Category Archives: Drink!

Bahamas Cruisin’

This past week I had the awesome, and somewhat unexpected, chance to go on a cruise to the Bahamas for my and my best friend’s birthday. We’re about a week apart so we tend to cluster our birthdays together to make the most of it.

We left out of Port Canaveral, Florida and boarded Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas. My friend, Drew, and I shared a room while the two couples we were with shared rooms as well. There was 6 of us and we were excited for what was to come.

Now, I’ve cruised before but on Carnival and I feel like the experience was completely different. When I cruised with Carnival, I left out of Tampa and went to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. I also had gone with my best friend and we were much more focused on excursions and seeing as much as possible.

This time, not so much. We had booked the cruise about 3 weeks before departure date so our budgets were a little limited and we were more focused on drinking.

Royal Caribbean offers an amazing deal where you pay one solid price at the beginning of the cruise and you can drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) as much as your heart desires. We opted for the Premium Package which cost us about $239 for a 4 night cruise. When you think about it, each drink normally costs about $10-15, so in order for the package to pay for itself you needed to drink 15-18 drinks over the course of 5 days which is 3 a day. That’s child’s play.

Needless to say, we drank our share of the package within the first 48 hours.

Drew and I stayed in a Large Oceanview Stateroom and we were on the 3rd floor near the front of the ship. The room itself was awesome, a King sized bed, desk and couch, and the bathroom was a decent size.

I would recommend staying near the center of the ship if possible, though. The anchor noise woke us up every time it was deployed and sometimes the rocking of the boat could be felt a bit more than we would have liked.

Nassau

Our first stop was Nassau which was beautiful. It was like any other port city with it’s bustling stores, taxi drivers who swear they’re the best priced, cruisers who are a bit too sunburnt from their day at sea and loud beach bars.

We stopped in Senor Frogs and stayed there for a few hours but quickly realized that there was “free” alcohol on the ship and made our way back for a couple hours.

This particular sailing we were scheduled to be in Nassau from 8am until Midnight so we had more than ample time to explore.

After a few drinks, I decided I wanted to see more than just the port city and since it was only 2pm, I decided to strike out on my own and take a scooter ride around the city. I was offered an awesome deal with a man named Charles who was missing at least 6 teeth but was as harmless as a gnat.

I paid $10 for a two hour ride around Nassau and saw everything from the Atlantis-style mega resort at the end of the island to the lesser known ghettos surrounding the outskirts of the city. Charles made sure to point out every single man that could sell us pot. Although it’s not my thing, it was funny to hear him say “There’s soandso, he get you a good deal. Let’s roll up, sweetie” at least 7 times.

I tipped him a few bucks and made my way back to the boat since I hadn’t seen any of my friends in a few hours. I met back up with Drew and we proceeded to drink the day away on the much less crowded pool deck.

After dinner, our group of 6 went back out to Senor Frogs for one last hurrah before the boat set sail.

Cococay

The next day was Cococay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas. It’s a tendered port, so you have to get onto another boat to get to the island but it’s only a 5 minute ride either way.

Once on the island, your drink and food packages still apply which is so incredibly convenient, so no having to worry about extra cash.

The island itself has so many things to do and so many places to escape the mass amounts of people that constantly surround you. I HIGHLY recommend going to Barefoot Beach, it’s a little out of the way but there is absolutely no one there and the bar is usually empty, so drinks come out pretty damn quick. If you’re looking for a little solitude, Barefoot Beach is the way to go.

Back on the boat, it’s a ghost town when you’re docked at Cococay because a majority of people are laying out on the beach or on an excursion. Although a lot of the bars were closed because the workers have to go to the island, it’s still a nice time to get away from people and just relax.

The last night on the boat we went to the Viking Crown Lounge where we were surrounded by all of the friends we had made over the past week. It was a nice last farewell and great to meet so many different people from all walks of life.

I had such an amazing time and I would do it again in a heartbeat, in fact, I think I might start planning another one now ;).

The Best Places To Grab A Drink In Derry, Ireland

When one thinks of Ireland, they think of rolling green hills, beautiful music and drinking. Whether your poison be whiskey or a pint of your favorite brew; Ireland satisfies all. Derry, Ireland isn’t on the top of everyone’s must see list but it’s on mine.

It’s charm and appeal is second to its numerous options for drinks. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite places and why;

Paedar O’Donnell’s

paedar

This was hands down my favorite spot and I went here at least three times a week. There is a full band every night that plays traditional Irish music and is adorned in flags from all over the world. It’s rustic oak pillars and line of Guinness’ waited to be topped off is a helpful and unnecessary reminder of where you are. You can expect to pay 3 Pounds for a pint of your choice and about 4 or 5 for mixed drinks. If you are going to go anywhere in Derry, go here.

Bound for Boston

For those who like to listen to live music while getting their drink on, this is the place to go. They have live bands every night playing everything from covers to original music by start up bands. Bound for Boston has an extensive selection of beer and the bartenders are more than willing to help you out. The atmosphere is laid back and the crowd is a younger bunch but it also has booths on either side offering a little more privacy if you’d rather enjoy your music alone.

Tinney’s

Tinney’s will always hold a special place in my heart solely for the music. If you love Irish music or just want to hear a collection of locals playing the music they grew up hearing, come to Tinney’s on Tuesdays. The bar is downstairs and has a normal selection of beers and spirits with TV’s playing the football matches on repeat but head upstairs for the music. Starting at 7 they play music for a couple hours and if you’re lucky, other tourists will join in with songs from their country. I had the opportunity to hear a Japanese folk song, a Spanish lullaby and a Kenyan chant. Absolutely incredible.

Ice Wharf

icewharf

The Ice Wharf is where I went for a majority of my meals in Ireland; they were inexpensive,  had great food, and even better beer. You could get a hamburger and fries with a pint of Guinness for 3.99. Can’t beat it. They offer a wide selection of foods from the typical meat and potatoes and potatoes and more potatoes that so customary in Ireland to chicken tikka pizza. All of their meals are affordable and the drinks are the same. You can get fish bowls full of liquor for under $10 and pints for under $3.

On a final note, there isn’t really a bad place to get a drink in Ireland. The people are extremely friendly so when in doubt, ask a local.