Dressing for a Cruise

When planning a major vacation like cruising,  clothing tends to be at the top of the list.  What will you wear to the beach, to dinner, formal night, lounging on the deck, in port, to the club Oh my gosh how will my suitcase fit everything?!  First calm down, breath and let me tell you there is no dress code or any one style to follow.  Again, I watched a lot of videos about what people wore.  You have to find your own style and comfort levels.  I am going to share a few things I wore, what I wish I had or what I packed and decided not to wear at all.

You will see from my photos I wore play suits (rompers), dresses and shorts.These were my favorite outfits to wear. I had packed one pair of jean capris, khaki shorts, and a play suit that wasn’t as comfy as the other two I bought that I never wore. I also packed a pair of chunky black wedges that never saw the light of day and three gym outfits… I went to the gym once. I had good intentions.  Here is a look at what I wore.

 

 

The dress above, the shorts and playsuit came from Ross. The little white boat shoes with the bow were $8 at Walmart and the tan sandals are from Payless.  For formal night DH bought my dress for me for my birthday back in December from Macy’s.  The dining room is a tad cool so the long sleeves did not bother me.

I liked my nautical style clothing.  I felt very in place. It’s just the vibe 😉

Day three I wore the same playsuit as day one because it was very easy to use over my bikini.  Quick off and on.  It was great 🙂 This next playsuit I wore in Progreso , I also got at Ross for $16, the visor I bought last year at Walmart for around $4, they have them again this year (2018), a nice pair of $6 sunglasses and the crossbody bag I saw so many people use and recommend on packing lists and OOTD’s. I did not want to wear one, I didn’t think it was me, but that little crossbody bag was great! I held our passports, my phone, money and lipstick ;). Very handy item, I suggest it 100%

Under this sarong is a cute little inexpensive blue bikini I got at Walmart with a ruched bottom. I had read the ruching is flattering on the booty, they were right ;).  DH bought me the sarong when he was in Kuwait.  He brought back a few styles and colors. I really liked wearing this. There are so many ways to tie these.  Watch tutorials, you will see :D.

The only thing I wore not shown is a soft dress I also got at Ross for $12.  That is an excellent place to stock up on new vacation outifts.  You do not have to spend a fortune to look nice and comfy :).  I basically recycled these looks.  You will not be in the same outfit for that long.  What you put on the morning is not what you will wear to dinner, or to lay out in the sun in.  It is very Downton, you get to have an outfit change for what ever you are doing and dinner.  How lovely.

We Are Hooked

I have to share, DH already booked our next cruise.  We talked about it on the last day just before getting off the ship, we talked again for a few more days and then decided where we wanted to and Bam! Next cruise booked!  I am so excited even though I have 354 days to go.

That is 354 days to research our stops, purchase items I wish we had, and watch my Carnival Hub App countdown and get me closer to the fun!

The reason I believe so many people get hooked on cruise ship vacations is that there is no thinking involved.  Which can be a good thing and a dangerous thing to your bank account at least.   We did not have to think  about where to eat for breakfast.  We ordered room service with coffee and pastries while we woke up, got dressed then headed to the buffet.  Lunch didn’t matter, if DH wanted a burger and I wanted Tacos, go get your meal and meet back at the table we would meet back at the table we smartly put our drinks down on.  Dinner, forget it, it was early dining or the same lunch scenario.

If you have an onboard budget the drinks could get tricky if you did not purchase a drink package, we didn’t have one, though we are not heavy drinkers so no worries there. The ports are chosen, generally people talk about what they will do, if they will stay onboard, get an excursion through the ship or third party or will they simply shop close, eat lunch and nap in their stateroom.

Even that bit of thinking is so minimum.  A cruise truly takes all of the worry away from you.  Stay smart about your money, track what is spent on the app. or your smart phone and relax.  There are literally thousands of people working to make your life so much easier.

Food Glorious Food

I am sure by now most people thinking, going or have been on a cruise has researched, watched, tasted all the cruise ship food options and have seen what everybody has eaten.  I feel I too must follow in their footsteps and show our plates culinary delights.

Day one, we had early dining in the Washington Dining Room. I enjoyed our dining room meals.  We would change into something a little nicer, clean up and have a slow down.  Don’t skip the dining room 🙂

I had the calamari, roasted chicken with veggies, dressing & ratatouille because I had never tried that before and who doesn’t trust a cute mouse to sell you on an item :D.  For dessert I had the Caramelized Phyllo with Caramel Cream, so good!

DH had the quesadilla,  flat iron steak, baked potato and broccoli and for dessert the tiramisu.

Breakfast! – from the buffet. I  liked taking extra bananas to munch on later.

The second night was formal night in the dining room.  We started off with minestrone soup and stuffed mushrooms.  I ordered the grilled chicken, which was a tad tough, garlic mashed potatoes and veggies.   For dessert I got the warm chocolate melting cake of course!

DH ordered the Blue Crab Ravioli and we shared the lobster. My first time eating lobster, I was not impressed.   I am sure they do it very well, I just was underwhelmed by it.  DH ordered the malted chocolate hazelnut cake for dessert.

Day three we were at port in Cozumel so we had breakfast delivered to the room, ate tacos at the previous mentioned place, and a Guys Burger when we got back on the Valor. Later made a snack plate of cheese, fruits and a few desserts from the buffet.  It was kind of funny because I kept getting looks while carrying our plates back to our room, I felt kind of judged lol.  However when we got into the elevator two girls were very interested in our food and asked where we got it and commented “You’re doing it right”. Woo Hoo stranger validation 😀 Continue reading Food Glorious Food

Mexicooooo

Did anybody get the title reference?  I’ll wait… doo doo doo… Well it’s from an episode of Family Guy, a television show called Two Lame Chicks on Vacation in Mexico.

