I left NJ on the 12th and returned yesterday, the 21st. The 9 day cruise stopped in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, The Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
I will now jump right into it. Also, thank you to those of you who posted advice on my pre-cruise post.
This is pretty awesome. I haven't been on a cruise since I was five; so basically it's my first time on a cruise. It's also worth nothing that I am 19 so I couldn't legally drink on the ship. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed. Anyway, I was excited to get out of the cold and enjoy my new exciting venture.
In the beginning, I wasn't really excited about the activities on the cruise. I am a bit of an introvert and don't really like the activities that I were on board.
Arriving On The Ship
I was amazed at such an awesome marvel of engineering. I know it's not even that advanced, but being so close and then inside the ship was stunning. The staff were unbelievably friendly. Almost all of them were foreign and I mention this because I don't think you could find enough Americans that would care the way these people did. Right away were were treated graciously.
Small, but had a surprising amount of storage. The shower was small, but really nice since it had plenty of pressure and shelves for soap and shaving. I took this trip with my mother and we both agreed that a balcony room wasn't worth it. My argument being, 'most of the ship is a balcony.' We chose an interior room that could be pitch-black at anytime. This was nice, but it was hard to know when to get up so we usually asked for wakeup calls.
Holy Shit. I honestly don't know how these cruises make any money. The dining was the first thing that really made me question how profitable these ships really are. (My guess is the casino, the drinks, and trips) Anyway, the food (primarily dinner) was fantastic. Lobster tail, scallops, lamb, fillet mignon, basically the works. The dinners were 3 to 4 courses depending if you wanted a salad and starter. Presentation was wonderful, I usually don't care, but they really put some effort into it. The food was not only extraordinary, but it was some of the best I have ever had. Lobster has never tasted so good and although I have never had lamb, I doubt I will ever find a more tender shank.
This place was awesome and also my favorite of the four. It had the softest and cushiest grass I have ever stood on. I had to include this because I was astonishing. PR was very exciting. As soon as I walked of the boat I just started walking. I wanted to see as much a possible. The architecture was quite nice, the weather was perfect, and I was old enough to drink. After walking around with my mother we found a taxi driver that took us on a tour with a few other people. He was a great guide because he was comical and quite resourceful.
After the tour we wondered around and found a nice restaurant. Ordering was interesting because I have taken about 9 years of Spanish and I could barely order food. Don't laugh, but my mother and I had a craving for a burger. Of all things to order in PR we both got burgers. The waiter comes by and knows a bit of English, but I want to try my luck. 'Dos hamburguesa y papas fritas y dos Cuba Libre.' I DID IT, I ordered in Spanish and I food actually came out. Also, they make the drinks down there pretty strong. After dinner we continued to walk around. I ended up buying a few cigars, hopefully I didn't get ripped off. Then we found a corner store with a counter where you could just stand and drink. I liked this concept and drank a few local beers and another rum and coke.
After that we were a bit sauced and ended up taking pictures with a bunch of parrots form this guys stand. It was amusing to say the least.
I didn't like it. I don't understand the hype. It was a pretty island, but there wasn't much culture. The only thing there was a market selling fake designer bags, junks shops, and jewelry stores. St. Thomas is know for cheap jewelry, but the prices weren't that good. The place was so commercialized and I hated how ever other car was a taxi trying to take your money.
I did wonder around again and found some really cool alleyway shops. Overall, I was a bit disappointed because I thought there was more there.
Yes, this place exists. It was a very poor country and there was nothing where you got off the boat. Luckily, we purchased an excursion that took us into the rainforest. This tour was amazing. The guides were all locals. They would hand you leaves that would smell of different fruit. They would climb trees to pick fruit for you to eat. They carved coconuts to eat and drink. These guys were awesome. We ended up stopping at a small waterfall. They jump in and them are climbing the waterfall and jumping into the water. They encourage us to join them so I did. I ended up jumping off a waterfall. It was extremely fun. The tour was definitely worth the money.
This place was terrible. It was Royal Caribbean's leased section an island. It was like going to Disney or something. All the venders were pests to the point where I had to avoid eye contact at all costs. Vendor - 'can I sell you something for a dollar.' Me - 'No, I don't have a dollar.' It was a very fake place. I did do a jet ski tour that was amazing.
I have never driven a jet ski. This was visceral. It might have only gone 50mph, but I might as well have been Captain Kirk hitting warp speed. I ended up being the second person on the convoy because I wanted to go fast. The guy in front of me had experience, but I found my self able to keep up and gain on him. I started getting arrogant and testing the limits of the ski. Seeing how deep I could go into corners, sliding the back around a turn, riding the wake going left to right. Well, I ended up falling off. I was fine, the ski didn't flip and I learned my lesson. It was a good one. Jet skis need to be treated with respect just like any car.
I was blown away. The cruise director was a gem and all the shows were amazing. I'm not really into performances, but these were worth attending. The ship's orchestra was fantastic, the dancers were amazing, the comedians were quite comical, the karaoke was even worse that I expected (think old Asian guy singing My Way, it was fantastic), the 70's dance party was groovy, the trivia was challenging and entertaining, and the on board whale watching was quite good as well, if you know what I mean.
These people really put a lot of effort into their jobs and it really shows. Also, at the 'quest' (adult game show) I ended up being in a bra, heels, and a bunch of other female accessories. I volunteered because it was funny and I was never going to see any of those people again. Picture twelve guys dressed as whores parading and doing a catwalk. If you have stuck with my thing long you may have realized that I came out of my shell by the end of the cruise.
Driving home sucked. I posted about it last night. 240 miles in 10 hours. It was terrible, but talk about gained driving experience.
I hope more than one person reads this. If you made it to the end, thank you and I hope you learned something.