☼ WEST CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE ☼
The drive to Fort Pierce Florida was nice. We left home at noon and arrived there at around 10 pm. We stopped twice to get some gas, which I did not mind since the gas prices went down so much. The sun ☼ was a bonus as well as the company. We stayed at Hampton Inn & Suites, after a long drive it was a treat to lay down on soft and comfortable bed… believe me, they do!☆☆☆☆☆
We left fort Pierce at around 8-ish the next morning after a hearty breakfast at the hotel. You see, my husband…he takes care of all the reservations and whatever that is needed to be done along with the trip. He’s always like that, He’s the planner- and he’s very good at that. He makes sure that we know the “Where, How, When and What”– and he takes care of it. I’m the one that packs. I make sure everything is in order, the bags, gadgets, tickets, passports, etc. We arrived at the Park by the Portswhere we were going to park the van while we are away. It was not fancy looking parking place like the one that we always park at in Port Canaveral but the ratings were good so I figured it’s fine…which I found out after the cruise to be worth it. The parking shuttle took us with other passengers for other cruises to our specified ships.
It was a shock for me because it was way different than our other cruise travels from Port Canaveral. It was kind of chaotic, too many ships and too many people. But I guess it was because the shuttle was going to 4 different ship entrances for the other other passengers. When we travel from before, the shuttle only carried passengers from the same cruise ship.
We were finally dropped off at the Caribbean Princess entrance and it was already around noontime.
We went in to the lines, there are always lines wherever you go, but was actually pretty smooth once you’re in it. Just like in the airport, they will check your bags and luggages and make sure your ticket and your passport is handy just in case they check. It took about an hour until they checked our papers and was given the the cruise ship card. You will use it until the end of the trip, it’s kind of like your ID and credit card on the ship. Once you’re in the ship you can go to your cabin and relax. Now, this was different in Carnival Cruises. You can’t go in your cabins yet until a certain time. You can however go to Lido Deck (It’s always the same name- 15th Floor) where the Buffet is and you can satisfy your starving tummy!
NOTE: Do not worry about your luggages, it will come to your cabin, maybe not right away…but it will.
Once the ship leaves the port, it’s fun and if you have a balcony, you can enjoy the view right there in your room or you can go up to upper deck and enjoy it as well. Things you have to mind though: IF you already took care of your phones’ global plan, good for you…you should know it and do not hesitate to ask questions to your provider. IF you do not have global plan, MIND your phone. You might want to turn off data connection, and if you’re still not sure…put it on airplane mode as well. You can still take pictures on your phone, but you cannot upload or download stuff on it. It’s still ok up to some point out in the sea, but once you’re out there, far away from the port…you have to start thinking if you want to pay more than your cruise ticket on your next phone monthly bill, because it will get expensive!
First Stop- GRAND CAYMAN
In Princess Cruises (we went with Caribbean Princess), when you book your trip you can log in to their website and get your luggage tags and your e-Tickets. You can also look for Excursions on their websites. They are affordable and you can pick and choose our combine them if you like. For me, I like it because we are not that veteran travelers that we can go out by ourselves in an Island and go about venturing around the place. It’s also safer because it’s part of the Princess Cruises tour Excursions. For our Grand Cayman stop, we choose to see the Turtle Farm and go swimming with the stingrays, and in between stopping by HELL and the famous Rum cake Company. It was an experience I will never forget!
Second Stop- OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA
The Excursion we choose for Ocho Rios was the Prospect Plantation. It was amazing, especially with a very informative and funny tour guide, named Donovan, ask for him as your tour guide if you happen to do the same excursion. While waiting for our tour we were ushered to this beautiful bird sanctuary and started feeding the birds. The surprise of the tour was the camels! A rare ride on a camel! You don’t have to but hey, I came all the way to Jamaica and I see a free ride on a camel, why not take it! ;-)…I guarantee you, it’s a whole new experience, unless you already rode a camel before!