Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mini Update

I've been a bad bunny, and not updated as often as I would have liked to. What can I say? I slid into vacation mode and it slipped off my radar a bit! So this morning while the family is still sleeping, I'll start catching up...

I left you with our Monday morning's arrival in Bermuda and the mad dash to replace Morgan's keycard before running off on our excursion. We met outside the ship to join the others and took the ferry into Hamilton. Everyone climbed onto the little pink tour bus and we were off!

It was our tour guide's first day, but he had a back-up guide who was with us, and she would constantly call out "Tell them about this, Mister....", "Don't forget about this, Mister..." It was hilarious! We ended up with a tour of both the North and South shores before we came back, and in between we went to the Bermuda Zoo, Museum and Aquarium and then the Crystal Caves. Hard to believe (ha!) but I easily took 300 pictures that day! I can't wait to return home to real highspeed internet access so that I can load them all up to share.
We ate lunch afterwards in Hamilton and then took the ferry back to enjoy some lunch on the ship & the kids made their way back to Club HAL for the afternoon.

Our days have been filled with eating, swimming, lots of walking, napping on the balcony with a good book and chatting with everyone. We've had a Canadian Meet & Mingle one afternoon, and tonight we'll all pose together in our Formal wear for a group shot.
It's amazing how relaxing everything has been, considering I don't get to sleep before midnight and I'm up at 6am (I know, it's crazy, but my body won't give up my regular wake-up routine). We've had dinner & breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill - how fabulous was that (yum). Truly, the food has been exceptional, and those who know me well know it's all about the food!

This morning we'll be doing our glass bottom boat excursion with Marika & Dominic, Nancy & her partner and parents, Maryse & her family and I think Alicia, Jim and Mickyla too. It's our final day in Bermuda and so we'll take advantage of it by visiting elbow beach as well before we depart.

I know I'm missing all kinds of things I want to share, but I'm still waking up slowly so I'll leave it at this for now.

See you online again soon!

- Caroline

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday - Bermuda!

Monday morning, I woke up with a start at 7am and bolted straight up in bed. Right out the window (port-side), we had just come along an island with a lighthouse... we were here! I ran to the Neptune lounge and grabbed my coffee and chocolate croissants, and then bundled up in a toasty bathrobe and dragged Brent out with me onto the balcony. We finally convinced the kids to come out of bed and then snuggle/join us before room service came in.

We prepared for our morning departure, since we had a 9:20am meet time for our first excursion -- and then panic! Where was Morgan's lanyard with his keycard? They wouldn't let us off the ship without it, and I spent a frantic 15 minutes tearing our tidy suite apart to see if it could be found. Luckily the lovely ladies at the Concierge service re-issued his card...and I just hole-punched it and added it to mine. Crisis averted!

To be continued....

- Caroline

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday continued...

Sunday morning (after I posted about my early 3am wake up) was a super busy day for me. We had only one sea day before our arrival in Bermuda and my day was chock-full of planned stamping-related activities.

My kids enjoyed the whole morning at Club HAL and then snuck in some swimming before we needed to prep for the first Formal night. My hubby bopped around keeping busy and then we all connected together around 4:30.

Formal evening was WONDERFUL (I'll get some pictures up later, as I'm posting from the laptop in the Neptune lounge, enjoying my decaf latte and no-sugar treats). There was a really heavy tilt towards the formal ware... lots of tuxes and gowns, just wonderful. The food was DELICIOUS and the bananas Foster to die for!

The kids were anxious to get back to Club HAL to see their friends so they ran up as soon as dinner was finished (7pm start) and Brent and I headed to the Vista Lounge to enjoy a spectacle that combined adage dance & acrobatics plus illusions. We knew 5 minutes into it that Morgan would LOVE this, and that we'd be back for the 10:15pm show with him. We spent the rest of the evening before the 10pm pickup from club HAL just bopping from lounges, enjoying the music wherever we went, plus chit-chatting with friends.

Serena was tired so we opted to head up to bed & a movie while the boys went off to check out the magic and ponder "how do they do that?" once again. The seas had been alternating between rough and moderate all day, but as long as I took my Bonine and grazed nonstop (hehehe), I was okay. I didn't actually roll off the bed so all was well.

I didn't even hear the guys come in around midnight so I must have been tired. I did make sure to set out the breakfast room service menu before retiring for the night, and ensuring that the blinds by the bed were open, so I could see our arrival into Bermuda.

- Caroline

Happy Sunday Morning

Happy morning everyone!

Well, it's some ridiculous time in the morning, especially with the bump forward into Atlantic time, that it's just me and the crew up and about :)

Seas are rough, and some thing or another fell onto the floor with a big thump and I woke up. Nope, checked... not the kids or the hubby -- everyone snug in bed. I'm rocking back and forth so off to the Explorations Café for a quick email check in. What can I say? I'm an early bird :) so far I've wandered the Promenade deck in the chilly Atlantic weather and chatted with many of the friendly smiling crew.

Seas were like glass last night...wee wavelets to usher us out of NYC. The kids have been having so much fun and are being cossetted by the lovely staff in the Neptune Lounge. Brent went to the Suite Reception and chatted with the captain's wife and some other nice folk -- he enjoyed his champagne and came back quite happy. I bundled the monsters into the sofabed and they went to sleep watching "The Bee Movie" quite happily. We made an early night of things after spending the day reconnecting with many friends -- guess I'll check back in later :)

- Caroline

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday am -- Webcam for ship!

