This was the third Thomson (TUI) Caribbean Cruise I’ve been on and it was the same as the others…brilliant. For those of you who have never been on a cruise before, what more could you want than all you can eat food and travelling to all these beautiful islands. Cruising is for all ages, so don’t be fooled by the “cruising is for the older generation” rumours.
The cruise company is now called Marella, part of the TUI group. I personally love the Marella Cruises, they are not as formal as the other cruise companies and are relatively small in comparison. This is good, as the boats are not as busy.
We flew into the Dominican Republic which takes you around 9 hours. Also, don’t worry about your bags because they are taken straight from the plane to the ship.
Most of the caribbean islands take US Dollars, just remember to make sure these are new notes, as people and places don’t tend to accept used and worn money.
On the first night you’ll be able to enjoy the sail away party. This is where the entertainment crew put on a party and you end up drinking a lot. This is a good time to have a little look around the boat and get yourself familiar to your surroundings.
The first full day was the ‘ship at sea’ day. You can relax around the pool, eat, drink and you can also book a treatment at the onboard spa. I got a cut and blow dry. In addition, there are a number of places to eat on board the ship, you can eat at the self service or table service restaurant, the indian or you could try the outside bar and grill (amongst others). The food is really good, so make the most of it.
It has a fantastic Christmas vibe on the ship. There were Christmas decorations everywhere and they had Christmas activities on for the children and adults.
The next day we spent on the island of Grenada. I’m not going to go into much about Grenada, as I have another blog post about our day on the island. Check it out. Grenada is a beautiful island and we hired a private taxi to take us to Annandale Waterfall, a Spice Hut and Great Etang National Park. The taxi isn’t expensive and I definitely recommend this if your only there for the day.
When you get back from your day out, it’s nice to go and chill by the pool. There were two pools on the ship. One for children and the other for adults (with a jacuzzi).
St Lucia was next on our destination list. I’ve been to St Lucia before and I can honestly say it has some of the worlds best beaches. We caught a taxi to a beach called Reddit Beach in Rodney Bay. The sand is white and the sea is crystal clear. We went snorkelling in the sea and you see loads of fish…and maybe a few crabs. You will normally have to pay to enter a beach club. This is a good idea to be fair, as you can use their bar, hire a sun lounger and use the toilet facilities.
Christmas Eve was a lot of fun. The children can get a plate of mince pies and carrots to leave out for Santa and there’s entertainment on throughout the night.
Christmas Day was spent on St Martin. Before we went on the island, an announcement was heard on the radio by the captain saying that Santa was about to land and they had spotted him on there navigation devices. This was a lot of fun for the children and they could also go and meet Santa.
Not long before we went on the cruise, hurricane Irma had hit some of the caribbean islands. St Martin was one of those islands. However, when we got there you could only see some roofs that needed to be repaired and the people were so grateful that the cruise liners were still coming to the island.
We spent the day on the beach and eating jerk chicken. What an amazing Christmas Day. St Martin was so beautiful and the beach was pristine with views of the hills at each side. St Martin is a place that I would definitely go back to for a lot longer.
Antigua was next on our stop. We did an excursion to a beach with an unlimited supply of rum punch. You caught a coach with other passengers to a small beach and relaxed the day away.
Our next stop was the British Virgin Islands. We didn’t have much time in Road Town and it had been badly hit by hurricane Irma. There wasn’t much to see and a lot of the buildings had been damaged and boats had been sunk in the harbour.
The last day was spent in the Dominican Republic. However, we docked in port and the captain explained that there isn’t much to see, so we only did a bit of shopping in the terminal .
Cruising is a great way to explore different places and travel in luxury. The weather was great and the sea was calm. So again don’t listen to the rumours of choppy seas. It’s just not true. The staff are helpful and friendly. I would recommend you definitely try a cruise…it will leave you hook, line and sinker!
Until next time Caribbean…