Written by Tanya Thelen.
The best way to see the Caribbean is definitely by cruising the vibrant Caribbean Sea. By taking a cruise you get to visit a number of spectacular islands in an all-inclusive vacation. Why see just one island when you can visit up to six.
My husband and I took our first cruise last spring on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. We first flew into San Juan, Puerto Rico and spent two nights at the Caribe Hilton. I highly recommend a two or three night addition to your trip so you really can see the beautiful island. There is not much time to see San Juan on the days of embarkation or disembarkation. It also allowed us to arrive early at embarkation which cut down on the time we had to wait in line to board the ship.
We sailed on the Monarch of the Seas, to St. Thomas, Martinique, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Martin. We cruised by night and arrived at a different island each morning. Each island offers ample shopping and spectacular beaches. It is your choice to explore on your own or choose between many shore excursions the cruise line has to offer. This gave us the chance to experience everything from a Calypso Tour around Martinique to a beach party in Antigua to a catamaran ride around St. Martin.
For those people who did not want to go ashore, the ship itself has many things to offer. Not only can you just lounge around the pool but the ship offers daily Bingorama! The jackpot keeps growing until the final day when some big winner walks away! In the evenings, after leaving port, the ship also offers duty free shopping, gambling, lounge shows, dancing, movies, horse racing, and even sumo-wrestling karaoke. They also played the “Newlywed Game” with different couples aboard the ship. Of course, all the real ship-board action takes place after you leave port every evening. There is something for everyone at all kinds of hours.
Cruising is wonderful and is all-inclusive at a great price. It includes your accommodations, meals, certain drinks, entertainment, and port charges as well as air and transfers if purchased together. Rates for a 7-Day cruise start off around $600(cruise only). There are also 3 and 4 day cruises. And, don’t worry about getting sea sick. You can overcome it with the motion sickness wristbands at Travel 2000, a prescribed patch from your doctor, or with an over-the-counter pill called Bonine. Bonine was extremely effective for me. Happy cruising!