Thursday, February 25, 2016

Girls Cruise to Bahamas: Day Three

Our third, and final full day, on our girls cruise to the Bahamas last spring, was our favorite!  We spent the entire day at Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay.  The weather was once again gorgeous with sunny clear skies and a pleasant breeze.  We woke that morning, ate another yummy breakfast on the outside deck, and then made our way down to catch the ferry boat over to Great Stirrup Cay.

Looking off the outside deck towards Great Stirrup Cay in the distance.

Catching the ferry boat over to Great Stirrup Cay...

Our first glimpses as we approached Great Stirrup Cay.  They had a large blow up water slide, natural tide pools, white sandy beaches, paddle boards, inner tubes, and other water gear to rent, and a ton of cute shops and restaurants.

Parasailing in the distance and the giant blow up water slide

After the chaos and noise of Nassau, we were ecstatic to set foot on Great Stirrup Cay!  We loved all the pops of color from the different shops and signs.  Wendy needed to find a swim coverup, so we decided to shop first before setting up on the beach.

There were so many fun clothes, bags, and souvenirs to sift through.  There was also a spot for hair braiding.  I thought the signs were pretty funny for that...seriously... $80-$100 for braids!?

After shopping for a little while, we made our way to the beach and found it pretty packed so we took our time exploring the tide pools on our way to the other side of the island.  

The girls found lots of fun little creatures living within the tide pools.  I loved looking out at that gorgeous water!

Views looking out at another Norwegian cruise ship and all the people on paddle boards, kayaks, and floats.

Exploring tide pools...

Where we ended up setting camp...
We knew we were going to be in the water the whole time, so we found a nice rocky wall to rest our bags.  When we went back for water, we found a large curious crab crawling on our bags.  Good thing they were zipped shut!

I was so glad I remembered to bring my GoPro for all the water pictures!  We had SO much fun swimming for hours, goofing off for the camera, and even rented a paddle board to try.

Here are just a FEW of our pictures while swimming at Great Stirrup Cay...

Group shot
Kimberly, Aubrey, Me, and Wendy
Isn't that water to die for??

Goofing off for the camera...
Aubrey and Wendy tried some fun synchronized water moves...

More silly underwater poses...

Just a few of the gorgeous fish we saw.
I was so sad we had all forgotten our snorkel gear!  It would have been awesome to snorkel out in the deeper waters.

We rented a standup paddle board and each took turns riding on it.  Aubrey had had lots of experience on paddle boards from when she lived in the Cayman Islands and Key West.  She even showed off some of her yoga paddle board poses!  Yeah she pretty much rocked it and had others looking on clapping along with us for her different poses.  I still can't get over how gorgeous that water was!

Aubrey's headstand progression...

Wendy's turn on the paddle board.
It was her first time and she did GREAT!

Kimberly rocked it on the paddle board as well!
I gave her the GoPro to snap some pics while she was riding on it and they turned out amazing!

As Kimberly floated by us, she snapped some pics.  I loved the different point of view from the camera.

Easily my favorite shot from our trip!
Kimberly captured this as she floated by.  I love how you can see her shadow on the paddle board so she is still part of the shot.  It took Aubrey, Wendy, and I a few minutes to get into position, but I love how it turned out!

After several hours of shopping, swimming, and paddle boarding, we were finally ready to return to the ship.  We captured just a few more pics as we said goodbye to the gorgeous Great Stirrup Cay.

That night we decided we wanted to dress up fancy for dinner.  It was so much fun all getting ready together!  I don't have any sisters, so it was so much fun experiencing what it would have been like all sharing one mirror and outlet.  We had a blast, with Aubrey curling and braiding each of our hair.  It was so interesting to see how close I felt to each of these girls by day three, especially since I had just barely met Wendy and I hadn't spent too much time with Kimberly before the cruise either.  They are each such amazing women, with some of the most interesting and incredible life experiences.  We truly became great friends on this cruise.

All dolled up, ready for dinner...
We spent that night eating, dancing, exploring the ship, and yes...talking for hours.
The next morning we woke for one more amazing breakfast before debarking Norwegian Sky and returning to reality.  It was such an incredible experience with these girls.  I loved getting to know them better and creating lasting friendships.
It truly was an amazing girls cruise!

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