- Created: June 7, 0050 4:05 am
- Last updated: January 19, 2022 4:50 pm
- Distance Instructions
- Distance 13932743 ft
- Time 248 h 23 min
- Speed 2 mph
- Min altitude -24537 ft
- Peak 1404 ft
- Climb 117310 ft
- Descent 117493 ft
1. New York
This trip came at the heels of a personal tragedy in our family. We were grieving and exhausted and could not wait to go on this cruise to get away and relax. So on a cold & icy New York City winter day we once again boarded our favorite ship to head down to my favorite part of the world. All we wanted to do was to soak up some sun and beach and relax ourselves and to celebrate our anniversary on board.
2. San Juan, Puerto Rico
This was our third time in Puerto Rico, an island we were never all that crazy about. Since our arrival was at 3.30 pm in the afternoon we decided (for the first time ever) to stay on the ship and skip the port. Instead, we soaked up some sun on deck, went to the spa and hung out with the staff. After almost three sea days people were impatient and could not wait to get their feet back on land so the ship was practically deserted. Turns out, this is also a very nice way to enjoy a cruise.
3. Charlotte Amalie, St. Johns, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, my love! Third time on this island and it’s magic never ceases. We disembarked in Charlotte Amalie and like last time, took one of the local open buses to Magen’s Bay. The buses are safe, inexpensive and operated by incredibly friendly local drivers. We passed the lush hills and beautiful scenery this island has to offer and across the island to reach the beach. Entry fee was still $5.50 and once we were at the beach we realized that the guys working at the concessions stand whom we had made friends with last time were still there. We had some beers together and relaxed on the beach. It was a great day of enjoying the natural beauty of the bay, swimming in the crystal blue waters, watching the colorful fish and giant pelicans and drinking fresh coconut water. We took the same mode of transportation back to the ship
4. Tortola, British Virgin Islands
We had been to Tortola once before but at that time left the island straight away to go visit the Baths in Virgin Gorda, BVI. So this time, we wanted to explore what was right around us and took a taxi to Cane Garden Bay. The ride included navigating some roller coaster hills and hairpin bends and eventually led us to one of Tortola’s nicest beaches with fine white sands, plenty of sheltering palm trees and gentle surf. Considering that this is an intimate bay, that the beach was not that long and that a massive cruise ship was in town I was surprised that it did not feel more crowded. There were several places to eat and bars right along the beach - an extra nice setting to have some fresh fish and drinks. Afterwards we took a walk along the powdery white-brown sand and swam in the sea. It being a bay means there are hardly any waves and you can walk quite far in the sea.
5. Philipsburg, St. Marten
Two nation, one island and the third time we had visited St. Maarten. We love this tropical paradise fringed by pristine beaches and dotted with scenic rolling hills. Upon arrival, we disembarked and were greeted with lovely steel drum music by local musicians. We then took a taxi to Orient Beach which we had previously visited. Getting around this island is seamless and the ride to the beach offers some nice sightseeing. We experienced a few rain showers throughout the day but nothing to dampen the mood. Orient Bay is on the French side of the island and boasts a beautiful wide expanse of perfectly powdery sand and truly beautiful crystal clear turquoise water. There are all the sun chair and amenities you could possibly think of needing as well as bars and restaurants. We stayed at the clothing optional section toward the end of the beach - I, being East German, was very comfortable here.
6. St. Johns, Antigua and Burbuda
I got very sick with food poising the night before we arrived in Antigua. Having thrown up and experienced all kinds of other unpleasantries all night, it did not even look like I would be able to step on land. I was distraught- we had never been to Antigua and it was the destination we had been looking forward to the most by far. However, after resting a bit and under the care of my sweet husband, I stepped out in St. John’s later in the afternoon. And boy am I glad I did. Antigua is an incredibly destination - hard to match in its natural beauty. The locals like to say that there are 365 beaches on the island - one for every day of the year. And they were not kidding: Antigua’s shoreline is washed almost exclusively by the Caribbean Sea, and is hugged by 95 miles of superb coastline. Pink and white-sandy beaches, crystal clear waters as far as the eye can see. It’s a very small island. At 108 square miles in size, and just 13 miles across, Antigua can be driven around more than a few times in a single day. But this combined with its lovely people is part of the island’s charm. My husband talked with one of the drivers at the dock and arranged for him to take us on a little tour ending on the beach. We took the somewhat broken down car and went on a fantastic ride. I can no longer remember the name of the beach we went to but it doesn’t even matter. Any beach you go to in Antigua will without a doubt be one of the best you’ve ever encountered. Powder white sand, sapphire clear blue water and palm tress rustling in the light breeze - I was mesmerized and did not want to go home! I dared to have a fresh coconut despite the upset stomach and it actually helped my sickness and nausea. As we rode back to the ship I was grateful for the visit and determined to return to Antigua
7. Bridgetown, Barbados
Second time in Barbados and after doing the whirlwind tour with Gary’s friend last time on this visit we just took a ride to the beach. While it's justifiably famed for its fantastic beaches, Barbados is an island that has it all. It’s highly developed and perfectly set up for tourists, many of whom arrive here from the UK. You can get everywhere by public bus, there are tons of hotels, entertainment choices and restaurants with international as well as divine Bajan cuisine.Amid the tropical scenery are survivors of the island’s colonial past: vast plantation homes, sugar-cane fields, rum producers and period townships. And then there are the beaches: The Atlantic-battered east coast is legendary among surfers, while the beaches of the west play home to millionaires and movie stars. It’s a bit touristy and lacking in authenticity for my taste, though it’s hard to argue with the island’s beaches, stunning beauty, comfort and bountiful options to spend your time. We went to a beach close to the cruise terminal and had a perfect relaxing day with tons of swimming and snorkeling in the pristine Caribbean Sea.
8. Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis
It was our second time in St. Kitts and after going all around the island on the last visit this time we just wanted to relax on the beach. We took a taxi and drove through the mountains and St. Kitts dramatic scenery to the opposite side of the island through quaint villages and the countryside of St. Kitts. Then we drove along the windswept Atlantic coastline and headed towards the beach at Frigate Bay. Frigate Bay is home to St Kitts' major tourist hotels and most of the island's big houses, and over the past decade a string of beachfront bars, known collectively as 'The Strip', has sprung up. The bars have become a big attraction for locals and tourists which means lots of amenities but not all that much privacy. It’s not as spectacular a beach or place as others we have been to in the Caribbean but still has unique scenery and a comfortable vibe. We spend a nice day relaxing on the beach and chatting with a British couple who were also here on a separate cruise.
9. New York
Home sweet home again. Disembarking and taking a cab back was easy as usual. We had a great time on this much needed getaway.