Errol and I, his sister Noreen, and her husband Don, enjoy vacationing together. We have been on trips to Cape Cod, New York City, and several Maine locations, just to name a few.
Our favorite vacation so far, in my opinion, was the Caribbean cruise we took in March of 2013.
We flew to Florida on a Friday morning and spent the day exploring Ft. Lauderdale.
Princess Cruise Lines
Saturday morning we boarded the Caribbean Princess cruise ship.
Awe-inspiring is the way I felt when we stepped on board. We had booked balcony rooms next to each other, and went to drop our things off before going to the upper deck for the shoving-off party.
For anyone who hasn’t been on a cruise ship, it’s like a whole village floating in the ocean. Just about anything you could want or need is on a cruise ship. There are all kinds of stores, bars, swimming, exercising, spas, restaurants, movies, bingo, entertainers, and more. All of your food is included, alcohol or store purchases are put on a special cruise ship card they give you that is added to your final bill. There is always something to do, and an itinerary is left in your room each evening with the next days events on it.
After we were all settled in, we stopped at a bar for a drink. The bartender told us about a dirty banana. It was a frozen rum drink that tasted just like a banana smoothie. The bartender then showed us a book of drinks that he had, and I decided that my goal was to try as many different drinks as I could during the cruise. Noreen took a picture of me with each drink for official verification 🙂 Here are just a few…
We had signed up for 3 excursions at the three ports we were stopping at. The first was Princess Cays where we went on a glass bottomed boat.
The second excursion was to Curacao where we went on a bus tour of the area that ended with a tour of the Bon Bini Liqueur Factory and a dolphin show.
The last stop was in Aruba where we went on a submarine.
When we weren’t on excursions we went to the movies, played bingo, saw magic shows and on board game shows, went swimming, and had massages in the spa. There was always something new to see or do.
Sometimes it was just nice to relax on our balcony, and be silly taking selfies.
On “dress up night” we all donned are best and went to one of the fancier restaurants to eat. We clean up pretty nice, I think.
When the cruise was (sadly) over, we weren’t done yet!
After disembarking the ship, picked up our rental car, and drove the 7 mile bridge to the Florida Keys, spending two nights there. We visited Ernest Hemingway’s house, took a tour of the island, saw the end of Route 1, and Noreen hugged the buoy that’s at the southernmost point of the U.S.
Doing what most do when visiting the Florida Keys, we bar hopped down Duval Street. At the famous bar Sloppy Joe’s, we even met up with a waitress that used to live in Maine, and now resides full time in the Keys.
The last night in the Keys we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.
I can’t wait until the next time I get to take a cruise. The plan is the Hawaiian islands, which means we get to see California first. Saving those pennies!