Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous- New Orleans

Anniversary Cruise 2015

9 Glorious Years AND Counting 

Chris and I took an anniversary cruise to the Bahamas in March 2015 aboard Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas departing from New Orleans, LA... BIG FUN in the BIG EASY! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

BIG FUN in the BIG EASY- New Orleans, LA 

 We made a few stops including Community Coffee House (CCs) in Baton Rouge as well as a DIVE in Kenner, LA called Check-In Check-Out for what would easily be the BEST Po-Boys I have ever had! 

Looking out over the Mississippi River at LSU

The traffic was GREAT this time but usually it is terrible!

Community Coffee is AMAZING and I like it better than Starbucks!
I love me some King Cake and Lattes so put it together and you have perfection!

Check-In Check-Out in Kenner, LA!
Seriously the best Po-boys I have ever had! It's not much to look at but WOW!

The small (yes small) Shrimp Po-Boy

I LOVE this sign and it is so true! 

We arrived at our hotel in New Orleans and got checked in to our room. We stayed at this hotel back in 2013 when departed from NOLA on the Carnival Conquest and it was not my ideal accommodations but this time it was sketchy at best. I was so nervous the entire evening and night that I barely slept any (Which made for a tiring embarkation day). We took a taxi down to the French Quarter where we immediately went to Cafe du Monde to get some beignets and a Cafe au Lait! We were able to get right in without a line and the service was quick and easy not to mention the beignets were to die for (as usual).

At Cafe du Monde in New Orleans!

A MUST STOP anytime we are in New Orleans!

After our snack we ventured out to Jackson Square and listened to some live music as we walked along the streets of New Orleans before we arrived at the unusually empty Bourbon Street. We walked along the streets before arriving at a venue where a live band was playing inside. We went to this venue in 2013 as well and once again it did not disappoint. We stayed at "The Famous Door" pub and grille for about 3 hours before going to dinner at a highly recommended restaurant in the French Quarter called "The Gumbo Shop". Even on a late Friday night we were able to get in without too long of a line and the service was great. The food was wonderful and we both enjoyed the overall French Quarter dining experience. 

Live music in Jackson Square. 

Chris at St. Louis Cathedral. 

Such a beautiful cathedral. 

The Gumbo Shop was awesome and we would go there again!

We then took a taxi back to our hotel where we gathered up our stuff to quickly leave the following morning. We were scheduled for a 9:00AM shuttle to the cruise terminal and it was nearly 11:00PM so we went to bed early, despite being in the Big Easy, to prepare for our embarkation day aboard the Serenade of the Seas

We are ready for our Anniversary Cruise!

We are going on a CRUISE TOMORROW!
Next Up... Embarkation Day 

God is Good... ALL the time! 

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous- Anniversary Cruise 2015

Anniversary Cruise 2015 
"Let the Party Begin" 

In March 2015 Chris and I took a Bahamas Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas sailing out of New Orleans, LA. This beautiful floating resort took us to the following destinations: 

Key West, FL, USA
Nassau, Bahamas
CoCo Cay (Royal Caribbean's Private Island), Bahamas 

Chris and I have been on 3 other cruises prior to this one; 2 with Carnival and 1 with Royal Caribbean. This cruise was all about "Living it Up" as we celebrated not only our love for each other and our 9 year wedding anniversary but also partying it up with some of the wealthiest and seriously MOST FAMOUS Royal Caribbean cruisers of all time! It was literally a once in a lifetime opportunity and we had the time of our lives.  This will be a multiple entry blog about not only our 7 days at sea, 2 food blogs from each of our perspectives, a cabin crawl post, an updated Shore Excursion rating blog, a wardrobe style post, Galley Tour post, a pictorial review of The Serenade of the Seas and the ever exciting and fun SELFIE Challenge. Thank you SO MUCH to all my followers... without you the blog would not be as popular as it is today! 

Our HOME for the next 7 days!

March 7th- Embarkation Day
March 8th- Sea Day #1
March 9th- Key West, FL
March 10th- Nassau, Bahamas
March 11th (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY)- CoCo Cay, Bahamas 
March 12th- Sea Day #2
March 13th- Sea Day #3
March 14th- Disembarkation Day

 Shore Excursion Update

Cabin Crawl... HELLO Royal Suite

Fun and Crazy Selfie Challenge

Cruising in STYLE

FOOD Galore 

A Royal Feast- By way of Kellie

A Royal Feast- By way of Chris

It was one of the best cruises we have been on and I enjoyed blogging about it too! It was a glorious way to spend our 9th Anniversary and I am not counting down the days until we cruise again (Just 74 DAYS). We are now sailing on 4 more cruises, with and without kids, in the next 2 years and we are ecstatic. Of course, we owe all of these blessings and opportunities to our Lord who has given them to us! Thank You, Jesus, for these blessings! Thanks also to my parents, in-laws and grandma Juanita for helping take care of our kids! We love and appreciate y'all!

Carnival Magic (Annual Summer Cruise)- June 2015
Carnival Triumph (Thanksgiving Cruise, 1st with the kids and my family)- November 2015
Carnival Legend (10 year Anniversary to ALASKA)- June 2016
Carnival Liberty (Christmas Cruise with the kids)- December 2016

Until we meet again... 

God is good... ALL THE TIME! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cruising in STYLE

Anniversary Cruise to the Bahamas 
Serenade of the Seas- March 2015 

I have been on 4 cruises now and you would think I would be an expert in the "what to pack" area but each and every time I go on another cruise I debate on what to pack and what to wear. This past March, my husband I took a Bahamas cruise for our 9th Wedding Anniversary and for the first time I felt like I packed the correct attire... I still over packed, naturally, but I was more confident in what I DID pack! This is more of a REMINDER for me for future cruises but for anyone who may be packing or thinking about packing for an upcoming cruise here are my recommendations for what to pack! I hope this helps you as you dream and get ready for your next cruise! Once again, thank you so much for following me! 

