hair braids, and more.
Waiting for everyone to pay, I get my first view of this place, more vendors inside, along with a large food open air building with tables, chairs, and serving tables, lots of palm trees, chairs, and cabanas. The pool is beginning to fill up and party music fills the air. I can only catch a glimpse of the ocean, bright and beautiful. I cannot wait to get up there and see it!
We are assigned a server for the day, “EZ” who escorts us to our table under a grass hut roof, with 8 chairs. Before I can settle in, I must see that ocean, its calling from just past the loungers. Its absolutely beautiful!! The water is as clear as can be and the prettiest color I have seen in a long time!
This is very different from what I saw last time we came to a Cozumel all-inclusive resort, where there was a ton of smelly sea grass pushed up on shore. It was a mess, workers were using wheelbarrows to bring it away just to find their efforts gone and more and more had come on to shore. This was the complete opposite, absolute perfection. It’s one of the reasons I love cruising.
Back up to the chair and set things down and order a Sprite. Everyone put their drink order in and we all head down to the ocean. The water is cool at first but the sun is warm and it’s just delightful. The ocean floor does have a few shells so it is not powder soft, but it is still very nice. I am surrounded by stunning beauty and friends which is making this day one of the best ever!
Time goes by when you are having fun! This place has something for everyone, there are a couple of pools, spa, and multiple bars. One bar has rope swing chairs to sit at while getting a drink.
We spent a couple hours in this heavenly water and finally back to the table to have some food. We are able to order tacos, chips and guacamole, etc and drinks. From my experience here, the service can be slow. There are a lot of servers, but there are a lot of guests. I would recommend ordering food early it will take 45 min or so to get food, and order more than one drink at a time, especially when its warm. I changed in the hanging room into dry clothes which was really nice before heading back to the taxi.
Back through the port of Puerta Maya, I like to stop and take pictures by the Cozumel sign with the ship in the back. They have some loungers to use if you want here and enjoy the day. I have done that and it was super relaxing!
This is a very photogenic cruise port, this little area is filled with palm trees and greenery. I like that it is very clean and feels safe.
The duty free shop is the gateway to the pier and our ship has a couple of neighbor ships and that’s really neat to see when in port.
Being out in the sun really exhausted me so I actually rested for a little bit when we got back. The inside room is really dark so afternoon naps are no problem at all.
There is something about sunsets on a cruise ship, whether over the open sea or at a port. I am not always able to catch them if we are doing things inside the ship. Today I was able to, and it was really special. When the sun has just set, golden hour begins and it makes the ship glow. It’s so pretty and a wonderful reason to catch those sunsets.
The evening was pretty low key for me. I actually did not feel very well and turned in early. I had dinner and sat in the Atrium to listen to music a while after we ate. Tomorrow is another beautiful day I cannot wait!
It’s so refreshing to wake up with near 8 hours of sleep. The beds on this ship, Carnival Glory, are super nice, and pillows too. I will admit, the pillowy softness had it’s grip on me to stay in bed. I would have stayed just a few minutes longer, except the coffee shop, Creamers, is calling and of course I am going to answer. I must get up and tame this hair nest of mine, as I declare it’s National Almond Milk Vanilla Latte Day!
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I was a little early for our meeting time with my friends for Sea Day Brunch so decided to sip my coffee and relax in the Bar Blue, a cool venue for nightlife karaoke. I had to peek outside as I kept hearing clunk clunk and did not know what was going on. I still don’t know. This little space is neat, even though it has a strange theme, peacocks. I am not kidding. If you are looking for a color hug, come here. Blues, yellows, and greens everywhere you look. There are couches and cushy chairs with smaller tables facing a stage. The carpet even has a peacock feather design. There is a bar at the back. I am pretty sure someone will finally make it big tonight with the karaoke song they have been practicing for months. Way to go, big star!
Sea Day Brunch is one of my favorite meals as I am able to order a fresh squeezed juice! I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am obsessed with fresh juices, mostly green for me. I have green juice every morning before work and I may be somewhat of a green freak, but a nice one. This morning, my heavenly juice has pineapple, lime, honey, turmeric, and love. I am very impressed and delighted that they put a little extra love in there as its absolutely delicious. Did I mention I also LOVE love? In the end, worth every penny of the $5 charge, I highly recommend it.
