Caribbean Honeymoon Recap

I started counting down to our cruise probably a month early with anticipation but now that it’s over; it came and went just like that. We flew down Friday the 12th and came back Monday 23rd late afternoon from 80 degree weather to 40 degrees. All in all, we had a great time aside from the fact that the sea was a bit rough at some parts which apparantly was normal during winter times. So tip, probably travel during the late summer and early fall where the water is calm if you want to cruise. The weather though was great throughout the whole time we were there. We had sprinkles in the morning first day or so which dissipated by afternoon leaving us with warm beachy weather all week. First two days we hung around the ship, but stayed to ourselves hanging in our stateroom on the balcony watching the sea. I had received my first dslr camera late Nov for my early xmas gift so that I had it just in time for our honeymoon and you bet I put that camera to use. There were about 1000 photos when we returned home. =) The fun part was weeding through all of them. =/

Anywho, our first stop was at Samana, Dominican Republic. This port of destination was pretty new so there wasn’t much growth as far as I could see from the island. We took a bus through the “scenic” route of Samana which pretty much consisted of run-down shacks and locals hanging out in near empty stores. There were animals all around, but noticeably emanicated, which compared to all five islands that we visited, was one of the poorer islands. The island however hosted one of the top best beaches in the country and upon arriving to Playa Ricon, I could definitely see why. The water was as blue as could be and just breathtakingly gorgeous! We pretty much just hung out, took pictures, ate and headed back to port – a much needed R&R day.

Second stop was Tortola. We took the ferry across to Virgin Gorda to visit the Baths which was pretty much a cave that you’d trek through and come out to the most beautiful sight — the clear bluest of blue ocean out there! Simply amazing. (Note: I may run out of adjectives at the rate this entry is going =P). Before we left for Miami, we bought a set of snorkeling gear for Tim to use for all the islands. We heard this island was one of the better snorkeling areas according to critics online so Tim had to try it out. I couldn’t swim so I stayed behind and just basked in the view. One of the cruise passengers that we met up for the first two islands ask if I wanted to borrow her snorkeling gear since she had a life vest as well. I was hesitant at first but then said why not. I was glad I did because it was the most amazing experience yet! Snorkeling was a bit scary at first, to not be able to touch the ocean floor, but as soon as I saw the colorful fish and corals, the fear quickly faded away. It was so wonderful to see everything below and as clear as day! Even better to be able to share it with Tim since it was his first time snorkeling too.
Third stop was St. Johns, Antigua. We decided not to take any excursions with this port, but to check out Heritage Quay shopping area and the St. Johns Cathedral. Christmas music filled the air on each island as well as the decorations, but it was strange to see them in 80 degree weather – even stranger to hear xmas music playing on the steel pan drums. I guess it just didn’t feel like xmas unless you see snow. =)

Fourth stop was Barbados and here we took the Glory Tours. We were able to check out Harrisons Cave, see the wonderful view of Bathsheba, walked around the Wildlife Reserve. There were no barriers or fences to any of the animals so you could literally walk right up to them and take pictures. It was great! Our last stop of the tour was a boat ride out to see sea turtles. This has got to be the worst boat ride ever bc the water was sooo bumpy and gave me the worst headache ever. It was a memorable one though bc we were able to see the sea turtle so close! It was almost too close! The guys on the boat threw out fish chunks around to draw the turtle near and each time they would shout out where they saw the turtle. One of them shouted one right below us and we immediately ducked our heads down to look. All of a sudden, we saw a huuuge turtle swimming right to us so fast that it startled both of us and we started swimming away! It was hilarious and I suppose we weren’t expecting it to be THAT close. The water was a bit murky too so it was hard to see clearly. =)

Fifth stop and last stop was St. Lucia where we took the Cosol Tour. I think this island was the best one so far. We went to the banana plantations, went to see Toraille Waterfall in the Botanical Gardens and also the Dragon Volcano which had collapse years ago in the 2nd largest town called Soufriere. The volcano has been dormant now emitting lots of sulfur gas in the air and hot steam. I was not expecting that and forgot how much sulfur really really was stunk so it was suffocating for me being there. Since bananas are a huge staple in the island’s economy and diet, we tasted everything banana. They even had a banana ketchup. It was sweet and pretty tasty. The tour ppl had a table laid out with food from the locals, which was awesome. I love trying out dishes from the area. Of course they had drinks of every kind and the famous Rum Punch. Apparantly the rum made on the island is 80% alcohol proof? so when I took a SIP of the punch, it was too much to take. Others were downing the punch like water – either that or they’d felt it later on. =P Our last stop was to a Hilton Jalousie Beach where we took boat rides out to snorkel and according to Tim – the best snorkeling experience ever. He was practically surrounded with hundreds of fish within fingertouch reach and the best experience ever for him. I didn’t go out on the boat this time since the boat ride the day before gave me such a headache. In addition, the guys here didn’t have snorkeling gears onboard so it would’ve been pointless to go. Instead I stayed around the beach area and just took pictures. Some guy on the beach found a live starfish and was showing everyone who wanted to see it. He came up to me walking fast that I was a bit startled at first to see the starfish; I was able to take a quick picture before he moved on again. It was definitely interesting bc I didn’t expect it to look like that in real life.

Overall we had a great time minus days at sea and bumpy boat rides. Tim had such a great time that he placed a deposit for the next cruise (sigh). I just hope for a short one next time around. =) This trip was our many firsts – first to cruise, first to all the islands, first to see sunrise and sunset, first to snorkel, first to see sea turtles so close. December 19th marked our 5th year together, but seems so short compared to a lifetime of many firsts to come. =) Now with our first holidays together as married couple behind us, this year’s just the beginning. So I leave you with a nice pic of our first sunrise. =) Enjoy!


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