Happy New Years Eve everyone!!

We’re back!  Babymoon 2013 is officially in the books! And what a great time we had!! We sincerely hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break as well! We took a ton of pictures during our vacation and did so much I’ll be breaking out the vacation into a few posts :)

We started the Christmas holiday celebrating with Branch’s family.  On Friday we checked out Branch’s parents beautiful new house that they will be moving to in the spring, visited with his Nana, ate waaaaay too much of Jane’s famous spaghetti and exchanged presents! As always, the Howards were way too generous!  On Saturday, Branch, Lisa, Bryan and I went to the Vanderbilt basketball game. 

We were playing Georgia Tech and Vandy won handily!  After the game, Bryan and Lisa dropped Branch and I off at the airport for our evening flight to Tampa. We were beyond excited to start our vacation!

We got a deal when purchasing the cruise that included a free night at a hotel so we opted to stay at the lovely Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay which was located near both the airport and cruise ship terminal.  We got in late but woke up to sunshine and a view of the ocean (so spoiled!) and grabbed some breakfast at the restaurant downstairs.  The hotel is along the water so we took a nice stroll after breakfast to burn off some of the calories! Around noon we headed to the cruise terminal so we could begin the boarding process.  I have to say: I’m extremely impressed with the efficiency of the embarkation and disembarkation process on cruise ships. These people have it down to a science! 

Once onboard, we immediately went to our room to drop off our carry-ons.  We had decided to splurge on a room with a balcony and it was worth every penny! We ended up getting to watch 5 out of 7 sunsets from our balcony and every time we entered the room I couldn’t help but be in awe of our view! 

We pulled out of Tampa around 5PM and enjoyed our first sunset of the cruise!

Downtown Tampa

A toast to our first night at sea! No worries, I only sipped on virgin Pina Coladas ;)

That night, we had a wonderful dinner in the main dining room with a family from Atlanta and walked around the ship taking it all in. 

Our first full vacation day was spent at sea traveling towards Mexico.  We laid out on the deck and spent a lot of time napping! We also spent some time at the gym.  After promising ourselves we would workout every day, it ended up being the only time we spent on the treadmill!  That night was the first “Cruise Elegant” night where everyone dressed up for dinner.

We ate with two couples: a sweet older couple from Sarasota, Florida and a couple of “serial cruisers” from Canada.  It was their 44th and 47thcruises!  I love cruising, but I’m not sure I could go on that many! Next stop: Mexico!

Stay safe tonight!!


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