My love / hate relationship with traveling via Cruise ships

For my sister’s 30th birthday, we went on a caribean cruise from San Juan, PR to St. Croix-U.S.V.I, St.Maarten, Martinique, Barbados and Grenada. Yes, we stopped at five different island and had one full day at sea. My next blog(s) will touch a little more on the islands.

What I Love (besides the beaches):

❤️ Simplify. You live out of one space the entire time – your entire luggage is in one space, you have dinner the same time, with the same wait staffs, the same room attendant attends to your space and the bartenders are great and friendly while working at the same bars. In my opinion, the hardest part is on boarding and debarking. Which I add was a breeze for me this trip.

❤️ ❤️ Visit multiple destinations. Nothing beats having someone else take you to multiple places to see. You can pre purchase your excursions or find a taxi or tour guide when you off-board to show you around the town (most have tours already organized with the favorite spots), take you to the beach, or a specific place you saw on social media that you are DYING to see in person, just ask.

❤️❤️❤️ Affordable. That is, if you do not mind the bare minimum. (See blah section, also) Inside staterooms are not too bad. You may not have a window, but no window allows you to enjoy your sleep without being disturb by the sunlight in the morning. (Noise has not been an issue for me)

❤️❤️❤️❤️ Substantial onboard activities (free and minimal cost). There are tons of things to do on a cruise ship depending on your liking. On the this last cruise there were multiples pools (one was adults only), jacuzzi, waterslide, rock climbing wall, indoor basketball, miniature golf course, table tennis, fitness center, yoga class ($) , lounge area, wine tasting ($), whiskey tasting ($), game night, trivia, night club, casino and so much more. You get my drift.

I’m sure all that sounds great now, like how can someone not love them…check out the less favorable items.

Blah, blah (dislikes): 👎🏾 Pricey. It definitely adds up. When I said the bare minimum, above, I meant the bare minimum. You have to PAY for everything. Water (non bottles), your meals aboard(unless it’s a special restaurant onboard), beach/pool towels, unsweetened ice tea, coffee and regular tea are complementary. No worries, there are drink packages, drinks (alcoholic) packages start at $40(ish) dollars a day (must pay for all days cruising), soda packages are about $8 a day , better quality coffee is about $5, better quality food is a surcharge. Internet — haha isnt free either.Most of the activities are free or minimum costing.

👎🏾👎🏾 Limited time on the island(s). For my seven-day cruise, I left San Juan at 8pm Sunday April 15th and return Sunday April 22nd at about 630 am. We visited five islands and had one full day at sea. We spent about 8 hours at each island, from 8am to 5pm. It seems like a lot of time, but who wants to wake up and be off the boat by 8am; and by the time you wake up, dress, eat your free breakfast it is nearly 9/930. Then you have to leave boat with the rest of the crowd, find a taxi to take you on a tour and make sure you return prior to the departing time, because the ship will leave you. Overall, you get a sneak peak of the island, not a full experience but enough to decide if you want to return there.

Cruising is for you if: 1. You are someone who wants to see many places.

2. You have a flexible(hefty) budget.

3. You like adventures but are not into planning.

4. You are a first time traveler.

Skip cruising if: 1. You are on a tight budget.

2. You are someone who doesn’t like tight space. If you get sea sick there provide medicine free of charge.

3. You enjoy doing your own thing and not being stuck to someone’s else schedule, timeline, etc

4. You are adventurous, and love the spontaneity of finding new things to see or immersing in the culture

Until next time, eat, pray, travel!

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