After 6 days at sea, I was dying to get off the ship! Our first port after the crossing was St. Maarten. My dance captain and her boyfriend had been there many times on previous contracts, so I went off with them, happy to have experienced tour guides. We stopped just outside the port for coconut smoothies (with rum) to enjoy while we walked into town.
We went to Honky Tonk, the “crew bar” of St. Maarten. After enjoying some massive burgers and a bit of wifi, we took buckets of Desperados to the beach. It was hot and sunny, and the water was nice and warm. There were two other ships in port with us, so we met a lot of crew members from the other ships. One of the guys I met was also from Texas. It turns out that he spent the past couple years teaching at one of the dance studios I trained at! It really is a small world. I also ran into one of my production managers from my first contract. It was great to catch up with him.
Once I got tired of sunbathing, I rented jet skis with a few friends. I haven’t been on a jet ski, so riding one alone was a little scary. After a few minutes, however, it was exhilarating! I loved feeling the wind as I rushed over the waves. It was a great way to kick of my three weeks in the Caribbean!
Our turnaround port during Caribbean season is San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our first day there, I went with my roommate to Old San Juan. We spent the day wandering through shops and bar hopping. I ate some delicious mahi tacos on a beautiful patio, and drank some fantastic white sangria.
In Barbados a couple days later, I went to another “crew bar” called Boatyard. They gave crew members a discounted cover price that included drinks, food, and a shuttle back to the ship. The beach on site offered plenty of diversions. There was a volleyball net, so I played a few games. I loved letting out my competitive spirit! There was also a water trampoline and a rope swing and diving platform at the end of the dock. It was such a fun day! I felt like a kid again.
Next we hit St. Lucia. I joined a dancer and a guy from the Casino to go the the beach at Pigeon Island. I was pleasantly surprised to find working wifi on the beach! We had lunch at a shack in the sand, then rented lounge chairs and an umbrella (this redhead needs her shade!). The boys also rented snorkeling masks. The views from the beach were stunning, with lush green mountains across the way. The beach was small, but the day was nice and relaxing.
In Antigua, my roommate, her boyfriend, and I went to Valley Church Beach. This beach had white sand and crystal blue waters. It was hands down the most beautiful beach I’ve seen so far! We had a few drinks and a bite to eat at a restaurant on the beach, then just relaxed in the sunshine. The water was cold but refreshing. I spent a good amount of time attempting to float, though I didn’t have much luck.
I got off alone in St. Croix, hoping to find wifi and enjoy a bit of rare alone time. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. As I was walking in the sand, it started to rain. I sought cover at a nearby restaurant, and ran into a couple friends. I ended up wandering over to another bar with them during a break in the rain. The owner of the bar was from Texas as well, and decorated the place with funny Texas bumper stickers. I chatted a bit with her about our home state, and met other guests that were visiting from San Antonio. Texas reunion in St. Croix… Why not?!
So far, my time in the Caribbean has been full of fun and sun. I have just 5 days until I go home. This had been a great place to end my Adventure!