Going on a cruise was an unplanned trip for us, we had mixed emotions about going on a cruise that we had always put it off. We thought it was either for old people or for young party goers. Neither suited us, well I say that, we have met some of the most loveliest people on our travels, many of them coming under the bracket of Grandparents! We just felt like it was a real cheesy experience, we usually love keeping to ourselves and we knew on a cruise we’d be surrounded by the same people for two weeks. Not to mention the same food for 2 weeks!
We had looked at a couple of cruises before and it always seemed like you were spending more days at sea then you were on land, we weren’t interested in that. So really we had written a cruise off our list, at least for a long time. Until we were looking to go to one of the Caribbean Islands as an easy all inclusive trip one year (we had some money to spend with TUI) except we still had those same concerns with there being the same people, same food and exactly the same scenery every day.
Then we saw this deal come up and it seemed too good to be true. The cruise took you around to 11 different islands, only two days were at sea. So we went for it, our concerns would be no worse on a cruise than it would be on an all inclusive resort, so we snapped up the offer with TUI and packed our bags. We’d fly straight to Barbados and head off to the following islands;
- Bridgetown, Barbados
- Oranjestad, Aruba
- Willemstad, Curacao Island
- Kralendijk, Bonaire
- St. Georges, Grenada
- Castries, St Lucia
- Bridgetown, Barbados
- Bequia, The Grenadines
- St John’s, Antigua
- Philipsburg, St Maarten
- Road Town, British Virgin Islands
- Basseterre, St Kitts
- Bridgetown, Barbados
The verdict: Fantastic! Amazing value for money.
Okay, so yes, the food was samey samey, BUT towards the end of the trip we realised there were actually some smaller little bar/cafe’s around the boat, we were able to keep changing the restaurants around each day, which meant we really made the most of everything that was on offer and it didn’t feel boring! Each restaurant on the boat was great too, even more so, the people that worked there. I’d say the people who worked on the boat absolutely made our experience. They were so kind, helpful and lovely people, it was our pleasure to spend time with them whilst there.
The boat had a Children’s club (which we didn’t use, but it looked pretty good!), it also had a baby room full of toys which was fantastic if we ever needed to waste time whilst on the boat or to get away from the sun, bonus was that we were the only family in the room whilst we were in there!
The pool was fantastic for the kids also, although a little crowded around it with all the sunbeds, we were still able to find a few sweet spots whilst there. Our boat also had an indoor swimming pool if we wanted a quieter spot but we didn’t need to. Not the mention the crazy golf, rock climbing wall and running track – which was amazing to walk around whilst jet lagged with the kids when it was pitch black outside, seeing the thousands of stars out whilst walking around the edge of the boat getting Phoenix back to sleep, then gradually seeing the sunrise. That was a total highlight of being on the boat for me.
Of course the cruise included the things like shows, exercise classes and other experiences that all looked great, but they just weren’t our thing. We were happy to spend all day off the boat and have an early night straight after dinner. We did however watch the outdoor cinema, and on one evening the children loved to watch some of the professional dancers and singers perform.
But really, the boat was only a small amount of that adventure, the main part was visiting all the incredible islands! Each one different to the last. In our opinion we had just about enough time in each place to get a good feel of it, some islands we wouldn’t go back to again but happy to of seen them, some we’d love to back to. That was the beauty of doing the cruise, it meant we had a taster of so many islands throughout the Caribbean that we didn’t have to spend thousands on one place that we may or may not of liked. We found ourselves falling in love with islands we had never even considered visiting before!
I think it’s difficult to advise which islands YOU should go to because everyone we had spoken to on that trip preferred different islands for different reasons. But a highlight of ours was certainly, Willemstad, Curacao Island, it was such a beautiful town, I really fell in love with it.
So if you haven’t considered a cruise before or you’re just trying to figure out which one is best for you, I really do recommend going with TUI, they have so many fantastic routes and their sea to island day ratio is great on most!
I really don’t class myself as an expert on cruises but if you have any questions on this feel free to ask.
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