Archive for October, 2012

Day 7 of the Blake Shelton Cruise

October 21, 2012

On Saturday, Oct 20th, the Norwegian Pearl (home of the Blake Shelton Cruise) arrived in Nassau about 8:30 a.m.

My friend Nancy (aka @kidtravel) and I took the $8.00 round trip water taxi to the Atlantis to enjoy a day at the Atlantis Aquaventure.

We left the ship at 10:30 a.m. and arrived at about 11:00 a.m. Then a huge rain shower hit!

The Aquaventure package ($129.00) includes the Discover Atlantis tour, access to beaches and waterpark including slides, pools, river rapids and private lagoons.

Due to the rain, we took shelter in the “Dig” which is the home of one of the most incredible aquariums in the world. Pictures (and videos) cannot due the aquarium justice.

After touring the Dig, we stepped outside and the rain had stopped (for about 10 minutes).

Then the rain hit again. Then it stopped. Then it started again.

This happened about 10 times until finally the rain stopped for good!

The first water adventure I chose was the “lazy river” so I thought.

Yeah, at first a relaxing tube ride, but after one of the corners, a huge wave came from behind  my back and pushed a group of us down the river.

I also enjoyed a couple of the water slides. Talk about taking your breath away!

Due to the ship leaving at 5:30 p.m., we headed back to the ship around 4 p.m.

Before boarding the ship, I wanted to jump on the internet.

If you are looking for free wi-fi while in port in Nassau, be sure to log on to “Festival Place” which is the large building as you walk from the ships into town (can’t miss it!)

There are many small shops inside the building and the items make for great gifts for those back home!

Be sure to check out my YouTube videos from the Blake Shelton Cruise here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDJ_pvtPNs8

More details to come!

Scott

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Day 6 of the Blake Shelton Cruise (Day at Sea)

October 19, 2012

Day 6 of the Blake Shelton Cruise is a sea day enroute to Nassau.

Yesterday Trace Adkins joined the cruise from Tortola, BVI.

There will be a Q and A session poolside today at 2:00 p.m. with Neal McCoy and Trace. (I will post that video on Monday).

Tonight the 7:00 p.m. show in the main theater will star Easton Corbin and the 10:00 p.m. show will star Trace Adkins

I did confirm with Flying Dutchman Travel that we did have to replenish the supply of beer in St Thomas! Seems like quite a bit of alcohol has been consumed on this cruise!

Oh, it was confirmed today that there WILL be another country cruise next year! Details are yet to be confirmed, but Flying Dutchman has asked the folks on the cruise if they want to put down a $50 fully refundable deposit, that they will be first in line to book the cruise in 2013.

Be sure to click on the YouTube link to the right for the videos I have posted from the Blake Shelton Cruise.

It’s been an incredible cruise so far and I’m looking forward to the day at sea!

Scott Lara @scottlara1961 on Twitter

Day 5 (Blake Shelton Cruise) Tortola, BVI

October 18, 2012

I woke up the morning around 6 a.m. Took a short walk to the stern of the ship (back of the ship) and had breakfast at the Great Outdoors restaurant. I met a young man from Boston Mass who told me his wife bought him tickets to the Blake Shelton cruise last Christmas. He said he and his wife have sailed NCL many times and really enjoy it.

From the YouTube videos I’ve watched on Tortola, I wasn’t even planning on getting off the ship, but I’m glad I did. The people are VERY friendly and don’t bother you like some vendors do in other ports.

I asked where I could find free wif-fi and one of the locals directed me to the Village Cay Hotel and Marina. It’s only about a 7 minute walk from the pier.

The Blake Shelton Cruise has been great so far. I went to the Neal McCoy show last night and he really knows how to engage a crowd. Neal is very friendly to his fans and is a genuine guy. You can follow him on Twitter @NealMcCoy.

Here is my video of Blake Shelton doing the Q and A up on the pool deck a couple days ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDJ_pvtPNs8

Tomorrow is an at sea day, then on Saturday we will be in Nassau.

Scott Lara  @scottlara1961 on Twitter

Blake Shelton Cruise (Day 4) in St Thomas

October 17, 2012

Oh buddy, it’s HOT in St Thomas today (Oct 17th, 2012)

Weather.com says it’s 84, but with the heat index is feels like 95 degrees.

