So after a fantastic Eastern Caribbean cruise, my wife and I are back home and I am back at work (sad face).
It took me a good half hour just to get my head situated and my attitude readjusted to being back in the office! What an adjustment too! I want to get back on the boat!!!
We had a blast and I highly recommend that if you get a chance to take a cruise, do it. I have no negative comments about the cruise other than I wish we would have had more money to spend and more clothes to wear!
We visited Half Moon Cay, Puerto Rico, St Thomas and Grand Turk with two fun days at sea. There are so many things to do onboard ship you can’t get bored unless all you want to do is stay in your stateroom. Some of the cruise packages can be pricey but I still believe they are a great bargain. My wife had a ball. Now, if you ask her about her experience on St Thomas, you may hear the story about being biten by white crabs and fish. If you really want to know what happen ask me…I was there and saw it all (smile). She may even try to change the subject and talk about how this older, stately gentlemen took a tumble while crossing a perfectly good street…in front of all of God’s creation!! I won’t mention any names but I believe he was thouroughly embarassed…skinned knees and all!
There are just a few things you need to know before going, things I wish we would have known prior to our trip:
One: Be prepared to bring enough money to account for gratuities, taxis, phone calls made onboard ship, and shopping on ship and in the various ports. You should be ready to load up your initial account card (Carnival calls these Sail & Sign cards) with at least $500 at a minimum. We started with $200 and went over! The gratuities are charged to your account card and can amount to $11.95 per day. This is split between three servers who take care of your room, etc. I have no problem with this because we got great service and personally I think they should have received more. Everything you purchase on the ship and in some of the ports is charged to your Sail & Sign card so the more you set it up with the more flexibility you will have.
Two: Either be prepared to pay to have your clothing laundered or bring plenty of stuff to wear. Laundering is available on ship but it can be costly. You don’t need to bring a bunch of fancy things to wear other than what you would wear for the Captain’s dinner (tie and coat, gowns for the women). Everything else should be suited for beach excursions and fun in the sun.
Three: Do your homework prior to the cruise. I wish I would have researched the destinations better because we would have saved money and chose our excursions more wisely. You can purchase the excursions onboard but they are often cheaper out in the port. If you like to chart your own course and get off the beaten path I say go for it but you need to know where you’re going and how to travel. Know beforehand what currency you’re likely to need. The Sail & Sign card is no good outside of the ports so spare cash is always handy. In the Caribbean the US dollar is supreme!
Last: Ditch fear and take the plunge. I’ve never touched a sting ray or parasailed, but I will next time! There were great opportunities for diving and adventure but I just didn’t take advantage of them. Lesson learned!
Overall, taking a cruise for a vacation is an amazing thing. Get on one as soon as you can! I will post more pictures from our vacation soon.