“…Hey, is this beach topless? *  No, but my margarita’s bottomless. Mexicoooo!”

Mexico was amazing!  We had two stops, Cozumel and Progreso. We were treated so well, the food was amazing and each place was like a dream.  It felt like somebody should have pinched me to wake me up  at moments.  They were both quite different though.

In Cozumel we did not book an excursion. DH and I got off the ship and walked along the shops on the street.  He tried to purchase a hat from the shops closest to port but I did my research and advised him to wait.  He saved $17 by waiting ;).  We also ate at a local little place called “Tequila Flavors” that had some delicious tacos, fresh guac and chips.  I had my first Corona, yes at 40 years old I have never had a Corona, I do not have a reason for this :P.  DH and I also had jello shots made on an orange peel.  Those suckers were strong!

Before that we were approached by a man holding a parrot, he asked us if we wanted to pet it. DH usually takes the lead and says no, kind of waving people away but I totally wanted to pet this bird.  I got to pet the bird, it hung by my pinky with it’s beak and it perched on my arm!  DH was so surprised by me just jumping in there like “Heck yeah I want to pet that bird!”  lol.  I am not adventurous, not adult me anyway. Adult me is kind of lame, I am also an introvert.  The type that can be around people, laugh etc. but are completely exhausted for two days afterward.

We walked along a bit, almost got snared into a “come listen to a time share” trap but we escaped, got a cab and went off to Paradise Beach. The roundtrip cab fare was $30, we opted for the $21 a piece to get into the resort so we could have access to all of the snorkeling, kayak, paddle board, inflatables etc. that they offer.  We got two loungers in the sun with an umbrella and a table, sat our things down and DH went off to get us drinks.  He brought me back the $14.75 yard cup of strawberry margarita and then he went off on the paddleboard.  We finished our time there kayaking and laying by the pool.  It was a very relaxing resort, it looks just like the pictures, no surprises there, just what we wanted!

On the way back we stopped to score a designer purse and wallet that we got them to come down from $75 to $55.  Haggling is a big thing there. As a typical American I am not used to more aggressive sales and people trying to get me into their stores, so be prepared for that and folks coming up to you trying to get you to rent scooters, buy cigars and other interesting “party supplies” ha ha!

Cozumel was fun, interesting and I really can’t wait to go back!

Hindsight

As a first time cruiser I packed most of what every Vlogger & Blogger suggested.  As pictured in a previous post are some things I brought that we used, some we did and a list of some things I wish we brought and didn’t purchase

  •  Towel clips, didn’t use them,
  • Hand Sanitizer, they’re all over the ship. However Mexico would have been a good place to use them. Especially after messing with the parrot, ha ha
  • Glow Sticks, well we could have used them in the America Rocks show but I took them to the sail away party, that we did not attend because we drank some wine in our room as we set sail. I will still pack them, you never know.
  • We used the air freshener but honestly, I felt no need for it.
  • The laundry bag was nice, not really necessary, but nice to have.  We should have had our own.
  • Wifi is useless!  Luckily we have an international plan on our phones so we were able to use them while in port but we did put them on airplane mode while the ship was moving.  No issues there. Funny that the ship app worked just fine but nothing else.
  • Our Rtic (Yeti if you have those)! I had iced tea all day that stayed cold. My margaritas did not melt on the Serenity Deck, best decision ever to bring those.
  • Suction hooks were nice to have to hang a wash cloth or let bathing suits dry when the clothes line in the shower was filled.
  • Powerstrip is must! We had one outlet in the room.  One!  Do bring one (with no surge protection), for phones, curling irons etc., photo equipment and anything else you may have.
  • Crossbody Purse. OMG I am not a crossbody purse kind of gal, but I am now. It was super handy, I loved it, and I feel like I could benefit from maybe a slightly larger one, but I am not sure why LOL!

Another thing we purchased was the so called “Bottomless Bubbles”.   This package, from what DH and I gather are for people who drink a lot of sodas, not the occasional gingerale for when tummies give you trouble.  I thought it included bottled water for some reason, it does not.  Juices are available at the buffet so that’s not even a perk.  Getting a “Bubble” is a pain in the rear to get at the bar & don’t even ask for the can, they are not allowed to give it to you when ordering with the package. Yes you read that, they are Not Allowed! Another thing, it’s useless with room service, and only one soda per card at a time.  I wish they would update their system and see there are two people on the account so two sodas make sense. DH and I wish they had a coffee package.  We would use that all day long!

We did use the candy we brought. I wish I had brought more selections for me, DH took all the good stuff right away.  They were nice to have  when we were watching a movie.  I almost brought some crackers and I wish we had, or some chips,  for my stomach the first night/day.  I didn’t see any on ship.  I would have loved  a convenience  store.

Next time we will get the case of water.  It is only $4.50 and we would have loved it when at the gym, taking on excursions or just walking around the ship.  It is a very reasonable price and well worth having them bring it to your room 🙂

Having our own champagne was a very nice touch. Wine glasses were in our stateroom already, the balcony was lovely, it was romantic and our very own moment that we cherish and have started our own cruise ship tradition.   What are some of your cruise traditions?