Last week I shared with you my Top Ten Ways to Cruise Cheaply. This week I thought I would share some of the fun ports we went to on our cruise earlier this year.
First, this was our sixth Carnival cruise. Some people have asked why we always use the same cruise line. Frankly, every one of the ones we have taken on Carnival have been amazing, so it’s one of those “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of things.
We had friends that took a cruise on a different line, and they left the very same day as us, from the very same city, and went to the very same ports. We came back and touched-base with them and told them how incredible our cruise was, but they were so disappointed with theirs. They said they had awful service and blah food the entire time.
Since we only cruise every couple of years, we would be so bummed if that happened to us, so we have always gone with what’s worked well for our family.
This last trip, we left from Miami on an 8 day cruise and hit St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Antigua, and Dominican Republic.
This was the second time we visited St. Maarten, and we can’t get enough of that place.
The island is unique in that it is half Dutch and half French.
The first thing we did was go to The Yoda Guy Museum.
It’s a random thing to have on a little island like this, but the man that created the Yoda puppet for Star Wars lives on St. Maarten and has a museum there. There is a bit of it you can walk through for free and see some original scripts and some Storm Trooper costumes (like the one in the picture), but you do have to pay if you want to see the rest.
After that we had a cab take us to Orient Beach.
This is the second time we have gone there.
I can’t tell you how beautiful and clear the water is, and it has the most gorgeous fluffy white sand.
There are several different beachfront restaurants/bars lined up, and you do have to pay to rent a beach chair and an umbrella … if you fry like bacon in the sun like I do.
You can rent jet ski’s and para sail if you want, but we just usually chill out on the beach.
Topher brings his own snorkel that he bought years ago and checks out all of the underwater life.
The unnamed child and I hang out in our chairs, sipping frozen daiquiris. The drinking age is 18 at most of these islands, which she just happened to know ahead of time (not that she was getting hammered … but being able to order her first pina colada on her own made her feel pretty grown up).
You might notice a theme with all of these pics being of the unnamed child. She was the only one that brought her phone to the beach.
In some of the ports, we have found that taking a shore excursion is necessary because a few of the islands aren’t very safe, or you’re not sure how nice the beach is, or which one to go to, but Orient Beach is named one of the most beautiful ones and after going there twice we have to agree.