I love to travel. I studied aboard in Italy, traveled throughout Europe, and even spent time in Thailand teaching English. Still to this day, the one thing that makes me anxious when traveling is flying. From getting stuck in traffic on my way to the airport, mentally preparing what I am going to take out of my suitcase if it's over the weigh limit, staring at the flight board hoping there won't be any delays, thinking about who I am going to be sitting next to on the plane, and the list goes on and on.

This winter I wanted escape from NYC but did not want to deal with the stress of the airport and flying. Since I have already been on a Norwegian Cruise, I knew that going on another would be a stress free and amazing time! Norwegian Cruise Line has ships that leave right here from New York City. The Manhattan Cruise Terminal is so easy to get to, and once we arrived the whole on boarding process only took about 30 minutes. When you arrive at the cruise terminal you literally hand off your luggage to the workers, go through security, check in, and then you are ready to start your vacation!

My trip on the Norwegian Escape was an 8 day cruise that stopped at Florida, the Bahamas, and NCL's own private island- Great Stirrup Cay. While on board, I stayed in a beautiful balcony room and NCL was kind enough to leave chocolate covered strawberries and champagne for my arrival. While people typically think about cruise ships having small rooms, I thought there was plenty of room for two people, and the bathroom and shower were also plus size friendly.

The view of Great Stirrup Cay from our balcony.

While on board there were so many activities, shows, and things to do that there was never a dull moment. From comedy shows, trivia games, a bowling alley, beer and liquor tastings, or contest by the pool there, was always something to do. The Norwegian Escape has over 10 speciality dining options, 14 bars & lounges, a spa, and on board shopping. I definitely took advantage of my unlimited drink package at their Sugarcane Mojito Bar, and The District Brew House which has over 50 different bottled beers, and 24 beers on tap! While there was plenty of excursions to do once the ship docked at Florida and the Bahamas, my boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of the empty pools and hot tubs on the ship which was a win in my book!

During my trip the Norwegian Cruise Line staff went above and beyond to make sure that I had everything I needed, and that I was enjoying my stay. From decorating my room for my anniversary, invitations to VIP events, dinner with the captain, and complimentary dinners at speciality restaurants, I could have not asked for a better experience. While all of the dining options are great, my favorite restaurant had to be the Food Republic that served global fusion food.

If you are from the NYC area and are looking for a great escape out of the city, I highly recommend booking a Norwegian Cruise. Not only is the the on boarding process so stress free, but once you are on the ship you have everything you need to have a wonderful vacation. From the entertainment, dining options, relaxing spa packages they have available, pool and hot tubs all around the ship, I can promise you that you will not want to get off once you arrive back to New York. This was my second Norwegian Cruise, and I am already planning my next trip with my whole family!

Captain's Dinner at The Haven Pool & Spa

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