Cruise Diary: What I Wore, Part 2

Carnival Sunshine in Grand Turk

Day 3 of the cruise, and our first stop was Grand Turk! We booked the Gibbs Cay Beach & Stingray Encounter through Carnival and it wound up being my favorite experience on this trip. I did a stingray encounter in Grand Cayman on a Carnival cruise years ago, and couldn’t wait to try another one. Grand Turk was absolutely breathtaking – the water was a beautiful blue, and there’s a beach immediately in front of you when you exit the cruise ship, so you could easily lounge there all day, right off the ship.

Instead, we boarded a small boat and headed to a private island for the day: 

Gibbs Cay in Grand Turk

Absolute paradise! You can see our cruise ship in the distance, and the smaller boat we took parked on the beach. In the shallow water surrounding the boat is where we held stingrays. The dark patch to the left is where we swam out and did some snorkeling, over the reef. 

Needless to say, I was loving the view!! 

In between snorkeling and when the stingrays showed up, we climbed up the hill to take in the view and get some shots of the water surrounding the island. 

Stingray excursion in Grand Turk

Moments later a couple stingrays graced us with their presence! I wanted to be a marine biologist as a kid and my love for marine life knows no bounds. I didn’t even mind giving him a kiss! (I don’t recommend trying this on your own in the wild, we were with experienced guides.) Overall, we gave this excursion high marks. They stayed an extra hour over our allotted time and in general went above and beyond, and we only had about 20 people on our boat. Highly recommend.

DRESS  /  SHOES

DRESS  /  SHOES

Carnival cruise dinner outfit

After an exciting day in Grand Turk, we boarded the ship and got ready for dinner. For dinner #3 (a casual dress code night), I wore my new black slip dress with cognac shoes and purse to mirror the hints of brown in the floral pattern. Most nights JJ wore t-shirts to dinner. Dinner dress code is fairly lax –rules are no denim cut offs, no flip flops. I was happy to wear a dress and heels though, especially one that's this comfy!

We enjoyed another yummy dinner, then headed to the first of four comedy shows we attended. I’ve seen comedy shows on Carnival cruises in the past, but the talent on this trip was top notch. They had at least 4 comedians on board (at different times throughout the week), and offered both family friendly and adults only shows. 

NAIL POLISH  /  RING  /  BRACELET
St. Thomas with Carnival

The next morning, we arrived in beautiful St. Thomas. I’ve been to St. Thomas on a Carnival cruise ship previously, but this was my first time snorkeling there. We booked the Two Island Snorkel & Beach Safari by FastCat excursion through Carnival. There were about a hundred people on our catamaran, but we managed to find a little corner to take this photo of what I wore, below. Normally I wear dresses as a cover up but I was in the mood for something sporty that day so I threw on a pair of gym shorts and a tank top I had packed for the gym.

St. Thomas snorkeling excursion

We headed to a nearby reef first. There were several boats already anchored and a good amount of people in the water. In the grassy areas, I was mesmerized by the huge sea turtles feeding and surfacing, and I spotted a stingray and cuttlefish (which look like hovering squid). Then we swam over to the reef, which was gorgeous. The water clarity was amazing, and there were tons of colorful fish. The snorkeling was outstanding!

After snorkeling concluded, the party began as they dished out generous quantities of rum punch. They took us to secluded Honeymoon Beach, where everyone split up and did their own thing. JJ played beach volleyball with a group and I lounged on a beach chair and cheered them on. We watched the sun set as we took the boat back to the cruise ship. 

LACE TOP  /  SHOES
Pink lace top with olive linen pants

Back on the ship, we quickly showered and got dressed for dinner. The sun had already set, so we couldn’t take a photo of my outfit that night. I took this photo a few days later to show you guys what I wore for dinner. Another comfy outfit – I paired my favorite linen pants with my newish pink lace top. After dinner, JJ fell asleep and I watched the first game of the World Series on the TV in our room. (I grew up in Kansas and am a huge baseball fan.) 

In tomorrow's post: JJ’s favorite experience on our trip, sightseeing in beautiful San Juan, and two colorful dinner outfits!

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.

Cruise Diary: What I Wore, Part 1

Cruise ship outfit

I just got back from an 8-day cruise with Carnival; JJ and I had such an amazing time!! Over the next few days I’ll be sharing a diary of everything I wore (even to the gym). Generally I don’t divulge a lot about my daily life, so I hope it will be fun to switch it up a bit and go behind the scenes and see what I wore, as well as get some ideas for what to pack on your next cruise!

