Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 days of Carribean Bliss

There is something about traveling that makes me feel so alive.  I just spent the last week with my family in Florida and in the Caribbean, and I don't think that I've ever had a holiday like this before. 

The travel back to the UK was grueling, but the thought of seeing my husband and my darling little puppy gave me the strength to make the 24 hour of journey with less than 2 hours sleep.

This was my very first cruise.  I did the normal google searching on cruising tips, and reading about other people's experiences.  So, I decided while I was on the cruise that I would do a review as well.  Cruising is not at all like going to a resort, and I definitely wish I knew someone who would have told me some of things that I experienced while I was on this trip.

Before I mention some of my top cruise tips, I just want to say how much I enjoyed my trip, and I can't wait to go on one with DH.

Tips & Observations
(for Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Sea Cruise Boats)
*  If you have even the slightest motion sickness, make sure you bring medicine.  As a first time cruiser, I really felt the movement, and it took at least 2 days to get use too.

* Be ready to get use to a small bathroom.  As these boats are trying to maximize the amount of people who board the boat, they definitely utilize space, and therefore, the bathrooms are tiny, especially the showers

* While some people smuggle liquor into the boat, if you aren't ready to get in trouble, just make sure that you are ready to pay a hefty liquor bill at the end of your cruise (the boat has a cashless system, and supply a card that you use to open your door with and to purchase anything with).  I recommend drinking the drink of the day as it is usually bigger and cheaper than just ordering off the bar

* Purchase all your souvenirs on the last day of the cruise.  I'll make sure I do a haul post on what I purchased soon.  The sales can go all the way up to 50% off on the last day of the cruise.

* When you dock at the ports, make sure you take small bills.  The vendors only take cash, and be sure to haggle.  Don't accept the price that is listed there.  I was able to score my parents some magnets that were normally listed as 2 for $10 for 5 for $10.  So don't be shy, it may not be customarily in American or  British culture, but in lots of cultures, haggling is the natural part of shopping.  But don't be rude about it ;)

* Make sure you watch out for your towels.  If someone steals your towels or you misplace the pool towels, you will be charged $25 per towel. Eck!

* Be ready to pay up to $15 per day for gratuities.  You can prepay before you board, but for those who don't, make sure you don't skimp on the tipping.  The staff really go out of their way to make your trip pleasurable, and it is customarily to tip them.  There is a suggested tipping guideline and it doesn't hurt to tip a little more 

* If you are an early bird, try to watch the sunrise.  It is absolutely gorgeous...that was my favourite part of the trip

* Look around while you walk up and down the stairs.  The boat has some amazing original artwork.

* The cafe is 24 hours where you can get coffee, tea, water, pastries, and small sandwiches.  The coffee is very good.

* The cupcake shop is overpriced, but the cupcakes are cute and not too bad. 

* There is a pizza shop that is open until 2am, but it's not very good to be honest.

* The spa is very expensive, but they have daily deals, so make sure you take advantage of the offers.  There is also a 15% gratuity that is already placed on your bill.

I spent a lot of time on the 12th deck catching the sun rays and staring at the ocean.  There is something meditative and relaxing about it, and I absolutely loved it.
I will never forget how gorgeous it looked to see the sun rise, or to feel the sea breeze through my hair.

Sun rising over Haiti



The boat - and some random guy in my way lol

Really loved the surrealist artwork throughout the boat

I highly recommend cruising with Royal Caribbean for their numerous activities, great layout of the ship, excellent customer service, and great food...heck, just go to feel the sea breeze through your hair :)

1 comment:

  1. Im glad you had such a great time! Love those pics and for sure I will use your guide as reference when Im ready for a cruise.