We just returned from a 21-day Caribbean cruise!!! Actually it was two cruise back-to-back aboard the Carnival Glory called the Journey’s cruise. Here’s part 1 of the ports of call cruise recap.
The difference in a Caribbean cruise versus one in, say, Alaska, the Mediterranean or South America, is that the islands are so close together, you stop in a different port pretty much every day. During our 21 days, we visited 16 islands and had 5 sea days.
This was our longest cruise to date. I’m trying to convince my husband that we should do an around the world cruise which is usually 115-117 days. Gary asked me “how do you know if you will like a 115 day cruise when the longest cruise we’ve been on is an 8-day cruise?” I hate to admit it but I guess he is right (but don’t tell him I said that … wink, wink). So we are working our way up.
I still can hardly believe it. It truly was an opportunity of a lifetime…We arrived in Miami the day before our cruise. If we can drive to the port, we like to get there the day before and do a Stay and Cruise package at one of the hotels so we can leave our car at the hotel. This time we stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites near to the airport. It was great. The price included a manager’s cocktail/appetizers (on Friday evening) which was filling enough to be dinner, a full breakfast, one-way transportation to the Port and up to 14-days storage for your car (since we were gone 21 days, I just had to pay the extra 7 days at $5 a day).
Ports Of Call
Here’s a brief recap of the islands we visited. I plan on doing a few more extensive posts on some of the ports and activities we did … at some point.
January 23 ~ We woke up to sunny skies for which I was very thankful. We had to drive to Miami yesterday in the rain so I was very thankful when we woke up to sunny skies and mild weather.
We boarded the Carnival Glory. We like to unpack and then have a little lunch and get acquainted with the ship. Then we head up on deck for the sail-away party.
January 24 ~ Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
I don’t know what it is about this port but I guess we are destined to never see it. This is our second time to this port and both times we just stayed on the ship.
This is a port where you have to use tenders and I think there was a glitch with the tenders the first time we visited. This time, it was COLD and WINDY. The Northeast from Virginia up to New York had just had a blizzard (I know that the DC area got 26 inches of snow). Even North Carolina and George got hit with snow and ice.
Here’s my view from the ship.
I do love the multi-colored blue waters. Gorgeous! Maybe one day…
January 26 ~ Grand Turk
When we visited Grand Turk previous on the Carnival Conquest in July 2014, we did a ship sponsored shore excursion. Actually, we did a lot of ship sponsored shore excursions on previous cruises so this cruise, we decided to do less of that and more just walking around and maybe catch a shore excursion once we got on land.
Last time we were in Grand Turk, we saw a lot of people renting mopeds. We thought what what a great way to tour the island so we tucked this bit of info into our brains for the next time we visited.
To rent mopeds was our plan but we woke up to clouds and rain. By mid-morning the rain had stopped but that bagged our plans. So we just got off the ship, walked around, checked our email and did a little shopping.
January 28 ~ Antigua
Today is a beach day! And we had a lot to choose from since Antigua has 365 beaches. Most of the people we talked to were headed to Dickenson’s Bay. If you like a fully loaded beach with a lot of action, this beach is for you.
But, we decided we wanted something a little quieter so we asked our driver to take us to a more secluded beach. It was one of the most picturesque beaches. Soft sand and beautiful layers of multi-colored blue water.
January 29 ~ Martinique
I consider myself to be a Francophile so I was excited to visit the Martinique is an island in the Caribbean Sea that is located north of Saint Lucia, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica.
Martinique is one of four islands in the Caribbean that’s part of France (also known as the French West Indies). Others include St. Martin, Guadeloupe and St. Barts. It is home to around 380,000 inhabitants.
Because it is a region of France, the official language of the island is French although many of the inhabitants speak Antillean Creole. Few speak English there, and you’ll find that signs and menus generally aren’t meant to accommodate anyone who isn’t French.
We did our own thing in Martinique. This port is one of the nicest Caribbean ports going,very clean, the locals are dressed impeccably and are all very friendly.
The fruit/veggie/spice market is a must to see.
I would definitely visit this port again.
January 30 ~ St. Lucia
St. Lucia is best known as a romantic getaway but can also offer something for the family or for a group of friends. Who doesn’t love a tropical island with long, sandy beaches, and beautiful, natural surroundings? It is located midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain, between Martinique and St. Vincent, and is only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide.
We visited St. Lucia in January 2015 aboard the Carnival Valor so we just walked around taking in the all of the sights.
January 31 – St. Kitts
Intoxicating natural beauty … warm, sunny skies … and that water! Oh and the trade winds…
This is my second time to St. Kitts. We visited this island on our Carnival Valor Cruise in January 2015, Gary was sick so I went on a tour with our friends Regina and Mike…which is what we did time time as well.
The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. Timothy Hill, a popular tourist spot to take photos of where the two bodies of waters meet.
February 1 ~ St. Thomas/St. John
St. John is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the majority of the island is national park, which provides opportunities for lots of trekking and wildlife spotting. Out of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, this one is my favorite – you have lots of trails to hike in the park, tons of beaches, snorkeling opportunities, and delicious food.
We’ve been to St. Thomas a couple of times so we decided to take a ship sponsored tour to St. John. We took the ferry over to St. John then boarded our bus for a short island tour on our way to Trunk Bay.
February 2 ~ San Juan
This is the end of the first part of the cruise. We stayed for the second part so check out my post here.