Windstar Cruise: The Treasures of Southern Spain and Morocco

Mrs. Traveling Honeymooners grandparents were celebrating a very special anniversary recently and chose to spend it with our family. After pondering what a family of thirteen people could do all together, we came up with the idea to take a Windstar cruise!

Before we get ahead of ourselves here, we are a bit of a picky crowd because we all LOVE to travel, eat good food and cruising. We have been on multiple cruises in our lifetime, on a variety of cruise lines. With that being said, we knew we wanted something really special for this trip. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner’s Aunt had been on a Windstar Cruise along the Dalmatian Coast the previous year and loved every second of it. Thats really all she talked about for about a year so the rest of us figured we needed to try out a Windstar Cruise.

Benefits of Traveling on a Windstar Cruise:

  • The ships are more like yachts and typically hold between 200-350 people or less
  • The food is fantastic
  • The service is fantastic
  • Every room is an exterior room
  • The stops are well planned and all have a lot to offer

Our Itinerary:

Click here to see our Itinerary

We also used Rosie Goldberger from Vanguard travel to help us plan our day trips and accommodations in Barcelona and Lisbon.

Our family loves history and exploring historical sites so we spent a majority of time exploring at each port.

Barcelona

To learn more about our time in Barcelona click here. We spent three days in Barcelona before setting sail on our cruise and enjoyed every minute of it.

Tarragona

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Ibiza

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Cartagena

We docked in Cartagena on Sunday so many of the restaurants and stores were closed.  However, we were able to tour a few historical sites and wonder the streets before heading back to the boat. The weather in Cartagena was beautiful and made it easy for us to explore. fullsizeoutput_97ee

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Granada

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting the Alhambra. The pictures we took do not even begin to do justice to this beautiful place. We hired a private driver and tour guide and took a day trip from port and it was one of the coolest things any of us had ever experienced. I would highly recommend hiring a driver and a tour guide if you plan on visiting the Alhambra.

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Malaga

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Tangier

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Lisbon

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We had so much fun on our cruise and would take another Windstar Cruise in a heartbeat.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO,

Traveling Honeymooners

South Beach, Miami

We have had so much going on we have not had time to post in quite a while.  My hope is to post about what we have been up to for the last few months. Until then… one of the things that has kept us preoccupied, besides traveling is that we have a baby on the way!

Baby Girl Traveler is due in February!  With our due date quickly approaching and the weather in Houston being ultra crummy as of late, we knew we needed to get away. What better place to take a baby moon than South Beach?!

We were looking for a beach, good food, and fun activities to do and Miami fit the bill perfectly. We had the BEST baby moon!

Accommodations

Metropolitan By Como

We had a difficult time choosing which hotel to stay at because there are so many options in South Beach! We ended up choosing the Como because we liked that it was located a little bit further North, which provided us with a little bit more of a chill vibe. We were not looking to party and stay up all night. The location was just far enough North that we were able to get to everything we wanted to get to in a reasonable amount of time but not be in the thick of the crowds.

The hotel itself was very nice. The hotel staff was wonderful and very accommodating. We requested a room with a balcony and partial ocean view, which is exactly what we got. The full ocean view rooms at the Como do not have balconies and were much more expensive which wasn’t worth it to us because we knew we would be spending most of our time outdoors. The rooms were comfortable and updated. The beach and pool at the Metropolitan were both great too.

 

Ours Eats

We had some of the best food during our stay in South Beach. Every single meal was delicious and every restaurant was very accommodating to Mrs. Traveling Honeymooners gluten free needs. Some of our meals were quick snacks while others were elegant and fancy.

Breakfast, Brunch & Snacks

Pura Vida
110 Washington Ave #2, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dirt
232 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Lillikoi Organic
500 South Pointe Dr #180, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Joe The Juice

1600 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139Traymore
2445 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

Lunch

Orange Blossom
2000 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dinner

Upland
49 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Spriga
1228 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Joe Stone Crab
11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Rosa Mexicano
1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dessert

Gelato-Go
458 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

Our Activities

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Boardwalk

The boardwalk is a path that runs along the beach from the southern point of South Beach, all the way to North Beach. The path is beautiful and is perfect for walking or biking. We chose to walk and bike the boardwalk multiple times during our stay.

To learn more about the boardwalk click here. 

Lincoln Road Mall

Lincoln Mall is an outdoor mall which has clothing shops, art galleries, restaurants and bars.

To learn more about Lincoln Road Mall click here.

