In February of 2008, my Dad's side of the family and I took a Caribbean Cruise to Puerto Rico, St. Marten & Haiti on the Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. My father was going to retire so it was a fun family trip to celebrate (even though he is still not retired, lol). I hadn't be on a cruise since I was in middle school so really didn't know what to expect. We got on the port in Miami, had the drill and were on our way towards Puerto Rico.
The ship was amazing! It was like a whole city. At the time of our trip, it was the largest cruise ship, called the Liberty of Seas. They had everything on there; plenty of bars, a climbing wall, water slide area, spa, so much shopping, tons of restaurants, a theater, etc, etc. They had something for everyone! There were ten of us, so it was sometimes hard to get everyone going & staying on track but we always had lots of options.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
I really wish we had more time to spend there. We did not get there until the afternoon and had until the evening to get back on this ship. We got off the ship and walked up to the famous Fort San Cristobal. It was beautiful there and it was so cool to see all of the history about it. After we visited the Fort, we looked at the shopping and then we wanted to get some dinner. Christian and I broke off because we wanted to find something local. We found a little place (wish I could remember the name) and had an awesome meal! I had a fried plantain seafood dish and Christian had a goat dish. We had some Medalla beers along with the food too, so yummy. We stopped by the Hard Rock Cafe for a bit and then we met back up with my family on the ship that night. Puerto Rico looks beautiful, we would love to go back there sometime with more time to spend there.
St Maarten, USVI
We got there in the morning and we had all scheduled separate excursions for half of the day. Christian and I decided to do a snorkeling one. Unfortunately it was kinda choppy that day so we didn't get to see much. So we just hung out together and enjoyed the sun & the scenery. We decided to go into town after we were done. Christian had been looking so the Nickey Hayden special edition Tissot watch forever in the states at a good price and we found one there. After the purchase, we met up with the rest of my family and we all returned to the ship.
Our last stop was at Royal Caribbean's private part in Haiti. They do not have a port there so we had to take small boats up to land. The whole family decided to do an excursion of going to a private beach on Haiti, it was pretty cool. When you dock, you find post and then they take you out to the private beach. There were only about 10 other people with us there, so it was kinda cool considering we were on a boat with 3,000+ other people for a whole week. They had chairs & a little bar there. We just hung out the whole time, if was fun. Since RC owns that part of the island, everything is closed off so you are safe. Since we went before the earthquake, I'm not sure how things are there now.
Night time on the ship
Every night, we would eat in the main ball room. The meals were pretty good on the ship and had lots to choose from. Since there were ten of us, we had a whole table to ourselves. We had the same waitress for the whole week and she was fantastic! The ship staff made sure that there was lots to do at night. You could go to a bar, the theater, participate in activities, go the casino, watch the sunset, etc, etc. We found plenty do do but ended up at the bars most nights.
Overall, the cruise experience was pretty cool. We weren't too fond of the idea of being on a ship with that many people but they are very good at keeping everyone busy & finding things for everyone to do, even when the ship is just at sea. The rooms are a little small but really, how much are you in your room? When we were at sea, there were plenty of seats by the many pools. As for the excursions, you probably want to try to book the ones you want as soon as possible, especially the good ones. I think we even booked ours before we got on the ship to make sure that we got into them. Your drink tab can go up very quickly! Drinks are not cheap and you just pay your tab on everything (alcohol, shopping, excursions if not already paid for, spa treatments, etc) at the end of the week. I think a cruise is so cool because you get to see more than I place on a vacation. The only negative thing is you get off with thousands of other people and only get to see the port areas. So I'm sure in all of the places we went, there is lots more to see! Can't wait for the next one