The breakfast takes about an hour and a half and then it’s off to explore the ship a little. There is always that pull to see the ocean, for me at least, when I am on a cruise ship. I often sneak away to go outside and just look at it. Its almost like a memorizing fire pit, so many senses come to life! I made my way up to the pool deck and aft pool to get some great pictures. What a difference it makes when the sky is as clear as can be, blue sky, blue sea! Today, my heart was inspired by some of the bluest blues I have seen out on the sea.
I love Sea Days, for me it’s a time to relax and really enjoy the day. I usually pick low key things to do and this day is no exception. I found myself up at the Serenity Deck visiting for a couple hours with friends.
The Serenity Deck is quiet, and is a great place to get away from loud music. This adult only lounge area has a bar, padded lounge and sitting chairs, two hot tubs. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon! I would move my chair to sneak a little sunshine, step away for a minute to look at the ocean, and maybe share some of that in pictures and video for the family stuck in the snow back home. Just doing my duty. Trying to send a little sunshine when I can!
After a couple hours, I was a little hungry and decided on getting a bite at the Blue Iguana Cantina, just a rice plate with veggies and beans and brought that upstairs to the Serenity Deck. But the time I had gotten back, most of the group went to the casino to play some games. Maybe they were just waiting to slip away! Oh well, I will be seeing them at dinner. I decided I would wander the ship a little more before I get changed for elegant night in the dining room.
Time to try the Alchemy Bar for another interesting cocktail. I am meeting everyone here before dinner so this will give me a chance to try some of the creative cocktails. Today is the Martini Seduction. I am telling you, this is so delicious and refreshing. It might be a little too easy to drink. This is a nice moment, I am here with my friends on this cruise, I couldn’t ask for better company, my heart is full! Chuckles turn into full blown laughs with this crew I am with, so many stories and jokes keep the energy high. Many laughs later and another drink called 40 is the new 20, we all head to dinner. My dinner is not very exciting, but it works, a few vegetarian sides; however, laughter with friends is quite exciting!
After dinner, I was able to play a little in the casino, this time around we did actually win a little. Ups in a casino seem to come and go, and that is alright. I found some fun games to play followed by a few moments to sit and relax on the couches near the casino and visit with friends.
I got so hot in that casino! So I head outside into the wind tunnel. Up to the Serenity to cool off. This ship is so pretty at night! I love walking around when its all lit up.
My friends and I decide to head to the Atrium to watch the Motown music show. So many people singing pieces of songs together, dancing, and laughing. I didn’t realize I knew so many Motown songs, it’s a really fun party. The cruise director will get everyone dancing and singing even up on different levels of the Atrium.
The Bartenders here are great! They put on a show and really make you feel welcome. They start recognizing you and what you like to drink. I was having vodka cranberry, simple and delightful. It wouldn’t be a party until a glass breaks. This time, it was me, I broke a glass at the bar. Oops, I think I talk with my hands sometimes. Truthfully, I have only a little grace, you only need a little, right? Maybe its time to leave the bar. One last final donation to the casino before heading to bed! What a night!
I woke up on this day with overflowing inspiration and excitement. It is cruise day!! I cannot wait to board the Carnival Glory Cruise Ship that is waiting for me at the New Orleans Port.
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As always, I had not packed a separate pre-cruise bag and had to unload most of the packed suitcase to find what I needed, then repack everything. I don’t know if I will ever learn to pack a small first night bag. Finally ready, its downstairs to meet up with friends who will be joining us on the cruise and we make our way through the streets of New Orleans to the cruise terminal. I triple check we have passports and printed boarding pass in my purse, yep, they are still there.
Parking in the ramp was pretty simple, we chose to park close to the elevator door. Only Princess parking will do 🥰, just kidding, but it was nice to not be far away. There is a little chaos in security. So many people trying to keep their family and luggage together, dropping things everywhere, and leaving their boarding passes as they try to hurry. There are several security lines, so I decide to pick one further away with less people. With my super-girl strength, I launch my over-packed suitcase and my extra bag with the wine I brought onto the conveyor belt. “Oofda”, I am pretty sure that a little bit of Minnesota slipped out. Next to the security table for the full wine bottle inspection, and I’m all set to enter the seating area in the terminal.
Once in the terminal, I got my first glimpse of my home for the next week. This week is going to be epic! Cruising and friends is the perfect mix of awesome. Just like all cruises I take, it doesn’t feel real until you see that ship. I wonder what great memories are in store for me. I was able to find my friends saving a seat for me and make my way over even though I got in trouble by the room attendant because they had that area roped off already. Plus, I went to get two other friends to sit next to me who were sailing with all of us us. Too many people not following the rules!! I promise, these are the only folks coming to sit over in this section. I could sense the disapproving glare and it got me feeling a little smaller in my chair like a little kid getting in trouble, oopsies.
