Walker Stalker Cruise 2017

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Are you a fan of the AMC’s hit tv show The Walking Dead? This past Feb 3rd through 6th, Sixthman put together the Walker Stalker Cruise 2017 event aboard the Norwegian Pearl. The cruise consisted of 3 awesome days filled with celebrity panels with The Walking Dead stars, autograph/selfie sessions, professional photos, poolside events, vocal performances, live pod cast and more.

Walker Stalker Cruise 2017

Walker Stalker Cruise 2017 had 9 cast members along with producer/director Greg Nicotero and Mr. Walker Stalker, James Frazier on board. The cast roster consisted of Ross Marquand (Aaron), Katelyn Nacon (Enid), Chandler Riggs (Carl aka Coral), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Michael Traynor (Nicholas), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Tom Payne (Jesus) and Michael Cudlitz (Abraham).

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My wife and I were able to meet several of the stars throughout the different events and even casually walking around the ship. The highlights for us was meeting Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus. We also got a chance to meet Chandler Riggs and Alanna Masterson. I must admit, the whole group are great people overall. They were all a pleasure to meet and have conversations with, down to earth people, big kudos to them all.

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In addition to the professional photo session we had with Norman Reedus we later attended an autograph/selfie session. We scored an autographed on an awesome photo of Daryl riding his motorcycle with walkers behind him as well as a GoPro selfie. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was signing autographs right behind us as well. He photo bombed the occasional guest as well, we weren’t that lucky.

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I was pleasantly surprised to find out that outside of The Walking Dead, Katelyn Nacon (Enid) is also a very talented musician. Yes, this is old news for most fans…. but it was new to me. She graced the passengers with 2 sessions of her singing performance. Katelyn performed some of her original work along with a few of her favorite cover songs including Creep by Radiohead (which happens to be a song I really like).

In between Katelyn’s performances we stopped by the theater to sit in on the live Walker Stalker podcast featuring Alanna Masterson with host James Frazier. Stay tuned, the podcast recorded on-board should be live on the Walker Stalker website soon enough.

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The evening events consisted of celebrity panels on the pool deck along with dead and undead costume contest. There were tons of great costumes but amongst the favorites were Rick, Daryl and Maggie. Needless to say, Rick was the eventual champion.

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The panels were lots of fun. As a fan I was able to see more of a personal side to actors/actresses. The cast members are all funny and witty in their own ways. Aside from questions from the on stage host(s) the fans were able to ask questions of their own. No worries, no spoilers here… everyone was really good at being evasive with spoilers (as they should be).

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Aside from the on board activities, the weekend had one destination which was Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. The island is privately owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. On the island NCL had a great lunch spread prepared for all the guest. Had everything from barbecue ribs to jerk chicken with rice and peas, my favorite. Sixthman put together fun events on the island such as flag football and flip cup.

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All in all the Walker Stalker Cruise 2017 was nothing less than awesome. I had an amazing time with my wife and friends. We look forward to the next Walker Stalker event.

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Caribbean Princess – Grand Cayman & Jamaica Cruise

Caribbean Princess - Grand CaymanDo you enjoy cruising vacations? I certainly do! I recently went cruising with my wife (no kids) aboard Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess. This vacation consisted of 5 days with Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica in the itinerary. I also had the pleasure of sharing this vacation with some good friends, we were a party of 8.

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After a day and a half at sea we made it to our first destination of beautiful Grand Cayman. We had an 11:30AM excursion scheduled so we walked the town visiting shops. We checked out local outdoor merchants as well as major flagship stores. One of the cool stores we visited was a Guy Harvey shop and gallery. There were lots of beautiful original and replica paintings by the legend himself.

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After picking up a few items we looked around for something to snack on before heading to our fun excursion. My wife spotted a hole in the wall food place, I have to admit the free Wi-Fi sealed the deal. I didn’t expect much but I was pleasantly surprised. The placed was named “The Caribbean Kitchen”, it consisted of a tiny kitchen with some outdoor seating under a canopy. My wife had the mango chicken wrap and I ordered jerk chicken spring rolls. The wrap was flavorful and tasty but the jerk rolls were out of this world! I don’t brag about food much but I would travel to Grand Cayman just for these rolls. By far the best combination of sweet, spicy and flaky from the roll that I’ve ever had. Pair that up with the homemade jerk mayo and you have a delicious meal.

