Warm, white sands pillowing on your feet while you lay in the bright, bold Caribbean sun gazing at the turquoise waters…ah such is the sweet life of the Caribbean islands. My husband and I truly relish island hopping as we call it. Ever since we got engaged on a cruise in 2012 we have been avid cruisers. There’s nothing like cruising the ocean and watching every wave sway by as you meditate on why we are on this Earth. Whoa got real deep real fast! That really is the number one reason we love cruising, though. We are on this Earth for a reason and being one with the water truly feels connecting to the foundations of our existence.
Additional perks to cruising are unlimited food, drinks, and entertainment, including world-wide cuisine and Broadway shows. A cruise is a practical mode of transportation for island hopping! You get a chance to taste a bit of each island on your list and feel the flair of each culture and terrain. We love connecting with the locals and getting an idea of the way of life. We pick out our favorite islands and make a note to visit again.
On this trip, we visited Miami and boarded the Norwegian Getaway to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel Mexico. The cruiseline’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas) was originally on the itinerary but was cancelled due to poor weather.
Our first night in Miami we stayed at a swanky hotel on South Beach – The Shelbourne. We checked out our favorite spot in South Beach at night, called Mango’s. Mango’s has a variety of performers and a dance club in the back as well. Here’s some shots from Espanola Way and a performance at Mango’s.
After a night in Miami we boarded our cruise. The ship is a sister ship to the Norwegian Breakaway, part of the Breakaway class. This means that they are mega ships and you can literally find anything to do on the ship. There are yoga classes, an arcade, craft making seminars, and several places to simply gaze at the ocean. Here are some shots from the ship.
We chose a package that included unlimited beverages. This was a great perk since you could order a mango mimosa in the daytime and end with coconut mojitos by night. The variety of complimentary restaurants on board satisfied our diverse tastebuds. I was really happy to find daily rotating Indian food specials, since I’m addicted to rice and daal (lentil curry). At night, we would kick it at the Bliss Lounge where they played hip hop, 80’s, and international music as well. Everything on the ship was so thoughtfully designed and upscale. Some nights we checked out the arcade and Dueling Pianos lounge. There were also Broadway shows – Burn the Floor and Legally Blonde. Here’s some snaps of activities on the ship and a video from Dueling Pianos – an improv of Pulp Fiction to hip hop.
On the way to an island there were some Sea Days, where you simply enjoy the perks of the ship. We had a balcony so we would stay there most of the time and stared at the beautiful blue sea.
At ports, we mostly found a nice beach and went in the water. We also went around the islands on historical tours. In Jamaica, we revisited the site where Aditya proposed – at the beach near Dunn’s River Falls. Since we have been to Jamaica, we didn’t see anything new. We love Jamaica for it’s fun vibes and gorgeous beaches.
Grand Cayman was very fancy. We hung out at the beach at the Ritz Carlton. We visited “Hell” in Grand Cayman. This was a tourist attraction and consisted of a group of limestone formations that resembled what one could imagine as hell! Seven Mile Beach felt so luxurious; this was definitely my favorite beach on the trip.
The last island we visited was Cozumel, Mexico. Here we visited the Mayan ruins and saw ruins from structures built from an ancient community/village. Walking through the village was tough and rocky, but worth seeing. We also saw the rough yet serene coastline of Cozumel, which had massive cerulean waves hitting the shore.
Cozumel had a warm feel, despite the fact that there is active drug trade happening on the island, especially at night. The people of Mayan origin were very welcoming and kind.
Lastly, we finished our vacation with one more day in Miami – we just adore Miami! We went to the Everglades and had brunch at the Ritz Carlton, Coconut Grove.
I hope you enjoyed the highlights from our trip! We can’t wait to cruise again!!!