Blake Shelton left the ship when we docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He said he had to fly back to LA to tape season 4 of, “The Voice”.

The party continued Tuesday night with Lee Brice in concert.

I haven’t sailed on NCL since Oct of 2001 on an 11 day Hawaii cruise. I have to say I prefer the traditional dining on Holland America Line, but having dinner when you want is also a good option.

On Tuesday night I ate at the Indigo (smaller of the two free restaurants). I ordered the ribeye steak and I have to say I was disappointed in the quality of the meat.

The service was not great even though the restaurant wasn’t full by any means at around 5:30 p.m.

I highly recommend theme cruises. So many people with the same passion all at the same place!

The Blake Shelton (and friends) cruise has been a memorable experience. Folks from Alaska and Norway traveled many miles for this event on the ocean.

Click on the link on the right for my YouTube videos of the Blake Shelton cruise.

Special thanks to Senor Frogs here in St. Thomas for the free wi-fi (and shots).

Also, shouts to my friend @CruiseMan3000 on Twitter, a true brand ambassador for NCL.

Scott Lara

Follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961

Blake Shelton Cruise Day 3 (San Juan)

October 16, 2012

Wow.

The Blake Shelton Cruise has been incredible. Yes, he has been drunk most of the time.

He came on deck early on the cruise and introduced former “The Voice” contestant RaeLynn and sat on stage as she performed.

Blake performed at the late show on Monday night and did the early show on Tuesday which I attended.

He interacted with the audience and wondered if so many hillbillies had ever been on a cruise before.

He said when we get to San Juan if anyone says anything about the boots and jeans for us to tell them to, “Kiss my Country Ass!”

I met Lee Brice and Neal McCoy at a VIP event last night and they were very friendly. They both appreciated the opportunity to be on the cruise with their fans.

Neal and I talked for a bit and I mentioned I served in the Navy. He thanked me for my service to our country which I deeply appreciated.

I also met newcomer McKenna Faith. She is performing on the cruise Wed night.

Be sure to check out her website at http://www.mckenna-faith.com/ and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Here is a video of Blake Shelton entering a VIP event and saying hi to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=U6XOQxe4JFE

More videos and pics to come.

Scott

Day before the Blake Shelton Cruise

October 14, 2012

I flew out of Jacksonville, Florida on Southwest Airlines Sat, Oct 13th. I’ve driven to south Florida many times, but for $80 one way (I’m riding with a friend of mine back to Jax) it sure beats a 6 hour drive.

The Jacksonville Airport is very clean, efficient and the people are friendly.

I flew to Ft Lauderdale and took the Go Shuttle from Ft Lauderdale to the Sofitel Hotel in Miami.

I was concerned I would be waiting a while, but after 30 minutes, the attendant pointed me to a Lincoln Towncar for the ride to Miami. If you choose the Towncar (private car) option, the cost is $70, but if you choose the shared-ride (van) option, the cost $21. I chose the shared-ride, however I guess the van was running late so I got the free upgrade! I rode with a couple that had been away from their home in Texas for 6 weeks. They went to Norway for a month and then they went on the Oasis of the Seas.

When I arrived at the Sofitel Hotel, I was greeted by Raul. He opened the front door, took my bags and escorted me to the front desk. He asked if I wanted a cold bottle of water. Those are the memories that make a vacation great.

The rooms at the Sofitel Hotel are incredible. Free wi-fi (if you choose the basic package), hair dryer in the bathroom, flat screen tv with a ton of channels and very soft bedding!

The restaurant is 5 star (along with the prices) but I can understand it.

The hotel has a nice fitness area and an incredible swimming pool with a huge fountain.

I’m looking forward to catching the shuttle from the Sofitel ($10.00 charge) and heading over to the Blake Shelton Cruise on the NCL Pearl at about noon.

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961 and on YouTube at slara1961.

For more details on the Sofitel Miami Hotel, here’s the link:

http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-0889-sofitel-miami/index.shtml

Peace!

Scott Lara

Blake Shelton Cruise!

October 8, 2012

I am honored to be promoting the Blake Shelton Cruise, Oct 14 through Oct 21st.

A group of incredible entertainers including Blake Shelton will be on the NCL Pearl for a week of music, food and fun.

Be sure to go www.blakesheltoncruise.com to book your cabin today and be sure to follow me @scottlara1961 for updates, pictures and commentary!