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Before I left for vacation, I told you I was going somewhere warm, but I didn’t mention exactly where. Any guesses?

Well, today I’m here to start recapping my trip! Obviously, that means I should start out by telling you where I went! In actuality, I went quite a few places – a few countries, actually. Any guesses now as to where I went?! (You didn’t know this would be a guessing game, did you?!)

Okay, I’ll be straightforward now: I went on a cruise in the Caribbean. It was my first cruise ever, so honestly, I was a little hesitant before the trip. For example: 1) Would I get seasick? 2) What would the food be like? 3) Would it bother me that I didn’t get to stay long in each place? 4) Would I not get to have an authentic experience in each place, getting a feel for the culture (this includes food)?

Well, while I can’t say cruising will be my sole mode of vacation from now on, I can say I would consider cruising again. We went to St. Thomas (Virgin Islands), Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba. In the coming days I’ll be sure to go into more depth about all of these ports, but today, how about I focus on the cruise aspect of the trip, considering this was my first cruise and all? How does it sound if I answer some of the “fear” questions I posed above, getting into more depth about my vacation along the way?

1) Would I get seasick?

     Answer: Sort of. The good thing is that most of the time spent moving on the water was at night…which meant for a good portion of it, I was sleeping. For the majority of the trip, while the ship was in motion, I wore some sea bands which are supposed to work by pinpointing special sensor points on your wrists (they certainly were not a fabulous fashion statement though!). I also had to take Dramamine a couple of times. By the end of the trip though, I did without these things…I was fine – or maybe used to it. And I should clarify: I wasn’t throwing-up-sick…just uncomfortable. (And also, I, curiously, on this trip didn’t get sick on any of the smaller boats during excursions..but I haven’t in other smaller boat experiences either…)

2) What would the food be like?

     Each morning, I ate at the buffet, as that was usually the only choice I had (I did excursions in each port). The food here was not bad, but it was not wowing either…there was some yummy rice pudding! Lunch was usually eaten during my excursion, which obviously wasn’t provided for by the ship…I’ll talk about one of my excursion lunches below, however. I did have pizza on the ship, which I ate up…was it the world’s best? No, but it was good enough. I also one time had a peanut butter banana grilled sandwich…and it was heavenly. They also served some yummy Indian vegetable dishes, as well as a good chicken curry. Now dinner…dinner was a different story. It was super yummy. As in, four course meals most nights. Just a few of the highlights: chilled pumpkin cream soup, lentil burgers (may sound gross, but I seriously want some more now!), chilled mango pear ginger soup, spinach and tortellini soup, vegetable ragout, crepes with pumpkin filling and walnut sauce, pineapple creme brulee, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (the only frosting I truly adore!), chocolate-hazelnut souffle, cheesecake…and the list goes on…

3) Would it bother me that I didn’t get to stay long in each place?

     Yes, I often wished I could get a better feel of each port. However, I did get a pretty good taste of each island. But yes, undoubtedly, I wish I could have stayed longer in each place.

4) Would I not get to experience an authentic experience in each place, getting a feel for the culture (this includes food)?

     In Grenada, I actually got a tour from a local I just happened to meet…that was a great, totally authentic experience. In Dominica, I had a fantastic authentic lunch: green banana pie (didn’t really taste like bananas though…but YUM), yam, sweet potato, taro root, fried plantains, chicken, guava juice, banana bread (yum!), guava pastries, and a super duper, super duper, super duper hot hot sauce – like, seriously. I love spicy food, but many people could not even eat this…I did, but man, it was hot. Even the locals admitted to it being quite hot. But back to the question…this relates back to the previous question, in that I feel with more time I could have experienced something even more authentic. But in the end, I can’t complain…I did get a flavor of each island’s culture.

And I think that wraps up today’s recap…but I definitely have much more to share with you about each port! And while this was a very text heavy post, I promise future posts on the subject will have many pictures (after all, I took over 600 photos!…but no, I won’t make you look at them all!).

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about any experiences any of you have with cruising…or any fears those of you who haven’t cruised before might have!