What’s Good Royal Caribbean?

Ok, so the last post was a list of complaining about my cruise and why it’s just not my cup of tea. So what was good on my cruise?

1. Tapas in the “park”

The cruise ship had a park. With real trees and plants (ok they were small trees). I usually visited it in the morning for coffee while I let my cabin mate sleep in. But one evening, I went to the Tapas restaurant (that costs extra mind you) and had gazpacho and Rosé while listening to jazz. Great way to unwind. 

2. Hiking in Loterie farm and preserve

So hard, but this was my highlight. I can’t believe I made it through the “not strenuous” part of the hike. It was uphill and downhill, included climbing up rocks and using ropes to pull myself uphill. I was drenched in sweat at the end. This hike requires water (had it), snacks (that too), mosquito repellent (check) and better shoes than I wore. But it made my strawberry sorbet at the treehouse lounge so much sweeter of a reward.

3. Balcony views: Always stunning.

4. Random Dunkin Donut experiences

In the Bahamas, I stopped at a random Dunkin donuts for coffee and a chance to consult the pictures of maps I took (no data). I found the local coffee shop retired group arguing about politics just like everywhere else I have lived. It must be some kind of rule that a group of older men can be found drinking coffee and arguing about things.

5. The Vitality Cafe

On days I worked out, I finished each work out with freshly juiced ginger, celery, cucumber, and apple. It made me feel like I wasn’t  just stuffing my face with bad food.

6. Entertainment: Mama Mia & Comedy 

The cruise ship had a variety of entertainment, but the two that I enjoyed were Mama Mia, which I hated as a movie (Pierce Brosnan should not sing) but enjoyed in this production. I also laughed a lot at the comedy show. It might have been the comedian making fun of the cruise experience that I completely related to, but it was funny!

7. Swimming in the Caribbean Sea

I did swim. And walked along the beach. And watched sailboats and people snorkel. And read a book. And relaxed.

8. Navigating islands alone without google maps

Most of the time data was inaccessible on the different islands. Even if T-Mobile said I  had 2G data, it was pretty nonexistent. So in order to get around the islands I took photos of maps, asked my husband to text me google map images (because texting worked) and relied on the kindness of strangers. On St. Maarten, a taxi ride to Loterie farm was quoted at $30 one way. Which was crazy to me, but I was standing in front of the place where all of the cruise ship passengers disembark, so I walked on until I spotted a van with sign in the window for Marigot. I didn’t know what it meant but I saw a passenger get on, so I hopped on too. $2 to the French side of the island and $11 taxi to the farm. Much better price and I rode with locals around the island. 

On St. Thomas, we rode the safari like van to Sapphire beach. On all of the islands, we realized driving was an adventure. Stop signs? Who needs those when your driver has a horn?

In the Bahamas, our stay was too short for long exploration, so I walked around churches and neighborhoods.