Southern Caribbean Cruise – Part 2
Today I am sharing part 2 of our trip review from our cruise we recently took to the Southern Caribbean. You can read part 1 of our first sea day, Grand Turk, and the Dominican here. Also, at the bottom of the post I am sharing our tips for cruising on Carnival.
Day 6 – Aruba
In Aruba, we rented ATV’s through Justin’s. Neither of us had ever been on an ATV and we decided this was a great way to see Aruba since it’s only 20 miles long and 6 miles across. We wanted an option to go and do our own thing, so were glad we found out how to rent an ATV without being part of a tour. Thankfully Colby downloaded to his phone the map of the country ahead of time, because even though it’s so small it was still easy to get lost. The office staff gave us maps and a route to take, but we ended up getting a little off track and making our own path. Eventually, we made the very bumpy ride to the natural pools and then made it just in time to see the sunset at the beach. After, we cruised around town a little bit (you can drive on the main streets with the ATV). Aruba was a lot cleaner and more Americanized than I would have guessed and we really enjoyed our time there.
Day 7 – Curacao
When we got off the ship we made a spontaneous decision to rent a car and found a rental car company close to port. We made the 45 – 60 minute drive over to the National Park where we hiked Christoff mountain. If you are a hiker, this is a great hike and the best (and only) way to get a view of the whole island. It took us about 45 minutes to hike up and as a warning the last half is all boulders so you will be using your hands to climb as well. After, we went to Kenepa beach where I felt like we were on a vacation from our vacation. Since we weren’t surrounded by other cruisers and most people were speaking Dutch, I felt like we were definitely in a different country. We left in plenty of time to head back to port where we drove around for a few minutes before returning the car.
Day 8 + 9 – Sea Days
Back to the sea days! As mentioned before we usually spend these by working out, playing dodgeball, and enjoying the adults only deck on the ship. We had a little bit of rain on both days, but other than that we just lounged on the chairs! There is nothing like being in the middle of the ocean and having no responsibilities.
Day 10 – Ft. Lauderdale
We had a full day ahead of us before we had to catch our flight out of Ft. Lauderdale. We made another spontaneous decision to rent a car in Miami ($15/day, yes please) and drove around Miami and then to Ft. Lauderdale. I was pretty sick so there wasn’t much we could do, but we did get to enjoy some time walking along the beach. It was super cold hence why we are in long sleeves!
- Bring your own water bottle/cups. This way you will avoid having to refill their small ones.
- Pre-order water to your room. It’s $2.99/12 pack and so handy to have.
- Keep bathing suit + sunscreen in your carry on. The first day the lounge chairs and pools are empty, so you will have the area to yourself.
- Bring a plug extender for your room. Something like this (the one we brought didn’t work, but this will).
- If you go out of Miami, use Uber (much cheaper than taxi) to get to port. Use carolineh2699ue for $15 off your ride. Make sure to download app and setup your account with credit card and enter info ahead of time so you can request a car right away.
- Find the facebook group for your specific cruise. It’s a great way to meet people and get ideas for excursions.
- Bring an underwater camera.
- Bring some towel clips. We didn’t have them, but were jealous of those who did because it gets sooooo windy!
- Bring googles. You will want these to see all the beautiful fish in the clear waters.
- Book your cruise using ebates. We booked through priceline and got $91 cash back.
- Make sure to do the activities (slides, ropes course, games, etc) during the start of the cruise. If it is too windy (or there is other bad weather) they will shut those things down and if you save them for last you won’t be able to do them at all.
- Download the Carnival app. It is very helpful to have for the ships time (will need that since port times will vary) as well as the schedules.
- I don’t remember this in the past, but Carnival offered social media and internet packages for very cheap.
- Bring a jacket because sections of the ship are cold!
- Book excursions through 3rd parties. You will save a lot of money by doing this.
- Have questions? Leave a comment and I will answer!
I didn’t start sharing our traveling adventures on the blog until the end of 2013, but you can see some of our vacations below as well as how to travel on a budget here.
- Pacific Northwest
- Western Caribbean Cruise
- Hilton Head
- South America: Argentina
- South America: Torres Del Paine
- South America: Lake Region
- South America: Santiago + Coast
- Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio
- Costa Rica: Santa Teresa
- Costa Rica: La Fortuna
- Las Vegas
- Caribbean Cruise – Grand Turk + Dominican Republic