Saturday, September 6, 2014

Adventures in the Caribbean


Just popping in for another travel report....last month I went on a Caribbean cruise with some friends. Ever since my trip to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, I've been wanting to explore some other Caribbean islands and a cruise is definitely the way to do it!

Have you ever cruised before?  This was my 3rd cruise and I love it!  Before my 1st cruise, I used to think that I wouldn't like it - because you only get to spend a certain amount of time in each port and would that really be enough time to enjoy it?  And what if I didn't like all of the ports?  Well, this is pretty much why I love cruises now - you get to experience several places all in a short amount of time.  If you fall in love with a place, you can always go back and spend more time there later!  It's also really nice to be able to go to several places and only have to unpack your bags once.  And the food!  Your food is included in the price of the cruise and you can pretty much eat at anytime of day or night.  Sweet!  (also, I'm a picky eater, so if I don't like the food in one or more of the ports, I can always eat "regular" food on the ship).   Ok - without further adieu, here are some pictures from my Western Caribbean cruise on the Caribbean Princess...

FORT LAUDERDALE
We took the red eye from L.A. to Fort Lauderdale.  Have you ever flown with jetBlue before?  This was my 1st time and I was happy with them.  The crew were very nice and you get a bit more room at your seat!
Fort Lauderdale sunrise.  We had breakfast at a cafe across from the beach.
Boarding the ship.
Fort Lauderdale skyline.
"First Day Of Cruise" happiness!
ELEUTHERA, BAHAMAS (aka Princess Cays)

Princess' own island in the Bahamas...lots of stuff to do:  buffett, bar, lounge chairs, paddle boarding, volleyball, snorkeling, etc.  A "sneak peak" of paradise.
 ST. THOMAS, US VIRGIN ISLANDS
While the other girls booked a different excursion, we decided to do another boat trip to St. John.  My friend & I had already spent a week in St. Thomas a few years back and enjoyed our boat trip to St. John, so we decided to go back.  This was a really fun excursion.  There weren't too many people and our crew were really nice and fun!
Getting ready to go in the water for snorkeling!

A view of our boat from the beach.
video
Click here to see one of the sea turtles we saw while snorkeling.

Seriously, look at this awesome cheese plate our crew set up for us!
Rum drinks on the ride back to St. Thomas.
St. Thomas view from our balcony on the ship.
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
Puerto Vallarta from our balcony on the ship.
The colorful buildings and cobblestone streets.
One of the old forts, Castillo San Cristobal.
The view from inside one of the lookout towers.

Lunch at Cafe Puerto Rico.
GRAND TURK, TURKS & CAICOS

Look at that change in water color - gorgeous!
Another snorkeling trip!
Soooooo many people!
The whole group - pre-snorkeling.

After the snorkel part of our boat trip, they took us to a secluded beach where we hung out in the water.  Looks like pool water, but it's not!  Love the clear, Caribbean water!
Margaritaville!  I'm a huge "Parrothead", so was so happy that there was a Margaritaville at one of our ports!  After our snorkeling boat trip, we hung out here for the rest of our day in Grand Turk.

I about passed out when we walked inside the Margaritaville and saw the huge pool area with a SWIM-UP bar!  This was THE best Margaritaville I've ever been to.
Giant flip flop!

I'm not a big drinker, but Margaritaville margaritas are yummy!
And ya gotta have a Cheeseburger In Paradise while in Margaritaville!
Served up on a wooden guitar?  Yes, please!
Volcano Nachos! 
Sunset as we sailed away from Grand Turk.

On Board
Our room was only 2 doors down from the other girls, so we could chat from our balconies.
Balcony selfie.

Pool area at the back of the ship.
I managed to get in some book time (I read the latest Bridget Jones book "Mad About The Boy" - so, so good!). 
Deck party.



At the martini bar....
...where we listened to the jazz band, who were really nice!


Hairy chest contest.


Elevator selfie #1
Elevator selfie #2
Rainbow over the ship.

video
Click here to see the lightning show we watched from our balcony one night.

And like a true DIYer, I snapped this picture of a cool wine cork display at the wine bar.  Future project?  Possibly!
The Food
Chicken
Watermelon salad with feta & seeds



I didn't get a picture of all the meals, but everything was very good.  We ate at the buffet during the day, had pizza at the pizza bar, even had popcorn during their movies under the stars, & enjoyed dessert every night.  I had just started a new diet & exercise program a few weeks before the trip, so even though I indulged, I didn't indulge too much.  

The highlights for me were the snorkel boat trip to St. John (the 2nd snorkel boat trip was too crowded but still fun) and the Margaritaville in Grand Turk.  I didn't have high expectations for Puerto Rico, but I really enjoyed it.  I love history, so touring the fort was neat and there were so many quaint buildings and shops there.

My friend and I talked about doing another cruise, this time to the Eastern Caribbean and this time on the Disney cruise line (she works for Disney at Disneyland, so that means we get a discount), so hopefully we'll go within the next couple of years.  I'm already planning another trip, so fingers crossed that it works out because if it does, I'll be going to Europe again!

Originally posted by Adventures in DIY


3 comments:

  1. LOVE cruises! Still trying to get Dominic to go on one, but the bad press recently doesn't help. We should convince everyone to do a family cruise :)

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  2. i love that you have such a great group of girlfriends. it looks like you all had a blast. the water looks gorgeous. yay for some pictures from PV, i think i told you i'm going next month. this is only your 3rd cruise? for some reason i thought it was more. my aunt and uncle live in fort lauderdale and for that reason, they cruise all the time. they love it. much cheaper if you don't need airfare!
    b

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  3. Thanks so much for "taking me along" via this travel report!! Such a FUN post!! :) I so enjoyed seeing your snapshots and vids of the gorgeous views, delicious eats, and all the fun that you and your friends had on the cruise! Looks like it was a really amazing trip!!! :)

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