How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises perpetually – and because we should set cruise too


You’re possibly a ‘cruise person’ or you’re not.

Piling onto a immeasurable floating hotel in a association of thousands of strangers and withdrawal a leisure of dry land for days filled with belly-flop contests, smorgasboard dinners, top-deck sunburn and karaoke – it can usually interest to a ‘certain form of person’.

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I’m simply not that form of person.

This was me one month ago.

Now, within reason, we journey myself a ‘proper traveler’.

I have a bizarre adore for violent craft rides, painful feet, damp hiking boots and denunciation barriers.

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
The journey set journey from San Juan, Puerto Rico (Photo: Michael Maurer)

I like a independence. we adore climbing plateau and we hatred boozy organisation trips.

I also like a tiny annoy on holiday – if I’m not during slightest tolerably exhausted, am we unequivocally carrying a good time?

So when my beloved announced that we’d be embarking on a 10-day Caribbean journey with 8 members of his extended family, we was some-more than a tiny dubious.

The supposed floating marketplace during Willemstad, Curacao is unequivocally an typical marketplace on a waterfront manned by Venezuelan traders who moor their boats adult opposite a stalls. It lies in a Punda district of Willemstad.
The floating marketplace during Willemstad, Curacao (Picture: Getty)

Will we be cumulative to a ship, incompetent to try anywhere for some-more than 10 minutes?

Will we be shoved around in a heaving mass of white-trainers-and-Guy-Fieri-sunglasses-clad tourists?

Will a boat be a anger of overzealous MCs, screeching children and ‘family fun’, though one still dilemma to lay in peace?

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
I get to windsurf in some of a best spots on a planet? On a cruise?! (Photo: Michael Maurer)

The law is, this 10-day excursion incited into an useful possibility to face my fear of cruising head-on.

Not usually did we learn that my expectations valid very, really misguided, though we schooled some critical lessons about myself as a traveller.

Here’s how one Royal Caribbean journey altered my perspective of cruising for good – and assured me that anyone can suffer life during sea.

That fear of not removing to ‘travel properly’? It’s nonsense

Deck chair on a journey boat on a dance deck
(Picture: Getty)

One of my biggest gripes with a universe of cruising arose from a low adore of relocating spontaneously.

The best trips of my life have concerned saying as many places as probable in a brief duration of time.

But relocating has a problems. Everyone knows we need to meticulously devise all for it to work.

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
Our initial stop in St Thomas – we could get used to this (Photo: Michael Maurer)

On a Royal Caribbean cruise, we visited 8 Caribbean islands in only 10 days though a map, $50 packet float or lumpy mattress in sight.

Departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, we stopped in St Thomas, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.

To have seen all those islands in 10 days exclusively would have cost me thousands of pounds and weeks of planning.

Every morning on a Adventure of a Seas was a dream.

St. Lucia's famous Twin Pitons in a early morning light
St. Lucia’s famous Twin Pitons in a early morning light (Picture: Getty)

We would arise adult in a cabin and be greeted by an proclamation detailing some must-see points on a island we’re advancing at for a day.

We’d wander sleepy-eyed to breakfast, and we’d be greeted by a fantastic steer of a pier sprawled in front of us.

We would gawk opposite to a St Lucian pitons or a salt flats of Bonaire and make a skeleton as we ate from a ship’s huge buffet.

This was a ultimate beauty of cruising for me – a second we step on board, all a common stresses of transport are taken off your hands so you’re giveaway to suffer yourself while meaningful you’re still on a move.


A post common by Eleanor Dunn (@eleanordunn_) on Mar 26, 2017 during 9:44am PDT

Contrary to my expectations, there was never a insane rush to a ship’s exit – a boarding and disembarkation processes ran some-more painlessly than we could ever have imagined.

I schooled that an deficiency of blisters and under-eye bags doesn’t make we a reduction committed traveller, it only creates we an fit one – generally if you’re holidaying with people of all ages.

Cruising is, utterly literally, what we make it. There is no ‘cruise type’

Deadwood, being knocked around by a peaceful Caribbean currents on Ffryers Bay in Antigua (Picture: Getty)
Deadwood, being knocked around by a peaceful Caribbean currents on Ffryers Bay in Antigua (Picture: Getty)

As shortly as we landed in Antigua during 8am, my beloved and we were dressed, fed, and prepared to leave a ship.

His aged grandparents were still soundly asleep, knocked out after a successful night in a on-board casino.

