Friday, June 20, 2014

The 2014 Summer Vacation Dilemma! Where would we go and when?

 Summer was fast approaching and we didn't have a plan!  Me?  No plans for a vacation?  This is unheard of right? We had been tossing around summer vacation plans for what seemed like months – do we go to the beach, do we try to get to an all-inclusive in Mexico?  When do our schedules work out for vacation? Nothing seemed to come together just right. Why is it that winter weather seems to last forever but when you try to plan a week in the summer, the options are so slim? Well we narrowed our choices down to one week, June 8th! We didn’t want to risk going to the beach up where we live, which would be the MD, DE or Jersey beaches. Been there, done that and too much risk of rain or cold weather so early in the season. So we thought about heading south. We wanted to eliminate the cost of airfare because for 4 of us, that is more than half of the expense of a trip for a week. Also a long drive to a warm location didn’t appeal. 

And so, the idea of cruising out of NYC came up! Only problem, Keith ended up not being able to go, which is actually just as well since he really isn’t crazy about cruising.  

The kids and I were thrilled though. The three of us love to cruise. Alex, is almost 15 – Megan is almost 13, and this is important when it comes to the teen vs kids clubs! We tend to sail based on itinerary and not based on cruise line. We’re pretty much willing to try any line. For us, just being on vacation is the important part.   We ended up choosing the Norwegian Breakaway sailing to Bermuda!  This was pretty interesting.  I never had given any thought to cruising to Bermuda before, nor sailing out of New York!  But now, the stars aligned and it seemed to be the perfect fit for us!  We would be at sea for 2 days before docking and spending three FULL days in Bermuda!  Then have another day at sea on our way back to NYC.  Wow!  This would be amazing!

However, that being said, we sailed last year on the Epic in the Western Mediterranean, and while we all wanted to really love it, we were left feeling a bit disappointed as compared to our other cruises. So we had some mixed feelings about sailing on the Breakaway. We were going with an open mind though. Just as an aside, if you want to know what we liked and didn’t like about the Epic, feel free to jump to the posts from last year to read all about it!

Ok, enough background. The day had come and we were ready to sail! We thought about driving to the port, but we live very close to an Amtrak station and the pricing as compared to paying for gas, tolls, and parking made it an easy decision. My husband took us to the train station on Sunday morning for an 8:00 am train, which would get us to NYC just a little after 10:30 am. Fantastic timing!

Ready to go, at the train station!

Our train ride was smooth, and we arrived at Penn Station right on time. We went out and got a taxi. The ride was slow, and hot. What should have been about a $12 taxi ride approached $20 due to traffic and construction, but it still beat dragging our luggage I suppose! The ship was in sight and we were ready to get on board! Of course we had to stop for some pictures first!

We went through the security lines which at first glance looked long, but moved very quickly.  Then after a short wait, maybe 5 minutes or so, we were checked in!  We had our Sea Pass card in hand, and were given boarding number 48 I believe. It was around 11:45 or so. We sat down to wait to be called. The terminal was busy, but not overly crowded. We waited for maybe 10 more minutes or so and were able to board. 

There is nothing like that feeling of walking on board for the first time! Suddenly you’re officially on vacation!!!

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