Hello from the Atlantic Ocean! It’s not quite as exciting this time around though as we are now heading back towards the cold of the UK.
Since my last blog we have been more or less all over the Caribbean. We enjoyed a partial transit of the Panama Canal which was fantastic. We went through the Gatun locks then enjoyed just over an hour in the lake before turning and heading back through. It was an experience I shall never forget and I doubt I will forget how much it cost either! Our partial transit was just over $354,000; yes you read that correctly, I dread to think the cost of a full transit.
We have also visited Jamaica, Roatan, Cozumel, Tortola and St Maarten and all were just as wonderful as each other. My favourite islands are Antigua and Roatan with St Maarten following in a very close second.
Before the cruise we had heard so many stories about Jamaica, I have to be honest I never once felt uncomfortable but I would still recommend booking an organised excursion as the port is quite far from town. Our trip was breathtaking. It was advertised as a 4×4 Jeep Safari and it definitely did not disappoint, in fact it also included a visit to a local school and church which we had not realised but thoroughly enjoyed. Our overall destination here was Chukka and I can only describe it as a kind of adventure / Nature Park. The water in the lake was crystal clear and very warm, you could enjoy a quick dip if you wanted too but this was also the place people descended upon for river tubing, kayaking and zip line tours. It was a day filled with blistering sunshine and just about as much rum punch as you could drink! At one point we stopped and our driver picked us oranges straight from the tree, the smell was so intense, I had never smelled oranges that were so rich, I wish I could have bottled the scent and shared it with you all.
Roatan was the island I was most looking forward to and aside from it raining most of the day this destination again definitely lived up to expectations. It’s not “over touristy” so you can get a real true feel for the island, its people and how they live their lives. We enjoyed the iguana farm, west end, monkey farm and just about the entire south end of the island. I really fell in love with this destination and it’s the one I am most looking forward to visiting again. The people were friendly, the small towns were interesting and the views from some of the points our guide drove us too were stunningly beautiful.
Cozumel we spent the day at a beach resort, Nachi Cocom, which a friend had recommended. This was a great beach! It was all-inclusive so you paid for nothing extra aside from water sports, your drinks, food, loungers, umberella and the use of the swimming pool and hammocks were all included. We made the booking before leaving the UK and anyone else looking at this kind of day should do the same. There were other resorts close by but they were all full to bursting as our call to Cozumel was shared with 6 other cruise ships. After taking it easy for a few hours we made our way back towards the port and of course hit the shops. I would say we didn’t buy much but our deputy captain pointed out the following day that he watched us struggling back along the dock with an army of bags……I shall let you make your own assumptions on whether that means we got a bit carried away or not 😉
In Tortola we enjoyed the Best of Tortola excursion which again was very nice. Our guide was a little on the boring side to be honest and we could barely hear a word he was saying but the views from high up the mountain were stunning! I have never been so mesmerised with scenery in all of my 28 years. Overall the excursion was good but most of us were in agreement that instead of spending so much time at Pussers Landing this time should have been spent at Cane Garden Bay as there simply was not enough at Pussers Landing to warrant spending the amount of time there that we did. Our call here was until 11pmand we were very excited about that. We returned from our trip, washed, changed and then made our way back into Road Town and stopped at Pussers Pub where we enjoyed some food and a drink. From here we ventured next door to Le Grand Café which sounds quite posh but it was more like a true Caribbean bar. Here we stayed until 10pm before making our way back to the ship.
In St Maarten we had planned to visit Maho Beach but once we left the ship we were keener to grab the water taxi into Phillipsburg, do some shopping and relax on the beach. So that’s exactly what we decided to do. The water taxi was $7 per person and this was for multiple trips, you could come and go as you pleased as many times as you liked. Phillipsburg was a great town, lots of shopping and a great beach which was bursting with beautiful coloured shells. It’s fair to say we done of fair share of shopping here and I enjoyed a dip in the warm waters whilst trying to avoid getting shells embedded in my feet.
Our last port will be Ponta Delgada in 2 days time; from here we have 3 days at sea before reaching Southampton. I am still trying to find a spot onboard where I can hide and remain un-detected until the ship has sailed for the next cruise, wish me luck! 😉