It is a rule that we all sit down, not stand and wander, not sure why. I do get a chance to snap a couple photos of the ship smack dab in front of me. There is a refreshment stand to purchase snicky-snacks, restrooms, and loads and loads of people waiting just like me. A wedding section to hold quite a few people is still empty, I hope they make it in time for their magical wedding on the ship!
It seems like only minutes and they announce my group, Faster to the Fun (FTTF). Which is a fancy way of saying, “pay a little to get me on first”. This time it’s worth it, I feel a like a VIP!
The suitcase is full and I could have left it with the porter; however, this time I can get to my room right away and decided to bring it on myself. Up the gangway, it’s a bit of an incline and pulling probably fifty pounds of beachwear, extra clothes, shoes, necklaces and who knows what else is not easy. I must question my packing expertise, how many times have I put way to much in my suitcase, I am certainly paying for it now, but who knows if I will ever learn to do it right. On a positive note, I count this as my last pre-cruise workout!
Once inside, I am sent right into the Atrium. This space has color changing tiles in the ceiling and comfy couches and chairs to surround the small stage. The elevator bank is the ship’s feature wall. It sends your eyes all the way up to the top of the ship where you see a glass ceiling, talk about raising the roof! Neon lights set the mood and people are already starting to get their first drink of the cruise. I love this feeling on embarkation day! Once you cross that gangway and step your first foot onto the ship, it feels so official! I can sense the excitement and it’s contagious. All of us have had our countdowns for this cruise that tick slowly and finally the day has come! I am looking forward to this week of vacation so, so much!
Because I have the “get me fun fast ticket”, I knew the elevators should not be too busy and it would be nice to leave my good friend Ol’ Samsonite in the room while I get this party started; and considering Ol’ Samsonite doesn’t like to party anyways. It only took a few minutes for an elevator and up to 7th deck. I arrive in in the room just a few minutes later and do a quick video of the room before I drop and run off to the fun promised to me!
We are finally back to the Atrium, where many more people are gathering, getting drinks, and pulling their suitcases. So many matching t-shirts for larger groups and people of all ages have come to enjoy a bit of fun in the sun this week. The energy is high, you can feel it! Maybe first time cruisers who stand in awe of the detail in this room, what will we do first?? I remember my first cruise, I was so nervous, I had booked and cancelled so many times before and this was the one final time I kept the booking and finally went on a cruise. Such great memories and I am so glad I tried it, it’s really is a wonderful way to meet people and see parts of the world I would not have normally.
Our group of eight have assembled in the Atrium and I sip my tropical drink without a straw, they will give you a sugar straw if you ask. My heart is happy. This is going to such an amazing time with amazing people, I thought to myself I have to cherish all of this, every moment!
After visiting for a while, I want to explore the casino as we will be spending some time here throughout the week. I must find all the winning machines. This casino space surprised me. Outside the strange Egyptian decor, it is very nice and pleasantly spacious. The coloring is not off-putting either. I have been on some ship casinos that almost you feel like you are in some strange, shiny closet. Seriously, can you feel the migraine headed your way? Anyways, in this casino, I was impressed by the space between the machines and tables and did not feel stuffy or crowded at all.
You will find large Egyptian statues scattered throughout. I am a detail person and I was surprised to see the themed ceiling, there are hieroglyphics and drawings I am not sure what they are. I also noticed on the ceiling carvings of camels in stone. Very interesting; however, I do think the deep red carpet with golden triangles and squares seems to bring the space together. There are mustard color chairs for the slot machines and high tops for the table games. Lots of great games here too, it will be fun to hang out here. On one side of the casino, you will find a bar with stools and a couple of bartenders and what seems to be a smaller dancer floor; on the other side, a sports bar. There is a tiny stage on the edge of the casino and nice looking couches, chairs, and tables ready to enjoy some live music.
Up to the pool deck to the Blue Iguana Cantina to grab some lunch. Rice and veggies and all the toppings for me. Luggage has taken over the pool deck, everyone who cannot get into their room have to hang on to those suitcases. It makes for quite a crowded space. Then I head down to the room to unpack. There is so much storage on this little inside Stateroom, it will fit all I have plus some space left over. There is a vanity space with drawers and closet with lots of hangers, shelves for everything. I pretty much just grab my folded items and put in the shelves, hang as little as possible and throw the suit case under the bed (its great having so much space to store the suitcase underneath). I also have a tradition to put out my whiteboard outside and write some fun checklist items on it. Hey wala! I am all moved in!
