Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sail Away

Man...this time last year we were on our honeymoon. Our honeymoon was my first cruise, and I really wasn't sure that I was going to be a "cruise person." I'm still not sure that I am, actually. We'd gone back and forth several times about what we wanted to do for our honeymoon, would we go right away? Wait until Thanksgiving to be able to use less vacation days? Go to an all-inclusive resort on some island? Go on a whirlwind trip of Europe? They're all good options! We ended up finding a cruise which left at 10PM the day after our wedding, visited 5 islands (6 if you count Puerto Rico where we left from, which I probably should), and there were direct flights. Suddenly it seemed like a no-brainer.

All of these pictures have been featured on the blog before - probably a major blogger faux pas, but let's be honest, no one was reading back then anyways!
View of St. Thomas' port from our balcony on the first morning.
Banana Daiquiri at Mountain Top
Magen's Bay Beach, St. Thomas
Catamaran ride to snorkeling
Chef's Table dinner
Pitons in St. Lucia
Caribbean Sea & Atlantic Ocean in St. Kitt's
Ferry Ride in St. Maarten
Rum Punch at the Bacardi Factory in San Juan, PR

In the end, I think the best cruises for me are these port intensive cruises - we really didn't take advantage of what the ship had to offer. We went to the sail away party on the first night, played one game of bingo, attended one comedy show, went to the newlywed game, and the Chef's Table dinner. That's about it. But, we went big at each port. Every morning we'd get off as soon as we could, and we booked excursions on every island except for one, most of them were all day combo tours. So, we used our time on the ship to relax. We booked a cabin with an aft balcony, so we didn't even have to leave the room to get some fresh air.

I do find myself looking up cruises still, because they are an awesome way to see several different destinations, the food is all included, and you have the ship as your home base if you want to drop things off mid-day. You can also get incredible deals that can't be beat, especially if there's a cruise port nearby. We never took advantage of the Galveston port when we were in Houston, but all of the cruises out of Galveston seemed to be a majority of  "sea days" and only one or two port days. Charleston has a ship that docks there, so we may check that out at some point. We're looking for a vacation sometime before the end of the year, in addition to a few weekend getaways on our list.

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