“But wait. You’re going on your honeymoon and you’re not married yet?”
When you live in the Caribbean and the cruise ship pulls in just down the road from you, you get on it and island hop at a steep discount regardless of where in the timeline you happen you find yourself. Let that be the one useful thing that comes out of this post.
Neither one of us had ever been on a cruise prior to this. We never found the idea enticing. We have heard good things about them mostly having to do with how easy everything is because it’s magically taken care of. We heard the same about all-inclusive resorts before arriving here, another experience neither of us could claim. But the three times we went to such a resort, we enjoyed it. Everything was as no-brainer as everyone said. So that, mixed with the attractive price point for a week of island-hopping, sounded like the perfect combination for us.
We set sail on a cruise with Costa, yes THAT Costa of the tragic Concordia event. Our experience was much different and in all, pretty great. Costa caters largely to European countries and, in this case, the Caribbean islands that are a part of them (eg: Martinique and Guadeloupe are French, the British and the Dutch share St. Martin, etc.) We split our safety and outing briefings between those conducted in Spanish and those in English. The former had about 70 people, the latter about 10, and we may have been the only Americans.
One of the highlights of the trip was the couple we were seated with every night for dinner. About 20 years older than us, they were on an anniversary trip. Because they were from Canada, Costa must have determined language would not be a barrier. And it wasn’t, for the most part. They were from Quebec and much more comfortable with French than English. But it wasn’t an issue and the four of us had a blast every night. When they learned we were on our honeymoon, they arranged for a special cake to be made, which the Maître d’ and staff delivered at the end of the meal. It was lovely.
At about half of the designated stops we planned our own excursions. We hired a local boat to take us to a small island beach in the British Virgin Islands, and rented cars in Antigua and Martinique and spent the day driving around and exploring small towns. We caught some naps in the sun on the various ship decks, hung out in the pool and liberally tested the unlimited drinks wristbands we purchased ahead of time.
I can regale you with individual stories – like how the chartered boat company in the British Virgin Islands messed up our reservation and, in exchange for not charging us a dime, mixed us in with a crowd of Germans from another cruise. Things like that. But I’ll save that for another time. For now, give yourself a break and tour a bit of the Caribbean via our gallery. It was a great week with a lot of great stories and experiences. And I can’t imagine spending it with anyone but my bride-to-be. I’m a lucky man.