Back in December 2021 and January 2022, my husband and I got the opportunity to do a 16 day Caribbean Cruise on the Princess Regal cruise ship. If you want to learn more about the ship and all the amenities it has to offer, check the previous blog post Travel Cruise part 1. In this post, I\’m going to walk you through the 7 different island ports that we stopped at and how our itinerary changed mid cruise. Going with the flow is a major part of cruising right now, it\’s important to note that ports can be changed or canceled last minute do to restrictions with Covid 19. Our first cruise went out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL to 1. Tortola, BVI 2. Puerto Rico (which the day before got changed to St. Thomas, USVI 3. St. Kitts 4. Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos. The second cruise (we did a back 2 back cruise adventure that was 16 days total) left out of Port Everglades and cruised to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, better known as the ABC islands.
Our favorite port from the first cruise was St. Thomas, which we thought was funny because we weren\’t originally scheduled to go there. It was a bummer that it was a short port day, but we were very happy to be stopping somewhere instead of no where. We decided to book an excursion at this island and did a 4 hour catamaran champagne snorkel cruise at St. John, USVI. We 100% recommend Stars & Stripes Catamaran excursion, the staff was wonderful, the islands and trip on the catamaran was breath taking. I go to swim with a wild turtle and snorkeled the reefs by St. John. The beach at St. John was absolutely stunning as well.
Tortola, BVI was nice to see, next time we stop there we will definitely do an excursion to one of the other British Virgin Islands – it was sold out and it was our first port, we were a little apprehensive going and finding our own transportation to another island in fear of missing the cruise ship before it left port. Now that we have cruised, I\’m definitely more comfortable making my own arrangements on the island.
St. Kitts we also booked an all day excursion to St. Nevis, which is a smaller island right next to St. Kitts. This way we were able to see both islands and get a feel for both. The water was beautiful and the islands are very mountainous here. Most of the islands we went to were very beaten up from the hurricane and still trying to rebuild from all the damage. Grand Turk water was gorgeous, we ended up taking a 4 mile walk along the beach. It is desert like here and flatter, we enjoyed the water and ended up spending time at Margaritaville while we were here.
We had two days at sea after our 4 ports that we stopped at, island hopping was really fun but having two days to relax was also very nice. We had to get covid tested to do the second cruise and you have to get off the boat in Fort Lauderdale, so they can clear everything with customs before any returning guests are allowed back on. While I was in Fort Lauderdale, I met with my cousin who lives in Orlando and we spent the day sightseeing there, we went to Bonnet House Museum- highly recommended.
For the second cruise, we had some really fun times and made so many memories that are just unforgettable. This leg of the trip we made friends with another couple and we had a ball. Our first stop was Aruba, I\’ve been before but my hubby hadn\’t been, not only did we love the day but we tried something completely new! Our friends rented a Hoobie Sail Boat and we cruised around Aruba taking in all the salt water and fresh air. It is such a different view of the island when looking at it from the water. Then we headed to 5 O\’clock somewhere for some drinks and food- highly recommended! We made it back to the boat with about 5 minutes to spare and enjoyed the night dancing, laughing and creating memories.
Our second stop was Curacao and it is like a small Amsterdam with colorful buildings and rocky beaches. The water is crystal clear and we enjoyed doing some shopping and exploring for a couple hours.
The last stop was one of my favorites, Bonaire! What a beautiful island, we ended up taking the ferry to Klein Bonaire and spending the day snorkeling and exploring the islands beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Again we got to swim with 100\’s of different fish and a turtle swam right by us. I unfortunately got stung by coral and will most likely have a permanent scar from this- advice is to make sure you are swimming with enough room between you and the coral to avoid this from happening to you and bring water shoes! This is a funny story now that it is over and all worked out, but we almost missed the boat. In fact, people from their balcony\’s and pool deck took videos of us running through the town to get back to the boat. Thankfully the boat was nice enough to call us and wait for us. People were yelling, cheering and hooting and hollering at us. It was pretty comical and a moment I\’ll never forget. As it turns out our new friends like to use every moment on vacation and we joked about this quite a bit.
Life is an adventure and our travel journeys have just really begun. We loved every minute of this cruise and can\’t wait to get back out there to make more memories and see the world. Travel safe my friends!