Art Festival

Miami is full of festivals and culture. There always seems to be something fun going on. The weekend we were there, the Art Deco Street Festival was in full swing. Ocean Drive was packed with vendors and s

Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive runs along the beach and is lined with restaurants, bars and shops. We had so much fun walking up and down Ocean Drive.  In the evenings, the road is blocked off so people can walk the streets and enjoy all that South Beach has to offer.

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Overall, we had a blast in Miami and were very sad to leave! Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Traveling Honeymooners

 

 

Tips for Surviving a Long Flight

Long flights are inevitable when you have a passion for traveling, but they do not have to be uncomfortable and boring. Since we have been on many flights for various lengths of time, we have found a few things that help make the long journey a bit more enjoyable. We have compiled a list of things you can do to make the time fly by and keep your body and mind occupied during your long flight.

Walk Around 

Sitting for long periods of time is not good for our bodies in general and it is especially not good to sit for an extended length of time on an airplane. Making it a point to walk the aisles of the airplane during your long flight can help pass the time and avoid stiffness.

Exercise Before the Flight

Exercising before a flight can make a world of difference when traveling. When flying long distances, stiffness can set in which can be frustrating and lead to a lot of other health issues. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner likes to do a high intensity workout before leaving for a new city because she has a difficult time sitting still for long periods of time.

Bring a Pilates Band

A pilates band is small, flexible and a great tool to do a simple workout on the plane! If you are going to sit on a plane for an excruciatingly long time, you might as well get an arm workout in, right?!

Bring Snacks

Traveling any length of time as someone with Celiac Disease can be tricky. Airlines typically serve snacks that are loaded with gluten! Pretzels, crackers… no thank you! We like to plan ahead and pack snacks that are easy to open, that are not messy and are gluten free. Just in case we get stuck somewhere, like that time we got stuck on the runway for twelve hours straight on the way home from Arizona..more on that later…Bottom line: it is always better to be prepared.

Bring DVD Copies of your Favorite Show or Movies

If you have a computer with a DVD drive (I know this is so last year now that the cool thing for Apple to do is make computers without these crazy things) then bring DVD’s of a TV series! We have found that it is impossible to stream Netflix or any other show we like to watch on an airplane so we like to kick it oldschool and watch DVD’s while traveling. During our flight to Asia, we watched almost the entire season of Gilmore Girls in preparation for the new release of “A Year in a Life”.

Sleep

Is there a better way to pass the time than sleeping? I think not. If you want a more in depth article on when to sleep on a plane and how to beat jet lag, then click here. The point is, pack your pajamas and eye mask so you can feel comfortable enough to sleep.

Pack the Essentials in your Carryon Bag

We have not checked a bag in over four years and have traveled around the world in a carry on bag each. Yes, you read that correctly, one carry on bag each. And we normally travel for extended periods of time. So we always have our essentials with us on board but if you like packing in large suitcases, make sure to out the things you need in your carry on.

Read or Listen to a Book

We have an app called Audible, and before each flight we download a book or two so we can listen to that during the flight.

We hope these tips and tricks help you prepare for your next flight!

XOXO,

The Traveling Honeymooners

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is an island of Thailand and is known its beautiful beaches and exciting party scene.  We knew if we ever had the chance to visit Thailand, then Phuket was a place we wanted to see and experience.

We flew from Chiang Mai to Phuket and immediately felt the shift in energy. While Chiang Mai was quiet and peaceful, Phuket was energetic and filled with people ready to party and have some fun. It was a nice shift to feel after having spent four nights relaxing and rejuvenating in Chiang Mai.

Phuket’s streets are lined with markets, restaurants, bars and is home to Bangla Road, where you can find a very active nightlife scene. Bangla road is located right in the middle of Patong Beach, which is a beach resort town on the west coast of the island. If you go to Phuket, Bangla Road is definitely a site to see!

Kata Beach

After spending a few days soaking up the sun on Patong Beach we were looking for a change of pace so we decided to visit Kata Beach. Our hotel offered free shuttle ride to and from Kata so we decided to take advantage of it and explore a different part of the island. The ride from our hotel to Kata Beach was about fifteen to twenty minutes. Kata was much quieter then Patong beach and the sand seemed to be much cleaner. There was also a man renting out umbrellas and sand mats so we rented both for about $2. The water was also much clearer in Kata than it was in Patong Beach. We spent the day swimming in the ocean and relaxing. There were also many resorts near Kata beach, all of which looked very nice.