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We took an excursion tour with the Emerald Eyes crew that took us to Stingray City and then snorkeling on the reef. If you’ve never swam with stingrays, this is a must. The stingrays encountered on this tour are completely wild, which adds to the excitement. Stingrays are generally not aggressive, their barbs are used as defense not for attacking prey or humans. They were gentle creatures indeed, we were able to hold them and gently rub their underside (not mouth).

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The second half of the tour consisted of snorkeling at the reef. Here we anchored at about 10 to 15 feet of water just before the reef. We were able to snorkel the local reef looking for tropical fish. At first I didn’t see much but as I looked closer I noticed the fish were camouflaged perfectly against the coral reef. Had a great time on the Emerald Eyes tour, I would definitely recommend them if you’re in Grand Cayman looking for something fun to do.

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After a day of fun in Grand Cayman we set sail and headed for Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We immediately hopped on a van on a private tour. We were scheduled for zip lining at H’evans Scent in St. Ann, Jamaica followed by a climb up the popular Dunn’s River Falls. The zip lining experience was better than expected. The location is 2000 feet above sea level so you have an amazing birds eye view the whole time. H’evans Scent is a private zip lining location where you will be sure to skip the crowds and have an amazing personalized experienced with friendly and safety oriented staff. There is a total of 4 zips and 1 giant screamer swing to experience. Check out the video below, you be the judge.

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The second half of our tour was water fun at Dunn’s River Falls. Here you climb up a beautifully staggered 600 foot waterfall. If you love cold water (I do!), then you will love these falls. The falls are a huge tourist attraction and you have the option of climbing along with a guided tour full of chants, photographs and assisted climbing. I climbed as a duo with my wife, helping each others safely maneuver up the falls. I must admit, I did have a few slips here and there. Overall the falls was a fun climb, took us about 40 minutes up. We did stop many times for photographs as well.

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As with all vacations, unfortunately this one had to come to an end as well. After all the fun in the islands we set sail for home. Our last day at sea consisted of lots of relaxing followed by a night of events on the ship. Overall we had a great time and were able to experience another cruise ship aboard the Caribbean Princess. Stay tuned for the next adventure!

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Norwegian Getaway – Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2014 – Part 2

Disclosure:  All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.

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Continued from part 1.

After spending two days at sea aboard the Norwegian Getaway and one day in St. Maarten (St. Martin) we had two ports remaining. We set sail to our next destination with only one day at sea between us the next island. Our itinerary still consisted of two more destinations, St. Thomas and Nassau, Bahamas.

We arrived at St. Thomas early morning and immediately disembarked ready for our next adventure. Instead of doing the traditional shore excursions the cruise offers, we had already researched the location we wanted to visit and headed straight for a taxi cab. The kids loved the cab ride because it looked like a safari style truck with passengers sitting in the open. We headed to Magens Bay, a beach that has been listed as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world by National Geographic Magazine. There was no way we were going to miss the opportunity to visit it!

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The kids loved being in the ocean throughout the trip. They love swimming and playing in the sand no matter where they go. Magens Bay was great for them since the beach is in a hidden bay with crystal clear calm waters. I didn’t have to worry about them being dragged away by a rough surf. I knew ahead of time that this beach was not known for snorkeling, but who cares! I still snorkeled for fun and had a great time as well. One of Christian’s favorite things to do is search for cool shells and stones in the surf. He found what we believe to be a shark tooth in the sand which made his day!

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As with the previous island, we setup beach time and shopping time. We packed it up, rinsed in the showers and threw on a dry set of clothing. We head back into town to head up to the famous St. Thomas Sky Ride to see the island from up above. Here you take a gondola ride up the mountain to Paradise Point where you will be 700 feet above sea level. There are small shops and a restaurant overlooking the amazing scenery. After hanging out on top of the mountain we head back down for some shopping in town before heading back to our ship.

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Once aboard the fun continued with a day at sea. On our day at sea the kids continued to enjoy the Nickelodeon pool area along with the water slides. We made sure the kids had lots of fun. We planned meet and greets with SpongeBob and Patrick along with family fun night where they were able to play games and win prizes.