We were greeted during a pier by a beam who ushered a organisation of 10 of us true into a minivan, and whizzed us off to a sugar-sand-covered Runaway Beach.

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
We were off a boat and onto horseback by 9am (Photo: Michael Maurer)

We stepped out onto a brook and saw a cobalt blue Antiguan waters poking out in between silky silt dunes.

Out of a small, prosy beach shed emerged a self-proclaimed horse-whispering Rastafarian ‘with 20-year-old dreadlocks’ down to his feet.

His name was Sun Fire, and he was going to take us horseback roving along a beach.

This was one of Royal Caribbean’s innumerable shore excursions, where cruisers can book anything from a helicopter moody to a Bajan cooking class.

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
Our beautiful horses were named Little Man and Rolex (Photo: Michael Maurer)

The horses were all looked after by a owner’s 7 sons, and were given names like Little Man and Rolex.

We cantered along a white sand, waved to flitting locals, and watched a animals stretch out in a line along a seaside in front of us.

During a journey we review 3 books, took a yoga class, catapulted down waterslides, watched a comedy show, snorkelled in St Thomas, windsurfed in Aruba, attempted internal pineapple cake in St Lucia, poked around internal shops in Curacao, saw a lot of beaches, and assured myself I’d found Rihanna’s residence in Barbados.

Basically, we did a lot.

So happy…so innocent…so unknowingly that a Aruban winds were about to give us a violence of a lives 🙃🤦🏼‍♀️

A post common by Eleanor Dunn (@eleanordunn_) on Apr 7, 2017 during 3:32pm PDT

Every singular chairman on a outing had a opposite knowledge of cruising.

You could only as simply spend a whole time on a ship, never spending a singular penny, as you could leave during a moment of emergence and come behind with superfluous bags of engineer clothes.

You could make a holiday a powerful extreme-sport journey or a 10-day-long beach flop.

You could accommodate hundreds of people, or nothing during all.

I enjoyed cruising for a knowledge we done it; we embraced a aspects we chose to, and was dynamic to warn myself a few times (I so didn’t wish to cry with delight during a poolside World’s Sexiest Man contest, though now I’ll always remember it as a prominence of a trip).

If that creates me a ‘cruise type’, afterwards dammit, that’s what we am.

Finding good food stops being a con and becomes an adventure

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
The ship’s captain and organisation were forever accessible and ardent (Photo: Michael Maurer)

If you’ve ever traipsed around a remote encampment with your whole family in draw ­- vegans, meat-lovers, picky eaters and people who don’t like piquancy – you’ll know a hair-pulling calamity that is appreciative everybody during dinner.

On a Adventure, and on many journey ships, a thing that everybody talks about is a food.

The scale and accumulation of dining options will leave your conduct reeling; we could spend a month on residence and still not have attempted everything.

In a categorical a la grant dining hall, where a opposite all-you-can eat menu is set and served any day, a waiters learn all a names in your organisation by a finish of a initial night. They learn your dietary needs, your preferences – even what dishes we like additional portions of.

There’s a buffet, a 24-hour pizzeria and coffee shop, and specialty restaurants during an additional cost.

One night, my beloved and we snuck divided from a rest of a organisation for a date night in Chops Grille, a Adventure’s code new American-steakhouse-with-a-twist.

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
The journey stopped in St Thomas, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba (Photo: Michael Maurer)

I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs or milk, and we was travelling with a squad of lobster-guzzling, hunter-gatherer-meat-lovers who wanted to devour as most filet mignon as humanly possible.

To contend we was shaken about a options during Chops would have been an understatement; we was prepared and peaceful to repeat ‘oh, only give me a image of a side vegetables’ whenever asked.

I utterly literally ate my difference as we took another spoonful of sour pivotal orange cake and unbuttoned my jeans.

How one outing to a Caribbean altered my opinion of cruises forever
Finding good food for even a pickiest of eaters was never stressful (Photo: Michael Maurer)

I don’t like a word ‘cruising’ anymore.

I associate it with my old, seared and astray perspective of this approach of holidaying, dark by visions of close boat corridors and inexpensive commemoration shops.

I’d like to contend we ‘travelled on a cruise’ – we gifted all we could have hoped for in a Caribbean, and most more.

How to get there

British Airways fly to Puerto Rico around Miami from London Gatwick, starting during £650 return.

Royal Caribbean journey to destinations in Europe, a Caribbean, a Bahamas, North America, South America and Asia. Cruises can be requisitioned on their website.

(Featured image: Michael Maurer Photography)

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