I may have mentioned that everything went perfect. The night before flying out of Detroit, we got a good deal on a hotel that included parking. Parking for more than a week is about $100, so it makes more sense to stay in a hotel that offers the parking package. The hotel was about 1 mile from the airport and came to $90 including the shuttle. Staying the night before the flight also alleviates any potential problems that might happen crossing the border. If the border is backed up, or you get a cranky guard you can miss your flight, and completely ruin a vacation.
Because our flight was so early, we were one of the first people at the cruise terminal and on the ship before noon. It was fantastic to be onboard to quickly, it almost felt like we gained half of a day.
We booked a balcony room. Many regular cruisers have their favorite rooms. We prefer the balcony rooms, as we like to just hang out. I’m not a huge joiner, not running down to play trivia or be in the next slot tournament. I like to have coffee in peace with William and drinks before and after dinner with a calm, quiet view. We’re not into the bars (maybe a bit of piano music before dinner), and this trip I never spent a dime in the casino. To those who don’t spend any time in their rooms, I can completely understand an inside cabin, but it’s just not how we roll.
We decided to only book one excursion in the 3 ports that we visited. Our first port was the Dutch side of St. Marten. It was a 20 minute walk to the beach, and the further we walked, the quieter and less congested it became. The beach was beautiful, and I was expecting it to be quite expensive, but we were able to snag 2 lounge chairs, a unbrella and 2 drinks for $15.
Most awesome coolest courthouse ever! It dates back to 1793…
I had a couple more margaritas which had 3 shots of tequila in each for only $3. Good deal. It was a great day spent relaxing in the sun. Here’s a nice little casino (which I would not think of entering due to suspicious lurking characters) and a sign for McDonald’s in case one has a hankering for a Big Mac while on the beach…
Our table mates were present at every dinner, except the one where they went to the steakhouse. They were nice enough and after they mentioned they were from Oklahoma City, I told Billy that GOM lives south of there… the wife over heard only part of what I said and informed me that not everyone on Oklahoma was grumpy! Ha! They talked about their church several times (which is cool) and went crazy and had a coke with dinner instead of water, (still cool), but weren’t the type we would exchange email addresses with. The food, of course was fabulous. Me not being too kicky on the whole stand in line with a tray – buffet thing really appreciated the good service.
Our second day was in St. Lucia and pulling into the port was really pretty.
We booked a trip on a catamaran. We chose this one as it was traveling to the Pitons which are two big mountains and really beautiful.
I didn’t read the fine print of this tour, as I assumed it included snorkeling, but we only stopped for a quick 30 minute dip in a bay, where we were hounded by locals in canoes selling shells. The trip was over 4 hours and very rocky (30 mph winds). I felt so seasick! Arg. I changed my position on the boat and felt better toward the end. That night we had reservations at the steakhouse and our big ship was rocking and rolling and I felt awful. I’ve never felt sick on a cruise ship before and couldn’t believe how bad it was. I nearly ruined our dinner out, but William rescued me with a quick trip to the gift shop to buy anti-nauseate meds. Ah…
Our last port and my favorite of the trip was St. Kitts. We had been to St. Kitts before and as we were pulling into the port I gave the evil eye to that volcano!
We climbed it in the Spring of 2009 and it was the worst excursion ever! It left a bad impression of St. Kitts. This time we decided to hit a beach that our table mates from the 2009 trip told us about (I still keep in contact with them), and it was awesome. The beach had the best view I have ever seen (Nevis in the background).
There was monkeys and mongoose running about. You gotta love an island that doesn’t have any snakes because of the mongoose and has more monkeys than people!
The water was bathtub warm and the snorkeling was great. The beer was cheap, the cab only $16, and our driver talked about the island the entire time in the van. When William was snorkeling he picked me up a couple of shells. One of them had a big hole through it and was really interesting. I know it sounds weird, but I smelled it and it smelled a bit fishy (leery of living things inside). After dinner I realized that I forgot to empty out the backpack from that afternoon and discovered the shells and rocks. I screamed and William flailed a bit on the couch, yelling, ‘what? what? Oh my God, don’t ever scream like that again!’ But I couldn’t help it! I picked up that rock with the hole in it and a little monster resembling the thing from Alien was in there letting me know he wasn’t happy. ‘I am not touching that rock!’ my brave husband informed me. I picked up the rock with the living thing in it with the ice tongs and flung it off from the balcony (it was a good throw). So I will forever be careful of picking up rocks and such on a beach as well wondering what else ice tongs have been used for.
There is a Marriott hotel on the island that has a golf course with holes on the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
This pic shows the Atlantic on the left and the Caribbean on the right – very cool!
It was so beautiful! William and I might look into that as opposed to a cruise in the future.
The days were lusciously long on the ship. We lounged by the pool, went down the water slide (seriously William was pushing little kids out of his way running up the stairs),
watched movies in the room, played DS, read, and took our time readying for dinner.
I have blogged about the Dolphin game after the cruise and that worked out perfectly too. We were off the ship quick and easy, in a cab, dropped our luggage off at the hotel and on our way to the stadium within 30 minutes. It was so nice having something to look forward to at the end of the cruise. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach which is directly east of the stadium. It was cheap (about $90 on Priceline) and had the nicest pool areas I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a few…)
William really needed that vacation. He worked his butt off this last summer and felt tremendous pressure with some of his jobs. It was great to see him able to total relax. We’re so lucky to be able to have that time together. Life is good.