Alright, move it, move it!! I don’t want to be late for muster drill and I fear I am. Off to Muster Station F, deck 4 outside. At this point I am thankful it’s not raining or too chilly. We line up with our fellow Muster F shipmates like cadets and receive important safety info before being released to enjoy our vacation. It always seems to take forever for it to be done even though we all know its necessary. It got to the point where I stood on one leg and rested my other like a flamingo then switched to the other leg. There has to be a better way to do this, its not often we have to stand for muster, many times I have been assigned to a dining room or something. It’s a good thing this group passed Muster and they release us first. That’s a big A+ for Muster Training on my report card!
I head straight up to the Lido for sail-away party. I have a new pep in my step, weaving around other walkers, a skill I have now perfected for sail-away day. This is one of my favorite things on a cruise. Since we are sailing out of New Orleans, we will be in the Mississippi River for several hours. It’s a very different type of sail-away from seeing the bridge and muddy river water to barges with fire lighting the sky and boats along the river even into the night. It’s a different kind of cool.
Before the dance party, I am able to get some video and pictures of New Orleans drifting off into the distance.
Of course, I must dance a little or attempt dancing. So I get on the dance floor and join in the celebration. People are at their happiest usually on this day of the cruise, it’s great being around everyone.
The Red Frog Rum Bar is hopping during Sail-away, it’s nice to have a place right by the pool to get a drink. Its slightly chilly outside, so we chose a spot along the pool to sit where the sun could still catch us. It won’t be long and the sun will be gone for the day. For now, it feels warm, the drink in my hand feels cool, and that, my friend, is one enticing combination.
Off to the Casino, which has now opened and hoards of people make their way to hopefully create their winning story this week. Unfortunately, my friends and I did not win big. This round goes to the Casino.
Before dinner we are all meeting at The Alchemy Bar for a clever named cocktail. There is usually something unique in each one. I chose the Beautiful and Bold Berrytini. It was really good. The half -circle bar with stools and another longer table make up the seating for this small bar. I love themed decor. There are flasks and drawers for ingredients behind the bar. The Bartenders are dressed like scientists and they mix, shake, and pour their science experiments, which is a show in itself. On to dinner with eight of us in our group. I have to admit, the first night seems a bit chaotic with the staff and service. Its not going to ruin my night, but I feel like they could use a few extra hands, it must be tough doing all that they do. Dinner takes a while and it’s good, I get some vegetarian sides and pom-tini, and still leave plenty full.
Its group slot pull time! This was one of my highlights of the evening. Six of us put in $120 each and run through $12 a spin. I don’t know how it was possible but we end up about $100 up each! It was so much fun cheering for everyone pushing the button. People would walk by as I am sure they were wondering what was up with all the cheering, high-fives, and clapping. It was a good time! I played a few other slot games and tried the Let It Ride Card game for the first time and won $30. Yay me! Making it rain.
The rest of the night went by fast as we spent a good portion of it visiting. I was worn out and took a minute to sit in the Atrium, the music had stopped and it let me think about this entire first day. So many things went right today. My favorite thing of the day was spending time with friends, seeing them smile, hearing their stories; it’s so wonderful and I’m so grateful for all of them. I cannot wait to see what we do tomorrow, day two of our cruise!
Now I am off to the lil’ cabin, get in my comfies, and snuggle in for the night. I am excited it will be my home for the next 7 nights!
Booked this cruise last minute! I haven’t ever done that; however, this was the perfect cruise itinerary. Two private islands NCL Great Stirrup Cay, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya (Mahaual) and Key West! I couldnt pass up!
The NCL Getaway provided the perfect vacation! I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with this sailing. I had been waiting such a long time since our last cruise, we put together a pre cruise vlog also!!
Please join us on our journey, check out our Getaway Cruise Vlogs!
Includes island Tours on Costa Maya and Cozumel, Roatan Cruise Port, and lots of fun on this beautiful ship!
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What cruise could possibly entice one to go on the same cruise just 3 months after first sailing? The Norwegian Escape did just that. This cruise was amazing, weather was perfect, the food was amazing, the experience was delightful.
This time around I sailed with my adult daughter and husband, so much fun to be had! Yes I did dress up for 80s night and Glow Party! A couple of the best parties I have ever attended on a ship!
