I just got back from a week of cruising through the Caribbean with an endless supply of sunshine! With the holidays and hectic New Year, I am just getting around to posting about my vacay. I am beyond excited to share my week and tell you all what I love about cruising!
I have to say that this was one of my absolute favorite vacations ever! I made sure to feel extra prepared for this one, so I wouldn't be stressed and could focus on unwinding after a long semester. I went on vacay with Austin, my mama, dad, sister, brother-in-law, Nonu (Grandpa), and his girlfriend, Linda. We all had separate balcony rooms which was the best thing to wake up and fall asleep to each night. We traveled on the Oasis of the Seas through Royal Caribbean and this boat is HUGE. My family always cruises with Royal, but we wanted to try a new boat that had more activities and entertainment. The boat had Central Park, a boardwalk, mall, ice skating rink, casino, and so much more. It was Austin’s first cruise and he was worried about getting motion sick from being on a boat, but after stepping on he totally forgot he was on a boat. You can hardly feel the boat moving while cruising, so on the bright side if you’re someone who gets sea sick you would have no problem cruising!
The first two days were spent at sea and then the next three we were on different islands followed by two more sea days. On the sea days we would start by having breakfast on our balcony or at the Windjammer. The Windjammer is a buffet that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, so you'll never go hungry! It's dangerous. After breakfast we would head up to the top deck of the ship and lay out by the pools to get a tan. We got extremely lucky with our weather during the week because it was about 85-90 degrees each day. By lunch time we would take a break from the sun and head to the Promenade to do some shopping and eat at a little cafe. They have Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Tiffany & Co., clothing shops, gift stores, etc. Our dinner time was set at 7:30pm each night which was nice because the days fly by, so we got some extra time to get ready before dinner. Dinner was the most dangerous for my bikini body because you can order as many appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you would like. My whole family ordered an excessive amount of food each night. Austin of course stuck to steak each night because it's all he likes. After dinner we would attend a show and then wind up in the casino after... The first night, Aust and I went in to gamble and ended up losing $30. It was my first time on the slot machines and the bright flashy lights sucked me in! We took a break for a few days after we lost. We went back a few nights later cause I told him I was feeling lucky and I put $5 in and pulled the lever once and won $80!! We cashed out and called it a night cause we would have lost it all if we stayed in there.
The first stop was at a U.S. Virgin Island, St. Thomas. It was absolutely beautiful here; however, they were tragically hit by Hurricanes and were still recovering from it. There were boats washed up on the side of the island and some of the buildings were destroyed. It was heartbreaking to see some of the living conditions they are forced into and almost embarrassing for me to be there visiting when people lost their homes and families. We walked around the shops for a couple hours and got some food before our first excursion. Around noon we headed to our excursion that took us on a catamaran to the middle of the ocean. We got to spend an hour snorkeling and then the afternoon at Honeymoon Beach. Snorkeling was a blast! Austin was freaking out because there were stingray under us, but I loved it! We saw so many tropical fishies and sea life. After this, we got back on the catamaran and they had unlimited free rum punches, so you know how that goes… We had fun in the sun and then relaxed once we got back to the boat to recover from an eventful day.
The next day we were in Puerto Rico. We didn’t have any beach time here which was a bummer, but it was a fun day of walking around and touring their history. We went to an old Spanish Fort called El Morro and then through an old cemetery. We walked a couple miles to get to the fort and saw a million (maybe less) stray cats on the way. They follow you everywhere and kept coming out of the rocks to where it got creepy after a while. They had food and water laid out for the cats, so it was nice to know they weren't starving. The fort was amazing and filled with ancient history. They have made it into a museum where they have shops and signs to show what went on and where. Austin and I climbed to the top of the fort to get a picture for my blog because he said this would make me an "elite blogger". I was cracking up he's so cute. The cemetery was below the fort on the water so we headed there before going back to the boat. The cemetery was absolutely beautiful. It was hard to believe that it was even a cemetery because it was filled with beautiful marble and statues. We only had a short amount of time to spend here because we had to be back on the boat at two in the afternoon to make it to our next stop Thursday morning. That night we went to a game show called Love & Marriage. Our cruise director was hilarious and he pulled up three couples from the audience who were on their honeymoon, married for 10-15 years, and married for over 50 years. He then asks the men to leave the stage to a soundproof room and proceeds by asking the women questions and their men. The questions are hilarious and so stressful at the same time. A couple of the questions he asked the women were: "What does your man look like when he gets out of the shower?" a) a super stretched limo, b) dump truck, and c) a little pink Volkswagen with two flat tires. The men then come back to the stage and have to guess the answers their wives gave. The honeymoon couple and the couple married of 60 years answered stretched limo and the couple in between answered dump truck... that was awkward. Another question that they asked the women was "who was your husbands last girlfriend" and the newly weds got it wrong and started yelling... Once the guys answered their questions it was the ladies turn to leave and have the guys try now. One question was: "If you could make one thing bigger and one thing smaller on your wife what would it be?" The old man was sweet and said nothing other than less road rage hahaha. The guy who has been with his wife for 13 years said bigger boobs and smaller mouth... I don't know how they were together it felt so off. The final question had the audience dying cause they asked where the craziest place was that they ever got it on. The old couple who were in their late 70's said that he was in the hospital a couple years ago for a minor heart surgery and his wife came to visit and they did it in his hospital bathroom. The crowd was dying no one could keep it together. That was by far my favorite game show to watch because you never knew what was going to come next.
Our final day on land was spent at Royal Caribbean’s island in Haiti called Labadee. This was my favorite day because it was a free day to spend on the beach relaxing. We walked to a cove on the beach where it was less busy and played in the water seriously all day. We had some fun drinks and shopped around the island for a while. The water was so freaking warm and clear I was in my heaven I swear. Little tropical fish were swimming all around us and basking in the sand were lizards and iguanas. All week Austin and I kept talking about how we want to move somewhere tropical for a year sometime after college and work there and explore. Ever since I moved I feel so free and like I could live anywhere since I don’t feel attached to a certain place anymore. I hope to go to Jamaica or Australia and see what it’s like there. Once we got back on the boat and had dinner we went to a comedy show and I was crying from laughing so hard! After the show, Austin and I laid out on the deck and talked forever about life and how happy we were - I could have stayed in that moment forever!
The last day finally came and it was extremely hard to leave. We were looking up cruises on the way home planning our next vacation already because it was such a good time! Cruises are the best because their plans are all inclusive (except alcohol) and you get to visit several islands in the span of a week. The boats are loaded with activities to do – you can’t even get to all of them in a week because there are so many. We wanted to rock climb, zip line, and try the wave rider and didn’t even have time to do those! They have entertainment shows every night which include adult comedy, ice shows, water shows, Broadway plays, game shows, and more. When you are at sea you don't have cell service unless you want to pay a daily fee for the entire week. I have to say that this is one of the best things about cruising because you are disconnected for a week and get to put all of your attention to the people around you. Ever since I started blogging I spend a lot of time on social media and my laptop coming up with new content. It was so nice to physically not be able to use my cell phone and check up on what was going on in the world. I hope to cruise at least once a year so I can make new memories and check out from my social life. I have realized the importance of being present in the moment and will make sure to continue and work on that in the new year.
I hope you all enjoyed this post and get the chance to go on a cruise! If you have been on a cruise I'd love to hear where you have gone and what ship you cruised on. I'm always looking for recommendations. Thanks y'all & Happy New Year! xoxoxo