First up is what I wore to board the ship. Orlando is only a quick hour drive to the port in Cape Canaveral, however, it was a long day for us. We made a detour to drop of Bella (my dog) and eat lunch with JJ’s mom, and boarding the ship takes about an hour, so I was going for comfort. I also could not wait to bust out these printed pants and the fedora I bought specifically for the trip! (here)

Carnival cruise ship outfit

After safety drills and getting settled in our room we were ready to chow down at our first dinner, so I changed into this black jumpsuit. We did “your time dining” which worked really well for us. On Carnival cruises usually you pick one of two times for dinner – 6:15 or 8:15pm, but with “your time dining” you can eat dinner anytime you want. You just show up to the reservations desk and let them know you are ready – most nights we walked right in, or sometimes there was a short wait. You can ask for a private table, or sit with a group. We met a lot of new people that way, including different waiters. As always on Carnival cruises, the food was delicious and I ate way too much at dinner! 

This was probably the most casual outfit I wore to dinner all week. I was exhausted and this jumpsuit is one of the most comfortable things I own so it was the perfect thing to throw on. (Side note: I think I wore this jumpsuit more than any other outfit this summer! I lived in this thing. First featured on the blog here.) I headed to bed straight after dinner – I was fast asleep by 10pm thanks to the ship rocking me to sleep.

Carnival Sunshine at sea day outfit

The next morning, I was ready to hit the pool! We had a day at sea, which means spending the whole day having fun on the ship (there are several pools, hot tubs, water slides, mini golf, to name a few). On a cruise you will find most people running around in swim wear all day. Dress code when you enter the casual dining areas is to add a cover up, so this dress (from this post) is what I wore over my suit off and on all day.

Carnival Sunshine gym outfit

After the pool, JJ and I hit the gym for a bit. I was rocking my usual colorful gear for working out!

Cruise ship formal night outfit
Cruise ship formal night attire

Night #2 on the ship was a formal night. For a week-long cruise, generally two nights will be deemed “formal” night and the dinner dress code is different for those nights. I like to think of the dress code as wearing something formal enough to consider wearing it to a wedding, and this sequin dress I wore to the ballet last year (here) fit the bill. I loved having an excuse to wear it again!

Generally after dinner we would do something fun like the free shows and movies they have on-board, but this was another early night. We had a 7am port time the next morning in Grand Turk and a stingray excursion booked, so my next outfit was pajamas for bed. 

Cruise ship formal night

We had a blast on the first two days of the cruise, but really the fun had just begun. Stay tuned to see our four stops on the cruise: Grand Turk, St. Thomas, St. Martin, and San Juan. As well as two more days at sea! 

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.

Today's Everyday Fashion: Handbag Giveaway

Inspiration: J.Crew

Inspiration: J.Crew

This is quite possibly the softest purse I've ever held. It's exquisite in person - the rich color, the buttery leather, the gold stud details. I'm giving away this bag to you guys (more on that below), and to demonstrate the purse in action, I recreated this plaid catalog outfit. I am digging the preppy vibe combined with eclectic plaid print mixing, even with the purse (rightfully) stealing the show.

The purse was created by luxury handbag brand Hammitt, exclusively for Stearns & Foster. The American-made bag has a retail value of $700(!) and there are several opportunities to win. Stearns & Foster is giving away more than 20 of these purses on their Facebook page this fall, and they sent me this one to give away exclusively to J's Everyday Fashion readers. 

To enter to win the purse I'm holding, all you need to do is "like" the Stearns & Foster Facebook page and let me know you've done so via the Rafflecopter box below. (Once you're on the S&F Facebook page, you can decide if you'd like to enter their separate contest for more chances to win this handbag, but entering their contest is not mandatory for this contest. Just visit their FB page to check it out, and don’t forget to let me know by commenting via the Rafflecopter box below.) One lucky winner will be chosen by random, U.S. addresses only. Good luck!

Blazer: C. Wonder, $90 (similarsimilarsimilar)
Top: A&F c/o (similar, similar, similar)
Jeans: Hudson/Filene's Basement, $70 (similar)
Shoes: Nine West c/o (similarsimilarsimilar)
Belt: H&M, $20
Necklace: My Stella & Dot
Approx. dates: Jeans and belt are 7 years ago. Shoes are 2.5 years ago. Top, blazer are 1 year ago.

Today's post is brought to you by the Stearns & Foster sweepstakes run by Tempur Sealy.  Official rules here. All opinions, editorial decisions are my own. Thanks for entering!