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Our final destination of Nassau, Bahamas came rather quick. It was hard to believe but the vacation was coming to an end.  The morning we arrived in the Bahamas we made our way to the highest deck’s observatory to watch as the Captain maneuvered the ship onto port. One of the most sought after excursions here is the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. We decided not go there although we wanted to since rain was in the forecast. We opted for a relaxed day walking around and did some shopping instead. We shopped around for souvenirs for the kids as well as my favorite alcoholic beverage, Don Ricardo Coconut Rum. The rum is probably my favorite part of the Bahamas being that it is exclusively found there and not sold in the states. If you ever get a chance to try it you will see why I love it.

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On our last night we had an early dinner and quickly set to try to make as many events as we could. The first thing we did was a kids party where they made cup cakes with tons of sugary toppings. Christian later had a pajama jam party at Splash Academy with his new friends. Mommy and daddy did some shopping with our little princess as well. The ship has wonderful duty free shops where you can purchase everything from electronics, clothing, liquor and jewelry at discount prices. My wife had a necklace in mind while I wanted a Bulova watch I had spotted on my first visit to the store. Needless to say I made my wife that night and I didn’t stay far behind. Later on that night we went to the farewell show where the entire crew of the Getaway gets on stage for a final goodbye. I followed up with a visit to the SVEDKA Ice Bar, a bar inside of a freezer with everything made of ice. That was a very cool experience for a night cap.

Our experience on an NCL ship was very pleasant overall. It is a great ship for families and will sure pack enough action for kids and adults alike. As always, we look forward to our next vacation.

 

 

 

 

Norwegian Getaway – Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2014 – Part 1

Disclosure:  All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.

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Cruising has become one of my favorite styles of vacations to take. As a family we have been fortunate to go on three cruise vacations to date. This past Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Getaway was our first time traveling as a family of four. Previous to that we only had our son so its been a few years.

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The vacation began immediately after boarding the ship. Starting off with a sail away party then heading off with the kids to explore the on board activities. The ship had rock climbing, pirate mini golf, ropes course, pools, water slides, basketball courts, kids slides, trampolines and arcades. That is truly a kids paradise alone!

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As a parent I was filled with joy to see how much my kids were enjoying the vacation from the very start. They eagerly participated in each of the “fun zones” the ship had to offer as well as the Nickelodeon sponsored events. They were able to hang out with Dora, SpongeBob and Patrick! One of the coolest things for me was seeing my 6 year old son do the rock climbing in a haste then having his 2 year old sister follow him up the wall. She was super excited to gear up and head for the wall, after about 2-3 feet up she said “I’m done” and let go so that she can rappel down.

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Previous to sailing with Norwegian, both of our previous cruises were aboard the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. This ship holds about 10% of the passenger capacity that the Norwegian Getaway holds but is a completely different experience. Regent is known for their luxury cruise experience which is more intimate and the service is amazing. On the other hand our current cruise catered to a general crowd with many activities geared towards children and families. In reality this would be comparing apples to oranges as they both provide a unique experience.

St. Maarten (Dutch) – St. Martin (French)
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After two days at sea we arrived at our first destination which was the beautiful island of St. Maarten. Being our second time visiting the island we immediately hopped on a cab and went to the French side of the island to Orient Beach. The island has a Dutch and French side. Having a limited of time on the island we hung out for a couple hours at the beach then head back to the Dutch side for some shopping. The kids were drained from the fun in the sun they had, they fell asleep while riding back into town (holding hands, how cute!). To be honest, I was more excited to head to town for shopping as odd as that might sound coming from a guy!

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If you’re into shopping St. Maarten is the perfect place for that. From my experience this island has the lowest prices and deals than any other Caribbean island I’ve visited to date. If you ever have plans to visit this island I would recommend you plan a nice budget to allow for some shopping. Jewelry is probably the most sought after purchases to make by tourist here. They have many of the most reputable shops such as Diamonds International and Effy Jewelry. Best of all you can take advantage of Duty Free shopping and save on taxes as well as additional discounts. Aside from jewelry we had fun shopping for cool souvenir items at shops like Del Sol that sell color changing shirts and accessories and Cariloha that sell items made from bamboo. For those of you into alcoholic beverages, you will find the lowest priced spirits on this island as well as many “home made” liquors. With that being said, of course I took advantage and picked up the good home made stuff, besides, you won’t find it at your local spirits shop!We also picked up a nice Blue Opal Sterling Silver butterfly necklace that my wife fell in love with. My son had fun shopping for a pirate coin necklace along with a shark tooth.

To be continued…..