Have you ever had that pinch-me-moment where you didn’t even quite know what to think? Yep, that’s pretty much how we felt the entire 7-day cruise through the Caribbean and why I’m sharing 5 amazing reasons to cruise on Holland America Cruises with O, The Oprah Magazine.
Holland America Cruises and Oprah Magazine
“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah
As a mom, I want to raise my kids to see life as a grand adventure. To look for the beauty in what I call the in-between, the mundane, the ordinary. Knowing that as we do this, the days will blossom in front of us.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t rocky paths or mountains to climb; it just means we can appreciate the views on the way, and then are EVEN MORE grateful when the big moments happen as well.
The feeling you get when you receive an email congratulating you on being chosen, out of thousands of applicants, as an O Mag Insider for O, The Oprah Magazine You guys… O-P-R-A-H!!!! I cannot even begin to express my excitement & gratitude. And then… when you’re invited on one of their 7-day cruises WITH your husband to celebrate, O, The Oprah Magazine Style. I mean, talk about a MORE moment.
“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. “– Oprah Winfrey
Create New Friendships on Holland America Cruises
I think that the nature of cruises can definitely lend itself to creating new friendships and relationships on board. With so many cruises boarding the ship, ready to live their best lives and open to new things, it truly takes this to a whole new level.
We started our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam with some acquaintances, but we left as life-long friends, and there is truly nothing like it!
Awesome Entertainment, Excursions, and Disembarkments
Holland America Cruises offer lots of opportunities for great musical entertainment including blues, jazz, pop, classical, and rock. For a fun post-dinner drink and live music, you can meander the open ‘Music Walk’ that runs nearly the entire length of the ship and you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy.
Each night we enjoyed the great entertainment on the Main Stage. There were amazing performances including concerts, musicals, illusionists, and comedians.
For excursions, we stopped in Half Moon Cay, a long crescent beach of soft white sand and vast shallows that give the shoreline a gorgeous aqua color. There are lots of excursions and activities available, but we chose swimming with stingrays. It was an exciting experience and would be a perfect activity for Holland America family cruises.
During another dis-embarkment, we loved exploring San Juan, Puerto Rico. Particularly Old San Juan town where you can stroll down narrow cobblestone paths lined with pastel-colored colonial townhouses. There are forts that date back to the 1500s which were fun to investigate with my husband.
We also enjoyed the beach in St. Thomas and tried Stand Up Paddleboarding for the first time! All of the equipment and a quick lesson was included for the moderate fee. It was amazingly beautiful while navigating the pristine waters along the rocky shore, and seeing the nesting birds with marine life. It felt good to do a little activity after indulging in all of the delicious Holland America Cruises food.
Great Dining On Holland America Cruises
I enjoyed starting my morning with pastries and a latte in the scenic Crow’s Nest lounge. It had plenty of comfortable seating and lots of board games. It made me miss the kids since this would be the perfect place to gather for Holland America family cruises and just chill together.
The Nieuw Amsterdam, and really, all Holland America Cruises, take cruise dining up a notch with a variety of culinary experiences. In fact, fleetwide Holland America Cruises has a Culinary Council of seven accomplished chefs who develop and influence onboard menus with an emphasis on quality. With everything from a burger and fries by the Lido pool to the Pan-Asian flavors of Tamarind to the ultimate in refined and luxurious dining at Pinnacle Grill and more, there is a great meal waiting around every corner.
Our personal favorites were an upscale date-night meal at the Pinnacle Grill and the delicious and filling flavors at Tamarind (I probably could have eaten there every night!). Both are fee dining options, but at $35 you could easily spend more at a restaurant in the port… and this meal was totally #worthit!
For Pinnacle Grill, begin with one of nine delicious starters such as lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, steak tartare, Caesar salad, or Dungeness crab cakes. And if that doesn’t wet your appetite maybe New York strip, ribeye, or filet mignon will. I love seafood so the salmon, halibut, and king crab legs had me happy as could be.
And you know how I love dessert, so I have to recommend the “Not-So-Classic Baked Alaska.” Yum-o!
Pinch Me Moments During the Oprah Magazine Events
O, The Oprah Magazine partnership with Holland Ameria cruises means that each sailing is packed with carefully curated O-inspired programming.
Can you imagine starting your day with Oprah powered yoga? Just Breathe was a motivating start to the inspirational activities on board.
If you are a regular reader, you already know how much I love makeup. So you know I was in seventh heaven during the Beauty Talks with O, the Oprah Magazine beauty editor Brian Underwood. He talked about the new “mood board” feature in the magazine that will highlight all of the best new beauty products. I LOVED it!
O’s Reading Room discussion with O, the Oprah Magazine book editor Leigh Haber was fabulous. Due to overwhelming popularity, the O’s Reading Room can be found on all of the Holland America Cruises. It gives passengers the opportunity to read the latest book club selection and participate in discussions while on board.
How fun is that?!
I had the pleasure of enjoying workshops with the author of “A Tribe Called Bliss,” Lori Harder and motivational speaker Mastin Kipp. Harder has empowered thousands to transform their bodies, gain financial independence, and fall in love with themselves and their lives.
Some of you may not know that being a Life Coach is one of my passions. I love empowering women, guiding boss moms, and inspiring others to find a happier self. I was thrilled to listen to Mastin Kipp an author, renowned public speaker and the creator of Functional Life Coaching™. His innovative new method for high performance helps identify and resolve emotional blocks that prevent us from living our best lives.
Can I just say that this O-mazing cruise was a bucket list item for us? Something else that is on our bucket list – a family Disney Cruise! I’ve been browsing fellow O-Mag Insider Global Munchin’s blog all about cruises and have been devouring this about just how much a Disney cruise costs, so we can save up!
Fun is Awaiting You on Nieuw Amsterdam
The partnership with O Magazine has taken Holland America Cruises to a new level. In fact, Holland America Cruises are more than just a trip from one place to another. It’s a journey of the mind and spirit. With the meditation, book clubs, and workshops you can literally disembark as a better person than when you started.
Holland America Cruises has truly opened my eyes to what family cruises can be. It has a balance of being calm without being dull, and sophisticated without alienating families. Kids can also have fun with their families too. With beautiful surroundings and great entertainment, there are plenty of things kids will enjoy doing on the cruise. Plus there’s Club HAL. Which is a great place for kids to go and have fun while you soak in some rays by the pool.
No more needing a vacation from your vacation.
Find out more about what’s awaiting you on the Nieuw Amsterdam, and other Holland America cruises. Check out my other blog post about the Girl’s Getaway Cruise on Holland America Nieuw Statendam with Oprah and of course (coming soon!!), find lots of fun travel pictures on my Instagram.