This was our second Cruise. We loved our 1st cruise so much that we decided to go on a cruise again and I am sure it wasn’t the last one. There are so many places I want to see in the Caribbean, it was a really tough decision to pick a route.
At the end we decided to go with Holland America Line. Below is the itinerary.
This was very exciting, as besides the Dominican Republic all the places we visited for the first time.
We took an early flight From Newark to Fort Lauderdale. The cruise port was only about 10 min away from the airport so we took a really quick ride with Uber. We were able to get onboard I think around 11 am so quite early.
We booked an interior cabin since we were not planning to spend much time in it anyway. It appeared our cabin was occupied, as someone extended their stay from the previous week. Guest services upgraded us to a room with an obstructed view. The view was actually a lifeboat. Anyway, room was very spacious and had a lot of natural light. The other thing we liked about the room was TV options, movies, tv series and travel/real estate programs. We really did enjoy it. I think we watched a program about buying islands, renting apartments in France, a few movies and we started watching Scandal-TV series that we still watch:)
The reason I love traveling on a cruise is the fact I can see many places during a short period of time. When you think about a Caribbean cruise you are pretty much going to spend it by the sea, relaxing and walking around the most interesting points. Usually, 1 day is enough to see everything you need to see. At least this is how we planned it for this cruise. It doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any attractions on the ship, there should. So yes, we did have the theatre performances every night, but maybe only 1 was in a Broadway-style, the rest was either a concert or a comedian. We were coming almost every night to see what they prepared but always left early to either go for a walk or watch tv in our room. There was a dance club but it was closed the whole week. There was no animation team to organize the time during the day. When we were off boarding I heard people in their 80’s saying to the crew that they’ve never been so bored in their life. That is definitely an opportunity to improve.
How we spend time on a ship? Mainly by the pool, playing basketball, tennis or table tennis.
Food was good, can’t complain, but MSC was extraordinary.
There was Mexican, Italian, Thai, Chinese & Japanese kitchen if I recall correctly,
The first day we boarded the ship around 11 AM and haven’t left it. It was raining so there was no point in going out.
Day 2- Key West
Again it was raining for 3 hours since we got to the city. We went to see all the shops to hide from the rain. Once it stopped raining it got very very hot, what was interesting about Key West was the amount of chicken, they were everywhere walking on the streets freely. We didn’t go far, we saw the most southern point (Southernmost), Hemingway house, there was also a really nice park.
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Day 3 – at sea
Day 4 Grand Turk- Turks and Caicos
We really liked this island. When we came there was also MSC Divina so I made a picture of those 2 enormous ships. Divina was bigger and definitely more luxurious. I asked someone where they sailed and they were just ending the cruise after 10 days, I didn’t even found this cruise earlier. I’d like to go on a Divina cruise one day, Hawaii & Bora Bora 2 week cruise would be my choice:)
I have a short video from Turks and Caicos. You can check it out here. It also shows the Eurodam and Divina
Day 5 Amber Cove – Dominican Republic,
It was our 2nd time in the Dominican Republic, but it was the first time we managed to get to Damajagua Waterfalls. It was a very sunny day, we took a taxi for I think $50 both ways, entry to the waterfalls was probably $15 for both of us. We had a private tour- not that we wanted, but we had our private guide. We walked up around 45 mins and we made like 2 stops on our way. Funny thing was that right at the beginning we had to cross a river not seeing the bottom of it at all. Then we had to climb in our wet shoes. Once we climbed the fun stuff began we were jumping, sliding, swimming in 12 waterfalls. There was a waterfall which was probably 8m high and we haven’t decided to jump. Our guide was really nice but very quick. The whole trip took us no longer than 2h and we only had 1 chance to jump at each place. With a bigger group, there is much more time and people jump several times so I would recommend joining groups if possible. We had our go pro and our guide offered us to take our pictures and videos. That was really nice of him. I have a short movie from this day and you can watch it on Youtube here. This was definitely the most exciting day on the cruise.
Day 6 – at sea
Day 7 – Bahamas- Half Moon Cay
This was the most beautiful island I’ve seen since Maldives. Sand – white and soft like a flour. Crystal clear water, beautiful weather, no rock bottom. I had the best time there. You can watch my YouTube movie here. I’d definitely go back to Half Moon Cay. This island is actually owned by the Cruise line. I was so relaxed after this day in the Bahamas.
Day 8 – Fort Lauderdale
Last day on a ship. We left around 10 AM I think. We had a flight at 9 PM so we decided to go to Hollywood beach. It was a really nice day, we went for a walk on broad walk had a lovely lunch by the sea and headed back to the airport. Unfortunately, there was a fog in Newark so our flight was canceled, we spent a night at the airport and flew home at 6 am next day. This is when our holidays ended and the temperature changed from 86 F/30C degrees to 23F /-5C in New York.
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Let me know about your experiences with Cruises, which lines do you recommend, what was your experience. If you have never been on a cruise let me know if you have any questions.
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