Our Caribbean caper

What can go wrong on a cruise?

She's big!

Having a bout of allergy before setting off? Check!

Discovering that your luggage was left behind (after the ship set sail)? Check!

Missing social events and not having your golf gear with you (see above)? Check!

A fire (albeit small) in one of the engine rooms? Check!

 

I can honestly say that our cruise was,if anything, eventful.

 

Sean won an award at work and the prize was a cruise in the Eastern Caribbean on the Allure of the Seas. There were about 35 winners in all and they were allowed to bring a guest, with all expenses paid. We were excited and apprehensive at the same time because we didn’t know anybody (Sean works from home so he’s never met most of his colleagues in person). But it turned out well.

After learning that our luggage was inadvertently left behind at the W Hotel in Ft Lauderdale (no one provided a satisfactory explanation, only that they “got confused”), the organizer said the company would take us shopping the next day in Nassau. We only had the clothes on our backs! Maybe I wasn’t in the mood or what, but I did not like the Bahamas. I would never go back.

The other two stops were breathtakingly beautiful. I’d never been to the Caribbean before and was awed by the turquoise waters and white sands of St. Thomas and St. Maarten. I would most definitely visit them again!

St. Thomas

The hotel FedExed our luggage to St. Thomas, so we finally got our stuff on Wednesday afternoon. That was half-way through the holiday. By then, we’d given the formal dinner a miss (flip flops are a big no-no) as well as the pool and the gym. That night I dressed to the nines even though it wasn’t a special occasion. I didn’t care; I wanted to look good for once! (On the last night, one of the girls told me she thought Sean and I were the best dressed in the whole group!)

St. Maarten

I’m not sure I’d go on another cruise. There were way too many people for comfort. With more than six thousand passengers, sometimes I felt too crowded in and claustrophobic. But I have to admit that service was excellent, the food was quite good as was the company. We ended up making good friends, some of whom we’ll meet again soon in Buenos Aires, of all places!

About Ana O

Hi, I’m Ana. I’m originally from Argentina but I’m currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I’d like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

18 thoughts on “Our Caribbean caper

  1. Aww, I’m sorry you hit so many bumps in the road (waves on the high seas? ;)) with your cruise. I guess it helped that you traveled on someone else’s dime, because otherwise I imagine you would have been even more frustrated! I have never been on a cruise either, and while I’m sure there are aspects I would enjoy, I don’t think it’s really for me either. I don’t really like organized travel that much; I prefer to plan excursions, meals, etc. on my own. But at least you had the opportunity to experience another mode of travel, and now you know that it’s not something you really need to do again (unless someone else pays! lol).

    1. Travelling on someone else’s dime is always good. I hit the spa and it wasn’t pretty (the bill, that is 🙂 )
      It wasn’t as regimented as I thought it would be. However, like you, I’d rather plan activities myself and I try to avoid guided tours. The one we did in St. Maarten was ghastly! The guide wasn’t very good and she even asked for tips! That was a first.

  2. Wow! You guys were unlucky with this one! I’ve never been on a cruise, but I think I’d only take part in one if it was free 🙂 That water looks gorgeous though – especially in St. Thomas. I was surprised by all the seaweed on the St. Maarten beach…

    1. Hi Marcia. Yes, you are allowed carry-on luggage. However, I didn’t take any because we were part of a corporate thing and supposedly everything was taken care of by a private transport, just for us. Supposedly.

  3. St. Thomas does look gorgeous! Somehow offsets all the hassle, right? 🙂
    I can imagine the cruise ship was pretty crowded. I have a couple of close friends who work in those and they say Caribbean cruises are almost always fully booked.

  4. Whether or not to take a cruise is a question I’m still pondering. Lots of different viewpoints on it as I found out when I posted an article on my blog about it. My visit to the Bahamas wasn’t all that great either, but it was a very long time ago so thought I might give it another try. But maybe not……

    1. If you do go, remember to take a carry-on bag with essentials!

      It depends on what you like to do, like lie by the pool all day or be active, and so on. I enjoyed some of the aspects of the cruise, others, not so much, like the crowds.

  5. It’s really incredible all the things that happened to you during this trip! Fortunately, it wasn’t anything serious (may I remind you of the hero of the year, captain Schettino?) and that you lived to tell the tale here on your blog! 🙂 Sorry that it wasn’t all that perfect but you still managed to have a good time and that says a lot about you! 🙂

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