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Accommodations:

We were originally going to stay on the northern part of Phuket because it is known to be a bit more relaxing but after doing some research we decided to stay on the southern part of the island because we wanted a bit more activity and we wanted to be closer to the night life that Phuket is known for. We chose to stay in Patong Beach at the Amari Resort which is located right on the water and about a five minute walk from Bangla Road. The resort is a big and is located close enough to all of the nightlife but just far enough away from the commotion to still feel like a retreat. The pools were beautiful and overlooked the ocean. The breakfast buffet was huge, and filled with every type of food you could imagine, including many gluten free options.

Our Eats:

La Gritta

The resort has three different restaurants. We chose to eat at the Italian restaurant located on the property one evening and had a wonderful time. The food was excellent and they had plenty of gluten free options. The chef visited with us at our table and made sure to accommodate Mrs. Traveling Honeymooners gluten free needs. The best part was the views! The restaurant sits right on the edge of the bay which gives you views of the gorgeous sunset, Phuket is known for.

No. 9 on 2nd Street

Our last night in Phuket, we really wanted some yummy thai food in a casual setting.  We took a tuk tuk from our hotel to No. 9 which took about ten minutes and arrived at the small restaurant. Since the restaurant only has about fifteen tables, we had to wait a little while before we could be seated.  No. 9 had been recommended to us multiple times by fellow travelers and friends so we knew we couldn’t go wrong by trying it. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner had no issue ordering her favorite thai dish, chicken with steamed vegetables while Mr. Traveling Honeymooner loved his pad thai. If you are looking for traditional Thai food, this is the place to go!

Rustic Eatery & Bar

After eating Thai food three weeks straight, Mr. Traveling Honeymooner was craving some good Italian food. We had walked by Rustic multiple times during our stay and it looked warm and inviting so we decided to try it. I wish I had taken more pictures of the inside of the restaurant to show how cozy it was. We were seated in the back wine room where we were greeted by the chef himself. The chef walked us through the specials and offered us wine paring options for our meal. The meal was fantastic! It was the perfect Italian meal!

During our stay we also stopped by the street markets to get Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner her favorite drink, fresh coconut water. In Thailand, they serve the coconut whole, and cut it open when you purchase it and it is delicious!!!

Overall, we had a blast in Phuket. We just wish we had more time to spend exploring all of the small islands off the coast of Thailand!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO,

The Traveling Honeymooners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beating Jet Lag

Here at TravelingHoneymooners.com we have a very short list of things we do not like about traveling, but jet lag is definitely on that list! Missing our dogs are also on that list but more on that later…

There is nothing worse than getting to your destination and feeling exhausted, especially if you have limited time at said destination. So here are some tips and tricks to help you beat the jet lag and help you maximize your vacation time.

In the weeks leading up to your flight, start to notice your bedtime rituals. What do you do in the hour before you go to bed? Do you brush your teeth (let’s hope so), dim the lights, brush your hair, put on lotion, read a book, change into comfy clothes or drink tea? Start to notice your bedtime routine. If you are someone who just gets home and falls asleep anywhere and doesn’t have any sleep hygiene, then you should probably make an appointment with Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner at her office in Houston so you can restore healthy sleeping patterns; yes, Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner is a psychotherapist and sleep hygiene is something she is very passionate about. Anyhow…once you start to notice your evening patterns, jot them down or remember them for your next flight. Keeping your evening routine, even while traveling and on a plane, is a sure-fire way to make sure you get quality sleep.

Plan ahead and make sure you pack things in your carry on that make you feel comfortable. Whether it is a neck pillow, eye cover, ear plugs, an extra sweater, your pajamas, etc; pack it. Leave the tight, restricting jeans and your high heels in your luggage or at home. Whatever will help you endure your long flight, pack it and have it handy when it comes time to wind down.

When you book your flight, take into account your flight time in relation to the time at your destination. For example, if you live in Houston and are traveling to Southeast Asia, it is probably best to take an evening flight because you will want to sleep the first leg of your trip because Asia is thirteen hours ahead of Houston. Vise versa if you are traveling from Southeast Asia to Houston. While this may not always be possible, it is good to keep in mind when booking flights.

Lastly, the second you sit down in your seat on the airplane, set your watch to the time it is at your destination. This will help you get acclimated to your new time zone and let you know when to sleep and when to stay awake.

We hope these tips help you beat the jet lag and maximize your trip!

XOXO

The Traveling Honeymooners