Eastern Caribbean Excursions
As you probably know if read my post 2 weeks ago (if you need to catch up, you can read it here), my husband and I recently returned from our 1st cruise together!
This post is going to be long on pictures. We went to such pretty places and I don’t think slideshow mode will do justice to some of these!
At our first destination, I decided to start every morning we were in port with a picture of my coffee on the balcony, overlooking whichever beautiful place we got to explore that day. The 1st picture is a little different than the others because we were greeted with rain as we docked in St. Maarten. Not to worry, though, the rain moved out before we were even able to go ashore!
We docked on the Dutch side of the island, and by the time we walked off the ship, beautiful blue skies and sunny weather greeted us. We opted not to do an excursion in St. Maarten and planned to spend the day shopping and maybe check out the beach.
We walked through a ton of jewelry stores, then took the water taxi over to a beachy area to check out more stores and maybe the beach. The island still isn’t recovered from the hurricane and it was really sad to see a lot of damage still, but thankfully it looks like a lot of areas are in the process of being rebuilt.
We walked down to the water for some pretty views, but opted not to rent chairs and umbrella and instead continued wandering.
We headed back to the ship earlier than we really needed to, but if I’m being honest, St. Maarten (or at least Philipsburg) really wasn’t for us. There were tons of jewelry stores with some gorgeous pieces, but we didn’t go on a cruise to buy jewelry, and the cost of the items I’d like really weren’t something we could justify. The beach area was small and crowded so we didn’t spend time there, either.
But, every single way we turned we were met with the most gorgeous views.
I also decided I wanted to end each day in a port with a glass of proseco to toast our beautiful destination as we set sail.
San Juan was going to be our shortest day, so we got up with the sun to be ready to depart the ship as soon as possible.
It was raining again as we were docking in San Juan, but it made for a really cool view.
Just like the previous day, by the time we were able to depart the ship, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining.
We’d booked the Old and New San Juan tour, which lasted about 2 hours, and we thought it was absolutely amazing!
We were driven around and our guide Ivan told us lots of history and facts about San Juan and there were a few stops where we were able to walk around and explore for a little while before meeting back up with the group.
Old San Juan is an island itself and there’s an old fort surrounding it. It’s absolutely stunning and we got to explore an area with a beautiful cemetery, which arguably has the best view on the planet.
San Juan was also home to the best food we ate on the entire trip. For a mid-morning snack, we visited a bakery and had mallorcas. They were basically grilled cheese inside the fluffiest bread, which got an amazing crunch on the outside, and were dusted with powdered sugar. I’ll admit I was apprehensive when I saw the powdered sugar come into play, but they were amazing.
Pictured below is mofongo, one of my husband’s and my favorites. It’s basically just mashed plantains with garlic but it’s absolutely delicious. I got shredded chicken with mine. We got this right before we headed back to the ship and we enjoyed our lunch on our balcony as we sailed away.
San Juan completely has our hearts and we already decided we want to go back someday. ❤️
Labadee is Royal Caribbean’s own private area of Haiti. And, let me tell you, it is beautiful.
For the 3rd day in a row, we were on the absolute perfect side of the ship to have gorgeous views as we were docking. Contrary to the prior 2 days, though, we weren’t greeted by any rain!
We started our day with the Dragon’s Breath Flightline – the world’s longest zip line over water. It stretches 2,600 feet long and you reach speeds up to 50 mph. I don’t have any photos of the actual experience (we don’t have a Go Pro nor any way to strap our phones to ourselves and we did not want to risk losing them) but I can tell you it was incredible. The views were amazing and the rush of flying through the air was so much fun!
After our adventure, we found some lounge chairs in the shade and spent most of the day reading and relaxing.
As it got later in the day and a lot of people started to clear out, we made our way over to the beach on the bay side, which had been extremely crowded earlier, and took in the gorgeous views from there.
It was a great way to wrap up the day and sort-of the trip since it was our last port of call before heading back to Port Everglades.
Have you ever cruised? Tell me your favorite cruise destination in the comments!