Tuesday, April 20, 2010

VH1 Best Cruise Ever – Day 1

I’m back from vacation and can’t wait to share all of the excitement we had while we were away. This definitely ranks up there for one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on and I’m so glad that we did it. I’m going through withdraw right now and wishing I was still out to sea (even though my living room has felt like it’s rocking since I’ve been back).

Us right before we got on the Inspiration

Early last Thursday, we flew into Tampa to depart for the ship. At the airport, we got in line for a cab and met another couple, Steve and Cathy that was going too. We split the cab and chatted the whole way to the port. We became friends fast and spent a lot of good times with them on the ship.

Our new friends Steve & Cathy

As soon as I boarded the Inspiration I remembered this ship from a cruise I had taken in my early 20’s. They did a ton of upgrades to the decks, including new pool area, water slides and adding a miniature golf course. The cabins were also redone, complete with a flat screen and more storage space. The rest of the ship still had a 90’s vibe, but overall it was really nice.

We started the trip out right and got a drink with Steve and Cathy at the first bar we saw. The rooms weren’t going to be ready for a little while, so we went to the Lido deck and had lunch at the buffet with them. After lunch, Geof and I made our way down to the cabin got settled and then went to explore more of the ship.

Miniature golf course on the ship

We walked all around, got familiar with everything and then went to checkout Carolina Liar on the Lido Deck stage. They sounded great and I love their single, "Show Me What I’m Looking For". After awhile, we made our way back down to the cabin and in the hallway saw a bunch of random dudes in their briefs and one in a banana hammock. I thought they were just bringing the party out to the hallway, but Geof informed me that it was all four members of Carolina Liar when we got back to our room. They stayed just a few cabins down from us and we ran into them several times.

The ship with Carolina Liar playing below on the Lido Deck

Cocktails at the Chopin Lounge. My Mojito was so good!

Later, Geof and I headed to the Carnivale Dining Room for dinner. We had the best dinner on the first night of shrimp cocktail, beef ribs and chocolate melting cake. Let me also say that one of the best things about this cruise was that there wasn’t any of that hokey typical cruse stuff. Dinner was open seating, casual dress and the wait staff didn’t dance around the dining room after the meal. I always hated that.

Chocolate melting cake

After dinner, we went back to our cabin and got ready for the night. We headed up to the Candlelight Lounge and caught the end of Parachute. We saw these guys in Philly back in January and they really do have some great songs. The lead singer, Will is quite talented and it was good to see them again. After they went off, we secured our spot for SafetySuit and I recognized a fellow fan, Amy from Twitter. She came on the cruise with her husband, Chad and we were great friends the entire cruise. They were at the concert with sisters, Jessica and Amanda and we also met another great couple, Liz and Josh. I could not have asked to make better friends on this cruise and we all made it the best time.

Me with Will from Parachute

As SafetySuit was coming on, we looked back and saw Jim Shearer from the VH1 Top 20 Countdown and introduced ourselves. He was a really great guy and so fun!

Me, Jim Shearer and Geof

Geof and I before SafetySuit

The concert started and our little group made it a blast by singing along with all of the songs and jumping around dancing. Doug came into the audience at one point right beside me and we rocked out to The Moment for a moment (sorry I couldn’t resist). After the show, we said a quick Hello to Dave and Doug from SS and then dashed off to the Paris Lounge for the ticketed 3 Doors Down show.

Dave from SafetySuit

Doug from SafetySuit


New friends! Love you all :)

3 Doors Down was the headlining band on the ship and the only one that you needed a ticket for. Our seats weren’t the best, but it didn’t matter. Brad Arnold’s voice sounded great live and they played all of their greatest hits and then some. He made a mention about how much he appreciated our troops and you could tell that it was really sincere. He also made some of the songs a little more personal by describing the way he felt or what he was going through when he wrote them. It’s always interesting to get a little bit of a back story.

After 3 Doors Down, we went back to the Candlelight Lounge and ran into Amy and Chad. We also saw Jeremy from SS and talked to him for awhile. The next band taking the stage was 7daybinge and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like them or not because they’re a little harder, but they knew how to rock. It was nice to hear some fresh music and get familiar with a newer band. After the show, we headed up to the lido deck for a late night snack and called it a night.

View from our seats at 3 Doors Down

Steve and Cathy had much better seats. Thanks for the pic!


TS Hendrik said...

This is pretty sweet. I read Geof's first post, and now yours. It's cool getting to read two different perspectives on the same events. Each of you are pointing out different things.

Looks like it was a blast.

April said...

Now I wanna book a cruise!! So glad you had an awesome time!!

Anonymous said...

what an awesome cruise! I like Jim Shearer (sp?), he always cracks me up on the countdown :-)

Sandy said...

Looks like you had an awesome time! I want to go on a cruise! I love cruising! The last one I went on was my honeymoon, 7 years ago!!

Welcome back.

Melissa said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip! Coming back from vacation is so hard, but I'm glad you had fun!

We might be going on another cruise in August, and this post makes me want to do that even more now!

You look awesome!

Natalie said...

Welcome back! Glad you had a great vacation!

Sarah Beth said...

Sounds like you had a great time on the cruise, can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Wow, that great food, cool people, and all those bands? Sounds pretty amazing - sign me up!

Vynuss said...

WELCOME back friend!!! :)
Looks like you had an amazing time.
I'm a lil jealous you got to see Carolina Liar up close and personal... I've really been liking their music... I probably outplayed their CD. LOL
So awesome you guys were able to make some new friends... :)

MCW said...

Sounds like a blast!
Seriously, how much weight have you lost??? Every time I see a pic you look thinner and thinner...

Vynuss said...

BTW- Tagged you!! :)

Gwen said...

GIRL!!! You look fabulous!!!! I'm so glad you had a great time!!! And YAY for meeting new friends. What a fun cruise!!! But I must see photos of this fun 80s night!!! XOXO

Tasha said...

Your cruise sounds AWESOME! I had no idea they did cruises with bands performing like this! That would be so much better than the cheezzzy cruise entertainment!

You look GREAT in these pics! Jules- you are such a fun person and I'm glad to know you through blogging! It's awesome that you made new friends on the cruise! That was one of the things I loved about cruising- meeting so many different people! The mojitos and pina coladas definitely help the conversations get started too, right?! ;-)

Brittany Ann said...

Oh, I love cruising! You totally made me miss it even more! So fun!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I've been following Geof's blog for a while, but did not connect you with each other until now. (Sometimes I'm slow at picking up on things. If there's a short bus for bloggers, I need to hop on :) Bottom line, I'm now a new follower to put you at 445!
Cheers, and I'm glad it was a great cruise.

Join the Gossip said...

YAY! I am so happy for you! What a great time! That is incredible you met so many great people while there. You are so sweet and friendly I am sure you could make friends anywhere =)

That is way awesome that Doug was singing with you. When I go to shows and see that I am always so envious of all of those people. So cool you were one of them.

I can't wait to read the next part!

Katie said...

the melting cake looks so yummy!

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

That sounds like a blast!!!!! I bet it was so cool to be able to meet all those people!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time and thanks for sharing your experience with us! :)

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow -- I had no idea you had such an exciting trip! What a great getaway for you two, can we talk about how beautiful you are in the turquoise top and scarf?!? It is such a gorgeous color on you.

Ummm, we'll take a few of the Melting Cakes as well! Great post, great pics, love it!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't that the best dessert ever! I ordered it every single night! It was so rich I could never finish the whole thing, but I always got at least half way through it.