Cruisin’

Before I do a city-by-city recap of my vacation, I want to make sure I spotlight one of the main features of my trip. This was my first time on a cruise ship and it was pretty spectacular! It was even better than I imagined it to be.

We originally wanted to do a 12-day cruise that started and ended in London, with a stop in Amsterdam, but we hit a SNAFU with that one, so we did a 9-day cruise that began and ended in Copenhagen, minus the stop in Amsterdam. This was a blessing in disguise, because it afforded us more time in London and the opportunity to visit Paris!

The cruise ship that we called home for 9 days was the Norwegian Star. I cannot recommend the ship more. It was amazing. The ship was extremely well-kept and the staff was SO welcoming and friendly and wonderful. They made you feel like a part of the giant family that we had on the ship. The entertainment staff in particular was really good about knowing people’s names and always being very welcoming and courteous to guests. Serious shout out to the beautiful fantabulous staff on the Norwegian Star.

The entire experience was just so fun and comfortable. From the moment you walk onto the ship, you’re greeted by your crew, dancing along to electronic dance music. (I felt that EDM was really appropriate for a European cruise.) Sometimes they give you little bits of drink or gelatin snacks. Sometimes the crew will come out on stilts. Sometimes they provide nice ice cold towels for relief on a hot day. The welcome makes you feel so welcome and wanted. Plus, every day, we were greeted by a cute little towel animal on our bed!

Examples of the towel animals we would find on our beds
Examples of the towel animals we would find on our beds

The food on the ship was delicious. Our favorite spot was Versailles, which was of the no-cover joints. Since our cruise fare included food, we didn’t have to pay at any of the restaurants. However, there were a few places that required cover as they were slightly fancier, like the Brazilian steakhouse and the teppanyaki restaurant. We loved Versailles because the food was really yummy, and we really didn’t want to venture to the other places after loving the first place we chose. I had the best steak of my life there. It was only one time, even though I tried to get it again, but it was the best steak of my life. And I’m not even a huge steak fan.

Surf & turf on our first night at Versailles yummm
Beautiful sugar-free chocolate panna cotta
Choosing a dessert was really difficult. #firstworldproblems

There were a lot of fun activities available. There was a casino, shuffleboard!, a great pool, lots of hot tubs, Bingo, karaoke at the bar… there was a LOT. There were a handful of big parties that they had, with lots of dance music and booze for all the senior citizens and people closer to my age. (Lots of line dancing, I’ll tell you that.) It was VERY difficult to be bored on this ship. I even managed to escape a few times to their library, where there were daily sudoku and crossword puzzles, as well as a bunch of great reading options. (Also, I could eat basically all day.)

Ping-pong and GIANT CHECKERS!
GIANT CHESS!

This game is called “The Keymaster” and its song haunts my dreams.
We don’t know the rules for shuffleboard.

On top of that, I saw some brilliant performances while aboard the Star. There was this great musician who played a bunch of cultural folk songs using a variety of instruments, like the pan flute! I don’t remember his name, but he had this fantastic energy, even though between songs he was very calm and collected. We also saw this MAGNIFICENT Russian acrobatics duo that absolutely took my breath away. Maria and Dimitri have such control over their bodies and the choreography was so fresh and beautiful. We also saw a show by Brenda Cochrane, who was fabulous.

I think I severely underestimated how wonderful our cruise would be. I loved it. I loved it times a million. I want everyone to get to experience what I experienced on that ship, maybe minus the bit of seasickness that kept me from stuffing my face so furiously.

I have so many more photos, but I don’t want to overwhelm you guys. I will most likely be making a separate post about just some gorgeous water shots I got, because there were a lot of those. But I need to publish  this before it’s winter XD

 

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