Check out the NCL Escape Cruise Vlogs series #2 for more Eastern Caribbean cruising, St. Thomas, USVI, Tortola. BVI, and Nassau Bahamas!
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The Norwegian Escape cruise was my my first cruise and will always have a special place in my heart. Hooked from day one, this ship was absolutely beautiful there was so much to offer. I really did not know what to expect and this exceeded every expectation.
Check out the the NCL Escape cruise vlog series including island tours on St. Thomas, USVI, Tortola, BVI, and Nassau Bahamas. There are lots of activities on this ship and so many good places to eat!
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NCL Bliss. Cruise booked 684 days in advance, well before this ship was even born. This has to be my absolutely favorite cruise ship to date.
Needless to say, I was excited to finally board this ocean wonder. There is so much to see! Here are my highlights of the NCL Bliss Cruise with pictures.
This ship is really a sight to see, so many places to go, and something for everyone.
I found myself out on The Waterfront a good amount of the time I spent on this cruise. For good reason, the Waterfront is the outside promenade that surrounds the ship. It is loaded with outdoor seating and al fresco seating for many dining venues. On some other ships it seemed there wasn’t enough seating, here it was no problem at all. It is a perfect place to catch a sunset, take a walk, watch the ship dock or leave an island, or visit with friends for hours on end. This is also one of the places I crave to be well beyond my sailing.
Two words: Simply brilliant. This viewing experience is above all else in the Observation Lounge. This space speaks for itself. Two story windows bring in oodles of light to this very modern lounge. Seating of all shapes and sizes allow casual conversation or a quiet moment to nap or read a book. My favorite was to find a nice place to put my feet up and feel the warmth if the sun through the windows. There are complimentary drinks and smaller buffet with various dishes or early morning will greet you with coffee, pastries, granola, cereal. I was lucky to catch a sunrise one morning in this space and it is simply amazing. There is a tranquil feeling being in here. Evenings are filled with tributes to some of the greats like Elton John or Billy Joel. This is a definite do not miss space, it is truly wonderful.
Pool and Spice H2O
There is always so much energy out on the Lido or pool deck! The Sailaway party is absolutely the best party!! I had so much fun line dancing with everyone, people are so happy and excited! Plus Spice H2O is a great venue! During the day it’s a sundeck with a water feature for adults to cool off, then after 7 its party time for people of all ages! I loved the 80s dance party the best!
678 Ocean Place
Mid ship has so much to offer, called 678 Place, you will find the Atrium, The Local Pub, Casino, Sugarcanes Mojito Bar, glorious rotunda with a beautiful chandelier that changes color throughout the day and week, main dining rooms, art gallery, various lounges and dining options. This is so convenient, it’s great to know where to find most things: on deck 6, 7, or 8. Be sure to arrive early, as in at least an hour for popular Shows or trivia, there are not enough seats for these large events. However, decor is classy, modern, and welcoming. Stay a while in the Atrium to cool off, enjoy a coffee, or take in a show or event held here. In any case, 678 Place is another great space.
Bliss Balcony Stateroom
The rooms are very nice, probably the nicest cabins I have been in. I stayed in a balcony stateroom which is such a treat! The color and decor is subtle greys, blues, browns and looks very modern. You will not have any problem with storage or space in this room or bathroom.
Bliss District Brewhouse and Food Republic
The Bliss ship also has a couple great spots on deck 8 to eat and drink, District Brewhouse with many craft beer options. They have a unique venue and decor, and a fun sing a song piano a few times during the week. Also, Food Republic, asian inspired small plates and sushi. Order from the digital menu and service I found was very fast and food was great!
Go Carts At Sea!
Are you serious?!? They have go carts on this ship. This is your chance to try something new and let your inner kid be free! For a small fee you can ride the electric go carts, they have speakers to pipe in a little vroom vroom! I fou d the steering a little hard around the sharp corners, that’s a small issue for a great time. It’s so much fun, lots of twists and turns, up to the top deck and back around several times.
Why I cruise!
Meeting new friends and seeing new places are among my reasons I cruise! There is really so much to do on the ship and in the ports. Here are some bonus pics of St. Thomas, U.S.V.I, Tortola, B.V.I, and Nassau, Bahamas!
See the Videos!!
Thanks for joining me on my Bliss Cruise through my photo journal. If you want to see more, check out these Bliss Cruise vlogs!! This was one of my favorite cruises!! My absolutely favorite of this series is our 3 beach tour on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I (vlog #6)
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