Should be here....

Hopefully we'll be aboard by noon'ish!

- Caroline

Friday Afternoon - NYC

Friday, March 28, 2008


We made it to Manhattan -- yipppeeee! We're at the Sheraton Towers, a ginormous hotel where we're perfectly situated to walk all over the place. I found my friend Marika already and got connected.

Our bus transfer to the pier tomorrow is at 12:45, so we'll do the zoo first thing in the morning. The plan right now is to snatch something to eat and then go to the MoMA. The monsters are happily eating some Mickey D's in front of the Disney channel while Brent runs out to grab us some authentic NYC deli. I'll check in later once I've been fed... I'm practically passing out :)

- Caroline

Off we go!

Next stop... NYC! Please wish us good weather and calm seas next week :)

- Caroline

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We're in the final stretch!

Today is the final day for me to run around and get those last minute errands taken care of (and then checked off the list) before we fly out at 10:15am Friday morning.

I did some Mapquest'ing of the various sight-seeing attractions we want to do in NYC, so I have a clue as to which ones are walkable from our hotel. The kids were thrilled to see that FAO Schwartz will be on the way back from the zoo (oh joy!), to learn that the penguin feeding is daily at 2:30, and I found out that the MoMA is free Friday afternoons from 4pm onwards.

One thing they were fascinated by was the planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Brent & I both grew up with light & space shows at the McLaughlin Planetarium while growing up, but the kids have never been to one. I think it will be awesome!

Okay... off I go to find the last bits of Brent's tux -- see you soon!

- Caroline

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Want to see the Central Park Zoo penguins?

I know my kids want to! Check out the penguin Zoocam :)

- Caroline

Our Itinerary

What we're planning for New York, NY

Over the past few months, the kids have been contemplating all the various things they want to accomplish for our few days in NYC (one full day at the beginning of the trip, one at the very end).

Top on their list of To-Do's:

New York Central Park Zoo (for the penguins!)
Museum of Natural History (thanks to "Night at the Museum" movie)
FOA Schwartz
Time's Square

What Mommy wants to do too:


Brent seems happy to go along with whatever we plan, smart man. Our flight arrives around noon, so we'll drop the luggage off at the hotel and then do whatever depending on the weather. Can't wait!

- Caroline

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photos from our family card-swaps time!

Since both the kids & Brent will be participating in the various card swaps, here are some pictures of them working on their projects...enjoy!


- Caroline

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What we're planning for Bermuda!

We'll be in Bermuda for 4 days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday) so we've booked excursions for the first and last days, leaving us 2 days in the middle where we'll be left to our own devices!

On the monday morning, we've booked the "Aquarium & Caves by Bus":

On this excursion you will discover two of Bermuda's main attractions: the interesting Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo and the beautiful Crystal Caves carved of limestone.

At West End, embark a public ferry for the approximately 30-minute scenic cruise through the Great Sound to Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda. Board the trademark pink air-conditioned bus for a scenic drive through town and along picturesque Harrington Sound with its beautiful bays and coves. En route view charming pastel colored homes with their distinctive architecture which makes this island so unique. Independently explore the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, which features everything from chattering cockatoos to tiny seahorses, over 75 species of fish, pink flamingos, seals, and the highlight of the aquarium, the "North Rock" tank. The "North Rock" aquarium is a 145,000-gallon replica of one of Bermuda's reefs.

Next, travel to the magnificent limestone Crystal Caves and descend 81 steps underground to view the wondrous formations of stalactites, stalagmites, and crystal clear lakes.

On our final day, we are taking the "Destiny Glass Bottom Boat Cruise":

Coral reefs, a shipwreck and fish feeding are all part of this fascinating tour. Come and discover the magic with your friendly Bermudian crew aboard the Destiny, an air-conditioned 78-foot luxury cruiser. During your tour, your crew will share with you their knowledge of Bermuda's past, as well as current events, and welcome any questions you might have as you journey to the beautiful sea gardens. Once there, you'll float over shallow coral reefs and learn about Bermuda's unique underwater eco-system. Your captain will then carefully maneuver over the Vixen, a 19th-century shipwreck. While at this location you'll watch in wonder as hundreds of endemic fish swirl to the surface for you to feed. Prior to returning to the ship, you will have an opportunity to drift silently in search of turtles, still too shy for human contact. This is a great tour for the whole family. A great two hours spent on the water!

- Caroline

Friday, March 21, 2008

Our cabin - SA 7070

How excited was I when I learned about my cabin assignment... we're in SA 7070, close to the exclusive Neptune Lounge (concierge service).

Here's a description of the cabin, as per the HAL website:

Deluxe Verandah Suites
This cabin has approximately 510 square feet, 2 beds that convert into a King size bed, a bathroom with dual sink vanity, full size whirlpool bath and shower, an additional shower stall, a large sitting area, dressing room, 1 sofa bed for up to 2 people, a private verandah, and floor to ceiling windows. Your cabin achievement also gives you access to the concierge lounge and concierge level services.

click HERE to see the virtual tour!