Yesterday, I shared part 1 of the ports of call aboard the Carnival Glory. Today, I’m sharing the second half of our 21 day cruise.
February 2 ~ San Juan
We’ve been to San Juan a couple of times before so having done the forts and island tour before we decided to do our own thing and walk around Old San Juan and do a bit of shopping.
February 3 ~ St. Croix
St. Croix is an outdoor playground with plenty of beautiful sandy beaches for relaxing.
If you’re looking for an island destination where you can kick back and relieve some stress, it’s definitely the perfect location. But don’t make the mistake of thinking St. Croix is all about lying around on pretty beaches! St Croix is also packed with adventures, activities and thrills, to create a lifetime of exciting travel memories.
Spend the morning in historic downtown Christiansted to get in a little shopping and explore St Croix’s history. This 18th Century Danish colonial town was once the capital of the Danish West Indies and is a beautiful example of neoclassic Danish architecture. The town itself is on the National Register of Historic places. Take a self-guided walking tour through the Christiansted historic district starting at Fort Christianvaern. Here you’ll find the National Park Service office and can pick up a map that will lead you to historic points of interest following your exploration of the fort.
After we explored the town, we walked over to the tent where they offered tours We didn’t want to do an island tour or anything that would take hours and hours. In one of the shore excursion descriptions, I read that they had a Botanical Gardens. Gary and I like flowers and plants so we booked a private tour.
February 4 ~ St. Maarten
This island provides some of the most exquisite landmarks and hideaways in the entire world. This country is divided into Dutch (south) and French colonies (north) by virtue of the Treaty of Concordia.
St. Maarten was on the itinerary on a previous cruise aboard the Carnival Valor that we took back in January 2015. Last time, we were the only ship in port. Today, the port was quite busy with six ships in port.
So we decided to walk the 15 minutes into town (although they do have a water taxi if you don’t want to walk) and to a bit of shopping. Gary loves boats so he had fun looking at all of the nice (read expensive) boats in the marina on our way into town.
February 5 ~ Dominica
Dominica takes up nothing more than a speck on the world map. Not really known for their sandy beaches as this island is very volcanic. But where they lack with beaches, this small Caribbean island is mighty on attractions. Any nature lover would love to travel to Dominica and explore its land and underwater.
When I was browsing the “Shore Excursions Fun Guide” the Chocolate Experience VIP Tour really caught my eye. The tour was to Bois Cotlette Estate, the oldest surviving estate on Dominica. It showed the cocoa making process from bean to bon bon.
I even got to help make some of the chocolates by tempering the chocolate….and of course, the samples at the end made this tour one of the best we’ve been on.
I plan on writing a blog post dedicated to the Bois Cotlette Estate at some point.
February 6 ~ Grenada
A wide variety of spices – cinnamon, cloves, cocoa, ginger, and nutmeg – are grown in Grenada. No wonder why locals call it the Spice Isle.
Grenada has more than just spices to be proud of. It has an array of attractions from beaches, mountains to waterfalls.
When we arrived in port, we were treated to local dancers and musicians.
Gary and I decided to explore on foot and do some shopping, especially for spices and chocolates.
February 8 ~ Bonaire
Bonaire has long been known for world-class diving and snorkeling. Between the pristine coral reefs of the Bonaire Marine Park and year-round crystal clear waters, it’s no wonder readers of Scuba Diving magazine have consistently ranked Bonaire among the best locations in the world for scuba diving. However, there’s so much more to do on this tiny Dutch Caribbean island.
We didn’t have a shore excursion booked but decided to get off the ship and see what we could do. There weren’t the hoards of people yelling at you to take their tour. No, there was just one woman telling about the two island tours available. You could either take the North Island tour or the South Island tour. Both were approximately 2 hours in length and both were $25 mandated by the government. Wow! So civilized.
We decided on the North Island tour …
February 9 ~ Aruba
Aruba is 15 miles off the Venezuelan coast. Aruba receives visitors all year long. Most of the people who come there are after its white sand beaches and clear waters. With a tropical climate, cool winds, and the absence of hurricanes, Aruba lives up to what a paradise should be.
After doing a little shopping, we hopped in a cab to go to the Butterfly Farm. Both Gary and I got some really great shots so I plan on doing a separate post on this.
Aruba is known for these beautiful birds called the Bananaquit. They had them flying all around the Butterfly Farm. The owner told us that they are also known as “sugar thieves” because they constantly eat sugar.
Our driver picked us up at the appointed time. On the way back to the ship, we asked him to drive us to one of the local beaches.
I loved Aruba and hope to visit there again … perhaps for a longer period of time.
February 10 ~ Curaçao
Curaçao, famous for its beautiful multicolored waterfront, nightlife, and eponymous blue liqueur, is the largest and most rugged of the ABC (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) islands. It’s located in the Dutch Antilles and is a part of The Netherlands.
When you think of a Caribbean island like Curaçao, post card views of white sand beaches, palm trees, coral reefs, and tropical drinks come to mind….not the oil refinery you see immediately after arriving in port blowing black smoke into the air.
Both Gary and I were a little disappointed. But we tried to not let it cloud our impression of the island.
Right off the ship, they have a nice walking promenade that takes you over to the pontoon bridge.
We walked across the pontoon bridge to the other side of Willemstad and did a little souvenir shopping, check our email and enjoyed the sights.
Well, there you have it — a recap of our 21 day Caribbean cruise. Our last two days were sea days before returning to the Port of Miami.