Ryan and I had a blast on my first cruise! Our trip was old news to Ryan as it was his eleventh or so cruise! We had three days at sea because Hurricane Sandy our stop in Princess Cay was cancelled. It was nice to have an extra sea day to relax and enjoy the boat. We enjoyed the thermal spa on board Ruby Princess. The gentle sauna with the heated tile seats felt heavenly. Monday and Tuesday we relaxed around the boat. Reading by the pool, walking around the deck 7 track, spending the evening in the thermal suite, attending the comedian shows, taking siestas and of course eating!
Chocolate pastries and fresh pineapple were some of my favorites.
Another meal on the cruise was a fruit paradise. Mango lassi, chilled tropical fruit soup and a fruit tart made for a delicious festive meal!
Lighting from a storm at sea one night.
Our first stop was St. Maarten. We rented a Jeep with another couple and drove around the entire island, snorkeled in three locations, found a French bakery and shopped in the downtown Philipsburg area. Whew!
Our first snorkeling stop Orient Bay. Here the water was a bit cloudy so we played in the water a bit.
The second snorkeling stop Coralita beach included many star fish and sea urchins.
We also walked across an inlet to a national preserve. A little island made of rock and coral. Someone had created an alter from coral at the top. We also stumbled upon a geocache international style!
Our third stop was Dawn Beach. Here was we were able to see some fish while dodging the jellies!
Finally, we returned to town to enjoy the shopping, culture and an ice cold coke! Downtown with the ship in the background.
A few of the views while driving around St. Maarten/St. Martin.
Our second stop was St. Thomas. This was my favorite of our destinations. Here we walked from port to Charlotte Amalie. First we grabbed a drink at a local deli and got the locals opinion on was to do. Next we set off on a walking tour.
Passing the first building used as a hotel for tourist and the church.
We also climbed the 99 steps (actually 103 steps) for the tour of Blackbeard’s tower, the rum factory, the first house with the kitchen inside the house, and the amber museum.
View from Blackbeard’s tower.
The amber waterfall.
Next we did a little shopping downtown. Then we took a cab to coral world. They had a shark tank, sting ray tank, turtle pools, reef tank, and an under water building to view the reef in the ocean.
The reef tank
Shark during feeding time
Turtles in the recovery pool
Lionfish, the poisonous fish invading the Caribbean
The famous Magen’s bay in the Caribbean Sea
Finally we returned to the cruise ship after a very busy day!
Our third and final stop was Grand Turk. Here we visited the lighthouse, attempted to snorkel, then walked through town and back to the cruise ship.
The Grand Turk lighthouse. Apparently the people on the island used to dim the light so that the ships would wreck. They then offered to help rescue the ships for money or plunder them.
Sea wall in town.
I found a real conch shell on the beach! Sadly due to the rules we couldn’t take it home.
The Ruby Princess
That evening we set sail for Ft. Lauderdale. Saturday was our final sea day. Again we did more of the same relaxing.
On Thursday we had a wonderful surprise from Ryan’s parents!
Saturday night we watched the Kansas State game in order to catch Alabama/LSU updates as it wasn’t on TV. Talk about a heart attack! Roll Tide!
We took a tour of the galley Thursday morning.
A few views of the atrium of the boat.
Needless to say, we had a great time. I think Alaska might be our next trip!