Now, I typically do not like cruises for various reasons, the most important reason being that you never have more than a few hours in each destination, rarely enough time to get to truly enjoy the food and culture, and obviously no time to experience a place at night – be it an authentic dinner, a famous bar, or some kind of evening cultural performance, etc.
BUT with all that said, I’ve come up with 4 exceptions: 1) The Panama Canal, which, obviously would be ideal to ‘cruise’ through; 2) the Caribbean Islands, which are so small and numerous, that a good cruise can give you a nice introduction to many of them (some of which you can then visit later for longer); 3) Antarctica, because you HAVE to take a cruise there, and honestly it’s phenomenal; 4) Alaska – I haven’t done this yet, but I imagine it’s somewhat like Antarctica and would warrant cruising to fully enjoy all its beauty.
So now that I’ve justified myself… I can say that cruising is actually kind of awesome, when you consider that your hotel moves with you, and don’t have to unpack and re-pack and unpack… it’s probably what most people mean when they think of vacation – relaxing… hmm… interesting concept! Anyway, even though I was on a cruise,
I definitely didn’t sit on the beach all day like most everyone else on the ship. I got out and explored as much as possible!
In St. Maarten, I skipped the beaches and enjoyed walking around the charming Dutch town of Philipsburg, and then caught a taxi to take me over to France – Marigot, to be exact, capital of Saint Martin, the other side of the island. It intrigued me that this tiny little island is shared by the Netherlands and France! I checked out the baroque St. John’s Cathedral in Antigua, sailed to the Pitons in St. Lucia, explored the historic UNESCO World Heritage Sites (and rum factories!) of Barbados’ capital of Bridgetown, and… OK – so maybe I did hang out on the beach for a bit in St. Thomas (where I was joined by some random beach iguanas, which was weird — and cool).
|1||Miami, United States||May 6, 2005||May 8, 2005|
|2||San Juan, Puerto Rico||May 8, 2005||May 9, 2005|
|3||Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands||May 9, 2005||May 9, 2005|
|4||Philipsburg, Sint Maarten||May 10, 2005||May 10, 2005|
|5||Marigot, Saint Martin||May 10, 2005||May 10, 2005|
|6||Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda||May 11, 2005||May 11, 2005|
|7||Castries, Saint Lucia||May 12, 2005||May 12, 2005|
|8||Soufrière, Saint Lucia||May 12, 2005||May 12, 2005|
|9||Bridgetown, Barbados||May 13, 2005||May 13, 2005|
|10||San Juan, Puerto Rico||May 15, 2005||May 16, 2005|
|11||Miami, United States||May 16, 2005||May 16, 2005|