Embarkation Day 
Obviously you want to wear what your embarkation port weather allows but I typically wear something light and nautical themed. I have worn a maxi-dress in the past and with the carrying of luggage and etc. it was just not as comfortable. If you are not comfortable in flip-flops or sandals you might want to wear tennis shoes. 

Perfect attire to board a cruise ship!

Relaxation Sea Days 
Again, it depends on the weather but I try to bring 1-2 outfits for EACH sea day. Usually a nicer outfit that includes shorts or capri pants with a blouse or a sundress of some kind. I rarely wear tennis shoes on these days but rather flip-flops (dressy or casual) or cute sandals. The idea of these days are rest and relaxation so comfort is key. 

A cute maxi dress to wear around the ship. 

 If you are into exploring the ship and doing more active activities then this might be a more appropriate outfit. 

A Day at the Beach
Swimsuit, cover-up and flip-flops... what more do you need! Be sure to pack a change of clothes if needed. That is usually a casual sundress as well! 

Breezy cover-ups are the best! 

I was able to get this one from Macy's and it is my FAVORITE! 

I usually pack 3-4 swimsuits for each 7 day cruise. Basically 1 for each port and 1 for the sea days. Keep in mind your stateroom situations when packing swimsuits. For example, if you have a balcony you will be able air-dry your swimsuits daily and it will not be a problem and less would be fine. However, if you have an inside cabin there are limited resources for drying your wet suit which makes it rather gross to re-wear a wet suit. 

Active Shore Excursions and Work-out Clothes 
Be sure to pack work-out clothes for your cruise no matter the length (4-7+ days). The fitness center is open daily (Bright and early) and you will want to have those yoga pants and dry-fit shirts. This also includes socks and tennis shoes as well! 

On-Board Night Life 
We are not dance floor or club people but on our most recent cruise we did attend a small cocktail type of party and smart casual attire was encouraged so a nicer dress but not too formal was needed. This longer maxi dress fit perfectly. 

Casual Nights On-Board 
On most cruise lines 5 out of 7 nights are considered casual. I personally still wear a sundress of some kind usually because I enjoy the comfort but other guests wear capris and nice blouses or your typical work-place attire (with a summer twist, of course). 
Casual and comfort is the key as you will be going anywhere from the Dining Room to the Theater to the Night Clubs. 

Specialty Restaurant Attire 
These are usually labeled as Semi-Formal so a more professional look is desired. On our most recent cruise we had 2 meals at specialty restaurants and at both settings I wore a semi-formal long dress. 
A more sophisticated look for the upscale dinners!

Formal Nights On-Board 
For me personally these are some of the only times during the calendar year that I am REALLY dressing up. I try to wear a long formal dress or a cocktail dress of some kind with coordinating and "show-stopping" shoes and jewelry to match. 

Buffet/ Lounge Attire
On some cruise lines there is a no bathing suit or cover up policy in the eating areas, including the buffet, so it is nice to have an additional change of clothes for reasons such as this. For me this is usually shorts and a t-shirt. By the end of the cruise I am just wanting to lounge around in comfy clothes so this style fits the bill. 

Even on the high seas I have to support OU and my Sooners

One of my favorite things about cruising is the packing that leads up to it. I usually find myself going on "cruise shopping sprees" week or months ahead of time trying to find the perfect items to pack. I hope this helps some of you as you get ready and pack for an upcoming cruise! 

Keep Calm... And Cruise in Style! 

God is good... ALL the time! 

Lifestyles of Rich and Famous- Selfie Challenge

"1-2-3, CHEESE" 
Anniversary Cruise 2015 

I usually am not this pretentious and self- absorbed (my sister, maybe even my husband, might tend to disagree) but I decided to jump on the band-wagon and become part of the “All about Me” generation for just a week. Being a true follower of Cruise Critic I came across an article they posted on Facebook a few weeks prior to our cruise called “Cruise Selfie Challenge” and I immediately shouted “Challenge Accepted” (All of my HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER folks just get this one). 
Naturally I read the article and then created a list of places to take selfies according to the article. I also added a few of my own to this list once I got into the fun of this game. As soon as we took off from our house I was on a mission:

Café du Monde- New Orleans, LA

St. Louis Cathedral- New Orleans, LA

Waiting to board the Serenade of the Seas

1st Selfie aboard the Serenade of the Seas

Embarkation Port- New Orleans, LA

Helicopter Pad or Bow

Sail Away Party

Pool Deck

“Hello from the Royal Suite”- Cabin Crawl

Serenade of the Seas famous Glass Elevator

Theater/ Shows

Nightlife and clubs (Not our style but this is in the Centrum at night)

Aft or wake of the ship (9th Anniversary)

Crazy Ship Art Selfie

Towel Animal Selfie

70s Disco Party

Galley Tour

Shore Life and Excursions

Key Lime Bike Tour- Key West, FL

Parasailing- Nassau, Bahamas

(100 feet in the air... perhaps the best selfie EVER)

Junakoo Beach- Nassau, Bahamas 

Jet Ski Tour- CoCo Cay, Bahamas

Atlantic Ocean/ Bahamas Lagoon- CoCo Cay, Bahamas

Nature Walk- CoCo Cay, Bahamas 

CHALLENGE COMPLETED- This challenge was a LOT of fun and even Chris liked it! I love taking pictures and documenting memories and this was a wonderful way to do so! 

Once again, we owe this fun and adventures to our Lord! He has blessed us beyond measure and we owe this all to Him! Thank you, Jesus! 

God is good... All the time!