April 21, 2013

Sailing away on the Norwegian Epic (part 1)

My Spring vacation has come and gone. This year, we traveled to Miami to embark on a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Epic. Our ports of call were St. Martaan, St. Thomas, and Nassau. After counting down for 8 months, hundreds of hours on Cruise Critic, and endless hours of daydreaming, our departure day finally arrived. Saturday April 6th!

Here is the view from the rooftop pool deck from our hotel, The Mayfair Hotel and Spa in Coconut Grove:

Unfortunately we did not get to enjoy the rooftop pool since it was raining the night we arrived. We ventured up Saturday morning to get a peek. The Mayfair is a boutique hotel close to shopping and restaurants, at Cocowalk. Cocowalk is the Grove's version of Baywalk or Channelside. We had dinner at Bice Bistro and enjoyed 2 for 1 drinks. It was a "happy hour" that lasted the whole night through!

We started Saturday morning with breakfast at the Cuban eatery La Carreta. This restaurant was recommended to us by a server we had the night before. I didn't need anymore energy to get me pumped for sailing, but when Cafe Con Leche is available, a girl's got to take it. I paired my Cuban coffee with scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes (with a hint of spice), and of course, Cuban toast! I wish La Carreta was closer to Tampa Bay. If I could start every day with Cafe Con Leche and Cuban bread, I'd be pretty happy!

Our next stop was the Port of Miami. After dropping off our luggage, completing check in, and taking our obligatory "I'm about to get on a cruise!" picture, we entered the NCL Epic!

For those of you who aren't familiar with cruising, the Epic was the 3rd largest cruise ship in the world when it was built. The Epic has been sailing since 2010, and is the youngest ship sailing for Norwegian Cruise Lines - for a few more days. (The Norwegian Breakaway takes it's maiden voyage this week!)  Over 4,000 passengers can sail on the Epic at a time, along with 1,700 crew members.

What is there to do on the Norwegian Epic? I am glad you asked! Here is just a sample of what the ship has to offer:

20 restaurants/dining options
12 bars and lounges, including the SVEDKA Ice Bar
Aqua park with 3 slides
Blue Man Group
Cirque Dreams and Dinner
Second City improv comedy
Howl at the Moon dueling pianos
2 bowling alleys
Legends in Concert

Stay tuned for my next installment to see what happened over the next 7 days! 

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