Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Caribbean
Toes in the Sand...Drinks in your Hand

We recently did a 2 week cruise to the Caribbean stopping in:

San Juan, Puerto Rico
*Explore Old San Juan - I love the cobblestone streets
*Visit the forts - amazing views
*Get out of the city - Great Hiking!

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
*Magens Bay is so-so... I suggest exploring other beaches like Koki
*If you like to shop - shop!!
*Very commercialized.... if you are looking for seclusion - go to St. John for the day!
*Go have a drink at Johnny's Bar - he makes a killer Rum Punch!

Tortola, British Virgin Islands
*Have a drink at Village Cay overlooking the marina
*Easy trip to neighboring islands
*Very secluded & laid back

Virgin Gorda
*Use Tortola as your hub to get to Virgin Gorda
*Find a guy named Dion - he will take you to Virgin Gorda for $50 a person
*Go to Virgin Gorda early... we went at 9am and beat all the crowds
*Explore the caves and climb the boulders - AMAZING!

Saint John's, Antigua
*Very underdeveloped roads - but I still recommend renting a car and exploring
*Visit the donkey sanctuary - make a donation - see a famous donkey
*Skip Nelson's Dockyard - not worth it!!
*Visit Devils Bridge
*Have a drink at Harbor View Bar & Cafe and watch the cruise ships (Have a Wadadli - local beer)

Roseau, Dominica
*One of my most favorite places EVER!!!
*Nature Lovers Paradise
*Visit Emerald Pool (go early beat the crowds)
*Titou Gorge is absolutely amazing (a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was filmed here)
*Trafalgar Falls (as seen below) hot water, cold water and 2 spectacular waterfalls
*Have a Kubuli (Local Beer)

Bridgetown, Barbados
*Go to Blue Monkey Beach - take your snorkel gear with you and you can shore snorkel out to the sea turtles
*Snorkeling with the sea turtles in their natural environment was one of the coolest things I have ever done!  Don't forget a water camera - you won't want to miss these pics!
*Negotiate beach chairs - you shouldn't pay more than $10 for 2 chairs
*Check out Harbor Lights Beach Bar - rent chairs and snorkel with more sea turtles and an awesome ship wreck

St. Maarten
*Topless to the left, Nude to the Right - Very European = Very Nude
*Rent a Jeep
*Go to the Butterfly Farm - it's nice to do things you never get to do - so why not??
*Orient Beach - rent beach chairs and sit back for some interesting people watching! - enough said!
*Bring your own water chair and sit back and enjoy view like the one below....

St. Lucia
*Climb the Gros Piton - a difficult but worthy climb to the top!
*Beware of winding roads - car sickness is not fun!  I know!  Take a boat rather than a van to the Pitons - 1.5 hours away from the cruise ship dock one way.

*The island of SPICE!  Don't leave without taking the tastes of the island home with you!
*The beach is close by the cruise ship... Catch a water taxi and enjoy the day!

Kralendijk, Bonaire
*Dive, Snorkel... do either, do both - just do it! 
*I would live here!  This place is gorgeous! 
*Take a water taxi to No Name Beach - take your snorkel gear with you and drift snorkel straight from the shore.  There is NOTHING on this beach - just leave your stuff and walk down the beach and enter the water at one of the entry points. 
*Best Snorkeling EVER!
*Watch the sunset a Karel's Beach Bar - a great place to grab a drink and some food right on the water.

Oranjestad, Aruba
*Rent a four wheeler or motorcycle
*Explore the island from top to bottom - from the lighthouse to the wildlife park, to the caves to Baby Beach... Lots to see and do!
Eat Funchi - a local dish in Aruba - cornmeal fried with melted cheese on top.... Drink Balashi and Balashi Chill... locally brewed beer in Aruba
*The sand bar at Baby Beach is amazing...

I totally recommend this cruise via Princess Cruise Line.  Its 2 weeks of new islands every day and only 2 sea days.  If you want a great way to see as much of the Caribbean as possible in a short period of time...this is for you.  Nothing beats waking up every morning on a different island....going all day... and coming back to the ship a night for great entertainment and an awesome dinner.  We loved our trip and I would be happy to answer any questions on any of these message me! 
Bon Voyage and keep traveling my friends!!