So, the other day, I was taking a trip down memory lane and sorting through my memory cards when I came across my photos from the Caribbean cruise that I took with my family in 2012. As such, I thought that I would make a post to share my photos and memories with my readers.
Here are my Caribbean Cruise memories …
Flying From Vancouver to Florida
While there are many great things about living in Canada, there is, unfortunately, a lack of opportunities to take a warm cruise without having to fly somewhere. So, much to my chagrin, my entire family and I hauled our backsides out of bed to catch our early morning flight to Ft. Lauderdale (via Houston).
Since I was struggling with my usual pre-flight terror, all I can remember is us having to sprint across the airport to catch our flight; a system switch at Continental Airlines had held us up at the check-in for MUCH longer than we anticipated. I didn’t even get the chance to grab a Tim Hortons breakfast before getting on the plane. Nevertheless, despite unsettling turbulence over the Gulf of Mexico, both flights were mercifully unremarkable. However, I could’ve kissed the Floridian ground; I was thrilled to have been freed from the flying tin can of death (my family watches too much Mayday, can you tell?).
Seeing as we arrived in Florida the day before the cruise left, we stayed one night at the Rodeway Inn & Suites. Since I was exhausted from an early start, I don’t remember Ft. Lauderdale that well. However, from what I saw, the city seemed like a decent place and the accommodation was reasonable
Photos From Sea
This particular cruise was one-week long, so a few days were spent at sea. We spent the majority of those days camped out on the lido deck; at least until it was time for us to attend the daily trivia session.
Unfortunately, due to strong winds, our port at Grand Turk was canceled; so, we had to make do with one less stop and one extra day at sea.
Here are a few photos from the “Sea Days.”
Inside the Nieuw Amsterdam
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico was our first port-of-call; despite the ridiculous heat, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring this city and its forts.
My family and I spent most of the day exploring Castillo San Cristobal. However, when the heat got to be too much, a few of us split up and headed towards the local shops.
St. Maarten / St. Martin
Perhaps, one of the most interesting stops on our Caribbean Cruise was the island of St. Maarten and St. Martin; which has split ownership between the French and the Dutch.
Funny story, it was while we were at Orient beach on the island’s French side, that we learned that the world takes a different approach to nudity than we do in North America; boy was that a shocker!
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Our third (and final) Port was Holland America’s private Island, Half Moon Cay. Unfortunately, it was at this stop that I started feeling ill due to overexposure to the sun. Although, aside from that issue, I had a lovely time chilling on the beach at Half Moon Cay; I even saw my first wild stingray.
Sadly, after the best week of my life, I had to return home with my family. When the ship docked, we disembarked headed to the Florida Everglades to kill time before our flight back to Vancouver; here we got the opportunity to ride in an airboat and look at live alligators (from a safe distance of course).
Well, there you have it, my Caribbean Cruise experience. My week aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam was probably one of the most fun weeks that I have ever had; I hope to be able to travel with Holland America again soon. Personally, I am itching to do the HAL Alaskan Cruise.
Have you been on a cruise? Tell me about it in the comments. Alternatively, leave a note telling me about your cruise wishlist; which ones would you LOVE to do?
** Disclaimer: Photos without the watermark belong to my cousin; I have permission to images. **