Summer of 2015, we decided to take a cruise out of Miami with my two sisters and bother-in-laws. To ensure we’d get there with no issues before the cruising date, we flew into Fort Lauderdale two nights before. We then head for Miami and while waiting for the rest of the group, we wonder off by the pier and quickly realize that as many exotic cars that are driving around, we see the same amount of high end yachts docked all over the port.
The group is reunited and we visit South Beach that evening. A relaxing supper followed by more walking and we quickly head back to the hotel for roof top drinks. The Intercontinental Miami was alive and happening. One particular event was that no one knew as to how my sister Antoinette developed a huge bruise on her elbow. It remained the laughing topic of the entire week but luckily her elbow returned back to a normal size.
Next morning we meet up in the lobby and head for the port to board our cruise. We were able to stuff all our luggage and 6 people in one van. That’s the fun of traveling together. Being together!
We were extremely anxious for this cruise since it had a few ports of call we haven’t visited yet. This one called for San Juan, Grand Turk, St.Marteen and St.Kitts. The embarking procedure, for whatever reason, seemed a little disorganized from the previous trips but nonetheless, we find ourselves on the opened deck waiting for the farewell foghorn call.
The settling in and finding our way to different locations on the ship definitely becomes easier with every trip we take. The layouts are almost practically the same from ship to ship and as none of us had our children, it was more of a couples retreat. We toast to our week of fun in the sun with Carnival and laughing stories begin.
These cruise lines surely do a great job pampering us. The food is very good, the service is second to none and the atmosphere makes all passengers feel rich. Who wouldn’t want a week of this. The week continues with nightly dinner and lounge music, nightly attractions and once in awhile a musician pops up performing tricks while we have dinner. This one particular magician had it with my brother-in-law, Tony. He would converse with him and with no warning, his tie would levitate as if possessed by some demon. That simple act kept us laughing the whole week. My sister Rita hates being center of attention and as she was celebrating her birthday on this cruise, we made it a point to embarrass her. What are vacations for….right!
This happens quite often that in the moment, we take pictures of ourselves in certain locations only to realize later that what we’ve done was completely stupid. In fact, in looking back, can’t believe for the life of us that we actually did that. One night on the this cruise before our dinner, we entered a nightclub that was deserted and started taking pictures as if we’re in some photoshoot. All to say, looking back, it wasn’t pretty at all.
Hey…you can’t blame us for trying to have some fun. More nights more laughter. More laughter more thinking that everyone should enjoy their lives to the fullest. I’ve always said good times are shared with people.
We become a little more professional and our photos reflect our age. Conservative, basic and maybe even boring.
The ship had an area called the Serenity Adult only Retreat. As the name implies, it was reserved for adults only and had these great large huts comfortably fitting for two. It had a cover that either blocks the sun rays or turned around allow sun for tanning. On the sea days, we’d make sure to get these huts and since they were hot commodities, we’d get up earlier to mark our ground.
Knowing St.Marteen, St.Kitts and Grand Turk were to be beach days, we decided to visit the “Castillo San Crisobal” in San Juan. A beautiful Castle on a huge piece of land. Placed high on a mountain top, the edge dropped right to the sea. Gorgeous location for pictures. The large green landscape reminded us all of the movie “Sound of Music” in which we actually filmed ourselves hopping around. Another idea that later made us wonder what the hell we did. Lastly, Anna practiced her tight-rope act along a thick side wall of the Castle.
With the sun beating down, the walk became challenging. A little more old San Juan was visited and we head back to the ship.
We decided to visit Orient Beach in St.Marteen. A well known area with nice turquoise waters and soft white sand. After reading some articles about their nude beach, the temptation over came us and we had to see for ourselves. Not to make it obvious, we planned one couple at a time to enjoy the afternoon sun with a stroll along the coast line where they congregated. It was different in seeing the beach full of nude people acting completely normal and enjoying everyone’s company. I kept my bathing suit on.
St.Kitts was very nice as well. The taxi shuttle heading for the beach, drove along mountains showing us some fairly affluent homes. I was surprised that areas that were usually very lush with greenery were extremely dry and brown. They haven’t had rain for quite some time explained the driver. The beach was nestled between two mountains and although a small crescent, the salt water surely refreshed us. A nice lunch by the water at the Reggae Beach Bar & Grill hid us from the afternoon heat. Truly a relaxing day at the beach with spectacular view.
More foolish and crazy things were done on the cruise and as our last days were approaching we tried and take in as much as possible. We all disembark, find our way to the airport and yet another vacation has been completed.