OUR 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CRUISE
PERSONAL | TRAVEL – NORWEGIAN EPIC
This ship is, well, epic! When we were planning our honeymoon we considered a lot of different options but ultimately decided to try cruising for the first time. And we have zero regrets! One of the ships we were looking at was just being completed when we booked. That ship was the Norwegian Epic. While we ultimately decided to choose smaller ship for our first adventure at sea, we were always still intrigued by this ship. So, for our 5 year anniversary we were really excited to be able to board this ship and take to the ocean. This cruise ship holds over 4,000 guests & over 1,700 crew members. Y’all. That’s a lot of people!
On our honeymoon we stayed in the western Caribbean, so for our anniversary we opted to head to the eastern Caribbean instead. We set sail from Port Canaveral. The ports of call we docked in were St. Thomas, British Virgin Islands, & Nassau. I visited Nassau with my mother & grandmother during a little girls weekend aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. However, all the rest were new ports for me & every one was new for Pat.
Our first stop was the Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. We have had a fun but incredibly exhausting year so out first few days we opted for maximum relaxation. We slept in, had a late breakfast, and slowly made our way to the gangway to disembark. Once off the ship we stayed close to the pier and just casually wandered throughout the stores and enjoyed the crystal blue ocean. It was great to take it easy and relax! Exactly what you hope for in a vacation.
We were so excited for St. Thomas that we decided to book an excursion. We read through all of the different activities and had a difficult time deciding which of the excursions to invest in. There are a lot of adventurous options such as parasailing, zip-lining, ATV’s and more. However, we prefer to select an excursion that’s more culturally immersive – even if it is touristy. Plus, it’s fun spending time with the more senior guests as they typically participate in these excursions too. So off we went on the Best of St. Thomas excursion! We stopped several times as our driver took us up to the top of the island, the views were absolutely incredible! A lot of the photos you see here are from The Great House and Botanical Gardens, which they actually hold wedding receptions at! We were daydreaming of a destination wedding in St. Thomas at the Great House the entire day. Once we got back to the area by the ship we wandered through the shopping areas before reboarding the cruise ship.
Lastly, we stopped in Nassau. Which turned out to be my favorite because we decided to pick up something shiny to celebrate our anniversary! When Pat first proposed he did so with the sweetest round solitaire diamond in a white gold band setting. He wanted for me to be able to customize the rest of the ring to whatever I wanted. It was a lot of fun ring shopping in the months leading up to our wedding day. I ended up doing exactly what he expected, and had a ring adjusted to reflect my style. I removed a few smaller accent diamonds and had rubies put in. I love the vintage feel of the band. The only down side was that none of the wedding bands paired nicely with my beautiful new ring. So, for 5 years, I’ve only had a single ring on my hand. Well, I always browse through the jewelry stores while we are on vacation. I didn’t expect to find a ring that I liked, but there it was! A beautiful, simple rose gold band with diamonds and rubies set into it. I love the way that it looks together! And since I got an anniversary gift, Pat chose one too. Only he had to wait until we got back into Port Canaveral before ordering his. He chose a PS4. Girl gifts vs. boy gifts y’all, haha.
We had a great time relaxing together and reminiscing. The on board entertainment was good. Pat was really looking forward to the Beatles tribute band that performed in the Cavern. There was also a bowling alley aboard the ship & a cirque style dinner show! There were a lot of fun and unique things about being on a cruise ship that is quite large; however, we also realized that this was not our favorite cruise ship and we don’t plan to board this specific one again when there are others that we much prefer. There were just too many guests and not enough space for everyone.